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Opting to become an architect is an intelligent decision, as the profession is exciting as well as rewarding.
Moreover, architecture is one of those few fields which makes individuals contribute to the shaping of societies. At first, of course you need a substantial amount of formal education in architecture.
But more than just the theoretical knowledge, certain skills are needed for becoming a successful architect. In this article, we list all these essential skills with a comprehensive explanation of each of them.
So, let’s get started, shall we?
What Skills are Required to be an Architect?
Scientific and Numerical Skills
Designing functional and safe buildings requires being familiar with weaknesses, strengths, and other features of different building materials. You also need to know the capacity of such materials to bear weights when under stress.
For developing a sound knowledge on such subjects, a strong background in physics and mathematics is required. Essential mathematical skills include proficiency in geometry, advanced algebra, and numerical principles.
Keep in mind that to address new challenges in your job, you may have to apply innovations such as designing sustainable building complexes. Solutions that have been tried and tested will not always be useful. It is in those exceptional situations that you can apply your scientific knowledge to solve a problem.
For an architecture job, aesthetics is as significant as considerations of safety and functionality. Thorough knowledge of the history of architecture, as well as the different artistic movements, is essential. Efficient architects can create perfect combinations of functionality and visual appeal.
This will help you to develop a design sense in order to come up with efficient as well as aesthetically appealing designs. Interestingly, architectural training helps you develop that artistic knack and also your technical knowledge.
Knowledge of Law Relating to Buildings
While dealing with any project, you will have to consider the various building regulations, policies and codes when developing a design. In a sense, these are rules and restrictions that you must stick to. Hence, you need to be fully conversant with such legal codes.
You will find some of the rules directly concerned with the architect’s work, such as the size and number of windows for several types of buildings. Also, some other laws prohibit constructions on specific sites, like flood zones or wetlands.
Besides, some rules may not apply to architects directly, but their work will be meaningless if they don’t understand how codes for building and zoning work in any construction area.
Architecture is an immensely diverse profession where you can transition your career to different specializations. After a certain point of time, if you wish to spend your career making designs for cutting-edge complexes or buildings, you will need to have an imaginative streak. Such work might lead you to face challenging tasks where applying creativity can work magic!
Hence, being creative and bringing forth new ideas can very well be called an architect’s mission. In this way, your work will be remembered and received well.
Architects are required to work closely with professionals from several other fields such as construction personnel, clients, and engineers. For completing a particular design successfully and bringing a project to its stage of completion, architects must fully understand all the points cited by these professionals. In return, they must also communicate with these people in a clear manner.
The various communication tasks that need to be performed in the course of a project are collaboration, maintaining client relations, and oral as well as written communication.
At present, the actual building drawings are all done on computers, and so are artistic renderings, all kinds of visual output in the field and simulations. So, you will need to develop a certain level of proficiency in handling different software for architectural drafting.
Some of the software required in architecture include AutoCAD, Revit, and software for model making, architectural rendering, and computer processing. The more efficient you become at operating such programs, the better and more aesthetically appealing your work will turn out to be.
While architects listen to clients briefing them on the project, they immediately start picturing in their head as to how the creation would appear. Visualization is a key skill required in people involved in all design-based and artistic professions.
Obviously, the visualized structure may not be identical to the final product. But even putting a design on paper isn’t possible without picturing it entirely, isn’t it? Let alone translating it into reality!
The Skill of Problem Solving
Very few plans have been successfully executed without any obstacles. Building projects of large scale are not different, and architects encounter several issues in the course of execution.
Design-related problems require an architect to be adaptable and flexible for resolving it efficiently and fast. The issue may relate to laws and policies or the supply of materials. In either case, being able to think of an alternative solution is a crucial skill.
In order to be successful in the field of architecture, you will require a head for the business operations as well. Your services need to be marketed and your brand molded if you want to be hired by other people for their building projects.
As such, you require undertaking activities such as analysis of data, project management, business plans and market research. All these strategies contribute towards facilitating the growth of an architect’s business performance and reputation. Thus architects should never underestimate the role of business knowledge in their career advancement.
Paying Attention to Detail
Irrespective of whether architectural drawings are made on computer or are hand-drawn, they are extensively detailed. These details are mandatory as construction workers refer to the drawings as a guide. Hence, a window misplaced or a plumbing arrangement hastily depicted can lead to issues and consequently, delays in the work as a whole.
Thus, paying attention to the smallest of detail is an essential part of any architect’s role. Applying any shortcuts or leaving something to chance won’t work in this field.
Working in a Team
Architects often need to collaborate on a similar theme in course of their work and it is here that team-work becomes essential. You may carry out the actual design work individually. But you need to liaise with the internal team on whether to produce blueprints on any existing assignment or to pitch contracts to any potential client.
Collaborating with the construction team is also important to ensure that your designs are being adhered to or to discuss the price and availability of the materials. Also, you will require to associate with planning officials and surveyors for fulfilling any legislative demand or maintaining the integrity of the surroundings.
Leadership/ Managing Skills
The construction process of a building doesn’t generally have one central figurehead. As such, the architect whose design is to be followed must dictate, delegate and explain several aspects to the contractors. Technicians and junior architects must also be explained to. In this way, the translation of your design ideas into reality will be more perfect.
All this requires some basic skills of leadership that develop as architects become more experienced. Although, you can also pursue a qualification of project management for attaining leadership roles faster.
By now, it must be evident to you that being an architect means much more than just having an artistic and imaginative flair. It requires some amount of leadership, being open and flexible to any change and being business-minded as well.
Moreover, there is much diversity in the skills, as they range from effective communication to a grounded knowledge in mathematics and science. Of course, this blend of skills is worked on over a period of time, as students pursue architectural degrees.
So, if you are sure that you have the potential to acquire such skills, you can very well build a successful career in architecture.
On that note, we will sign off. Till next time, good luck!
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