A client, finishing up our initial consultation last night, said to me fearfully, "But, you know we are talking with other people? We are getting other prices." Which since then has set me off in wonder as to what other professionals do in their "consultations." I'm left asking, "Am I doing this wrong?"
1. "Architect/Design&Build." On the one hand, I see myself affiliated with Landscape Architecture, only "Design/Build" is a different process to arrive at an end. I am paid to build something that begins in the imagination as a dialogue between the client and myself. I am paid for an end product and it is my work to deliver it from imagination to concrete object. This may be different from a pure architect's process as they generally work in the imagination, communication, and theoretical phases and then collaborate with skilled labor to build the project. At the end of the day, the end value of the project is the same only the value has been created and paid out in different ways.
2. "The Process." I think where I get concerned is that my client was surprised and didn't understand why I would spend an hour consulting with them. I explained it may take a week for me to get back with them with more thoughts, ideas, and rough budget numbers which would allow me to have a conversation to then imagine what we may together decide to be the final scope of work. Design - or the creation of a work scope - is a back and forth process. It takes time. I provide consult, ideas, possibility, budget guidance, all to create a scope of work that we then agree to a price or value of. The value of my consult and design is embodied in the value of the project as opposed to separated between architect and skilled labor.
3. "The Lawn Guy." A contractor is an organizer of production, machinery, and skilled labor. This is who would work with an architect (Note: I am surely capable to move into the role of "contractor" and collaborate on projects with an architect. My concentration here is on the client's process to receive consult). If you know exactly what you want, find a contractor. If you don't know EXACTLY what you want, you need (might choose to find) consult.
And so, with my client, there was "The Lawn Guy," who they suggested had a different point of view than I - he said "to just make everything lawn" - which may not be wrong but a contractor is just selling work. He didn't spend an hour and won't do four hours work to prepare for the next conversation. A designer or architect is collaborating with a client to represent your interests and wants, not to move units.
This isn't to say contractor's don't have value. I am just demonstrating a conceptual spectrum of consultation ranging from pure consult to its opposite extreme - sales.
4. Anyway...I've a lot to say about this but can't yammer on forever. I hope this becomes part one of a larger conversation. It is targeting this place I am often speaking of with others - "where is the value of the designer, be it floral, landscape, graphic, etc, located and how do we receive compensation for our life expended?"
3/13/2021 04:18:17 am
To be successful, Design-Build projects cannot afford the tunnel vision seen in the traditional design-bid-build method mentioned earlier. Rather, the owner, the design-builder, and subcontractors must all think of themselves as a team working to achieve the common goal of delivering the project on time and on budget. The only success is mutual success.
7/28/2021 08:17:58 am
I like how you wrote down that the value of landscaping has been created and is paid in various ways. That honestly helps me understand landscape design a lot more. My wife is all about so now I can connect more with her on another subject.
10/17/2022 09:41:16 am
Super aticle. We will be sure to share with our staff.
10/25/2022 03:14:04 am
Nice article! If you need quality help with grounds maintenance, turf treatments, irrigation, or tree and shrub care, get in touch with Commonwealth Landcare.
10/26/2022 12:49:15 pm
Thank you for your tips. This is really helpful!
11/16/2022 07:01:29 pm
Super article guys! Love the detail!
1/17/2023 04:28:34 pm
Thanks for sharing this wonderful post!
2/10/2023 09:03:25 am
Designing and building a landscape is a great way to beautify your outdoor space and make it more functional for your family. Before beginning the process, it is important to have a plan in mind. Consider the size of the space, local climate, and the type of plants or materials that will be used. You should also factor in any existing structures, such as walkways or decks, that may need to be integrated into the design.
3/22/2023 08:15:56 am
Though more philosophical and abstract than the other three, so this page offers some useful perspective on the landscape construction and planning process. The author argues that landscapes can be read as a mirror of human experience and stresses the need for a harmony between artistic expression and scientific rigor in their creation.
5/23/2023 05:21:57 am
All that has been stated here shows how landscaping can be taken to the next level. It's simple to get the most out of landscaping, then!
Leave a Reply.
Landscape designer and Proprietor of Buffalo Horticulture