5 Truths of an Architectural Steward

PROFILES IN EXCELLENCE

with C.P. Drewett of Drewett Works

Driven, talented, and passionate about “creating art for living and resolving complex challenges with captivating design,” architect C.P. Drewett, AIA of Drewett Works cares deeply about his projects and the people involved. This level of attention and care began at an early age when C.P. worked closely with his father, building, remodeling, and crafting homes and custom furniture.

C.P. gained a great appreciation for solidifying connections and perfecting details in these formative years. Eventually the question, “How can we make that detail better, stronger, and more beautiful?” would translate from the projects he shared with his father to the drafting board of his architectural designs and further into the practice of leading his company, his team, his partners, and his clients.

Stewardship is now the core inspiration driving C.P. and his team’s every decision, attitude, and behavior. He shared with Team DSC® the truth behind being an architectural steward, how it can be used to motivate incredible results, and the value stewardship brings to those who value it most.


THE MEANING OF STEWARDSHIP

A magazine writer recently interviewed me about my definition of architecture. I said architecture is a marriage. It’s the marriage of designing a home and then building the site. It’s the marriage of architect to client, art to technology, and so on. To marry all of these elements together, like in an actual marriage between two people, you must learn to steward each other.

THE CLIENT COMES FIRST

The capstone of Drewett Works is stewardship. Stewardship is when you care for what’s important and protect it. If you’re my client and I am your architect, I need to steward your vision. Then I will undergird that with a well-stewarded budget and well-stewarded architecture. Stewardship shows up in the way we service and safeguard our client’s needs, their vision, and the resources that help transform that vision into reality.

I don’t think anyone on our team likes to let a client down, not because of personal failure, but because of what goes into the idea of protecting and caring for a project. We love people more than we love buildings, so it is natural for us to care first about being a steward for the benefit of our clients.

To steward a project means more than to do a good job. Just doing a good job isnot enough, because this is vacant of passion. You can do a good job at something and not necessarily care about it, but if you truly care for a project and love it, then that’s real stewardship.

STRENGTH IN NUMBERS

There is also stewardship seen throughout our team. We nourish talent, help them grow where there’s opportunity, mentor them, and apply what they bring to the table to our various projects. Each person is unique and they bring specific skills that we put to work so they feel satisfied, appreciated, and fulfilled. We collaborate and give everyone a voice. We find that wonderful gift or specific skill so they can provide it and leverage it at will. We also like to laugh and share humor throughout our day to help lift each other’s spirits and build camaraderie. Caring for each other with a positive attitude is also a form of stewardship.

We also steward on behalf of our consultants and partners. We don’t push projects out recklessly that will leave someone in a lurch. Problems are solved before they leave the door, and we do what we can to lead our consultants through any issue that might arise.

SOLUTIONS ARE CELEBRATED

If I don’t know the answer to a problem, I’ll say, “I don’t know how this is going to work and I need you.” Although this doesn’t happen often, I’m okay when it does. Errors are not punitive at Drewett Works. Solutions are celebrated. Everybody makes a mistake. It’s how you recover that counts.

When unexpected challenges in a project arise, we focus on recovery and moving forward. You have to be large enough to open yourself up. It’s okay to make a mistake. It’s okay to not know. It’s okay to say, “I’m not equipped to do this, but you are. Help me.”

This attitude helps us move forward so that we can become better with everything we do. Every project, I want to get better. I’m always asking, “What are we going to do to improve with each project?”

ELEVATED BY REAL PARTNERSHIPS

When you foster this type of relationship with clients and partners like Desert Star Construction where each person really cares about the project and cares for the people involved, you’ll see these same people are very welcoming and open to helping you solve problems. Being a steward makes for a better working platform for everyone because it helps establish a real sense of love and respect between those involved.

In this sense, Desert Star and Drewett Works are kindred spirits. We both gravitate towards finding out how we can be better. I believe our companies have both found ourselves in the custom luxury market because the high caliber of clientele we service requires that heightened level of customized care that inspires precise execution and quality excellence.

Stewardship motivates both the Drewett Works and Desert Star teams to do the right thing, not just for the sake of the project, but for the sake of the people who will be living in what we design and build for them.

The staff of Drewett Works at their offices in Scottsdale.
Photo by Deanna Dent

DREWETT WORKS AND TEAM DSC®

“Jerry often asks me what DSC can do to help me or what they can do to support my team. Through their thoughts, words, and acts of stewardship, Team DSC® shows us everyday that they want a real partnership. To be a partner is a lot of work. It’s a marriage. And to have a successful marriage, you have to steward one another.”

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