AUGIS GEDGAUDAS

Augis formed AGA architects in 1996 and is the firm's principal partner. Augis is a Los Angeles native and graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a B.A. degree in Environmental Design and then from The Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) with a Master of Architecture degree.

JOHN BENCHER

John joined AGA architects as a partner in 1999. John is a New York native and graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.S. degree in Architecture and then from the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) with a Master of Architecture degree.

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Yes, architects draw plans.  But, the image of the architect leaning over a drafting table with pencil and triangle in hand are long gone.  Architects are now savvy users of technology with computer aided design and modeling software now commonplace.  Although the tools that architects use may have dramatically changed there are still some fundamental aspects that a client should expect from working with an architect:

1.     An architect should listen to the client and internalize their goals and personal vision.  Only through listening and understanding the client's needs can the architect start the design process off in the right direction.

2.     An architect should be able to communicate with the client in an appropriate manner so that the client sees and understands the design intent or proposed solution.  This may require plan type drawings, 3-dimensional images or physical models.

3.     An architect should be educated in the codes that will have a significant impact on the proposed design solution.  This does not mean that the architect needs to have encyclopedic knowledge of every code and law as these are increasingly complex and are continuously being revised, but the architect should know how to research the relevant codes and properly interpret them specifically to the client's project.

4.     An architect should be able to produce and coordinate documents that are useful to builders and construction contractors and be comfortable meeting with builders and discussing construction issues on a project site.

5.     An architect should advocate for the client so that the client's project goals are met, and an architect should be able to productively manage issues that may arise on behalf of the client.

6.     Finally, an architect should provide a clear and thorough contract for architectural services, educate the client on what other design or engineering consultants will need to be hired for the project and what expenses the client can expect to pay along the way so that issues related to schedule and budget can be minimized.

WORKING WITH AN ARCHITECT