The Art of Engaging Case Studies in Architecture

Architectural Narratives.

Crafting Stories that Resonate with Clients.

Reshape architectural case studies to captivate and connect with potential clients using the Problem-Aginitation-Solution (PAS) framework. This approach highlights client challenges and your firm's solutions, turning your portfolio into a compelling narrative of client success stories.

Case studies are invaluable assets for architectural firms, serving as a beacon to attract high-quality clients. However, the traditional approach to crafting these narratives often needs to improve in resonating with the target audience.

Transforming the Narrative

Many architectural case studies are full of industry jargon and details that, while impressive, might not align with the client's perspective. They often delve into the minutiae of design, materiality, and certifications, which, although significant, only sometimes engage the prospective client. The challenge lies in crafting a case study that showcases your firm's expertise and resonates with the client's needs and aspirations.

Applying the PAS Framework

One effective method to revamp your case studies is the Problem-Aginitation-Solution (PAS) framework. This approach focuses on identifying and solving the client's problems, which naturally aligns with the client's interest and emphasizes your firm's problem-solving capabilities.

1. Problem: Start by clearly defining the problem your client faced. The problem could range from spatial challenges to functional inadequacies. The goal is to align the problem with something relatable to your potential clients.

2. Agitation: Here, you delve deeper into the problem, discussing its impact on the client's daily life or business operations. This step is crucial in building a narrative that engages the reader emotionally, investing them in finding a solution.

3. Solution: Finally, present your architectural solution. Highlight how your design addressed the client's challenges and led to a successful outcome. Be specific about the benefits your solution provides to the client.

Crafting Effective Case Studies

To effectively utilize the PAS framework, you can leave some project details out. Instead, focus on making your case study a compelling story that clearly illustrates how you've transformed your client's challenges into successful outcomes.

Here's a basic template to guide your narrative:

  • Problem: "Our client faced challenges with [specific issues]."
  • Agitation: "These challenges impacted their [daily operations/family life/business], preventing them from [desired outcome]."
  • Solution: "We addressed these challenges by [your solution], leading to [successful outcome]."


By adopting the PAS framework, your case studies become more than just a showcase of past projects; they transform into powerful tools demonstrating your understanding of client needs and ability to deliver tailored solutions. This approach makes your case studies more appealing to potential clients and sets your firm apart as a client-focused, problem-solving entity.

Rethink your case studies to appeal more to potential clients than peers. Use the PAS framework to highlight how your firm solves real client problems, making your case studies a powerful tool for attracting quality clients and opportunities.

February 24, 2023
Keith Bradley