ninety percent of the job

I loved this interview with Rory Hyde:

“There is a sense that when a client wants something authored or finished, that is when they call an architect, after the brief has already been defined. We are not known for our strength in spatial research, even though, arguably, that’s ninety percent of the job. We speak very little about it and we don’t broadcast it at all. What you see on our websites and in our magazines is the finished photos! So, it’s no surprise that is what people call us to do—to make something unique and beautiful. The reality of the job is about understanding clients’ needs, understanding the site, researching, making a business proposition.

That is what is really great about the Mayor’s Design Advocacy program I am a part of. There’s fifty of us, mostly architects, and it’s interesting to look around the room. They are asking us to do research, to go out and speak to people, and to devise new mechanisms that the city government can implement. These might be policy changes or specific projects which can be set in motion. What they are absolutely not asking us to do is design anything. It is exciting and refreshing for a change to be called upon as a researcher, as someone who has a civic responsibility to the city as a whole, not just as somebody who is an author or a shape-maker.”

More on Rory here. I’ve cited his first book that explores new nouns and verbs for architects and designers in a couple of talks; I’ll say more about that tomorrow.