I'm not going to explain the difference in the education stage. Every blog covers that part. I'm going to share with you my observation and opinion....
Architect - is a designer, an artist with the holistic approach to the form. Architect will focus on the building detail, colour, finishes. Every Architect has a unique style that repeats in every project. A good Architect will stick to your building budget and come up with something that looks good and is affordable for your needs.
In most cases an Architect "owns" the project. That means, he/she will take you through design, approval, selecting best builder and on site consultation during the building stage.
Building Designer (Draftsman) - is a "translator" between Home Owner, Architect (if engaged on the project), Council and the Builder. Their role is to present the design in a form of the drawings that will be easily understood by all the readers. Home Owner and an Architect want to see plans showing the functionality of the space and designer aspects of the building. Council or Town Planner need to understand that proposed development is within the Council or State regulations. And the Builder must see the sizes, details, products and finishes to be able to accurately price and build what's designed.
Building Designer is ideal when you, the Home Owner know what you want and just need someone to guide you though the best design options and council approval. Building Designer will pass the project onto the Builder when the application is approved. And from that point it will be between the Home Owner and the Builder to decide on the best delivery.
When you are investing a large sum into the build, have no idea what's best for you, or simply have no time to be part of the design - the best option for you would be to engage a good Architect.
But in most cases - I believe the Architect and the Building Designer should work together, as a team, and deliver what's the Client is asking for in a form of presentation that are easy for the Owner and the Builder to read.
Kinga @ Blue Sky Building Designs