The Temptation to Go Low

Michael Lewarne
2 min readApr 7, 2020
Photo by Kristina Paukshtite on Pexels [cropped]

The impact of the Coronavirus has been significant. Businesses have been lost or placed in hibernation. Work in the built environment and construction industry has not been immune, although at this point the impact hasn’t been as devastating as it has for so many industries. When attention is turned to recovery and stimulus, or even when we’re just trying to keep things ticking over, there will be temptation.

A temptation to go low.

Lower quality.
Lower fees.
Lower standards.
Lower bars.

This will all be done in the name of stimulus. In the name of the economy. In the name of urgency. It’s not to say that these aren’t important or worthy, but it is possible to have stimulus and maintain standards or even to improve standards. Indeed this is the perfect opportunity to embrace higher standards. Setting the standard from where we want to (re)start. It’s harder to go uphill than down.

This is a call to action. For architects to resist the temptation to go low. To resist the temptation to go low by their clients, to resist the temptation to go low by government and their own temptation to go low on fees or quality.

It’s not unreasonable to anticipate the poor work done in the name of recovery and its impact on our city.
We must resist.

It’s not unreasonable to anticipate the reduction in architecture fees chasing work, devaluing the work of the profession and setting a low bar for the future.

We must resist the temptation to go low.

Michael is the founder of unmeasured, supporting architects in their practice through coaching, workshops and community.

Helping architects find their desire lines in practice.