"Design Means Veneer"

I have been reading Steve Jobs (the biography) to get an idea of how he operated and how Apple was so successful. The chapter about the first iMac had a paragraph that hit home for me. Jobs was quoted in Fortune saying "In most people's vocabularies, design means veneer." This hits close to home and describes a fundamental problem in the design field. It's simply the look and cost of something that most people care about. For an architectural example, the outside of the building could look nice, but are the studs straight? Insulation tightly packed? electrical conduit well placed? Did the architect take the time to outline the best set of documents including every detail?  As Job's described, most clients don't want to spend the time and money to make something really great. I would suggest those are the wrong clients. Every poorly designed building will reflect poorly on the design of the architect. Making something great should include the time to focus on the design, finely detail the project, and provide satisfactory materials and craftsmanship to make a great building. The subpar building may be good for some time, but a great design will be a timeless fixture of the fabric. If architects want to build a great structures and be good designer they must do everything they possibly can to ensure the best design in the way Jobs thought of it. If clients aren't interested, designer's shouldn't be interested either (in the project).

Excerpt from Steve Jobs