There is a unique mind inside the head of an architect that is magically able to juggle numbers, lines and angles, along with creative possibilities that most could not fathom. Image Source: Sutton Suzuki Architects
Can you juggle? We hope so because you need to juggle a lot of things if you want to be an architect. Architects are not just designers, they are dreamers and doers. There is a unique mind inside the head of an architect that is magically able to juggle numbers, lines and angles, along with creative possibilities that most could not fathom.
We want help you to determine whether or not you could pull off the same juggling act that an architect can. Should you become an architect?
Let’s see exactly what it takes to be an architect:
Architects are not just designers, they are dreamers and doers. Image Source: Gelotte Hommas
There is a lot that goes into being an architect, and in fact architects tend to wear many different hats, so to speak. Architects must possess a large variety of qualities, most of which they must excel in. Architects need to have a strong understanding of all building disciplines including, but not limited to, structural, electrical, and mechanical. This takes some smarts.
Being smart does not, however, make you a good architect. It does give you the foundation for the ability to become a good architect.
If you are smart then you will be able to determine the necessary calculations to make buildings work, understand the properties of the materials you are working with, and create safe and sound structures from start to finish.
Architects tend to wear many different hats and need skills in engineering, electrical and interior design, to name a few. Image Source: Great Neighborhood
Being dedicated to your career is an important factor in any profession, but with architecture, you need to be willing to devote a lot of hours.
This could mean long hours at the office, long hours at the site, and even long hours at home, working out the details, ensuring perfection until 2am if need be.
It is your job to make sure the finished project is safe and sturdy, and that is not something that can be done with little effort.
Being dedicated to your career is an important factor in any profession, but with architecture, you need to be willing to devote a lot of hours. Image Source: Vanderhorn Architects
Essentially, architects are problems solvers, and so in order for you to become one, it is imperative that you have the skills needed to solve problems.
Whether you are designing a building or trying to meet your client’s needs, you will constantly come across instances that create problems, such as a problem with design, or a structural issue.
It is an architect’s ability to solve these problems, sometimes by ingenious methods, that is not only necessary, but also moves him/her forward in their career.
It is an architect’s ability to solve these problems, sometimes by ingenious methods, that is not only necessary, but also moves him/her forward in their career. Image Source: Fredman Design Group
It is very important that architects possess a high level of social skills. You need to have the ability to communicate well with your clients, your engineers, interior designers and your staff.
In addition, you must be able to share (and sometimes convince others of) your ideas and visions for a particular design. Having excellent communication and negotiation skills will allow you to present your vision in a professional manner that can be understood by all.
Furthermore, you will need to have the ability to stand in front of people and give presentations comfortably. This is how you will pitch your ideas to clients, as well as bid on prospective jobs.
Architects need to have the ability to communicate well with clients, engineers, interior designers and staff. Image Source: Berg Design Arch
Becoming an architect is no easy task, and it does require a lifetime commitment to continued education. It is important that you know what will be required of you prior to getting started.
First, you will have to go through a licensing process in the state in which you want to become an architect. Most often, this process involves three steps – education, experience, examination.
You must choose a school that offers a degree in architecture, but it is important that it is accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board. Following school, you will be required to take an exam to obtain your license to work as an architect. And then comes the fun part—you must continue to stay abreast of new licences and accreditations as they come out, it’s the only way you will stay competitive within the field. Sound fun? Then perhaps you will succeed as an architect.
Becoming an architect is no easy task, and it does require a lifetime commitment to continued education. Image Source: Pyramid-Builders
Perhaps one of the most important qualities of being an architect is creativity. While staying within the confines of safety regulations, you want to design buildings and spaces that are awe-inspiring.
The only way to do this is through creativity. Architects must use a unique combination of the left and right sides of their brain to harness both their logical, mathematical thinking and their unique, originative thinking.
If you love to draw, sketch, imagine, and create, yet you are also a whiz with numbers, then it is highly likely that architecture is the right career path for you.
Architects must use a unique combination of the left and right sides of their brain to harness both their logical, mathematical thinking and their unique, originative thinking. Image Source: Space Arch Plan
As we touched upon above, when it comes down to it, architecture is a combination of two things – art and science. While it is important to design buildings with a vision of beauty and elegance, there are some necessary elements of mathematical science that must be applied.
Architects must be able to understand how different materials and components of structures work together. It is also important to know what materials don’t work well together.
This is how you create, not only a spectacular structure, but one that is safe, sound and lasting.
Architects must be able to understand how different materials and components of structures work together. Image Source: Matthew Neimann
It is no surprise that a talent for design is important when deciding to become an architect. In fact, architects should be obsessed with building and designing— akin to a child playing Lego’s, you can never get enough. (It’s OK we will keep your secret safe, we know that you still enjoy Legos even as an adult).
The mere definition of the word architect includes the words “designs building.”
So, whether you find yourself sketching detailed drawings or building dream creations with Lego, you may have the desire and ability to become an architect.
It’s OK architects, we will keep your secret safe, we know that you still enjoy Legos even as an adult. Image Source: Pad Architects
Being an architect is about more than you think. In fact, architects must have a wide array of skills that are indirectly related to their profession.
This can include the ability to speak publicly as well as an understanding of politics. A knowledge of business, marketing, real estate, sustainable building, and construction are also important.
What’s more, these skills must not only be known, but an architect must have the ability to apply them to everyday work in the field.
A knowledge of business, marketing, real estate, sustainable building, and construction are also important for an architects career. Image Source: Round House Design
Putting aside all of the math and physics for a moment, architects also have a profound love and deep respect for the natural world.
Famous architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright, lead the way in teaching architects that their designs should not interrupt the natural world, rather they should follow the curves of nature and even enhance its beauty.
If you understand that the house is of the hill rather than on the hill, then perhaps a career in architecture is just right for you.
Putting aside all of the math and physics for a moment, architects also have a profound love and deep respect for the natural world. Image Source: Feldman Architecture
The best way for you to know if you have what it takes to become an architect is to actually talk to architects. They can give you an in-depth insight into what their daily grind is like, what they are required to do, and what kind of person you must be and skills you must have to be successful.
Being an architect is more than just drawing and building. It involves social skills, a knowledge of engineering, math, science, physics, dedication and drive, and most importantly, the ability to design.
Now that you know what it takes to become an architect, you need to decide if these are the skills, personality traits, and characteristics you possess.
Do you have what it takes to become and architect?
West Elm Heath Sofa is small in scale without sacrificing classic styling. Ikea Ekero Armchair has a reversible back cushion and thin arms for the space challenged. Kyle Schuneman Monroe Apartment Size Sofa at apt2b.com has a classic, retro feel and fits in small spaces. Euro Style Calais Dining Chairs (set of 2) at 2bemod.com aren’t just for dining rooms; they can work in any space. CB2 Casbah Corner Chair can be used indoors or out, singularly in a corner or doubled up to create a loveseat with arms. The Casbah Armless Chair can be added to extend it into a chaise. Istikbal Twist Convertible Loveseat at wayfair.com comes in bright colors and converts to a sleeper. Euro Style Fenia Swivel Chair at amazon.com is small and versatile, thanks to the swivel mechanism. CB2 Flatiron Haze Apartment Sofa is sleek and streamlined at only 60 inches wide.
Ikea Kallax Shelving Unit without a back works well as a room divider. Zin Home Metropolitan Low Bookcase is stylish and mid-century modern in styling. Container Store Driftwood Aspect Shelving Unit is lightweight in steel and less than 12 inches deep. Room & Board Slim Bookcase is available in 14 colors. Container Store Dark Grey Sapien Bookcase is a small-space storage solution for stacking items. Crate and Barrel Kyra Console Table has two rows of shelving versatile enough for use anywhere. Smart Furniture Trilogy Staircase Shelf at amazon.com is designed for awkward staircase walls but would add a graphic look to any area. Mercury Row Draco Bookcase at wayfair.com has an elegant, polished look. Crate and Barrel Sawyer Mocha Leaning Wine Bar has storage space for wine and all the accoutrements.