This may throw a cat amongst the pigeons, but after the umpteenth email I’ve received about this, I feel the need to share.
The copious number of emails I receive go like this …
“We’ve been working with a draftsperson. They’ve not really been creative. They’ve just drawn up what we’ve told them. We’re wondering what we are missing out on.”
Do not expect your draftsperson to know how to design.
They are trained to draw, to represent your home in the required way to achieve approvals and get it built. They may be self-taught, job-trained or do a TAFE course – in DRAFTING.
Drafting, and designing are two different things. Drafting is drawing … and drawing is not designing.
Designing is an exploratory process of testing, creating, checking and testing all over again. At its core, it’s problem solving.
Drawing? It is putting pen or pencil to paper, and marking a line. (Or mouse or keyboard to CAD program as may be the case!)
That’s not to say that that draftspeople can’t design – some are good designers.
BUT – It’s like expecting the book publisher to know how to write the book as well. The publisher knows what is needed to get that book out into the hands of its readers. But physically writing the book? That’s a different skill-set and not one all publishers usually have in their bag of tricks.
So if you’re wanting to design a home or renovation, get a designer. They will ‘interpret’ your needs, wants and desires into a home, not just convert your ideas into a drawing. And they should challenge you and expand your vision beyond your expectations.
This is not a judgement on you, the homeowner, or an attack on the choices you make. Please understand that is not (and never) the intention of UA. This is about helping you understand so you can demand what you deserve for your home.
Expect more – whatever your budget, because you deserve a home that works.
Choose the right person with the right skill-set for your needs, and you’ll always get a great outcome.
– Amelia, UA x
Other blogs you may find useful:
Want to learn more about the difference between architects, building designers and draftspeople? Click here
What do architects charge? Read here for info …
This blog will help you with choosing a designer to suit you …
Ain’t that the truth! Thanks Amelia.
My pleasure – thanks for your kind feedback,
– Amelia, UA x
interesting take, since the reality is not all architects are good designers & not all qualified designers are, a qualified designer is no guarantee of being a good designer, you can’t teach someone to be a good designer, either they are creative or they are not – the article is wishful
there are countless designers parading around under the title Architect/Designer than there are bad draftsmen
Thanks for your comment on this blog.
As with any industry, there are those who are great at what they do, and those that aren’t – yet still hang a shingle and charge good people money for their services.
There are blogs on my website to help homeowners understand how to choose a designer that suits them, and their needs, and check their credentials and abilities to design, and deliver what is expected from them.
With twenty years experience in this industry, I have lost count of the number of times I’ve been told by a disappointed homeowner that their draftsperson didn’t ‘design’ – they simply ‘drew’. Drawing and drafting still requires training and expertise. I’m not diminishing that at all. It’s just my experience that their clients expected this ability to draw also meant design, and they didn’t feel they got it.
Nobody can ‘parade’ around under the title “Architect”. It is a title that you must earn the right to use, with recognised training, exams and certification, and continued professional development. Not all architects practise as designers either – I have many colleagues who are qualified architects who didn’t enjoy design, and now work in Project or Construction Management, or other managerial roles.
I will strongly disagree with you that “you can’t teach someone to be a good designer”. This is a much larger argument that there’s not room for in the comments on this blog – however I will say this. Being a great designer is certainly part natural talent, and also part practise, testing, problem solving and practise again. It is definitely something that can be taught, honed, mastered and improved over time.
It is a terrible condemnation on our abilities for growth and change to say that “you are either creative or not”. What a depressing thought that totally limits any possibility we have as humans to improve and grow. I can’t imagine saying to a child “no you can’t draw, you might as well give up – you’re just not creative”. So what makes us think we have the right to say that to an adult? Honestly?
– Amelia, UA
ps I’d suggest reading the work of Elizabeth Gilbert in “Big Magic” if you’d like to learn more about the idea of creativity.
Great article Amelia. My father recently bought a house that had the floor plan ‘designed’ by an old couple and drawn up by an draftsper. I don’t think an architect would have facilitated such an awful floor plan and space planning. An interior design colleague of mine also saved her client from a poor plan from a draftsman. Having said that i presume its often the client trying to save costs.
Thanks for your comment. I think cost is often a big driver in who homeowners choose to work with. When you’re handing over hard-earned cash for services, it can feel like a lot of money you’re taking away from your total project budget.
I’m a big believer though, that the people you have on your team, and who you trust with your home, should add value far beyond their fees. See what you’re spending as a great investment in your home and lifestyle … it should pay dividends! Living with poor design, mistakes and a home that doesn’t reach its potential is a big price to pay at the end of your project.
– Amelia, UA x
Mark Geoffrey Basford says
I am not sure about the building industry but in automotive industry the engineers are the equivalent of the architect and the drafters are called designers. The engineer can’t use the drafting software like Catia and UG as it is complex modelling that requires years of use to become really good. Some try and just mess up the model in my experience. And you have to be able to view cad data in 3d wireframe, which is something that can’t really be taught. You can either see it or not.
But the engineers are still design responsible as a legal requirement. So they do design parts but usually not understand how they are created. The bet car designers I have come across are the guys who build their own cars at home from the ground up regardless if they are engineers or draftsmen. The hands on guys. But you are definitely better of being in the building industry in Australia as our automotive industry has all but disappeared. And not just here, globally I read 38,000 people are being laid off across north America all of Europe and even china.
Interesting comparison Mark – thanks for sharing your insight.
– Amelia, UA
Natalie Sawyer says
“So if you’re wanting to design a home or renovation, get a designer.”
Now please tell me! What is a designer? This person differs from an architect?
The name ‘designer’ can cover a myriad of professionals who can help you when creating your future home. An architect is a type of designer, however, they’ve jumped through other hoops to call themselves an ‘architect’ – and hence have specific obligations as they execute their role. You can find out more about the difference between the job titles in this blog as I talk about the difference between architects, building designers and draftspeople >>> READ MORE HERE.
– Amelia, UA