by Diana Naneva
Imagine working hard on a project, and months or years later, you see a magnificent building in front of yourself. Everyone around you stops, looking at it and pointing it out with admiration. What would you say then? If you were an architect, there would be a high chance you’d say, “I designed that!”
Seeing the results of your hard work is one of the most rewarding feelings. If you are a creative person who finds the way buildings affect people’s lives and emotions intriguing and want to see the tangible result of your efforts, you definitely need to consider studying an Architecture degree!
Check out these Architecture degrees we recommend:
- M.Sc. at Hanze University of Applied Sciences, Groningen, the Netherlands
- Master's at Hasselt University, Belgium
- Master's at Coventry University, the UK
- Master's at Istanbul Okan University, Turkey
- Master's at University of Newcastle, Australia
Here are 8 reasons why you should become an architect:
1. Successful architects develop transferable skills
The more creative you are, the better you will be at what you are doing. Architects find joy in drawing and sketching, imagining different ideas and getting inspired by the creation of something unique and beautiful. The obsession you have with painting and designing when you are at school or college will be one of the most useful skills for you at university.
What’s more, being an architect has other great benefits! You will be able to develop both your left and right sides of the brain through:
- Strengthening your strategic and logical thinking
- Learning to work well with numbers
- Solving complicated problems
- Adapting to changes and working well under stress
- Staying dedicated, passionate, and motivated throughout the whole project
- Multitasking or working on various activities during the day
- Challenging your way of thinking
- Experimenting with design options
- Enjoying the process, not only the final result
The best part is that these skills are transferable, which means you can apply them in any area of your personal or professional life. Even if you end up making a sudden career change or you decide to take on a managerial role, these abilities and know-how will be your foundation for success.
And of course, we need to mention that being an Architect is a great self-confidence boost, and you will be highly respected by others since everyone will be able to see your value and creativity through the buildings you design.
2. Travel around the world and discover different architectural styles
As an architect, you will have the chance to create many new connections with people and travel a lot. No matter if you are in a supervising or consulting position, you will be able to wander around the world to have a look at the initial design of your work and watch your idea being built.
Your desire to explore, expand your horizons, constantly learn new things, and experiment will follow you everywhere. Once you go to another country, you will have a look around, experience the culture, feel the rhythm of the place and boom! — you come up with a new inspiring idea of how you can contribute to making a certain place look even more spectacular.
Another cool part is that you don’t necessarily need to work alone, you can always invent and build together with others in a team, especially with engineers. It might turn out you have once been colleagues with them or have studied at the same university, have watched the same webinar or have participated in the same Architecture competition.
Wouldn’t it be great to see familiar faces and work with people who enjoy Architecture as much as you do, people who inspire you and help you when you get stuck?
3. Being an architect is rewarding and fulfilling
Being an architect means that you will need to work overtime, not only because you will have to meet tight deadlines set by clients but also because you will feel the urge to continue working on ‘your baby’ until it becomes unique and meets your own criteria. You will seek perfection and will aim to avoid mistakes.
But once you are done, you will suddenly find yourself looking at the real building and enjoying the fruits of your labour. And believe us, you will forget about all the moments of struggle when you get to walk inside the building you’ve designed — or pass by it — and see how happy people are to live or work in a beautiful and safe space.
4. Architects are well-paid and appreciated
People who choose to go on this career path and become architects will do more than design buildings, offices, and structures. They will design homes, they will design places where people live, work, laugh, and spend most of the time. Places where people feel safe and relaxed, places which help them be productive and recharge their batteries when needed.
In short, architects design the spaces where we, for better or for worse, spend a large portion of our lives. And this is only one of the reasons why they are appreciated and earn a significant income.
According to data from PayScale, these are the average annual salaries in the US for some of the most common architecture jobs:
- Architect – 62,000 USD/year
- Interior Designer – 50,320 USD/year
- Town Planner – 60,640 USD/year
- Architecture Project Manager – 77,930 USD/year
- Landscape Architect – 59,860 USD/year
5. Architecture students can become true artists
When it comes to architectural designs, inspiration can sometimes hit you at unexpected times and in unexpected places! Most architects love being in nature and respect every single part of it. They explore the curves, size, and shapes of the environment where they are, finding ways to not change it but to complete it and enhance its beauty.
Sometimes all you need to do is just sit down with a pencil and paper in front of you and start drawing or sketching. Eventually, these lines will turn into real progress that will keep you dedicated until you have a new design of a building.
What also helps architects is getting familiar with any other kind of art. Maybe try reading some poetry and analyse the structure of the rhyme. Or go to a dance performance, listen carefully to the rhythm of the music, explore the movements, imagine the dancers draw shapes and patterns in the air. Art is a product of inspiration and inspiration leads to art!
6. You won’t get bored as an architect
Are you curious about what a typical day of an architect looks like? Let us introduce you to their main activities:
Architects have lots of phone calls with clients and online or face-to-face meetings where they make proposals of sketches work on improving them and making sure they deliver the best possible result. Architects are also good at negotiating and presenting, as well as consulting.
Planning and Designing
Architects spend a lot of time on making sure they meet all deadlines, coming up with creative solutions and ways to be original but also fit within the budget of their client. They make several versions of their drawings that the customer can choose from.
Architects need to make sure they can manage large-scale projects and are usually assigned as project managers too. As it depends on them how the overall construction process will go, sometimes they are the ones who need to be in contact with civil, mechanical, and electrical engineers as well as quantity surveyors.
Architects need to be aware of legal requirements, have some knowledge about environmental studies, building materials of good quality, know suppliers and the clients’ demands.
Designing with specialised software
Nowadays, clients expect to see more than just a simple concept drawing and prefer seeing virtual models of the idea with more details. Most architects start using a program that allows them to save time and make their sketches look more realistic once they know what to create. Thus, they can enjoy a more efficient workflow.
Some of the most used types of software are:
- Rhino 3D
- Revit Architecture
Designing segments or the entire project with a 3D model makes them look realistic and allows architects to have a better understanding of the construction of a building.
The biggest benefit of these types of software is that architects don’t need to solve complex problems by themselves; they can test structural and energy systems in advance and are able to provide their clients with a visual model of a functional and safe structure.
7. You can study at the best Architecture schools in the world
Do you see yourself as an Architect? Designing a house, a school, or an office building? Or maybe even a stadium, airport terminal or a shopping mall? Here are the world’s top 10 Architecture universities according to the QS Rankings by subject 2021:
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the US
- University College London (UCL), the UK
- Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands
- ETH Zurich, Switzerland
- Harvard University, the US
- National University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore
- University of California, Berkley (UCB), the US
- Tsinghua University, China
- University of Cambridge, the UK
- Politecnico di Milano, Italy
8. Make a difference through sustainable architecture and green building
Most of you probably have heard about the latest sustainability trends and how each industry contributes to overall environmental protection and conservation. As the architecture and construction industries account for 39% of energy-related CO2 emissions, sustainable (green) architecture becomes vital.
This means people are trying to limit the negative impact on the environment when designing buildings, thinking more about future generations and eco-friendly solutions when it comes to the use of building materials, energy generation and consumption, systems design, location of buildings, etc. This approach leads to the minimisation of the environmental footprint of human infrastructure.
Some of the latest trends in sustainable architecture include:
- Small scale construction – due to land shortage, buildings are still made to be functional, but also to take the least space possible with the help of foldable and inbuilt furniture.
- Using recycled materials – the 3 R’s of recycling (reduce, recycle, reuse) are essential for sustainable architecture. Apart from the typical use of metal, plastic and glass, more innovative and interesting materials are used, such as mattress springs, plastic chairs, recycled waste from agricultural and industrial products, as well as renewable materials such as bamboo, hemp, cork, flax, and soy.
- Natural light and ventilation – in order to reduce energy consumption on air conditioners or lighting and create passive heating and cooling, architects design buildings to either have natural lighting and ventilation through big open windows or include the use of LED products, as they consume 90% less energy, are 100% recyclable, and create an original view of the building.
- Integrating buildings into their surroundings – this approach is used not only in cities, where constructions blend with the existing landscape but also in rural areas where houses are built in such a way that they preserve the natural environment and ‘adapt’ to it.
Research shows that European countries such as the Netherlands, France, Germany, and the UK rank among the highest in terms of promoting environmental awareness through green building.
Other countries with eco-friendly practices are Belgium, Chile, Colombia, Malaysia, Poland, Russia, Sweden, Taiwan and Ukraine, according to the World Green Building Council.
Ambitious sustainable architecture plans include:
- increased energy efficiency
- renewable energy production
- protection of natural water sources
- reducing toxic exposure among kids
- promoting urban agriculture
If you have any interesting ideas on how you could contribute to the overall sustainability by designing innovative green buildings, Architecture might simply be the right degree for you!