If you wonder why Architecture is important, just look around. You are likely to be surrounded by it. We grew up appreciating something as trivial as the play of light, flow of air in our living room to the most gigantic we visited on our getaways. Architecture is one striking evidence of scientific advances of the past and present. It is a discipline that combines artistic beauty, scientific and mathematical precision to design buildings for the people and their environment. It’s pretty much the only art discipline which combines in its practice, aesthetics, sciences, technologies, and engineering. Its origin as the “mother of all arts” and its subsequent development as an influential profession, architecture has achieved near-universal recognition as a noble pursuit.
Architecture is a science arising out of many other sciences, and adorned with much and varied learning; by the help of which a judgment is formed of those works which are the result of other arts. – Vitruvius.
I vaguely remember the reasons stated by my fellow classmates for choosing architecture during the first day of school. While words like passion, childhood dream, design and similar exotic words reverberated in the studio, few unconventional answers are what I would like to emphasize. Being great at art, despised engineering or medical, family members being in the construction industry, their peers getting into this course, or just because it sounded like a cool professional.
It’s okay to be driven by the above stated reasons but there are more factors to be taken into consideration before willing to invest 5 years and a lifetime ahead. Architecture isn’t just a profession, it is a lifestyle. We’re not gonna state any signs/reasons of why you should or you should not be an architect, that’s for you to decide. We’d rather give you an insight about the profession.
Life in Architecture School
Architecture school is unquestionably difficult, but it is also a lively and intriguing time because of the diversity in your experience. One must undergo a long period of academic training before they can start practicing formally. The interdisciplinary curriculum allows the students to learn & explore distinct subjects or topics from various disciplines such as social work, philosophy, economics, art, environmental studies, computer science, graphic design, photography, history etc.
Due to architecture’s wide-ranging knowledge set, you can further pursue a particular topic you are interested in which can be further incorporated within your architectural work. Most importantly, architectural education is constantly evolving and improvising, this is specifically where it gets interesting and outshines all other professions. Unlike other fields like engineering or science, we don’t have to adhere to strict curriculum which enables us to embrace innovation.
Inside the course
Architecture courses are predominantly based on the five major aspects related to the practice of the profession:
Design: architectural design, interior design, urban planning, and landscape, theory of design.
Technology and Environment: building construction & Material, building services, environmental studies, and theory of structure.
Cultural context: History of architecture, human sciences, philosophy and social work.
Communication: Architectural drawing, drafting, two-three dimensional & post production software, coding and dissertations.
Management practice & law: Building Bye-Laws, ethics, project management, and professional practice and specification.
Being an Architect
It takes a lot of commitment and desire to become an architect. One needs to juggle between a plethora of roles, responsibilities and most importantly liabilities. Architects aren’t merely just designers, they ought to wear many different hats. Therefore they must possess a strong understanding of multiple building disciplines, including structural, material, environment, etc.
Power to impact lives: Architecture as a noble profession holds an incredible power and responsibility to shape the built environment and community with your work and passion. It provides you an opportunity to be a much needed change maker that our society needs.
Constantly evolving profession: Architecture is one of the very few professions that is never static. With thriving technological advances, architects have to constantly evolve, learn and unlearn things in order to cater to the large demand. From manual drafting to realistic three dimensional visualization, we have come a long way in a few decades. The job is fun and gives you freedom to be creative and experiment with materials, form and anything you desire.
Liberty to explore options within and outside the profession: Unlike other professions, Architects have the liberty to explore multiple disciplines within and outside the profession. This adds to your favor, you can float between multiple roles until you find your niche and will still be an architect. Your degree will have a marketable value beyond the time of your immediate graduation. To name a few alternative careers, Graphic design, journalism, product design, furniture design, set design, industrial design, photography, UX designer, project manager, sustainability construction, etc.
Note: Architecture demands a lot of work and dedication, long working hours and are usually undervalued/underpaid. It takes a years-long dedication before you could establish yourself. Although the profession is well respected and fun in a lot of ways, it’s a poor choice of career if you are looking for a monetary reward in the short term.