The classic view of an architect is someone who plans and designs houses, factories, office buildings, and other structures. But is it as simple as that? First of all, what exactly does the discipline of ‘architecture’ mean? It depends who you are talking to:

  • “Architecture is a language: new designs should abide by grammatical rules to avoid dissonance with existing structures.” – Prince Charles
  • “Architecture is definitely a political act.” – Peter Eisenman
  • “Architecture is a good example of the complex dynamic of giving.” – Jeffrey Inaba

And finally:

  • “Architecture is always dream and function, expression of a utopia and instrument of a convenience.” – Roland Barthes

Not surprisingly, given that there so many takes on what architecture is, there are many specialist paths that architects can explore during their careers some being:
Landscape ArchitectsConcerned with the design of landscapes, including infrastructure, public areas, agriculture and forestry, this line of architecture is interwoven with globalization and climate change.
Urban PlannersThe dynamic state of the urban environment makes this an exciting path to take as an architect, covering everything from economic and demographic changes, to sustainable development. This discipline requires adaptability and problem-solving skills on a large scale.
Restoration ArchitectsCultural clues and our societies’ heritage and history are often presented through architecture, offering informative glimpses of the past and understanding of our present-day culture. Restoration architects know that sympathetic and considerate restoration and conservation of buildings is a challenge, and can be controversial, but that it is always rewarding.
Extreme ArchitectsThe ever-accelerating march of climate change, bringing with it extreme weather conditions such as floods, heat waves and hurricanes, mean that existing extreme environments are likely to expand in size and scope. For example, deserts will increase in size due to a phenomenon known as desertification. An architect who specializes in extreme weather conditions, is therefore not only working in a fascinating field, but is also invaluable in helping us to adapt to the future of our planet.
How do you become an architect?
The usual route to becoming an architect is to complete a bachelor’s degree in architecture, followed by a paid internship for on the job experience, before passing the Architect Registration Examination.
And why should you?
As well as a creative and rewarding vocation, with tangible real-world consequences for your work, the employment of architects is projected to grow 8 percent over the next ten years which is significantly faster than the occupational average. In short, architects are in demand!
For leading education in the architecture field, take a look at the schools to the right.
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