Designing internal and external living spaces that match your needs now and into the future means expressing your requirements to a flexible, community-based architect who listens and facilitates rather than simply peddling images, says Peter Georgiev, director of Archicentre Australia.

Members of the national architect’s advisory service do not conform to ‘niche’ or ‘starchitect’ trends, according to Georgiev. 

“These trends take away from the individual requirements of each and every residential occupant, but are unfortunately commonplace in today’s volume-based approach to constructing homes and apartments as well as additions to existing homes,” he says. 

Georgiev says ‘starchitects’ are often about spin and this is not helpful. They should instead spend more time listening to the needs of knowledgeable clients to help facilitate the design process. 
“Any architect worth talking to should know all about the emergence of building types and construction techniques – their strengths, pitfalls, regulatory framework and the like. This becomes the springboard for a useful conversation – rather than simply focusing on ‘image making’,” he says.

“Start up a conversation about your thoughts and let the rest flow from there … talk about process, consultants, builders, fees. On the latter point seek a fee proposal that provides some degree of clarity – a fixed fee and hourly rate proposal.

“Once a feasibility design process has established a parte and cost guide, there should be an opportunity to seek a shopping list approach to tasks and associated fees. Where the tasks are indeterminate, an hourly rate can be appropriate. Otherwise, various processes can by quoted as fixed fees.

“The value of being an architect is that you can bring experiences of design, statutory negotiations, construction techniques, ability to communicate effectively with consultants, builders and trades – to the conversation table,” he concludes.