If you’ve ever worked with a design professional, like an architect, interior designer, or landscape architect, you may have noticed that your ideas and suggestions are not always welcomed. So many designers take on the mindset of “I’m the expert. I know what’s best.” And while it’s true that these types of professionals have varying levels of training and experience in their respective fields, you would think their clients should still have a good amount of input in the process. After all, they are the ones who will be living with the end results.
Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.
Mark Grisafe, an architect in Long Beach, California, is different from a lot of architects in that he actually encourages input from his clients throughout the entire design process. He says,
I think many other architects want to control the outcome of the project—probably because they want to make sure the finished project looks good in their portfolio. Our firm prefers to view our clients as design partners who have intimate knowledge about how they live and work, and what they like aesthetically. We take that information and do our best to surround our clients with an architectural design that functions well and that they are proud of. And most of the time, they also happen to end up looking great in our portfolio!”
Grisafe and the team at his Long Beach architecture firm, Grisafe Architecture, have adopted the motto “Advise, Advocate, Collaborate.” This motto tells potential clients a great deal about the firm. Most notably, that their clients will be well taken care of, and will also be involved in the design process.
It would probably be much easier for a talented architect like Grisafe to work with less involvement from his clients, but he is humble enough to know that his ideas aren’t the only ones that are valuable and should be considered. He says,
I believe there is genuine wisdom in most people. Just because I have different ideas about how something should be done doesn’t mean their ideas should be dismissed or discarded.”
According to Grisafe, client input also helps him and his team become better at what they do. He explains,
When a client introduces an idea or another option, we are pushed to adapt and find a way to integrate it onto our overall design solution. This makes us better architects. The next time a similar situation comes around, we are able to approach it more confidently, because it’s something we’ve already worked through.”
The end result is worth the added effort. Grisafe says,
The client has a sense of ownership over the project and more pride in the built design. I’ve been told by potential clients when touring our previous projects, ‘It seems like all of your former clients are happy to see you and anxious to show off their homes.’”
A happy client is the goal of almost any business owner. It often means repeat business, referrals, and great reviews—all of which can lead to business growth and increased success!
To learn more about Mark Grisafe and his Long Beach architecture firm, visit their website: https://grisafearchitecture.com/