An architect is a professional figure with a 5-year degree in architecture (or 3 years for a junior architect), who has passed the qualifying exam to enter the profession and is a registered member of a professional Order. Each Order possesses a register of its members, accessible online through the Albo unico nazionale.
An architect can give you not only what you want, but also what you have yet to imagine, finding innovative solutions to your needs.
A good project is both a technical solution and an idea that opens new perspectives in the way we live space. This is why architectural designing has such a high intellectual value.
Architects are able to develop a project idea and bring it into being, and their training and experience enables them to:

understand your ideas and your requirements, develop them and communicate them to all the other operators involved, so as to offer you a global view of the project;
design the spaces to enhance your professional activity, if it is a company project;
build an honesty-based relationship with you. Your Architect will become your professional advisor, so you can be sure your questions will be adequately answered;
act as director or supervisor, coordinating all the other operators and specialists involved;
apply their knowhow and technical capability to give added value to the practical work on site.


Every project is different, because it starts with the specific needs of the client, the special characteristics of the task and the aims it has to achieve.
There is no one single solution to your project, so there may be many architects able to satisfy your requirements, and many different ways of doing so.
Choose an architect above all for the empathy and trust that you place in his professionalism: choose him or her as you would your family doctor, not only according to the cost of his services.


For very simple projects you can ask for a consultative opinion, whereas for more demanding projects, roughly speaking those entailing an expenditure of over €50,000, it is advisable to formally appoint an architect to the task.
Right from the start. The architect can help you determine each stage of the project from the very beginning, giving you advice as you weigh up the various options concerning the choice of plot, building, apartment and company.
You can ask people you trust and who have had experiences similar to yours. If you have seen work that you particularly like, you can ask for information about the architect responsible for the projects. You can consult their studio websites, where it will be possible to examine their profile. You can also consult online registers and portfolios such as that of the Milan Order of Architects PLC.
To understand how an architect and his/her team work, you can ask to see presentations of projects similar in terms of size and function to your own. Get the team to explain how they tackled the projects and how their clients requirements were turned into an architectural idea. The interview will also help you assess the degree of empathy you will be able to build with the expert.
Not necessarily, it depends on the complexity of the project. Even if you already have experience in project management, it is still a good idea to consult your architect to decide who will coordinate the work and what other services or professional skills will be involved.
It is usually enough to meet two or three. Treat all the architects you meet in the same way, offering each of them the same time, the same information and allowing each one to inspect the site to be designed. Make sure you give the same list of services to all of them so that you can compare their proposals.
It is essential that you trust your architect. Look for the right balance of design skills, technical skills, professional services and cost. Factors such as the experience, technical competence and human resources available to the firm are very important to your decision.

When you have to tackle complex projects, you may decide to organise a competition and select the architect by comparing the projects submitted. Tell the invited architects quite openly that it is a contest of ideas, so they can decide freely whether or not to take part, accepting the risks of designing a project that might not be accepted. Budget for an adequate refund of expenses.

If you envisage particularly complex projects, drawn up by property investors, for a competition, the Concorrimi platform, proposed by the Milan Order of Architects PLC may be useful. As well as being an aid for drawing up the Competition Call, it offers the possibility of managing the procedure correctly and transparently online.

So, just as architects have to be careful in their choice of clients, you must be careful when selecting professional experts to whom to entrust your project.