If Architects Had To Work Like Web Designers…

Dear Mr. Architect:

Please design and build me a house. I am not quite sure of what I need, so you should use your discretion. My house should have somewhere between two and forty-five bedrooms. Just make sure the plans are such that the bedrooms can be easily added or deleted. When you bring the blueprints to me, I will make the final decision of what I want. Also, bring me the cost breakdown for each configuration so that I can arbitrarily pick one.

Keep in mind that the house I ultimately choose must cost less than the one I am currently living in. Make sure, however, that you correct all the deficiencies that exist in my current house (the floor of my kitchen vibrates when I walk across it, and the walls don’t have nearly enough insulation in them).

As you design, also keep in mind that I want to keep yearly maintenance costs as low as possible. This should mean the incorporation of extra-cost features like aluminum, vinyl, or composite siding. (If you choose not to specify aluminum, be prepared to explain your decision in detail.)

Please take care that modern design practices and the latest materials are used in construction of the house, as I want it to be a showplace for the most up-to-date ideas and methods. Be alerted, however, that kitchen should be designed to accommodate, among other things, my 1952 Gibson refrigerator.

To insure that you are building the correct house for our entire family, make certain that you contact each of our children, and also our in-laws. My mother-in-law will have very strong feelings about how the house should be designed, since she visits us at least once a year. Make sure that you weigh all of these options carefully and come to the right decision. I, however, retain the right to overrule any choices that you make.

Please don’t bother me with small details right now. Your job is to develop the overall plans for the house: get the big picture. At this time, for example, it is not appropriate to be choosing the color of the carpet.

However, keep in mind that my wife likes blue.

Also, do not worry at this time about acquiring the resources to build the house itself. Your first priority is to develop detailed plans and specifications. Once I approve these plans, however, I would expect the house to be under roof within 48 hours.

While you are designing this house specifically for me, keep in mind that sooner or later I will have to sell it to someone else. It therefore should have appeal to a wide variety of potential buyers. Please make sure before you finalize the plans that there is a consensus of the population in my area that they like the features this house has. I advise you to run up and look at my neighbor’s house he constructed last year. We like it a great deal. It has many features that we would also like in our new home, particularly the 75-foot swimming pool. With careful engineering, I believe that you can design this into our new house without impacting the final cost.

Please prepare a complete set of blueprints. It is not necessary at this time to do the real design, since they will be used only for construction bids. Be advised, however, that you will be held accountable for any increase of construction costs as a result of later design changes.

You must be thrilled to be working on as an interesting project as this! To be able to use the latest techniques and materials and to be given such freedom in your designs is something that can’t happen very often. Contact me as soon as possible with your complete ideas and plans.

PS: My wife has just told me that she disagrees with many of the instructions I’ve given you in this letter. As architect, it is your responsibility to resolve these differences. I have tried in the past and have been unable to accomplish this. If you can’t handle this responsibility, I will have to find another architect.

PPS: Perhaps what I need is not a house at all, but a travel trailer. Please advise me as soon as possible if this is the case..


This was supplied to me by a friend. I hope you enjoyed it.

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17 thoughts on “If Architects Had To Work Like Web Designers…

  1. Hakwerk Blog

    If Architects Had To Work Like Web Designers…

    I received a link to this funny story about how it would be if architects had to work like web or software designers. It des…

  2. S0ft-wear Develp3r

    The problem is that clients don’t see you as an architect as much as a writer. IMHO the gulf lies between the customer’s notion of what you do and what you think you do.

  3. André

    Huahuahuaha… You’re right! It happens every single day with me. I’m a webdesigner. Once a client asked for a site with a revolutionaire menu however few seconds after he said: “ah, and do not use Flash.”

  4. Bernd bloggt

    30 Arbeitsschritte eines Web-Programmierers

    Gefunden per bluephod auf wortwerkstatt.at und hier gespiegelt weil ich das Original-Design schwer lesbar fand. ;-)Das kommt mir irgendwie bekannt vor, nicht zuletzt, weil es mir (im Ansatz) genau so neulich erst erging. Dazu passt übrigens perfekt noch

  5. Amy

    That’s great! Same thing happens with every application my department has to develop; as well as, all of the websites that get slapped in my lap.

  6. joel

    This looks like you took an email from a client and just switched around some works.. house for website etc..

    A friend was waiting for: “And I know the neighbor kid down the street would like to help you out. He took drafting his freshman year in High chool, so I’m sure he knows what he is doing. Oh and he says that he could do it all for only $5 an hour and shouldn’t take more than a few days.”

  7. Buddha's Bellyaching

    The web is free, isn’t it?

    This is what I deal with EVERY DAMN DAY with my clients (and friends who want websites.) The web is actually not anything like a building, despite the term “Information Architecture.” That descriptor, information, changes quite a bit about what to …

  8. Eye and I

    Wenn Architekten wie Webdesigner arbeiten müssten

    Sehr lustig… wenn Architekten wie Webdesigner arbeiten müssten, dann würden die Briefings wohl genau so aussehen. Irgendwann habe ich mal damit angefangen, einen Artikel von Daniel Will-Harris zu übersetzen, der sich damit beschäftigte, wie man a…

  9. Iwein

    If architects had to work like web designers

    A poignant analogy of what it would be like for an architect to work as we web designers often have to.

  10. LB geeklog

    Software is too expensive to build cheaply…: If Architects Had To Work Like Web Designers…

    Software is too expensive to build cheaply…: If Architects Had To Work Like Web Designers…

    Dear Mr. Architect:

    Please design and build me a house. I am not quite sure of what I need, so you should use your discretion. My house should h…

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