Working on Spec

December 6, 2017

This painfully funny video about doing creative work on spec (e.g. for free or reduced cost) is all too real for most architects/creatives and it gives me flashbacks to some jaw-dropping requests we’ve had over the years. One component that is particularly important to our firm and not typically considered as part of the spec-work conversation is how the RFP gauntlet and performance of front-end ‘competition’ work undermines sustainability in the built environment. The typical architect selection and/or ‘concept’ selection encourages clients to make decisions based on quickly produced flash and sizzle over an iterative process of information gathering and refinement. It is not only the architect that loses in this scenario. There are other models of architect selection and collaboration that better support clients/owners and design professionals, as well as lead to better end projects. This is a topic we explored at the Delaware Valley Green Building Council’s 2016 Sustainability Symposium in “The Myth of the RFP” and we are applying what we learned in our own business and helping others do the same.