Professional Practice
Architecture Practice Illness
This issue is quite common in Malaysia, or maybe all over the world...
I have experienced architectural practice in one firm in Malaysia during practical training as a student...the boss are doing what client want, and architects are showing building images as working progress... users are not questioned but they just want to cut cost.
More and more terres houses, apartment, condos are built, they want to fit a small house with many rooms, some room cannot even get direct daylight...
I have try to design, advice, fix and change but end up rejected due to cost constraint, and the client's taste...

Some even worse that they copy images of building from brochures, magazine which sells...

I feel very hopeless...
J Lim
Architecture Practice Illness
Dear J Lim, I would imagine that faking designs to soft soap the client is counterproductive in the long term because sooner or later there will be an accumulation of not very happy clients who have been fooled.
Frank John Snelling
Architecture Practice Illness
Hi Frank John Snelling,

From my experience, these clients get excited from earning their dollars and cents by using minimal of cost and land for mass production of houses with less or no concern of the users and issues...
First time they want to built 'terres house', then next time apartment, bungalow and so on...
J Lim
Architecture Practice Illness
Dear J Lim, You are right, some clients of architects are only interested in making money out of other people, even if the product is cheap and nasty and in some cases very dangerous, because any poor quality building will almost certainly cause injury and death in earthquake areas.

The only (non-violent) action possible is for the national Government to pass laws which ensure by means of systematic Quality Control that both building materials and construction methods are done correctly and ensure that the buildings are safe.

And if the Quality Control officals are rewarded in some way by clients to pass poor quality buildings, then more people will die.

Note: I think by your "terres house" you mean "terrace" or "row housing".
Frank John Snelling
Architecture Practice Illness
I think this really is an ethical issue. Architects are bound to try and reduce costs all the time, but within a design that works. No matter how happy a client is with a design, no architect should approve (sign) a design he/she knows is bad. With hardwork and good planning (the real ethics of the profession) cost reduction can be achieved within a good design. What do u say, Lim?
Augustine Owusu-Ansah
Architecture Practice Illness
Hi Augustine Owusu-Ansah,

Yes I do think that this is an ethical issue which requires to change because nowadays what I see here is there are more and more architecture firms trying to get as many projects as possible, residential housing, shop lots, hotel etc. And the worst is, those projects can be approved within a week by copying image from other commercial projects, designed without going to the site, proper planning, investigation and studies. So more and more architectural issue of the past keep on repeating.

And yes what could be better by having a good design with a minimum cost possible. If some clients are that stingy and just wanting to earn big money out of every projects, perhaps this should be one of the context to be concerned by the designers. I wonder if a more efficient design can be achieved by having the same or even less cost compare to a commercial building design which being built repeatedly all over the places. If it is possible then why are those commercial building still so resistant to change...
J Lim


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