Everyday, more and more, templates and defaults are ruling the world. Since they are already embedded in the system, people don't even think twice and run to use them. We are particularly used to the defaults of digital presentations, but the city-development-business has defaults of its own. Not all generic architecture is default, but all default is generic. Office towers, residential solutions, all by default, just with a variant template wrapping. [Architecture by default also considers how architecture by itself will do all the difference like magic.]
"We only do as the clients ask"; "this is business-sound". How about doing amazing, how about expanded-context input, what about paying a designer to do his job, and then not go all bureaucratic on him.
Many people must think that time is an issue solved directly by defaults, and they come cheap. Defaults cost just as much, take just as long, they only manage to look cheap. Even worse is when mediocrity strikes, attempting to be called design, and one ends up suddenly bumping into this hideous developer-people-are-so-stupid-they-will-think-it's-great management. The icon is not only about making something monumental by advertising; only great-contemporary-design & the story it embodies can become iconic.
To try and clarify this: think of every print add you have ever seen in a decent magazine, or any television or web add you've ever seen. Do they look anywhere near the templates from presentation software [power point]? How does the template look compared to the design by experts? What product do you buy?
Defaults suck!!! Templates stink!!! Hire a very good designer, they might end up being cheaper in the overall equation than what you think, especially when compared to how much more they will make you earn.