Time pressure leads to rapid design development and pressure on fees, and can lead to reduced supervision and cookie cut design. The fortunate practices hold their ground, while others, in some cases far more passionate about their designs, exhaust themselves trying to deliver outstanding designs, on tight timescales.
So here are my 5 reasons why an architect should leave the office Friday Lunchtime (and I save the best till last).

  1. Creativity cannot be switched on and off, great creators, need the right environment to create. The clever ones ‘zone out’ by finding times of day or times in the week where they are not disturbed.
  2. To createbeauty, you need to immerse yourself in it; perhaps long weekends give architects the chance to escape or get a cheap flight to somewhere more pleasing on the eye.
  3. A good architect creates a vision and then laboriously encourages, coerces and sometimes fights against the contractor (and possibly the QS) through the project to deliver that vision.The contractors are already in the pub on a Friday afternoon, with the engineers, and the client is on the Ski slopes.
  4. One look is worth a thousand words: originally the strap line for a tyre advertisement. The Chinese have a similar expression, “Hearing something a thousand times isn’t better than seeing it once”. We get an awful lot of hand sketches on a Friday afternoon, when time is running out, but they work and most are more valuable than the trail of emails that preceded the sketch.
  5. Working 24/7 can be an advantage,when it is leveraged correctly. Certain works can be carried out while you sleep, other works do need the input from the rest of the team. H4 taps into the difference in time zones and we usually take projects on a Friday afternoon, getting 3 days’ work in the bank before clients return on Monday morning.

My observations are from various roles, as m&e contractor, as client, as design team member and as humble CGI provider. Friday afternoons is our busiest time of the week, when architects pass on their sketches and designs and we transform them into works of art. Our studio in China runs 24/7 so by Monday, we deliver a visualisation that creates a better agenda for the week or brings together all the thousands of words from the previous week. If you do not believe me look at our portfolio by clicking on the main image above.