304: Anthropologist Meets Architecture with Darby Morris



What would happen if an anthropologist studied architects, specifically how architects engage with clients at the beginning stage of a project, the client acquisition stage?

An anthropologist is a person who studies humans, specifically the social interactions and behaviors of humans, just in case you need a reminder, like I did.

Darby Morris is an anthropologist. For her PhD dissertation she observed 3 architecture firms over the course of one year.

She sat in the offices of these firms observing how they engaged with their clients, primarily during the time commonly known as “pre-design” which includes marketing and business development.

In her own words, “Architects, despite being known for being egotistical, are not loud enough about who they are because they often don’t know who they are (and are not). Even if they did know who they are, how, in a field where advertising was banned for 70 years, do they get the word out to the larger public? Once hired, architects are consistently designing for clients who don’t seem to understand exactly what their needs are for the project at hand. How do they get around this?”

This is what we’ll discuss on today’s show.

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