What are the first three rules of Architecture? I know them to be the following:
What is the first rule of Architecture? Get the Job!
What is the second rule of Architecture? Get the Job!
What is the third rule of Architecture? Get the Job!
I have been told this by many different people throughout my career. Many architects have said it over the years (Frank Lloyd Wright, Dennis Stacey, Terry Sullivan, etc…). Any Architect running a practice follows this simple rule. However not everyone in Architectural firms have to embrace this rule on a daily basis. I didn’t really understand it fully, three years ago working at my last firm in middle management. The concept only became crystal clear to me shortly after I started my own firm and I had to “Get the Job”.
First of all, I have always defined Architecture as the Built Environment. Therefore any napkin sketches, conceptual drawings, physical models or color renderings although may help convey the ideas of a design still are not considered Architecture by my standards. The design must be built to be considered Architecture and sometimes our better work remains un-built (that is a blog for another day). That being said please don’t look at the un-built section in the portfolio page of this website.
The practice of Architecture after all is a business. Capitalism helps define what success means for a business (market share, brand recognition, profit margin, etc…). Our business model is simplistic; when we render services and provide documents to clients we get money in exchange. “It is all about the Benjamin’s” (another quote I hear). This is no different for Architects running a business.
To be an Architect, you must build your designs. You cannot build your designs if your clients don’t want them. You can’t make money if you don’t sell your designs. Therefore you must “get the job” to have a client, get paid and be an Architect that is running a successful practice.