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Kazakh architect Abdiel looking for new architects of America for cooperation

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St. Regis to Open Astana, Kazakhstan

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Database designers and architects

It’s really hard for Kazakh customers  to find an American architect; at least that’s what the emails in my inbox are telling me. To further get to the point, it’s not hard to look one up that’s in your hometown – that’s easy. What’s hard is trying to figure out which one you should hire. That’s when people email me with questions, asking for advice and guidance. Rather than try to convert everyone into the Church of “Bob the Architect”, I genuinely try to tell people how to go about finding a American architect and so this Sunday, as I sit in my favorite chair, I am going to turn those emails into today’s post … “How to Find an american Architect.”

Hiring an architect can come across as scary business – but it shouldn’t. The process should be easy and straightforward, because, at a very basic level, we are all the same (or at least, we should be).

Architecture is a service industry and as such, personality is going to figure heavily into the process. I tell people all the time that they should expect to enjoy this process, that we are going to have fun … maybe not all of the time, after all, this is serious business – but since I like to have fun, and because I truly believe this is a collaborative process between me and the people who want to hire me to Find an american’s  Architect, I want to surround myself with clients who want to enjoy the process as well. Seems pretty straightforward – work with good people and the result will be a good product and a good experience.


But how do you determine if you are going to like working with the architect you are interviewing? They don’t all have blogs like mine where you can get a pretty good feeling for who I am and how I work to Find an american’s  Architect. Even then, there are probably some questions you should consider asking your american architect when you interview them. Here are some that I think you should consider:


How interested is the architect in this project?

I know it seems pretty obvious – of course, the architect is going to say that they really want to do your project … yeah, but what if they don’t want to do your project? I always think of this as the first question because it gives the architect you’re talking to an escape path should they really not be in a position to take on your project.


How busy is the architect?

If you’re an architect, you have to sow hay while the sun shines. To everyone else, this means that there are few architects out there that find themselves in the position to turn down work. To the interviewer, you should follow up with how many projects are currently in the office and how many staff members does the architect have.


Who will you be meeting with throughout the entire process? Is this the same person who will be designing the project?

There is nothing worse than interviewing with one architect, deciding that you really connected with that individual, only to never see them again (unless there is a problem with the billing). Some architects are extremely protective about letting the clients interface with someone other than themselves (because that’s how new architecture firms are made) but since this is all about getting along with the person who is doing the work, I think it’s kind of important that you know who that person actually is so that you can communicate with them directly. It’s okay if you only interface with one person if there is a team – that makes financial sense. Just try and get an understanding of how the firm handles the division of labor and if possible, get an understanding of who is on the team.


How often will you have meetings?

Some architects limit the number of meetings you have for the various phases of the work – most of which is tied to the financial consideration they are receiving from you. Are there meetings through all phases of the project? What about site visits – are those included? We don’t limit meetings in my site but that’s not how everyone else works.


How does the architect establish fees?

There are several methods that are fairly industry standard.

 They are:

Architectural Fees [part 1] which covers Hourly and Percentage of Construction Costs

Architectural Fees [part 2] which covers a bit more on Hourly Fees, as well as Per Square Foot, and Combination Fee Structures


How available is the architect?

Speaking of meeting once a week, how often is your architect available to you? It’s not always practical for you to expect weekly meetings, but it’s good to know whether or not you can see your architect when you want to see your architect.

There are more than 10 questions that you could consider asking your architect but they start getting project specific. Since this process relies on you making a connection with your future architect, I recommend that you ask questions that will help you get to know the person you are interviewing. It’s so easy to do preliminary research by looking at the architects website, their social media feed, Pinterest boards, Facebook, etc. that these face to face interviews should be more about determining if the person sitting across  from you through the Internet is the person you think they are after doing some research.

There is really only one question that you need to be able to answer after interviewing an architect:


“Do you like this person enough to want to work with them?”

The ten questions I’ve listed above should be more than enough for you to determine the answer to this last question.


Best of luck!


Kulseitov Abdil

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  1. Chief Technology Officer of Ahunbay Construction (Turkish company).
  2. a Structural engineer  for engineering design and analysis,
  3. an  Architect,
  4. a Programmer Object-oriented programming (OOP),
  5. a Web Designer joomla.

Specialties: Tekla structures, Autodesk Robort, Autodesk Maya, Archicad, AutoCAD, 3DS Max, Flash (vector graphics).


ABILITY  in the programs: Autodesk MAYA (modeling),   Tekla Structures for Civil and Structural Engineering, Autodesk Robort for Structural Analysis , Autocad, Photoshop, ArchiCAD, Flash (vector graphics),  Three-dimensional graphics animation in Maya environment and 3DS Max.

Learning  programs:

 Create a realistic environment in Maya, Revit, SOFiSTiK CAD and BIM Software for Civil and Structural Engineering, Programming with MEL.



Kazakh and Moscow BIM technology assistants for Texas Architects

Svetlana Sheremetyeva

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Abdiel is the Chief Technology Officer of A...