At the end of Reinvention 2010's first day of sessions in New Orleans, Harry Teague, AIA, of Harry Teague Architects (and ra's 2010 Hall of Fame award winner) joined Dan Shipley, FAIA, of Shipley Architects (ra's 2010 Top Firm award winner) and Suzane Reatig, FAIA, LEED AP of Suzane Reatig Architecture for a panel discussion on different ways to provide clients with value, sustainability, and invention.
Teague got the panel started by reflecting on his motivations for designing buildings—particularly important when times are tough for architecture and architects. "I do architecture because I learn. I learn from my clients, and I select clients I think I'm going to learn from," he said. "At 66, I'm still excited about this [profession] because I'm still learning from it."
Teague then showed a series of images depicting old buildings that had outlived their original purpose or became superfluous and discussed the ways they could be or had been modified and repurposed to deliver a particular type of sustainability and value—one that evolves to meet changing needs.
Shipley discussed several projects in which his contributions were matched to the level of value desired by each client. In particular, his ability to work cooperatively with builders and craftsmen often results in inventive, often economical, solutions to a variety of design and construction problems. He emphasized the value of simple drawings to help contractors understand at a glance critical details of the overall design. Not only do such sketches help subs get details correct, they appreciate the architect's care for their work, Shipley noted.
Explaining the background and details of several of her Washington, D.C., infill projects, Reatig illustrated how she delivered value through sustainable strategies, construction, and inventive design solutions. She noted her penchant for incorporating outdoor spaces as key elements of infill projects, providing a connection to nature even in the midst of an urban streetscape. Showing clients how she is able to provide real value in their projects helps Reatig induce them toward greater sustainability.