Unhampered by the continually changing day and night cycles, and healthily receptive to any crisis, is an unusual creature, whom we refer to as an ‘Architect’. The magnitude of work that comes with the profession of architecture unlocks specific characteristics in people who pursue or practice it. Apart from the typical all-black attire that is more often associated with architects, there is more to the unusual traits of these individuals. With a sketchbook in hand and a passionate vision to bring positive changes to the entire world, these architects reside silently in their studios and surface now and then with their amazing ideations!
Here is an attempt to decode some of the attributes of Architects:
1. Excellent Communication Skills
Design is an intriguing process with communication forming the basis of its execution. Architects are gifted at the art of communication. Be it verbal, conceptual, diagrammatic, or written, every architect has his way of communicating his/her thoughts. With presentation possibilities extending from modest pencil sketches to elaborate cardboard models, architects are trained to be armed with such tools for effective communication. Self-expression is of utmost importance to these creative individuals, and hence they seek different mediums to get their ideas across the table. Although a lot of architects prefer strokes over words, there is no constraint on this expression and is often channelized through writing, dancing, painting, and even through music.
2. Great Planners and Organizers
Despite the messy work desks and an unmanageable sleep schedule, architects are pretty good when it comes to planning and organizing. Time management is never a problem for them because they have been under the practice of completely utilizing the 24-hour time span since their student days. The ability to work round the clock and effectively manage both sleep and work due to hectic schedules is an added trick. When it comes to planning or designing a structure, a lot of things have to be considered and require extensive planning and detailing. The constant exercise of this attribute enables architects to have clarity in thoughts which is reflected in their organizational pursuits.
3. Reasoning and Rational Thinking
Investigative by default, Architects like to question everything and try to approach things with rationality and logic. However, entirely relying on sense takes away the space for fantasy and imagination- which are quite often the potential sources of inspiration for several architectural projects. Hence, it is a unique attribute of an architect to execute a fantastical project with the highest values of practicality and reason. They are often said to be sailors in an ocean of reason- trying to hone their ‘thinking skills’ and finding the right balance between logic and creativity.
The ability to reason unlocks another trait in architects-problem solving. Architects like to believe that there is no such problem that cannot be solved through design interventions by employing innovative techniques and strategies. They view every project as a design challenge through which they attempt to offer practical solutions. This, in turn, requires looking at a problem through a different perspective, to analyze, comprehend, and reiterate the existing cultural devices through innovative thinking.
Keen at observation, architects develop an eye for detail, which further enables the development of this particular trait.
5. Quest for Knowledge
Architects display an undying thirst for knowledge. For them, the world is an open book that holds several treasure chests full of wisdom. It is vital to be equipped with information in all sectors pertaining to the given outline to provide for a client or a project. Hence one has to be up to date with the latest technological advancements as well as well-versed with the good old practices that form the basis of these progressions. There is indeed a bountiful abundance in sources of knowledge, ranging from the wisdom of authors in books to the refined skills of a craftsperson, hence so much to learn. Architects usually reach a mental state of being perpetual students, seekers, and learners and do not hesitate to keep the mid-night oil burning!
6. Incredible Team Working Abilities
Architects can be exemplary at maintaining high team-spirits. It starts with group projects with peers in colleges or architectural schools and remains a critical aspect of an architect’s persona. A design is best evolved when multiple people do the thinking. It not only increases the scope for addressing numerous factors but also allows for the inclusion of ideas and inputs from surprising sources. In real-time situations, while working on a project, a large number of designers and specialists are involved, and it immaculately calls for the architect to put on his listening hat. Great architects are exceptional listeners and can work and communicate with all departments associated with a project. This attribute ensures that everyone’s opinions are heard and respected, which in turn guarantees a collaborative and comfortable work ethic.
7. Love for Exploration and Traveling
A lot is learned, particularly if one chooses to step out of their boxes and venture into the outside. Architects love to travel, are part-time globe-trotters, and always willing to ditch their routine for some immersive art-historical or monumental trips. Travelling enables them to get into the details of a particular style, capture monuments in reality, and relive the aura of spaces that have only been read about in books. Needless to say, with all the traveling and exploration, other than the customary sketchbooks, one would often find their picture galleries and camera reels flooded with forms of magnificent structures, intricate detailing, and candid snippets with interplaying light and shadows.
8. Resilient and Adaptive
A trait acquired with much perseverance, several architects are quite patient with errors, mistakes and rarely hesitate to revise. Scratch an idea, and they’ll come up with another set of better options. There’s always a scope for improvement, and architects understand this quite well. Making errors and trying out different possibilities is a part of every design process and the scope for change has to be accepted. From chivalrously dealing with criticisms to healthily engaging in evaluation and corrections is a habit to several architects. It is only with resilience that architects are able to deal with the challenging task of practicing the profession and yielding through outputs.
9. Notably Experimental
Experimentation is the key to evolution. More and more architects are engaged in experimental and investigative activities to arrive at a conclusion. This has now transformed into an attribute displayed by all architects alike. At least once, in their careers, they must have ditched the regular and opted for something extraordinarily unusual. This not only allows space for the growth of new ideas but also enables viewing the conventional from a different perspective. All the magnificent and iconic structures, including glass and steel forms, cantilevers and ethereal geometries that we see around us today are results of various fascinating experimental endeavors by several designers. All of this is attributed to the relentless efforts of architects in trying to achieve the impossible through experimentation and patience.
10. Empathy for All
Frank Chimero has said, “People ignore design that ignores people”. The quote encompasses the exact reason why architects subconsciously manifest empathy for people through design. Multiple ranges of users have to be considered while crafting any given space, and hence architects develop the trait of compassion for all. It is reflected in the design decisions and considerations. Architects are required to step into the shoes of the users and evaluate the realization of their designs in their capacity to serve every aspect of user requirements.
On the whole, architects are compassionate and creative individuals, with a wide-eyed expression full of awe and amazement, love for exploration, and a distinguished understanding of the working of our world.