4 Uncommon Traits of a Great Architectural Designer

Business Skills for ArchitectsChances are that you already have many of the common traits of great a great architectural designer. If it’s your field of work, you must be skilled in certain areas. Things like;

●     Drafting and sketching

●     Design Software

●     Building codes (especially in your specific area)

●     Generally good “sense” of design

Going through that list, you were probably thinking thoughts like, “Check. Yep, that one too.”

Today’s post speaks to traits that many (not all) architects may not naturally have. If you love what you do, the above list may seem to come more naturally than those attributes would to others.

These four uncommon traits may take some work for many a architectural designer. So, let’s get into them.

Number One: Business Acumen

If you don’t know how to run a business, this trait has to be first on you list— Even if you happen to work in a firm. When you own your own firm, this is a no brainer, but it’s also true for those designers that draw a paycheck. The most common clients for architectural firms are business owners and executives. Their ideas are going to be ran through the bottom line. Not just for the budget, but for every element of the business design. Being able to “speak the language” of your business clients will go a long way toward a successful project.

Further Reading: Rasmussen’s 15 business communication tips are a great place to start.

Number Two: Communication

Wait, isn’t this the same as number one? No. Even if you can understand and speak to the needs of clients, you still have to communicate with them throughout the project. Most architects are great at speaking the lingo of construction and design. But explaining what’s happening to clients? This is where you have to be skilled at making your work understandable to those outside of your realm.

Further Reading: Here’s a great article from Lifehacker on the subject.

Number Three: Collaboration

“Ok, I’m almost certain this is the same as the other two!” Hold on, let us explain. If you can understand business, great. If you communicate what you do to your clients, fantastic. That said, without the ability to bridge the gap between client, contractor, and architect—you’ll fail to achieve the “great” status of an architectural designer. Clients (sometimes) have unreasonable demands. Contractors (sometimes) are hard to work with. You’re the one with the vision and without the ability to collaborate…

Further Reading: Take a look at this A-Z look at collaboration (with examples).

Number Four: Passion

Maybe you liked to draw and enjoyed building design. This caused you to pursue a career in architecture. Unfortunately, this part of the construction industry is shakier than the others. To make it, you have to be passionate about what you do. Not just love it but be willing to do it—no matter what. Firms consolidating, layoffs, and pay decreases won’t make you look elsewhere. Do you have that kind of passion?

Further Reading: A short piece from Forbes about getting out of a work rut.