ARCHITECTS: The Architect serves as creator, coordinator, and communicator of the project's design in overall concept and in all of its parts. In accordance with standard agreements for professional services, the Architect authors the documentation describing the design - the Drawings, Specifications, and other Contract Documents - and then administers the Construction Contract for the Owner, observing the progress of the work and processing changes, requests for payments, and a variety of other approvals. Architects may provide predesign, post construction, and supplemental services as well. As the primary design professional on the project, the Architect assumes professional responsibility for all of the design decisions in the project.
It has been said that we shape our buildings, and they shape us. While there is debate about the extent of architecture's role in shaping life, there is little doubt that we are affected by our built surroundings, particularly when they are exciting or inspiring, and also when they do not provide the comfort, accommodation, or economy that we expect.
IMPORTANCE OF DESIGN: Although all professions are based on a balance of technical and indeterminate knowledge, some stress one over the other. Architecture emphasizes an artistic, relatively inexplicable domain of expertise - design - that is at the core of the Architect's identity. Design requires rational knowledge of how buildings are put together, how they will function, historical models for building types, materials, mechanical systems, structures, and so on.
Three classic design goals are highest quality, lowest cost, and shortest time. Everybody wants all three, but priorities vary. Some clients have fixed budgets, non-negotiable deadlines, or inflexible quality standards.
Traditionally, design is a professional service, with the Architect offering professional advice and acting as an agent of the Owner. With this in mind, an Architect providing continuing service is in a position to monitor the status of the project. If portions of the building construction are improperly interpreted, the Architect can point that out to the Owner to have the appropriate corrections made.