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Giving Thanks for Being an Architect
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Thanksgiving Reflections on Design Partnerships That Make a Difference

A meeting at the SSP Architects office in New Jersey.Architecture can be a misunderstood profession. People will either focus on its more glamourous side where the flourish of art and science come together to create a great building, or they hear horror stories about the time demands and drudgery of details and building projects with little need for artistic flair.  The truth is architecture has both sides – and overall, I am thankful to be a part of it.

First and foremost architects are problem solvers, and during these challenging times, the SSP team of architects and designers is playing an increasingly important role in helping our clients in a variety of ways. We find the right plan for their community, overcome budget and time constraints, meet increased security needs as cost efficiently as possible, address climate change concerns through the built environment, adapt spaces for post-pandemic realities and so much more.

I am grateful that the years of experience, built on our profession’s intense education and training, has empowered us to see a project’s big picture even as obstacles inevitably arise. These challenges can often blur a client’s initial vision for a successfully completed building or renovation project. All the more reason to bring clarity through the collaborative design process we undertake with them. This process is a constant reminder that it takes a lot of people, each bringing their own skills, to make a project a reality. And I’m thankful for it.

Six Partnerships That Maximize the Potential of Architectural Design Projects

Most of all, I appreciate clients who understand the power of design to create better places to work, play and learn. Thanksgiving reminds us of the importance of family, good friends and our community relationships that make us all stronger.

I want to express my thanks to our SSP staff for all that they do to meet our clients’ needs day-in and day-out. They reflect the dedicated teamwork that makes our work so special. I am also thankful for:

  • The close relationships both I and my SSP team have developed with clients, many of whom have graciously expressed their appreciation of how we communicate with them frequently, and don’t pull punches in providing them with honest, straight forward counsel.
  • Our team’s ability to make the client’s budget go as far as possible – in part by solving problems early in the design process before they become costlier to change later.
  • Serving as a mentor, along with SSP’s three other Principals, to maximize the talents of our thoughtful, creative, hard-working, and talented design staff – and being open to learning from them – as together we create healthier, more efficient buildings that better serve employees, students, patients, and customers.
  • The ability to partner with others to put into action the art and science of architecture that turns complex ideas into reality – reducing clients’ stress on the personal level and helping to create more livable, sustainable, and inspiring communities at the societal level.
  • Working with our trusted, highly skilled partners in the engineering and construction fields to provide clients with the well-rounded services they need – and helping them efficiently get through the maze of building codes and zoning requirements.
  • Reaching out to civic, business, and educational leaders to get their input on how design can best be utilized to turn places into welcoming communities by creating spaces that enhance student-teacher, staff-boss, patient-doctor, and customer-retailer interaction.

Designing Spaces that Serve People Better

An example of a building designed by SSP Architects.

I am grateful for all these partnerships, and the ability to meet with people throughout New Jersey who have entrusted SSP to achieve their design goals. Ultimately, it is all about designing facilities that better serve people of all ages and backgrounds. Whether it is creating more thoughtful lighting that has proven to improve student grades and office productivity, designing open sightlines and more interactive spaces that give people a greater sense of safety, or helping the environment through “green” designs and saving old buildings through adaptable reuse, it’s always meaningful to me to lead teams and collaborate with clients who share my love of architecture’s encouragement of artistic freedom, personal expression, and experimentation.

Thank you to everyone who has helped me push the architectural envelope of ideas even further to get the job done right.

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