“An architect is a person who plans, designs, and reviews the construction of buildings.”
The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) architect definition is:
"Licensed professionals trained in the art and science of the design and construction of buildings and structures that primarily provide shelter. An architect will create the overall aesthetic and look of buildings and structures, but the design of a building involves far more than its appearance. Buildings also must be functional, safe, and economical and must suit the specific needs of the people who use them. Most importantly, they must be built with the public’s health, safety and welfare in mind.”
The early phases of the design process revolve around clarifying the dreams and needs the project must address and then illustrating those concepts through a variety of media including schematic design drawings. The less glamorous side of these early phases involve defining the legal and safety requirements for the project.
The middle and late phases of the design process develop those initial drawings further and further until they are suitable as construction drawings. This process includes all building systems and details. Each piece must support the whole.
Between design and construction an architect acts as ally and advocate. They can be your built-in support system when working your way through building departments, committees, necessary meetings, and the bidding and negotiation process.
It is typical for unforeseen circumstances to arise during construction. While an architect’s job during this phase is to oversee that the project is being built as designed, the architect is also available to offer clarity and is skilled in troubleshooting problems in a manner consistent with the design intent.
The idea of holding space for someone is that one party provides safe emotional space for another while they are going through an intense time. Architects naturally hold space for the design and construction process. You are not alone.