DM for the Design Savvy
By Irene Cherkassky
Next time you stroll down the street, look around you. What do you see? Whether you live in a small hamlet or a teeming metropolis, architects define our spaces, our very view of the world. The influence of design is inescapable.
There are approximately 160,000 licensed architects working in the United States, says Martin Pedersen, executive editor for Metropolis, an architecture and design magazine. Many more work in the field who are without licenses. Architects may work in small, one- or two-person offices specializing in family homes, or they can be part of large international firms specializing in urban planning. They may focus on industrial interiors, retail spaces or even medical facilities design. Whatever their specialty, however, architects tackle a variety of projects, both commercial and residential, throughout the course of their career.
"They're listened to by builders, developers and general contractors, so their influence is broad," says Gordon Clotworthy, president of list management and brokerage firm InformationRefinery, which specializes in construction and design industry lists. In any building project, if a design feature or construction-related product isn't specified by the architect ahead of time, it has little chance of showing up as part of the final product, points out Clotworthy.
These professionals have considerable financial power as well. "Architects and designers are responsible for spending over $700 billion in billing every year," says John Ganis, president, list management for Edith Roman Associates Inc., which manages a number of architecture-related lists, including subscriber lists for The Architectural Record and Architecture. "When it comes to building, design and renovation, architects are decision makers, are extremely involved in their industry, and are highly responsive to any product or service that will improve their efficiency and profitability." This also is a highly-educated and upscale group that still skews primarily male.