What Is an Architectural Problem Statement?

An architectural problem statement is a document or a page statement that tells what everyone in an architectural team is trying to solve in a project, usually with the problem requiring immediate action from everyone involved, which can include the project stakeholders, the architects, and everyone else who is essential in the outcome of the project. Usually, the architectural problem statement is completely objective in its writing, focusing directly on the facts and details of the problem that needs solving and leaving out any personal opinions that only serve to make noise.

This document also usually states the things that need to be done in an architectural project in order for it to succeed. When done effectively, this will prove to be a massive help in the team’s decision-making process and reduces the chances of the entirety (or some parts) of the project getting restarted due to any type of misunderstandings within anyone involved in the architectural project. Also, when the statement is done properly, it will serve as an effective lead-in or introduction to a project proposal.

Essential Parts of an Architectural Problem Statement

Since this type of problem statement is only short in writing, there are only a few, but still, important elements that you need to keep an eye of:

The Ideal Situation. The first essential part that is to be described in an architectural problem statement is what the situation or the environment should be like if the problem/challenge didn’t exist in the first place. This element of the problem statement should clearly define the architectural project’s objectives and project scope. Additionally, this part should also provide a clear picture of what the optimal situation will be like when the problem is fixed.The Actual Situation. After defining what the ideal situation is supposed to be like if the problem didn’t exist, this part then follows. The next portion of your architectural problem statement must explain the present situation for all parties concerned. This section will define the problem, explain why it is a problem, and indicate who the problem affects. It will also state when and where the problem was originally discovered.Consequences. After explaining the reality that everyone involved is currently facing, the consequences will then need to be stated. This part of the architectural problem statement should describe the situation’s ramifications to everyone involved. This section analyzes the problem’s impacts by detailing how the individuals affected by the problem are affected and measuring how much the problem affects them.Purpose of the Project/Study. This element of the architectural problem statement must indicate why the investigations are necessary and why the proposed solution is likely to succeed. This part defines why the research or project is being conducted in the first place. It’s about giving readers perspective for your problem statement by explaining why it’s necessary to investigate this topic and which elements of it you feel need additional research.Procedure. This section of the architectural problem statement outlines what must be done and in what order. This portion also defines how the research or the project will take shape and, like the goal of a problem statement, offers readers a feel of what you believe is required to obtain an answer. Typically, this section responds to what the architectural team will require in terms of resources and labor to carry out the research or project.The Proposal. This section of the architectural problem statement may include numerous potential solutions to the problem, but it is crucial to note that it does not have to specify a single solution. The proposal section’s goal should be to assist the project team through the process of researching, investigating, and resolving the problem.

What Are the Different Types of Architecture?

Listed and discussed below are the different types of architecture that exist in their simplest form of classification:

Domestic Architecture. Domestic architecture is a type of architecture that is created for the social institution: the person, family, or group, as well as their human and animal dependents. It offers shelter and protection for life’s essential bodily functions, as well as commercial, industrial, or agricultural operations involving the family unit rather than just the community.Religious Architecture. Religious structures are more common than any other style of architecture because, in most historical societies, the universal and elevated allure of religion made the church or temple the most eloquent, lasting, and important edifice in any society. Religious architecture may be complicated because no basic criteria, like those that characterize domestic architecture, are shared by all religions, and because the functions of any given religion encompass a wide range of activities, all of which alter as cultural patterns evolve.Governmental Architecture. In this type of architecture, the architectural requirements vary depending on the nature of the interaction between the ruling and the ruled. When governmental responsibilities are concentrated in the hands of a single person, they are simple and may be performed in the ruler’s household; when the functions are shared by many and created as specialized tasks, they become complicated and require unique institutions. Governments that exert power via force rather than consent tend to create buildings that are disproportionate to their value to the society, whereas those in which the ruler is endowed with divine traits incorporate religious symbolism into architecture.Recreational Architecture. Few recreations necessitate architecture unless they are formalized and must allow for both active and passive engagement (such as sporting activities, theatrical and musical events, and so on) or communal involvement in private luxury (such as baths, museums, libraries). Recreational organizations have their beginnings in religious ceremonies in most societies, but they quickly achieve independence, and religious representation is minimized or even completely abolished in their construction. Theatres, auditoriums, museums, arenas, and stadiums are examples of leisure architecture.Landscape Architecture. This type of architecture refers to the design of outdoor public spaces, landmarks, and structures with the goal of achieving environmental, social-behavioral, or aesthetic ideals. It entails doing a comprehensive assessment of current social, ecological, and soil influences in the landscape, as well as designing interventions that would achieve the intended result. A landscape architect is someone who works in the field of landscape architecture.Naval Architecture. During all phases of a marine vehicle’s existence, naval architecture entails basic and research activities, design, production, design assessment, and calculations. This is also an engineering subject that deals with the designing process, construction, maintenance, and operation of maritime vessels and structures. Additionally, naval architecture entails the development of safety standards and damage control procedures, as well as the approval and accreditation of ship designs to fulfill statutory and non-statutory criteria.Seismic Architecture. This type of architecture refers to the architectural manifestation of earthquake resistance or the implications of architectural configuration, form, or style in earthquake resistance. Also, this type of architecture is used to characterize structures whose architecture was influenced by seismic design issues. It might be seen as a novel aesthetic approach to developing structures in seismically prone places. While the physical manifestations of seismic architecture can be highly different, architectural expressions of seismic concepts can likewise take numerous shapes and levels of intricacy.Interior Architecture. This type of architecture refers to the design of a region defined by structural boundaries and the social interaction that occurs inside these constraints. It can also be the initial interior design and plan for use, which is later updated to fit a different function, or a drastically amended design for adaptive reuse of the building shell. Simply put, interior architecture is the architectural design of a room’s interior.

Steps in Writing an Architectural Problem Statement

An effectively written architectural problem statement can easily gain the support and approval of the project from the stakeholders and the management. With that being said, here are the steps that need to be followed when making one.

  • 1. Describe the Ideal Scenario

    This is the first step to be performed when writing an architectural problem statement. All parties involved should understand that context is absolutely necessary to have a proper understanding of what is going on. You could begin this stage by describing how this specific procedure should function. Before discussing the problem, briefly outline how the process of the architectural project would work if the current problem did not exist, keeping the beneficiaries of the project in mind.

  • 2. Explain the Problem in Detail

    After describing the ideal scenario, now is the time to describe the reality of the problem in detail. In this step, it is critical to remember that the architectural problem statement should cover not just what the problem is, but also why it is a problem and why it is vital to fix it. This section discusses what the situation is in the affected area, who is impacted by it, and why it should be solved. You should also include what efforts have already been taken to remedy the situation and why they failed. Explain what you know about the present situation in as few words as possible.

  • 3. Explain the Financial Costs and Support Your Claims

    After providing a detailed explanation of the problem at hand, this step then follows. When you present the architectural issue to decision-makers, you should also describe the costs of not correcting it. Since money is the language of business, it is useful to describe the problem and the suggested response in terms of financial costs. Do remember that if you claim that the problem is losing the firm money, you must be ready to provide proof to back up your allegations. If you skip this stage, you risk not being taken seriously. Perform thorough research, credit your sources, and have your facts ready to show.

  • 4. State a Solution

    After explaining the architectural problem and its projected financial implications if left unresolved, proceed to this step, which is to propose a solution to the said problem at hand. The recommended solution or solutions to the issue should be described in the problem description. Keep in mind that you won’t be concentrated on identifying a single solution at this stage, but you should have a firm grasp of the underlying reasons for the problem and be able to provide realistic methods to understand and resolve it. Simply put, in this step, you need to declare your goals by proposing well-thought-out solutions to the situation.

  • 5. Explain the Benefits of the Solution

    After proposing a solution to the stated architectural problem in the document, take your time to explain the benefits that come with it. This step serves as an excellent opportunity to illustrate why this solution would work, with an emphasis on efficiency and the financial effect of your solution. Discuss how the solution will save expenditures, how it will free up income sources, and what intangible advantages your solution will provide.

  • 6. Conclude the Document

    After writing the benefits of the solution, make the conclusion of the document. Keep in mind that when writing the conclusion of the architectural problem statement, you should include the problem, the reason it needs to be addressed immediately, and the proposed solution to the problem along with its supporting reasons/arguments.

FAQs

How important is an effective problem statement?

An effectively-written problem statement is essential for a process improvement project since it helps to clearly establish the project’s aims and outline the scope of the effort. It also aids in directing the activities and choices of those involved in the project. The issue statement can assist a company or organization in gaining support and buy-in for a system improvement initiative.

What is an example of a problem faced by today’s architects?

One such example is the presence of a language barrier.  Specializing in architectural design allows you to cooperate and work with clients from all around the world, which is one of the most fascinating elements of the job. It does, however, provide some unique issues, such as the existence of a language barrier among architects and customers, which can cause significant problems and even force the project to be delayed. It’s not simply about translating phrases from one culture to the other; it’s about making sure the client’s vision for the project reflects yours.

What is urban design and how does it differ compared to architecture?

The process of planning and molding the physical aspects of cities, municipalities, and communities is known as urban design. Unlike architecture, which focuses on the design of individual properties, urban design is concerned with the larger scale of groups of buildings, streets and public spaces, and entire neighborhoods and districts, with the vision of delivering urban areas that are usable, attractive, and sustainable.

As stated earlier in this article, an effective architectural problem statement can serve as an effective gateway to a successful project proposal. This document also serves as a device that can aid everyone involved in determining what needs to be worked at, when it needs to be worked, and how significant the outcome will be. In this article, various examples of architectural problem statements can be easily acquired for reference purposes.