Architects Auckland – What We Wish You Knew!

We’ve asked some members of the IAD team what’s some things people don’t know about architects work… here are their responses!

What’s something you think people don’t know about architects work?

“Often people don’t know that the architects lead the entire project. They coordinate all the sub-consultants. People sometimes have this idea of them sitting alone in an office sketching on a pad, but actually a massive amount of time is spent on the phone, meeting with clients and consultants, and dealing with the Council. A successful project is one done in collaboration, and we’re constantly checking that the overarching vision is driving the decision making – essentially being an advocate for the client and the design”.

What’s the biggest challenge facing Auckland architects right now do you think? 

I think it’s more of an opportunity than a challenge! The opportunity is to make affordable, good looking, city-centric housing. Letting go of outdated modes of working or design ideas and meeting the next generation of homeowners dreams. Currently, we’re finding inspiration in Melbourne co-housing. Their scale and density, and innovative schemes like the Nightingale project are a fantastic example of co-housing.


Of course, internally our big challenge is to make sure our own clients are kept happy and can help them realise value from their land whilst still making a quality product that has a positive impact on the Auckland property landscape.

-Thomas Ward IAD Director

What’s something you think people don’t know about architects work? 

That they’re constantly having to re-educate themselves!  All of us within this industry are. It’s not a static business, there are new unitary plan regulations, changing rules and restrictions for building and new products constantly making their way on to the market.

I’m constantly researching new products, creative techniques and looking for inspiration around New Zealand and abroad to keep myself updated and inspired.  (check out the IAD Instagram for regular unitary plan facts and design inspo!)

-Ben Connor IAD Project Lead 


What’s the biggest challenge facing Auckland architects right now do you think? 

 “There is a lack of public understanding about why the planning rules are in place and what makes a well-designed and liveable city. In Auckland, in particular, our culture around property and lifestyle is still very much neoliberal in nature and this needs to change before architects and planners can truly affect positive change for the built environment of the future.  

Once people understand that the quarter-acre dream isn’t actually the dream (unless you want to spend your entire life in traffic), our job of selling a better Auckland to the public will get a lot easier. “

-Tane Pamatatau IAD Architectural Graduate


I AM DEVELOPER are an architectural studio and development office, and it is our aim to make property developing accessible for anyone. Our focus is on increasing the quality of Auckland’s medium density housing stock We’re passionate about good design and helping people unlock the value in both their home and land. We offer a range of services to help with your next project, and this includes:  Concept designs for new builds All house renovations – extensions/new kitchens/bathrooms/decks Building consents Resource Consents SubdivisionsPlanning reports Development feasibility reports (want to know what you can do with your land? If you’ve been contemplating your project and need some friendly advice contact us today.