No one knows the agony of a client interfering in the design process than an architect. Phrases like “Move it above the fold” and “Make it look bigger or smaller” have become running jokes among the architecture community.

In fact, it’s not unusual for construction companies in Pakistan to lose money on projects owing to clients ceaseless iterating on the design. These bad experiences have forced many Lahore architects to exclude clients from the design process. Several interior designers and architects have already limited the number of meetings and iterations from clients.

Unfortunately, a lot of designers fail to comprehend that this has made interaction with the clients worse. Now each interaction is more crucial in the client’s mind. As a result, they interfere more, creating a chain reaction.

Frankly, we all had clients who have ripped apart our designs. But limiting the number of interactions or ignoring their criticism is not a solution to this problem. WHY?

Because clients are terrified of the unknown. They are not experts in designing homes. So they feel out of their depth when engaged in the design process and make more attempts to gain some control. In this scenario, if we resist or ignore them, they become more concerned and try to exert more control.

There must be a better way to resolve this issue. A way that empowers designers to produce stunning design work and maintain their profit margins at the same time.

Collaboration is the Way Forward

The two things that matter the most for any architecture company is producing high-quality work and making the profit from it. The company can accomplish both only by working with clients on the design.

Collaboration with clients allows designers to spot problems in design early on. We all have worked on numerous projects where the client has made changes at the last minute. They are not looking to cause a distress by making these changes. It’s just that they are learning as they go, and at times ideas occur to them later because they haven’t got the chance to spend much time with the design.

Engaging them in the design process will allow them to think more about the design. Consequently, they will be able to spot the problems early on. Also, it means designers get to do fewer iterations.

Reasons Behind Iterations

Iterations happen because of the following reasons:

  • When the client has a different vision and he or she fails to communicate it to the designer because they are afraid of getting it wrong.
  • When the client is looking to make their mark on the home design.

All these issues can go away if a designer works closely with the client.

How to Collaborate with Clients?

Let’s be clear, collaboration is not about sitting next to the client while working on the design. In an ideal world, it means you are sitting in the same room as the client, showing him or her layouts, color schemes, grid structures and other things to get their feedback.

It’s more like having a constant dialogue with your team. So you should consider clients as part of your design team. It will help you discern their needs, wants, objectives, lifestyle, etc. and makes the design process less hectic.