If Architects Worked Like Programmers...
...Here is How the Request Would Be:
Please design and build a house for me. I am not quite sure what I need,
please use your discretion. My house should have between two and 45
bedrooms. Make sure the plans are such that bedrooms can easily be added
deleted. When you bring the blueprints to me, I will make the final
decision on what I want. Also, bring me the cost breakdown for each
configuration so I can arbitrarily pick one.
Keep in mind that the house I ultimately choose must cost less than the
I am currently living in. Make sure, however, that you correct all the
deficiencies that exist in my current house (the floor of my kitchen
vibrates when I walk across it and the walls don't have nearly enough
As you design, also keep in mind that I want to keep yearly maintenance
costs as low as possible. This should mean the incorporation of
features like aluminum, vinyl or composite siding. (If you choose not to
specify aluminum, be prepared to explain your decision in detail.)
Please take care that modern design practices and the latest materials
used in construction of the house, as I want it to be a showplace for the
most up-to-date ideas and methods. Be aware, however, that the kitchen
should be designed to accommodate, among other things, my 1952 Gibson
To ensure you are building the correct house for our entire family, make
certain you contact each of our children and also our in-laws. My
mother-in-law will have very strong feelings about how the house should
designed, since she visits us at least once a year. Make sure you weigh
of these options carefully and come to the right decision. I, however,
retain the right to overrule any choices you make.
Please don't bother me with small details right now. Your job is to
the overall plans for the house; get the big picture. At this time, for
example, it is not appropriate to choose the color of the carpet.
keep in mind that my wife likes blue.
Also, do not worry at this time about acquiring the resources to build
house itself. Your first priority is to develop detailed plans and
specifications. Once I approve these plans, however, I would expect the
house to be under roof within 48 hours.
While you are designing this house specifically for me, keep in mind that
sooner or later I will have to sell it to someone else. Therefore, it
should appeal to a wide variety of potential buyers. Make sure before you
finalize the plans that there is a consensus of the population in my area
that they like the features of this house. I suggest you run up and look
my neighbor's house he built last year. We like it a great deal. It has
many features we would also like in our new home, particularly the
swimming pool. With careful engineering, I believe you can design this
our new house without impacting the final cost.
Please prepare a complete set of blueprints. It is not necessary at this
time to do the real design, since these blueprints will be used only for
construction bids. Be advised, however, that you will be held accountable
for any increase in construction costs as a result of later design
You must be thrilled to be working on as interesting a project as this!
be able to use the latest techniques and materials, and to be given such
freedom in your designs is something that can't happen very often.
me as soon as possible with your complete ideas and plans.
PS: My wife just told me she disagrees with many of the instructions I've
given you in this letter. As architect, it is your responsibility to
resolve these differences. I have tried in the past and have been unable
accomplish this. If you can't handle this responsibility, I will have to
find another architect.
PPS: Perhaps what I need is not a house at all, but a travel trailer.
Please advise me as soon as possible if this is the case.