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View Full Version : What does it take to be an architect?



DaCrystallineAngel79
January 13th, 2004, 07:53 PM
I didn't know exactly where to put this, so I decided to put it here. Anywayz, I'm considering architecture to be a career... does anybody have any suggestions on how to start? Thanks a million :lol:

Gulcrapek
January 13th, 2004, 08:38 PM
If you're pre-college, search around for some reputable architecture schools. Somebody on SSP suggested the book Architect... don't know who it's by, but supposedly it's very informative.

NoyokA
January 13th, 2004, 09:18 PM
Are you going to school in NYC? Can you apply for an arts high school?

Also, create for yourself an art potfolio. The ultimate goal is getting a BA at a reputiable college.

NoyokA
January 13th, 2004, 09:20 PM
Lastly you need a little bit of talent, and a whole lot of luck.

LuPeRcALiO
January 14th, 2004, 01:40 AM
^ super suggestions .. not to plug Cesar Pelli but he has a great book called "Observations for Young Architects" which is pretty interesting and has some good advice for anyone interested in the field (Monacelli Press, 1999)

http://home.earthlink.net/~ostaley/pellibook.JPG

Ninjahedge
January 14th, 2004, 04:26 PM
I am a Civil Engineer that tried to apply for Architecture in school. Since I was a science hound, I had no real art background. People seem to think that Architecture is a pure "art" but they are a little misinformed.

But the application for Architecture school is like you were applying to Art School.

Get a good portfolio going!!! Try different medias (charcoal, oil paint, modeling, sculpture) and get some good photos together to send out.

Also, realize that Architecture is a LOT of work if you do not know somebody in the top of the firm. Schooling requires 80+ hours a week in modeling during project time for several weeks, and most firms reflect this in their own work/pay schedules when you get out (60 hours work for 40 hours pay).

Most of the projects you will work on you will be a secondary or tertiary player. Your name will not be on the design, and you will be relegated to laying out floorplans for commercial units or drawing up the insulation details on a wall cross section.

If you are lucky, you may get up past that BS quickly though. Also, although there is a bigger risk, and less security, working at a smaller firm will get you more residential experience AND it will increase the chanses that you will do your own design of a building.

GL!

hkboy313
July 26th, 2005, 01:49 PM
if u want to be licensed in the future u should do a 5 yr prof. deg. unless u already have a bach of something, then do grad.

they dont pay well...but its what u enjoy doing... but this makes me wonder ..i read this post...

http://news.scotsman.com/features.cfm?id=213232005

dcdomain
August 14th, 2005, 07:30 AM
As hkboy313 already stated, you need to attend a five year program at an accredited school. Otherwise you aren't even allowed to sit for the exam. If you already have an undergraduate degree, then you can go to a 2 year program (again accredited). 5 off the bat or 4+2.

After you suffer through the educational aspects, you then become a slave for a firm for the first three years at a minimum. You need to pretty much accumulate three years worth of experience (which you can start doing during the summers after your 3rd year) before you can sit for the exam.

In another 5 years or so, if you are lucky, you'll be able to start your own firm. The pay is disgustingly little for the amount of education you have and the amount of hours you put in. Now that may be fine and all if you get to do something you really love. But don't get your hopes up, whereas in school you were able to have full control over a project (as a pseudo lead designer), you'll spend most of your career working in the pits being someone else's CAD monkey.

That realization made me walk away from the field... even if you do become a lead designer you are still at the whim of the client. Unless of course you are Vinoly, Foster or the like.

My advice? Go into another field, make yourself a lot of money and become that client. You still get to dictate...

AmeriKenArtist
August 20th, 2005, 08:07 AM
...you must watch all the "Seinfeld" episodes that include the character, George Castanza. He enjoyed pretending to be an architect!

Jsix
August 22nd, 2005, 01:08 PM
"Most of the projects you will work on you will be a secondary or tertiary player. Your name will not be on the design, and you will be relegated to laying out floorplans for commercial units or drawing up the insulation details on a wall cross section."

This can be satisfying as well if you really care about your work. Architecture is one of those fields that you must love to pursue. If you are in architecture to make money, you won't be pleased.

I definately recommend going to a smaller school and starting off in smaller firms where you can get the widest range of experiences. If you are still in high school, see if you can get a summer internship with a firm so you can get an idea what it is really like.

Ninjahedge
August 22nd, 2005, 01:17 PM
"Most of the projects you will work on you will be a secondary or tertiary player. Your name will not be on the design, and you will be relegated to laying out floorplans for commercial units or drawing up the insulation details on a wall cross section."

This can be satisfying as well if you really care about your work. Architecture is one of those fields that you must love to pursue. If you are in architecture to make money, you won't be pleased.

I definately recommend going to a smaller school and starting off in smaller firms where you can get the widest range of experiences. If you are still in high school, see if you can get a summer internship with a firm so you can get an idea what it is really like.

It is not only that though. I know a lot of people that went into the career thinking that they would do something they enjoyed. But all they ended up with was doing wall insulation or window details.

Or worse yet, they were just the runners/checkers that did NOTHING themselves but make sure everyone elses stuff was OK and sent out.

One of the dreams of architecture is designing your own stuff. All youhave to do is look around and see how many architects are out there and how many are actually project leaders to get an idea of what the possible success rate for that is. Also, look at their ages. Most architects do not start at mid-life.



The bottom line is, look DEEPLY into this. Intern at an architects office over the summer (at whatever age you are, it will help you get into college, and it will help you get a job after college).

if the summer intern work they have you doing, provided they keep you on the same project schedule as the other architects at the firm, is something you like then go for it.

But if you see it as mindless tedium or you see little opportunity to excel, then look somewhere else. Sad to say, sometimes interior designers make more $$ than Architects.

Throwcovers anyone?