It’s impossible to be everything to everyone. For example, while some architecture firms are multi-disciplined, others, particularly small- to mid-sized firms, specialize in key industries including education, healthcare, retail or hospitality. Depending on the industry, architects have varying perspectives and opinions surrounding the design and functionality of a space and the products used in it.
Following are insights surrounding three common architecture market segments and what architects require from the products they specify to best support their clients in these industries.
- Priorities: The safety and well-being of patients and staff is a top priority for architects who specialize in healthcare design. When designing for this segment, architects seek to, as much as possible, select products that minimize patients’ exposure to potentially harmful chemicals and the spread of germs and disease.
- Product requirements: Products must be easy to clean and maintain to be considered for a project. Healthcare facilities are high-traffic areas, therefore products must be able to stand up to inevitable wear and tear. Products must also meet rigid performance expectations and be compliant with healthcare industry codes and standards.
- Priorities: Educational facilities vary and design needs are becoming increasingly specialized and custom. The ideal design for this environment in which students learn and educators teach must provide comfortable surroundings and spaces and offer appropriate acoustics and accessibility for all. Budget, which is often controlled by a school district, also plays a huge role in design and heavily dictates which products are used.
- Product requirements: Classrooms intended for pre-schoolers may greatly differ from a lecture hall on a college campus, but in most cases education facilities are high-traffic areas requiring durable products. Over the past few years, the safety of students and educators has become increasingly important. Products that satisfy the evolving needs of educational design will be the go-to products for these design projects.
Retail and Hospitality
- Priorities: Aesthetics and functionality are often the key drivers in retail and hospitality design and heavily influence product selection. Architects are most concerned with design elements such as lighting, wall systems and acoustics, that create a patron-friendly ambiance.
- Product requirements: Retail and hospitality spaces are extremely high-traffic areas requiring durable products that can stand the test of time. A product with a combination of durability, functionality and sleek aesthetics will be the product of choice.
When it comes to selecting products for design, architects have many options. Learning what matters to an architect based on the industry for which he specifies products and how he weighs product characteristics will give product manufacturers greater insights to better meet his information needs.