Attention All Architects - Opportunity

Attention All Architects - Opportunity

Postby bluepicasso » Thu Aug 04, 2011 2:17 pm

Dear Colleagues,

I have recently been discussing the possibility of running a architecture and planning 'surgery' in one of Dublin's main department stores with one of the store's marketing managers. This well known store (which shall remain nameless for now) seem to be very keen on the idea and have asked me to put the proposal in writing. For those of you who either participated in or know of the Simon Open Door event which runs every year, this surgery will operate in a very similar way. People will sign up to a half an hours consultation with an architect (via the stores website) in return for a suggested donation to a chosen charity. There will also be an opportunity to pick up 'passing trade' from customers who are already in the store but who weren't aware of the surgery. The consultation will take place in the store's home department on a Saturday afternoon. Depending on the number of people interested, this will be organised on a rotating basis, with at least one architect being present every Saturday afternoon. This could be a great opportunity, especially for younger architects or smaller practices, who are struggling to meet potential clients at the moment.

I am using this forum as a sounding board for the idea and to try and assess the level of interest in the proposal. I would be delighted to hear from anyone who might be interested in participating and any other ideas people might have to improve the process.

Cheers.
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Re: Attention All Architects - Opportunity

Postby DOC » Thu Aug 04, 2011 3:32 pm

I'd certainly be interested (have done Simon Open Door every year since it's inception). I hope it's BT's :lolno:
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Re: Attention All Architects - Opportunity

Postby bluepicasso » Thu Aug 04, 2011 3:54 pm

DOC wrote:I'd certainly be interested (have done Simon Open Door every year since it's inception). I hope it's BT's :lolno:


Excellant DOC, pm me your details and I'll put you on the list. Will reveal the store if and when we get the green light!
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Re: Attention All Architects - Opportunity

Postby parka » Fri Aug 05, 2011 10:26 am

Seeing as it was already done in Arnotts, other stores will all want an architect on call clinic.

Not to sound like a moan, but why is the architecture profession always offering a free consultation service.

Fair enough giving money to charity is good, but I get the impression the public expect our free services throughout the whole design process too.
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Re: Attention All Architects - Opportunity

Postby bluepicasso » Fri Aug 05, 2011 10:43 am

parka wrote:Seeing as it was already done in Arnotts, other stores will all want an architect on call clinic.

Not to sound like a moan, but why is the architecture profession always offering a free consultation service.

Fair enough giving money to charity is good, but I get the impression the public expect our free services throughout the whole design process too.


Thanks for your comment parka. I hear what you're saying about the free consultation service, but as far as I can remember architects and lots of other professions have always given at least a free first consultation with potential clients. After all, not everyone who has a consultation ends up doing work. However, the problem most professionals are having these days is actually meeting potential clients in the first place. So, with that, if there was a chance that you could speak to 10 potential new clients in one afternoon, would you not go for it? Let's face it, it's the same reason that architects sign up to do the ideal home show etc.

Maybe the solution is to split the fee between the architect and the charity. That way it would at least cover the architect's cost of travel etc.
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Re: Attention All Architects - Opportunity

Postby gunter » Fri Aug 05, 2011 11:15 am

The suggested charitable donation is the innocent looking worm on the hook Parka. Once the well-heeled mark has been hooked and slowly reeled in, possibly using the line . . . . . 'Madame, are you completely satisfied with your kitchen?' . . . . . there are no barriers [moral or legal] to the pursuit of full fees.

I'd sign up myself, but I don't have the people-skills, my fingers would be itching to club to death half the potential clients before they'd even finished describing the stupidity of their three year old island unit

I presume you costed out the option of pitching a tent at the Galway Races?
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Re: Attention All Architects - Opportunity

Postby parka » Fri Aug 05, 2011 4:37 pm

gunter wrote:I'd sign up myself, but I don't have the people-skills, my fingers would be itching to club to death half the potential clients before they'd even finished describing the stupidity of their three year old island unit


LOL reminds of the only time i did the Simon day event.

Seven potential clients all with full sets of drawings by other architects. All they wanted to know if anything more could be done or had they squeezed the most out of their architect. I made a lot of cups of coffee that day so the hours flew by :crazy:
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Re: Attention All Architects - Opportunity

Postby bluepicasso » Sat Aug 06, 2011 3:16 pm

gunter wrote:The suggested charitable donation is the innocent looking worm on the hook Parka. Once the well-heeled mark has been hooked and slowly reeled in, possibly using the line . . . . . 'Madame, are you completely satisfied with your kitchen?' . . . . . there are no barriers [moral or legal] to the pursuit of full fees.

I'd sign up myself, but I don't have the people-skills, my fingers would be itching to club to death half the potential clients before they'd even finished describing the stupidity of their three year old island unit

I presume you costed out the option of pitching a tent at the Galway Races?


Haha. Galway was given some consideration alright. Although the thoughts of running an international competition to design the tent put me off!
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Re: Attention All Architects - Opportunity

Postby brianq » Tue Aug 09, 2011 12:53 pm

A good idea blue and I hope its a success. At least someone is trying to do something positive and constructive instead of moaning and whining
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Re: Attention All Architects - Opportunity

Postby bluepicasso » Sun Aug 14, 2011 10:12 pm

brianq wrote:A good idea blue and I hope its a success. At least someone is trying to do something positive and constructive instead of moaning and whining


Thanks for your support Brian. Proposal was submitted to the store last week and was met with broad approval. Will hopefully know more at the end of this week. Will let you know how I get on.
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Re: Attention All Architects - Opportunity

Postby onq » Tue Aug 16, 2011 2:27 pm

Perhaps we could organize a free enclosure in Dublin Zoo under the Endangered Species Directive.

I'll say this - if architects are putting themselves out there in front of the public, they'd better treat this like a marketing campaign and run it competently and professionally.

A badly run stall populated by person of mixed ability, and in particular, younger, less competent or experienced architects will give a poor impression of our profession.

I spoke with an RIBA Part III architect who attended the Ideal Homes exhibition this year and ran a stall - a competent guy, well up to running a multi-disciplinary office, he had a rough four hours of it from De Peepil.

He said he hadn't felt this under pressure since he sat his Part III interview, with questions coming from all angles and on all subjects to current and past standards.

Many of the questions may related to the nitty gritty of planning law, the competence of architects -vs- other building professionals (if I employ an engineer do I need an architect) and you really need to be on-message and alert to give a good impression.

And don't get caught by some ass who only wants to trap you in a discussion about why percentages fees are only a means for architects to push up costs and exploit clients.

Treat it like a Part III exam and prepare, to current standards, or you're going to look very lame indeed.

I'd strongly suggest you bring a laptop with online access, some reference texts and Google Sketchup.

ONQ.
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Re: Attention All Architects - Opportunity

Postby wearnicehats » Tue Aug 16, 2011 3:20 pm

onq wrote:Perhaps we could organize a free enclosure in Dublin Zoo under the Endangered Species Directive.

I'll say this - if architects are putting themselves out there in front of the public, they'd better treat this like a marketing campaign and run it competently and professionally.

A badly run stall populated by person of mixed ability, and in particular, younger, less competent or experienced architects will give a poor impression of our profession.

I spoke with an RIBA Part III architect who attended the Ideal Homes exhibition this year and ran a stall - a competent guy, well up to running a multi-disciplinary office, he had a rough four hours of it from De Peepil.

He said he hadn't felt this under pressure since he sat his Part III interview, with questions coming from all angles and on all subjects to current and past standards.

Many of the questions may related to the nitty gritty of planning law, the competence of architects -vs- other building professionals (if I employ an engineer do I need an architect) and you really need to be on-message and alert to give a good impression.

And don't get caught by some ass who only wants to trap you in a discussion about why percentages fees are only a means for architects to push up costs and exploit clients.

Treat it like a Part III exam and prepare, to current standards, or you're going to look very lame indeed.

I'd strongly suggest you bring a laptop with online access, some reference texts and Google Sketchup.

ONQ.



I'd rather be on the dole than have to deal with someone who wants something for nothing in some crappy department store. really - have we no self respect?
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Re: Attention All Architects - Opportunity

Postby teak » Wed Aug 17, 2011 2:08 pm


I'd rather be on the dole than have to deal with someone who wants something for nothing in some crappy department store. really - have we no self respect?


Though I'm no architect, I see your point of view.

The department store situation is just as uncongenial to the "client" as it is to the professional
trying to tend them.

Besides, isn't there already a system of 1 free consultation with an architect at his/her offices
in exchange for a small donation to Simon ?
This system seems to have some possibility of being productive :-

> The architect can set a realistic number of Simon appointments during the week.

> The general nature of the consultation may be described while making the appointment -- thereby
allowing fair preparations to be made; or appointments to be rescheduled in good time if needed.

> The peaceful and private setting of the office would afford a lot more engagement than the very
disruptive atmosphere of a busy department store.

> There is more scope for follow-up activity with some clients, hopefully leading to the engagement
of the architect on a paid basis.
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Re: Attention All Architects - Opportunity

Postby Paul Clerkin » Wed Aug 17, 2011 2:29 pm

I propose a machine similar to a passport photo booth.... the potential client gets in, inserts his euro and is connected via a chatroulette like interface to a random architecture practice where he can chat to for 30 minutes before his euro runs out....

we can insert a network of machines in shopping centres and public spaces around the country....

i will call it archispeak
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Re: Attention All Architects - Opportunity

Postby wearnicehats » Wed Aug 17, 2011 2:34 pm

although the shopping centre environment would allow you to put out a sign saying "will work for some past sell by date food or some ill fitting garment made in a third world country by a three year old"
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Re: Attention All Architects - Opportunity

Postby bluepicasso » Wed Aug 17, 2011 3:20 pm

Oh dear, seems that this idea may have ruffled a few feathers out there!

I think it's a real shame that we, as a profession, despite being in the middle of one of the most crippling recessions in living memory are still refusing to move with the times. I mean why shouldn't we develop new strategies for engaging with potential clients, whether that's in a department store or anywhere else where "De Peepil" hang out for that matter. If people are refusing to come to our ivory towers, which they are, then we shall go to them. There is no shame in trying to promote your business whilst providing a valuable service.

I really hope most of you don't hurt yourselves when you fall of your high horses...
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Re: Attention All Architects - Opportunity

Postby wearnicehats » Wed Aug 17, 2011 4:51 pm

bluepicasso wrote:Oh dear, seems that this idea may have ruffled a few feathers out there!

I think it's a real shame that we, as a profession, despite being in the middle of one of the most crippling recessions in living memory are still refusing to move with the times. I mean why shouldn't we develop new strategies for engaging with potential clients, whether that's in a department store or anywhere else where "De Peepil" hang out for that matter. If people are refusing to come to our ivory towers, which they are, then we shall go to them. There is no shame in trying to promote your business whilst providing a valuable service.

I really hope most of you don't hurt yourselves when you fall of your high horses...


wow - if that's how you react to opposition then I strongly advise you to steer clear of the general public full stop, let alone in a public place
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Re: Attention All Architects - Opportunity

Postby bluepicasso » Wed Aug 17, 2011 6:40 pm

.[/quote]


I'd rather be on the dole than have to deal with someone who wants something for nothing in some crappy department store. really - have we no self respect?[/quote]

I'm all for constructive criticism wearnicehats, of which there are many examples above. However, your comments could not be classed as such. I just hope, for your sake, that you are currently in gainful employment and never find yourself in a position where you have to leave your comfort zone in order to earn a crust.
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Re: Attention All Architects - Opportunity

Postby gunter » Wed Aug 17, 2011 6:47 pm

Paul Clerkin wrote:I propose a machine similar to a passport photo booth....


I do like the interactive confession box idea with electrode attachments to assist in the decision making process . . . . . Paul’s Archispeak ‘Booth’.


. . . . now moving on to window selection;

your options are:

a] Iroko hardwood windows [harvested by unscrupulous loggers from Earth’s diminishing rain forests].

b] PVC windows [in all their environmentally destructive plastic ugliness],

c] Chemically impregnated softwood windows [timed to disintegrate three months after the expiry of the manufacture’s guarantee], or

d] Leave window opes unglazed to avoid creating a hazard to starlings and maintain a barrier-free interface with the surrounding ecosphere.


Choose carefully
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Re: Attention All Architects - Opportunity

Postby wearnicehats » Wed Aug 17, 2011 9:24 pm

bluepicasso wrote:.



I'd rather be on the dole than have to deal with someone who wants something for nothing in some crappy department store. really - have we no self respect?[/quote]

I'm all for constructive criticism wearnicehats, of which there are many examples above. However, your comments could not be classed as such. I just hope, for your sake, that you are currently in gainful employment and never find yourself in a position where you have to leave your comfort zone in order to earn a crust.[/quote]

you won't get constructive criticism from someone who has no idea what they want, tortures you for weeks and then gets their sister in law's brother's builder mate to do the kitchen extension anyway - "oh and sure why would I pay you?, we were only messin". Begging for crumbs off a bunch of disinterested shoppers will earn you nothing but contempt. I know plenty of self employed architects who get work through word of mouth or through their peers who are fortunate to still be employed. Have some respect for your ability, your qualifications and your profession (assuming you are RIAI registered, of course). I have no comfort zone - I know 4 ex-colleagues who are very happy - and considerably better off than me financially - on the dole. One thing we do have in common is having absolutely no interest in the nixer market which is all you're going to pick up at a market stall.
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