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Design Management for Architects, 2nd Edition

Stephen Emmitt

ISBN: 978-1-118-39445-8 January 2014 Wiley-Blackwell 304 Pages


This guide integrates theory and practice to offer practical solutions for architects to improve their design management skills.

This unique guide helps architects improve their management skills by addressing the relationship between the management of the design project and the design office. The author demonstrates how a professionally managed project, conceived and delivered within a professionally managed office ensures that client values are translated into construction without loss of creativity.

Design Management for Architects divides into two parts. Part 1: Managing Creative Projects covers the context and infrastructure of projects; looks at client values; describes developing, detailing and realising the design; and shows how to learn from projects. Part 2: Managing Creative Organisations describes the business of architecture; explains how to manage creative people and the design studio – covering communication and knowledge-sharing, information management, financial management and attracting/retaining clients.

This second edition has been extensively rewritten in response to student feedback and to the rapid evolution of design management in architecture.  New features include:

  • the ‘Why Management?’ question addressed in a design context
  • Vignettes to demonstrate the value of design management
  • practical advice is incorporated into each chapter under ‘Project to Office Interface’
  • more specifics on the design manager role, and the contribution of ICTs (including BIM) to effective design management.

By integrating theory and practice, and offering practical solutions for architects to improve their design management skills, this book provides clear guidance to all designers and (design) managers.

Preface ix

About the Author xiii

1 Why? 1

Why management? 1

Vignette A – why apply management? 6

Why design management? 7

The role of the design manager 9

Vignette B – why employ a design manager? 12

Taking on the role 14

Scope of the book 16

Part One Managing Creative Projects 19

2 The Business of Projects 21

Understanding projects 21

Quality 24

Time control 25

Cost control 27

Design control 28

Assessing value and risk 30

Procurement and influence 33

Interaction within projects 35

Project frameworks 37

The project-to-office interface 41

3 Establishing the System Architecture 42

Starting as you mean to go on 42

Team assembly 46

Selection criteria 48

Communicating to achieve objectives 52

Managing meetings effectively 56

The project-to-office interface 59

4 Exploring Client Value 60

Understanding the briefing phase 60

Approaches to briefing 62

Understanding the client 65

Establishing value parameters 69

The written brief 74

Reviewing the brief 79

The project-to-office interface 80

5 Creating Design Value 82

Collaborative design 83

Detailing the design 84

Design conversations 87

Design critiques, charettes and reviews 90

Programming and coordinating design work 93

Approvals and compliance 97

Coordination of production information 100

The project-to-office interface 101

6 Realising Design Value 103

Getting involved 104

Working with the contractor’s design manager 107

Programming 109

Interaction during construction 111

Misunderstanding and conflict 114

Requests for information and design changes 116

Closing out projects 118

The project-to-office interface 119

7 Evaluation and Learning 120

Lifelong learning 121

Learning from projects 124

Learning from the product 128

Evidence-based learning 131

Reflection in action 133

Action research and learning 136

The project-to-office interface 138

Part Two Managing Creative Organisations 141

8 The Business of Architecture 143

Architectural practice 144

The professional service firm 145

Clients and the market for services 149

Management of the business 152

Market analysis 162

The office-to-project interface 167

9 Managing Creative People 168

Getting the balance correct 169

Office culture 173

Psychological wellbeing 175

Recruitment and retention 178

Skills development 185

The office-to-project interface 191

10 Managing the Design Studio 192

A creative space 192

The project portfolio 194

The design manager’s role 196

Models of design management 199

The traditional model 203

The sequential model 205

Managing design effort 208

Identifying good habits and eliminating inefficiencies 215

The office-to-project interface 218

11 Communication, Knowledge Sharing and Information Management 219

Communication within the office 219

Communication with other organisations 222

Effective communication strategies 224

Knowledge retention and sharing 226

Information management 230

Preparation of information 233

Implementing and IT strategy 236

The office-to-project interface 238

12 Financial Management 239

Cash flow and profitability 239

Sources of income 243

Fee bidding and negotiation 246

Invoicing and cash flow 248

Controlling expenditure 250

Financial monitoring and evaluation 253

Crisis management 258

The office-to-project interface 259

13 Attracting and Retaining Clients 261

Promoting a brand image 261

The client’s perspective 263

The architect’s perspective 265

Communicating with clients 266

Promotional tools 269

Architects’ signboards 272

Managing marketing activities 274

The office-to-project interface 278

Further Reading 280

Index 284