Helping You Design Your World

By David Clayton, AIA

When I founded DEIV Architecture, I made for the slogan: “Helping You Design Your World.” While it is a slogan that I live by everyday as I work for and with my clients, I have never taken the time to explain my thoughts behind it.

I have heard it said that if you don’t design the world you want to live in, others will design it for you and you won’t like it all that much. It was when I heard this concept that caused me to start my business.  It’s not that my former employers were bad.  In fact, I still love them and think that they are great architecture firms.  Instead, it has more to do with my need to create my own world of design practice according to principles I believe in.

Now that I had started my business, I felt I needed to establish some core principles.  In addition to laying out the name which also states the core values: DEIV stands for Design Excellence, Integrity, and Value, I also established the slogan as “Helping You Design Your World.”  

Just as I wanted to design the world I live in, I wanted to help my clients design the world they would live in.  Whether it was their home or office, their store or restaurant, I wanted my clients be an active partner in the design process and for me to not as much be the demanding architect who says “this is how it shall be”, but instead, for me to simply be the facilitator in their design project.  

At the core, each project is funded and dreamed up by the client.  While I, as an architect, have a huge role to play in helping to shape that dream, it is ultimately the client, or owner, of the project that is the primary driving force.  Their opinion is the one that matters most.  

Obviously, not all ideas a client may have are going to work out.  Sometimes, I will simply draw exactly what they want and they realize that what they wanted was not what they wanted.  Other times, laws, or building codes, or zoning ordinances, bear the strongest influence in making the original ideas of the client untenable. Ultimately, however, I strive to help the client find the design that will meet their functional and aesthetic needs and wants while also meeting all applicable codes and ordinances.

In “Helping You Design Your World,” it is also all about service. Serving another human being is a great joy.  And in doing so, I find such great satisfaction.  It helps that my line of work is the occupation I have wanted since I was five years old and I still get giddy like a little boy when the creative juices are flowing during a client meeting.  That synergy between client and architect is not only magical, but energizing.

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