What qualities makes a good architect?

Every architect’s design process is extremely personal and nuanced. However, there are some things that we at Fibre Architects think all good designers have in common:

1. They tell a good story. Our memories of places are inherently linked to stories. A home that tells the story of a specific client, in a specific place, at a specific time enriches the experience and gives it a reason for being. Finding the bigger, guiding idea and creating a story around it imbues every design decision with meaning.

2. They take risks. Taking risks to do something out of the ordinary is part of any creative field. Rethink, reimagine, retool and invent new ways of doing the same old thing — while the laws of physics still apply, even gravity can be challenged. This isn’t to say that everything requires innovation or bold action, but looking at a problem through a different lens often reveals interesting solutions that don’t rely on standard practice.

3. They sweat the details. At its heart architecture seeks to solve problems, but it’s the way we’re able to solve those problems — the poetry we bring to the solution — that separates the good from the bad.

4. They simplify. “The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak,” said painter Hans Hofmann. Too often we let complexity act as a proxy for interest. Architects are schooled in editing down to the essential components. If it doesn’t have a function, its necessity should be questioned.

5. They establish order. Designers prefer applying ordering principles to everything, at every level. Naturally, the need for order requires hierarchy — which basically means you have to decide what’s the most important thing and let the other things defer to it.

When beginning a new design project, it is important to evaluate three main things: the building site (existing or new), the client and the budget. The overarching concept is derived from the one that asserts the strongest pull, and I begin crafting a narrative around that force. That’s where the ordering begins.

6. They break the rules.  Once we have an established repeating pattern, we can decide where to break the rules. Imagine a series of windows aligned on an orderly grid. The one window that breaks this set of rules must do so for a very important and specific reason.

Overall, at Fibre we want to inspire and impress with our designs, whilst obviously still satisfying the customer’s specific brief. We are always aiming to go above and beyond to really provide that ‘wow’ factor and deliver top of the range architectural designs for our clients.

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