The practice of architecture is a profession that is constantly evolving. This is because it is a discipline that develops in parallel with the lives of human beings, their highly changing needs, and the tools to practice the profession. Thanks to these changing processes, we can notice that the architects who developed 30 years ago have different skills if we compare them with those who are starting their architectural practice.

Why upskilling is the way to go for architects? - Sheet1
Man at a laptop in an office_©Bench Accounting

The correlation between Life and Human evolution with Architecture 

The pandemic has been a great example of how changing circumstances generate almost immediate changes in architectural practice. Almost two years after it completely changed our lives, today we see concepts such as the value of indoor air quality in a different way and how the pandemic itself changed our conception of meeting and social spaces.

Why upskilling is the way to go for architects? - Sheet2
Students in a laboratory session_©Mira Kireeva

The tools used by architects are also the object of attention when we talk about their development and evolution. In the Renaissance, manual drawing instruments combined with the technical advances of the time achieved the construction of the great buildings that we now admire. Currently, Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and Building Information Modeling (BIM) are the tools used to carry out architectural projects, representing a notable evolution between the first manual methods mentioned and current digital techniques.

Why upskilling is the way to go for architects? - Sheet3
Architect at work_©Daniel McCullough

The need to Improve as an Architect

Being a highly demanding profession at its different levels, architecture is usually full of new information, which needs to be shared for its use and subsequent application. Whether they are state-of-the-art construction processes or new energy modeling software, we must be open to learning about these topics and tools that are emerging and that will allow us to develop new skills that could only be acquired by obtaining new knowledge.

Why upskilling is the way to go for architects? - Sheet4
Female civil engineer designs weirs on computer_©ThisisEngineering RAEng

As architecture students, we probably witnessed our improvement process from one semester to the next, seeing with some nostalgia and surprise the decisions we made with the knowledge we had at that time. It is evident that to improve our decisions and sharpen our abilities to develop ourselves to a high level of knowledge; it is necessary to obtain additional knowledge that we have access to in architecture schools or experience in practice.

Why upskilling is the way to go for architects? - Sheet5
Female design engineer tests virtual reality software_©ThisisEngineering RAEng

Online Education is one of the ways to Improve our Skills

In the past, gaining additional knowledge could usually be obtained by attending universities and training centers. But as a result of today’s almost unlimited interconnection, the speed with which we can share information, and the needs associated with the pandemic, online courses have taken a relevant place in the way we can improve our skills.

One of the great advantages of online education is the versatility that exists associated with it. Today we can take lessons at our own pace whenever and wherever, all with a much more plural approach thanks to the fact that we can now have access to courses with colleagues and teachers who are on the other side of the world, making it a much more rewarding experience and potentially more enriching.

Man in Black Crew Neck T-shirt Using Black Laptop Computer_©Emmanuel Ikwuegbu

It is necessary to appreciate that in addition to the great advantages that this path of education has, there are also challenges associated with it. One of the great challenges is that the interaction with the instructor is not usually as direct as it could be in person. Fortunately, one of the responses to this situation has been the opening of discussion forums and mailboxes where it is possible to express our concerns to obtain feedback.

In addition to communication, another of the challenges present in this type of education is that there is still information that cannot be obtained through a computer since there are some topics that do not lend themselves to being taught online and that they cannot replace living and experiencing real situations in the practice of architecture. There is still nothing better to get to know a project than a site visit.

There are a large number of platforms with interesting portfolios of courses, many of them in different languages, to reach a much larger number of people. Some of these platforms are:

EdX

This platform is one of the pioneers when it comes to online education since it offers courses for several disciplines. Regarding topics associated with architecture, we can find courses from the history of architecture to Global Housing Design.

Eduwik

It is a learning platform focused on the community of architects and designers. The topics covered by its courses are varied, referring to all the possibilities there are to develop as an architect and designer, from courses focused on students and young architects to design your architecture portfolio to more specific topics such as Passive Design Strategies in Architecture.

USGBC/WELL Education

LEED and WELL certifications have transformed our vision of architecture focused on sustainable development, well-being, and energy efficiency. Being specialized areas in constant transformation, it is necessary to keep up to date with what is happening around you. Both platforms have a large number of courses that also provide CE hours for those who have any of their credentials.

References:

  1. EdX [online]. Available at: https://www.edx.org/ [Accessed date: 18/02/22].
  2. Eduwik [online]. Available at: https://eduwik.com/ [Accessed date: 18/02/22].
  3. USGBC Education [online]. Available at: https://www.usgbc.org/education-listing [Accessed date: 18/02/22].
  4. WELL Education [online]. Available at: https://www.wellcertified.com/education [Accessed date: 18/02/22].
Author

Mexican architect, LEED Green associate & CPABE. Design lover in all its expressions with a strong interest in sustainable development and accessibility. Enrique Tovar lives through dedication and passion. He firmly believes that creating a narrative through writing and photography is a vital tool to reach a deep understanding of design.

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