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Top Ten Reasons To Be An Architect

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Ten Reasons to be an Architect Architect Top Ten

I have seen a lot of lists recently that have reasons why not  to   to be an architect so I thought I would come up with a list of reasons why you should be an architect. To make things interesting, I am only allowing myself 30 minutes to write this entry so hopefully this limitation will force my own reasons to the surface. 1. It’s a lifestyle, not a job.  

Architects tend to think about architecture all the time, I know I do. Not justI the big ‘A’ typically type of buildings or projects, but every little thing from everywhere I go. go somewhere and start looking at materials, form, massing, lighting, etc. If I take a trip somewhere, I start by planning it around the buildings I want to visit. Probably 90% of all the books I buy (not including children’s titles) are about architecture –   I even put them on my Christmas list. 2. People respect architects.  Even if they don’t really understand what we do, there is a perception that architects are ethical and responsible and will try very hard to make the right decision to our own detriment. It’s part of the reason that ‘architect’ is chosen so often as the vocation for title characters in movies  and TV roles. Architects aren’t generally viewed as driven by financial rewards like doctors or as unkind as lawyers (can be).  3. Job is constantly evolving.  Architects are not artists  –  we have to address building technology and programming. There are constantly evolving materials and construction methods out there and we are required as a profession to address the demands of the public at large (building performance, energy consumption, incorporating recycled materials, etc.). Architects create new design concepts that push how modern day construction is executed. Architecture is one of the few professions that is never static. 4. Artistic freedom and personal expression.  As an architect, we are given certain project parameters that help guide the direction of our projects. We are then given the freedom to follow the artistic dimension of those parameters. Ten architects with the same client and the same project parameters will provide ten different solutions. Every time. 5. You can be your own boss. 


You can be your own firm of one and still be a successful service provider on almost any size project. You can enter contests and win commissions for major projects by yourself  –  I can’t think of another vocation that can provide similar freedom. I have also seen a team of 3 people design and prepare construction documents on a mall over 1,000,000 square feet. 6. There are tangible (and sometimes euphoric) results.  Anyone who has ever seen a building that they worked get built knows exactly what I am talking about. I am still excited to watch one of my projects getting built  –  it’s like having your own laboratory where you can experiment and make small changes in order to refine things that you consider to be important and worthwhile. It ties into the artistic freedom listed in #4 but architects generally have a sense of ownership on every project they work. 7. We can positively impact people’s lives.  It is rewarding to develop a personal relationship with your client, particularly when you know that the process will result in a more fruitful end-product. By understanding the process, our clients appreciate the product. By appreciating the product, they are acknowledging the role it plays. 8. Experimentation is expected.  Despite architecture having to contain building sciences and technology, the final product does not have a definitively right or wrong answer. Because no two architects will ever come up with the exact same solution given an identical set of parameters, there is a liberating sense that you are here for the purpose of giving your own personality on the project. We are expected to try new things, explore different materials, and incorporate emerging technologies into every project. 9. Longevity of Career.  You can practice the profession of architecture for as long as you want  –  you’ll always be an architect even when it isn’t your job anymore.  10. Incredible variety of options within the profession.  Unlike other professions, you graduate with a degree in architecture without having to know what of architecture you know are going to about focus the on. possibilities This is really great because when type you graduate, you don’t enough to know what you want to do. You can float between big and little firms, the role of project architect, designer, or management. You can work on building types from different market sectors like hospitality, residential, civic, retail, etc. and you will still be an architect. Your degree will have a marketable value beyond the time of your immediate graduation.  Bonus. We can wear ridiculous eye wear and get away with it.  People expect architects to be a little bit nerd mixed with creative artist


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