Monday, April 30, 2018

The Architect or the Client?

As an architect, sometimes a part of our job includes convincing clients about changing decisions for designs we think works better for their home. While we go by our client's opinions most of the time, there are times when we feel strongly about a few decisions.
"Trust me when I tell you this", I have heard Sai suggest a few clients. When listening to this, I totally understand why Sai might be saying it. Sometimes as architects, we understand the usability of the spaces probably better than the client.

But what happens when you are in a scenario when you are both the architect and the client?

Recently, my parents decided to give Sandarbh the project of renovating my ancestral house. I was super excited about this .'How awesome would that be', I thought. I would get a chance to be a part of every design process. From each tile to every partition, my input would be included for every part of the house. How often would I get the chance to redesign the house my ancestors built and lived in? It was a great privilege. I was sure I was more the architect than the client for this one. We were going to do a great job on this. 

A few weeks into the design process and I wasn't sure about this anymore. As Meghna began to design the first cut of the house, I began to feel myself being uncomfortable. 'How can she shift that space? That's the space where my grandma spent her mornings. That along with a hundred other similar questions in my head wouldn't let myself willingly accept any changes bought to the house.

 'So what if the spaces are smaller?', I would think.  It's worked well all this while.

It was a constant war between the architect and the client inside me.

As this project moves forward, the experience of being the client working in the architect's office is probably going to change the way I look at clients who come to our office asking us to redesign their home. I realize that architecture is way more than a couple of walls enclosing a space. It's about feelings, about emotions and about the way people remember their fondest memories. 

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