Construction observation, also known as contract administration, is a phase of architecture that's clearly spelled out in AIA contracts. And yet it's a minefield, fraught with missteps by architects, interference from contractors, and nuances clients often fail to understand. Insurance files are thick with case studies of lawsuits that declare guilt by association. Lloyd Princeton, founder of the Manhattan-based Design Management Group, recalls an interior designer who lost a million-dollar lawsuit because the whole-house lighting control system she specified was not put in properly. Her fatal mistake? Arranging for the vendor to show the electrician how to install it. To correct the problem, $800,000 worth of Venetian plaster walls had to be ripped up. What architects do is design, but that's not the half of it. They design in order to build, a process that demands attention for a much longer period of time--and one over which they have limited control. The extent to which architects shepherd construction has shifted over the years.