Ever considered becoming an architect, perhaps doing an architecture course, and wondered what it's like? Here's some insight from Principle Architect Anna Powell and Assistant Architect Ricardo Marques who share their experiences.
A Typical Day
“I'll go from working in the office one day to being on site meetings or client meetings...”, says Powell.
Architects might be required to attend lectures or training seminars and as a result some days may be spent entirely outside the offices.
As an architect you will spend time meeting with stakeholders and discussing design ideas and implementation. This allows you to meet a variety of people in the construction industry.
The profession is “admin heavy” and prospective architects need to be prepared for high volumes of paperwork during the project.
Successful architects have “design talent, social awareness and an attitude for business” , says Marques.
A flair for design or drawing is crucial because this forms a big part of the daily activities.
In order to bring your design to life you will need to work with contractors, builders, engineers and a variety of people in construction, which requires you to have interpersonal skills. Soft skills like teamwork and communication are essential.
“I think there is a big preconception that its a boys club.” says Powell. She explains that the architecture industry is made up of a collaborative group of people working together which is ideal for both men and women.
Another misconception is that architects only need to focus on the design element. But Marques says architects need to go beyond the basics. “You really have to read up constantly and understand new technologies...”
Architects have flexibility in their work hours but are sometimes expected to work long or late hours. “You might have to do all nighters because you are working to a deadline.”
Another drawback is that it can take between 7 and 10 years to qualify as an architect. Professionals who choose this path need to have passion and perseverance to complete their studies.
Why become an architect?
Every day is different and offers flexibility and variety which is ideal for people who love to be challenged.
There is tremendous satisfaction in seeing your design idea being executed and realized. An architect also has the opportunity to leave a legacy through their artwork.