When I am interviewed for a commission, I consider it my first opportunity to start building a relationship with a client. We are really interviewing one another. I want to see, just as a perspective client does, “do we share common interests and values?”
I first started thinking about this idea years ago when I saw this famous diagram by designer and architect, Charles Eames. The longer I am in practice, the more truth I see in it.
He illustrates that it is the overlap of interests among architect, client, and other collaborators that presents the groundwork for a good project. It allows all to proceed with “conviction and enthusiasm”.
The beauty of the process, when founded on trust and good communication, is that it allows for the intersection of interest to grow and expand over time. I may lead my clients in an unexpected direction; they may lead me. And in the end, together, we may achieve a result that exceeds all expectations.