If you’ve ever gazed up at a building in admiration and been inspired to create something similar, you might want to consider architecture as a career. This discipline is a blend of art and science, on a truly colossal and visible scale.
Behind every beautiful building lies bureaucracy, procedure and precision. Every talented aspiring architect must hone their skills for years by learning about the trade and studying on architecture courses beforehand, then gradually transforming into masters of their art project by project. Still interested? Read on to learn about how you can make your dream job a reality.
Choosing to become an architect is a huge commitment: you have to be prepared to live and breathe design. If you are fascinated with the urban environment and the living spaces therein, if you always seek out the iconic buildings first when you visit a new city, and if you have a natural flair for interior design, these could all be clues you could have the right combination of passions to become a talented architect.
As architects have to be able to visualize and communicate their ideas quickly, fluent craftsmanship is a good place to start. Technical drawing is a skill that can be honed from taking an art or design qualification in school. More importantly, good spatial awareness is also important, as is being able to think outside the box and solve problems, and usually it will be a prerequisite to have good grades in both maths and physics.
Having sales skills is greatly advantageous; after all, you have to be able to sell your ideas to future clients, and in the short term, to a potential employer. A pathological attention to detail is critical, and good architects are rigorous in their approach to projects. If you’re laid back, slapdash or impatient by nature, it might be worth considering if your personality is a good fit with architecture.
Depending on the country you choose to qualify in, the route to becoming an architect can be variable, but it is always a long and rigorous journey. In the UK, qualification is quite straightforward, if arduous. In the US there are 117 schools which offer an accredited course, which will usually commence with a relevant Bachelor of Architecture or Bachelor of Science degree. Graduates must then complete an internship of 5,600 hours’ experience under the Intern Development Program, in a range of different areas of expertise. Finally, they can progress to sit their Architect Registration Exam, which comprises seven different exams.
If you have the determination, the commitment and the drive, there’s always the hope that the buildings you create will endure for generations to admire, and you’ll leave a lasting legacy long after you’re gone.
Image by George Smyth,