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As an architect, I frequently get asked the question; “in what style do you design?”

Well, that’s a loaded question and the asker is rarely prepared for the lengthy answer I usually provide. If they asked; “what is your favorite style of architecture?” they would likely get a shorter answer, but that’s a hugely different question.

Architecture is a business. You better be able to design in the style your client wants or be so good at the style you want that your clients come to you wanting that style first. In all my career, I have never been able to persuade a client to “change styles” after they walked in the door. So the short answer to the first question is; “whatever style the client pays me to design.”

The issue is that style and design are 2 totally different things. You may not have an affinity for a particular style, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t good design being completed using the language of that style. The principles and elements of design transcend style. For that reason, I am usually very critical of designers who refuse to design outside of the style that they have become comfortable with. I believe that usually indicates a good stylist and a lazy (or incapable) designer. A good designer does not care much for style…any style. Don’t misunderstand. A designer may have personal tastes that favor a particular style, but in my opinion, it shouldn’t matter when it comes time to design for others.

So another appropriate answer to the first question; “I don’t care.”

I want to produce good design. Not good style.

So, what’s the answer to the second question? If doesn’t really matter, does it?