How to drive an architect crazy

Fussy client full of too many second opinions

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In contrast to our prima-donna image, we architects are for the most part fairly quiet souls. Still, there is one surefire way to get us apoplectic, and that's to have people second-guessing us and meddling with our work. So if you ever want to drive an architect crazy, that's a fine way to do it. It's important to understand that architects – good ones, anyway – spend dozens and sometimes hundreds of hours considering every aspect of a project, weighing the pros and cons of a whole array of possible solutions, and in short devoting a ridiculous amount of time and effort to thinking things through on the client's behalf. This is not to say that no one else can contribute good ideas: well-reasoned opinions are always welcome. But when some clueless outsider blunders in and offers a critique based on a grand total of about five seconds of thought, we don't respond well at all. What's even worse is when clients accord such opinions equal weight to our own. I mean, if the mai...