Architects are the faces behind the great modern structures that dominate the urban spaces. However, architects don’t just design buildings or whole communities, but fulfil a greater responsibility of enhancing people’s lives at multiple levels. They help to create personalized spaces for private individuals, cities, and professional clients while ensuring zero harm to the environment.
The job of an architect is highly appealing. It has promising growth opportunities with a decent take home salary. It is also morally boosting as professionals get to develop momentous buildings admired by the whole world. Still, the job of an architect is filled with its share of challenges and not everyone can take up architecture for a long-term career. Architecture entails having the right knowledge and skills. While knowledge can be acquired through an under-graduation course in the field of architecture, the skills need to be built through dedication and focused efforts.
Here is a list of 15 essential skills that will help you succeed in your architecture career.
Architecture is dependent on mathematics. Hence, it is vital that you polish up your mathematic skills especially topics like advanced algebra and geometry. You can do that by devoting some time to solving mathematical problems at a daily basis.
Design is a process of creative problem solving. So, it is important to have the much-needed creative capabilities to design a specific space in a creative way. The goal is to give it an aesthetic look while maintaining its intended functionality. As an architect, you are required to think up new and unique construction ideas to satisfy the customer need for visibly appealing buildings.
Your creativity should be immersed in practicality. While designing a particular building the goal should be to transform the design from paper into physical reality.
To increase your creative capabilities, you can seek inspirations from different buildings around the world and also get ideas from nature and the things around you.
Needless to say, designing is of paramount importance in the field of architecture. The job requires designing buildings and models and so you should have a decent comprehension of the designing process. The design should be clear and attractive. It will help to convey your idea to the client and also convince him to invest in your work.
Legal knowledge is vital for designing and constructing buildings. The information on building policies, regulations, and codes would help you to design the building that comply the government norms. It would allow you to sail smoothly through your work. A knowledge of government laws around buildings and constructions would give you the boundary within which you can come up with the construction ideas. While your university prepares you with the existing rules and regulations related to the construction industry, these rules tend to change under different governments. So, ensure to keep yourself updated with the current laws related to architecture.
Communication skill is an essential ability needed in any type of jobs. This skill is especially vital in the architecture industry as you need to communicate extensively with your construction manager, lawyers, clients, and other people where the right flow of information is must. Different people require different types of communications like giving directions, sharing information, convincing, and so. Hence, as an architect, you need to be really good at all types of communications. You can increase your communication skill by actively working on it and using it more in daily communications.
Architecture requires working as a team. Whether you are starting your own business or planning to join as an architect in a construction company, you would always have to work in a team. The construction of a building involves many different professionals and team-work ability would allow you to work in co-ordination with them and fulfil any target in a timely manner. You can develop team-work ability by adopting a positive mindset, doing exercises together, and valuing other peoples’ works along with your own.
You must possess leadership and people managing abilities to ensure that your design is aptly transformed into the physical form with very little deviation from the earlier vision. Hence, you would need to lead a team of technicians and junior architects working under you to give them the right guidance towards the goal completion- that is the final shaping of the building. The basic leadership skill usually develops with experience. You can also speed up the process by pursuing a course in leadership or project management.
In the building of a construction many things can go wrong. From dissatisfied client to a wrongly carried out design- problems can cause hindrance and frustration in your work. Hence, you need to have problem solving capacity to foresee and avert any problem at the earliest and also solve the problem to the best capability once it occurs in your line of work. Through creative problem solving you can not only get an effective solution to the issue but also avoid any delay that the problem may have caused. You can develop problem solving ability only through work and experience. However, you can also try to understand the various problems that you can encounter during your work and think of solutions to handle them beforehand.
An architect needs to be good at visualization. When a client provides you a brief of his or her need, then you should be able to visualize that need in a creative form and deliver a design that appeals to them. Visualization would allow you to come up with a design that fits in a specific space and a predetermined budget which you can easily transform onto the paper to share with the client. Of course, the first draft won’t be the final picture of your project and you would come back to it again and again to make changes as and when the project progresses. The visualization ability develops with practice. So, continue to practice this skill on a daily basis and draw any concrete picture that comes to your mind onto the paper.
Today when there is tough competition in the architecture domain, having a commercial awareness is vital for your professional growth. A good understanding of your industry will help you to associate with the right people and ensure that you get the right projects. Commercial awareness also helps in comprehending other stakeholders’ requirements. It will help you to do your job in a better manner with many growth prospects. You can develop your commercial awareness by learning how your company functions and makes money. You also need to be updated on industry events and news. Lastly, you can employ social-networking sites like LinkedIn to connect with other professionals in the architecture segment and be a part of groups and discussions.
Although architecture is different from basic engineering, an understanding of engineering skills help in designing makeable models that are physically possible to implement. Hence, brush up your engineering principles and basic physics skills.
Attention to detail
Architectural designs, whether computer-aided or hand-drawn are painstakingly detailed work specimens. The design gives guidance to a wide array of construction workers. A misplaced wall or hastily contrived plumbing could give rise to problems in terms of delays in works and budget fluctuations. Therefore, it is vital that you pay attention to detail in your work and don’t leave anything to chance.
Today with the advancement of computers, it is essential to be computer literate to keep up with your peers and make futuristic designs. Digital technology is not only easy to use but also simple in terms of file sharing, storing of design, and estimating cost, materials, and other elements involved with construction. You can become computer literate in architecture by familiarizing yourself with software like computer-aided design (CAD) and building information modeling (BIM). You don’t have to admit to colleges for getting a computer degree. Instead, you can join short term course.
Building and construction knowledge
As an architect, it is inevitable that you have the building and construction knowledge. This knowledge differentiates you from a 3D artist and gives an edge to your design. Hence, while designing a particular piece of construction, you must not just think of the overall visual effect but also take into account other considerations like tools, methods, and materials used to develop that structure and whether a design on paper is feasible on the ground with the available resources.
Architects need to be good listeners so that they can hear and understand the customer’s needs and deliver a design that fulfils that requirement. Your client may not be good at articulating his or her need but by listening closely and asking the right questions you should be able to know the requirement so that client is pleased with the first set of design and don’t ask you for a revision.
As long as humanity survives, architecture will survive. Its is one of the best evergreen career opportunities since human being started living as a society. By working on these 15 important skills to be an architect, you can speed up your journey to success.