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Gutman, R. (2005). The Designer in Architectural Practice. Ann. Psychoanal., 33:227-239.

(2005). Annual of Psychoanalysis, 33:227-239

The Designer in Architectural Practice

Robert Gutman, Ph.D.

Ever since my book on practice was published 16 years ago, I have spent some of my time away from the university consulting to architectural firms. Although most architectural firms make considerable use of consultants these days, mostly to advise them on technical problems of building, my own work focuses on management issues: for example, improved ways of organizing the office, how to formulate strategic plans for getting more work, what might be done to better the quality of their product, and whether or not to add certain specialties, such as interior design. I am fortunate that I am able to concentrate on the issues I like best, which is to help small design firms, often called “boutiques,” to increase the number of jobs they get, or to help firms which are successful commercially to improve the quality of their design. In dealing with the problems designers face as practitioners, I find that I understand them best and can be most helpful to them by making use of the ideas borrowed from the psychoanalytic tradition that address the subject of the creative individual. The creative process is a subject that psychoanalysts have attended to beginning with Freud, who made a variety of studies of artists, including Leonardo and Michelangelo, and who treated several patients who were artists.


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