Many stories are invented up around a Yes, and Architects are very good at indiscriminately saying Yes.
Yes means I get to do the work I want to do.
Yes means I have a chance to shine in the light of this important project.
Yes means I’ve made it.
Yes means more opportunities will follow.
It can be very hard to say No and the stories help justify not saying it.
…but what if architects were to stop and consider what they may be saying No to, when instead they say Yes?
Yes can be saying No to a whole lot of other things.
Saying No to profit because the fee is too low.
Saying No to adequate architectural services because the fee is too low or the contract conditions too restrictive.
Saying No to the value of design and the value of the profession because the fees are too low.
Saying No to a worthy but less prestigious project, because they don’t have the time due to restrictive contractual obligations.
Saying No to good working conditions for staff, because they can’t afford them or the time.
Saying No to their evenings and weekends because the timeframe is unrealistic.
I think you get the idea.
How different might things look if architects started saying NO instead?