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Architecture is one of the most challenging and rewarding professions today. As such, people are considering a career in this dynamic industry, now more than ever before.
The last couple of decades saw the rise of several mega-structures and skyscrapers across the globe. And unique hotels, resorts, and vacation homes have found their way into the wilderness. So, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that architecture is evolving at a rapid pace!
But what are the skills needed to be an architect? Do you have what it takes to be successful in this field? That’s precisely what this guide will tell you.
Without further ado, let’s jump right into the details!
Must-Have Skills To Get Into Architecture
The most obvious prerequisite for being an architect is excellent designing skills. It is safe to say that designing is the backbone of an architect’s knowledge – everything else becomes redundant if you can’t design well.
And when we talk about designing, it is much more than just the aesthetics of a structure. Not only should it look good, but also be viable and in line with the needs of your clients. So, having a complete understanding of the design process is mandatory.
When it comes to the architectural process, it often involves a trade-off between functionality and visual appeal. And that’s where top-notch designing skills come in handy!
Although architecture involves a ton of practical and functional aspects, it always has and always will be an art. And like any other art form, it requires you to be highly creative.
Think of it this way – the buildings and structures you see today are nothing like those built a decade ago. Being imaginative and innovative will allow you to be in business in the long-run.
Moreover, you would need to hone your creative instinct and trust it, if you intend to make a name for yourself. Getting daring ideas and bringing them to life should be your mantra for success as an architect!
Now that we have discussed the need for creativity, let’s touch upon the other end of the spectrum. Any successful architect out there is a pro at mathematics, and you would have to be one too. Why? Because the concept of architecture is firmly based on the rules of mathematics.
More than anything else, you would have to be excellent at algebra and geometry. And as an architect, you may even find yourself immersed in advanced math once in a while. Be it calculations, estimations, budgeting, or conversions – your numerical skills will make or mar your architectural career.
If construction were a one-person job, there would be no need for an architect to communicate with others. But seeing how several parties are involved in the process, being strong at interpersonal skills is imperative.
When you start working as an architect, you would have to communicate with contractors, lawyers, surveyors, structural engineers, local government officials, construction managers, and so on. And each of these parties has their own concerns and interests.
Knowing how to communicate with these parties effectively is an indispensable part of any architect’s responsibilities. After all, the successful completion of projects depends on these parties working as a cohesive unit.
We all know that a lot goes into the construction of any building or structure. But only a few of us realize that it all begins with a legal process. Building codes and zoning laws determine how, what, and where you may build it.
Some regulations would directly affect your work as an architect. For instance, the number and size of windows that are permissible for various types of buildings. Other regulations won’t directly affect components of your work, such as prohibited building sites.
Even though you may resort to seeking the help of a professional surveyor, it would save a lot of time if you are familiar with the legal aspect of things.
More than anything else, an architect’s job is multi-faceted. You would be required to take care of several elements, be it the business-related, legal guidance, or technical knowhow. But amongst all of that, you would be drawing as well.
Irrespective of whether you use Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software or old-school techniques for drafting, you would have to be aware of the different methods and processes. And that’s not all; you would also need to scale your drawings accurately.
To cut a long story short, we can say that a fair share of artistic skills is needed to be a successful architect.
It is highly unlikely that you would find even one architectural project that did not involve any problems. In fact, an architect would have to be extremely lucky to complete several projects without facing unforeseen hindrances here and there.
So, it is safe to say that your problem-solving skills will be put to the test time and again. More often than not, you would be dealing with design-related problems, legislative issues, or negotiations with contractors. Likewise, having an alternative solution or plan of action is recommended.
Observe the life of any successful architect out there, and you will see that they are very flexible and adaptive.
Constructing any building or structure is a collaborative effort of several people, including the architect. The ability to work well with others and get them to meet deadlines is a vital component of an architect’s skill set.
You may carry out the designing bit alone, but you will need to work with other people as a team for various purposes. The internal team will be responsible for pitching your business to prospective clients, the construction team for adhering to your designs, and the surveyors for tackling legal concerns.
More often than not, budding architects learn this specific skill during their apprenticeship.
Nearly all successful architects have one thing in common – exceptional visualization. In fact, some hardcore professionals start visualizing their creations during the initial client briefing.
You should be good at visualizing designs and ideas at every step of the process. And it is an iterative process wherein you may need to revisit old ideas or make changes to existing plans.
Although the final structure is often quite different from how it was initially visualized, it serves as a critical mental checkpoint. At the end of the day, architecture is about bringing ideas to life. And how would you do that if you can’t even picture those ideas in your mind?
This is a skill you would need in any profession, not just in architecture. After all, being aware of the business angle helps you get a better understanding of the bigger picture. For instance, take the different parties involved in the architectural process – it would help greatly if you knew their needs and priorities.
Moreover, the more you know about the industry, the more likely it is that you will be able to connect with prospective clients and secure better projects. Also, you might have to indulge in market research now and then to stay one step ahead of your competitors.
An architect is not an engineer and doesn’t need to be one. But as an architect, you would need to have a basic understanding of engineering principles. Why? Because if you prepare a design that cannot be implemented, the structural engineer will not be able to approve it. And the project will never go beyond the initial drafts on paper.
As such, you need to have at least a basic level of knowledge about physics and engineering. It can be said that the two professions are closely linked. Even more so when you are trying to build a unique structure that will likely pose new challenges.
Attention To Detail
Each architectural drawing contains a plethora of fine details. And it serves as the holy grail for construction workers, as they continuously rely on it. So, perhaps the most crucial skill you need to acquire has a lot to do with paying attention to details.
You simply cannot afford to go wrong with the details of any design. One faulty plumbing arrangement or a misplaced window can lead to several hassles and delays. And that would be problematic for the construction workers as well as the client.
So, the bottom line is that you have to be very thorough in your work as an architect.
Summing It Up
We have talked about a dozen different skills that you need to be an architect. You would be able to develop and hone most of these skills during your university course or apprenticeship. And the others would only come with experience as you work on projects.
For the most part, you won’t face any significant hassle while obtaining a degree recognized by the Architects Registration Board (ARB) but we recommend hiring trusted paper writing services for your research paper because that’s one aspect that has troubled a couple of architecture students in the past. Professional writers will help you to make perfect term paper on any topic in a short time. In responsible matters it is better to trust knowledgeable people who will provide quality assistance.
Till next time!