By Joel Spolsky, on the adventures of getting office space in Manhattan (again).
Like many architects who do a lot of commercial work, they were thrilled to finally have a client ask for something other than cheap. These poor architects get out of grad school, imagining all the creative, artistic spaces they will design, and they get their first clients, and they sit down for a meeting, and they start talking about negative space and permeability and modernism, and the clients cut them off and say, “Actually, we want cheap.”
And the architects say, “How about if I design something nice and cheap?”
And the clients say, “No. Not nice. Not nice and cheap. Just cheap.”
So if you ever hire an architect and tell him or her to create something cool enough to put in a portfolio to show to potential clients, and you invite the architect to make a beautiful and useful space instead of a cheap and nasty space, the architect will love you and go to the ends of the earth to figure out ways to raise the ceilings another 2 inches. Which is why we’re going to have a great space to move into at the end of the summer.