When disciplines overlap and technical and social definitions become somewhat blurred, understanding the scope of work of each profession can get confusing. The difference between an architect and a building designer is all about perception. Very often, an individual can be both an architect and a building designer.
While the architect places above the building designer in professional hierarchy, a building designer is often sought out to interpret the client or developer’s design goals for their building.
The architect can be said to be creative in a technical sense and dislikes boundaries being set whereas the designer tends to work within the boundaries defined by the client.
This is why collaboration between the architect and building designer on large projects is more rewarding to the client; however, as mentioned earlier, one practitioner can be capable of performing both roles. The client is often guided by the individual’s work portfolio, and creative proposal.
When designing a home, the focus of the architect is more on the edifice, whereas the building designer is more inclined towards the practical use of the building, particularly its liveability.
Having said that, the architect’s input towards fittings and fixtures specification is a distinct advantage, particularly where quality is sought to be preserved.
At the end of the day, choosing between an architect and a building designer becomes a matter of personal preference based on project goals.
However, it has been noted that developers tend to stay with a building designer on a greater number of developments than with an architect.