The power of planning
“Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” – Napoleon Hill. Anyone who has set specific goals and has intentionally worked toward obtaining those goals knows this to be true. This statement is also in harmony with the law of attraction, which in part, is the belief that positive thoughts result in bringing positive experiences into a person’s life. Napoleon Hill’s statement describes the “super-power” of architects, that of creating meaningful experiences through design. Meaningful experiences can include a better quality of life, health, improved relationships, joy, and profitability. An architect can take a client’s dream and for a period of time, make it his own or share in the client’s vision. He believes in it and knows he can help bring it to fruition, and he does. Architects help owners and developers define and refine their dreams and visions, and then makes them a reality. Designing to a business plan while addressing the needs of the employees and clients can help ensure the right kind of experiences are achieved while maximizing an owner’s or developer’s success.
Architects are in the business of solving clients’ problems. They do that through the planning and design process. Good architecture needs a purpose or a “Why,” not just for the total composition, but for each element of the design. There should be a purpose behind each decision. Architecture is simply the creation of planned experiences and relationships. What experience should each person have who interacts with the building or space and or with the other people associated with the space? What relationships are needed between spaces, between people and spaces, between people? What are the relationships between the building and the site, the building, and the environment? What are the relationships between the building materials themselves? There are literally hundreds of relationships that must be considered when designing a building and creating experiences for people. Architecture is identifying the needed or desired relationships and experiences and then solving for them. It is like solving a puzzle.
Planning is the process of making plans or setting goals, and making plans is the process of designing. Planning is designing. We are all the architects of our lives and of our businesses and environments. We can plan and design for the lives and experiences we desire. Once we have a plan or design, it takes time and effort to then build according to that plan. Even with a good plan, there will be opposition and unforeseen circumstances that may arise. A resilient design provides for some contingencies and flexibility. Each challenge brings new opportunities which can result in even better outcomes than originally anticipated. The people and companies that prosper and are successful are those who actively set and achieve goals and react positively to new challenges. They choose to act rather than be acted upon.
Seldom, if ever, are buildings planned or constructed without the assistance and influence of others. We must listen, learn, and collaborate for the best outcomes. When others are involved in the design process, there is a synergy that can not happen any other way. When this happens, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.