Architecture Knowledge is everlasting. Architecture is dynamic. Architecture Education is extensive. After completing 5 years of bachelor’s in Architecture, we are stimulated by fancy thoughts of getting a license or adding the initials to our names and also setting up our firms. Architecture Schools taught us what the world sees in architects, what they know about them, and what probably we too think is enough to be an architect. But that isn’t enough. There is a very deep underlying knowledge that we haven’t been exposed to while in school.
Here are 70 lessons I will elaborate for you as per my own experience and conversation with a few professionals in the field.
1. Design constitutes 15% of the completed Architecture project
The rest 85% is exposed when we work on a live project.
2. Business Skills
Effective skills and marketing are a drive for all successful businesses. The ability to sell your project or long story short, embracing the business side of Architecture.
3. Site Visits are extremely important
We always learn what we see. A combination of drawing in the office and later observing on the site is quintessential.
4. Your college doesn’t matter when you go out for a Job; SKILLS MATTER
Cheer up all those who didn’t make it to the top colleges of the country!
5. When looking for a job, go for the EMPLOYER and not the JOB
6. Focus on Architecture Details and take them seriously
It is very important to understand these. This makes you an architect.
7. Speed is important but not more than “that” idea/concept
Don’t let deadlines kill that killer concept
8. There are mostly three types of Architecture Companies
Production, Boutique, and Starchitect. Choose what you want!
9. People Skills
You will always learn to be marketable outside the 4 walls. The utmost importance of talking to people and selling your ideas is a must in a successful business.
10. Do not take Design Strategies from School too seriously
Real-life is very practical!
11. Designing is not an one-time thing
Next time do not get frustrated when your guide makes changes in your design. Because you have something bigger coming – Client. There are changes and changes and changes and changes. Even during the Construction Phase. Period.
12. Communication is an art!
It can make or break things.
13. Portfolio and Networking is more important than marks or grades
No one cares about CGPA
14. You will not earn “big bucks” in the early stages of your career
Rather no bucks 😉
15. Don’t get caught up in “Old School” Architecture firms, Youth is the Future!
Researching firms is important.
16. Read Architecture Magazines
An Architecture article a day!
17. The size of the firm matters
Personal Experience says work in a medium-sized firm and then a bigger firm.
18. Architecture is a long road to success
Don’t be discouraged. The results will be fruitful.
19. Keep in touch with everyone. Especially non-architects
20. Project Management is essential in architecture offices
This is a subject that should be introduced in schools.
21. An introduction on “Experiential Design”
It is important to learn about the human-centered approach and how humans perceive spaces.
22. Be careful with E-mails
Think before sending it.
23. Architects have to be spontaneous
There could be unforeseen incidents where decisions are made on the spot
24. Architecture is not just “Design”, all firms are different
25. Get involved with as many opportunities as you can
Don’t limit yourself, EVER!
26. MONEY! MONEY! MONEY!
Dealing with money and how to manage it is very important when running a company. It is a skill how to get your money out from the client at the right time.
27. Talk simply with clients
28. Jack of all Trades, Master of None.
Well in the longer run, it is beneficial to master at least one.
29. Voice your opinions
Best ideas are always heard
30. There is a difference between internships and full-time employees
Internships – You see how a firm works and the process of projects
Full-Time Employees – You have deadlines and many responsibilities
Well, now you know what position to apply for.
31. Take construction classes seriously
It is important to learn how a building comes together.
32. Broaden Your Perspective
Attend as many Architecture/Design events as you can
33. Three Mantras to success
Talent, Hard Work, Luck!
34. Team Management
Contractors, Consultants, Designers, Specialists, Representatives – It is not easy to manage them all.
35. Excellent Sketching Skills are not required
Convey your thoughts with a mediocre sketch. That’s fine.
36. Be Understanding
We as architects have a responsibility to understand more than what is conveyed to us. Give Clients more than what they ask for.
37. Observation is Important! Traveling is Worth! Photography is essential!
38. Go for Experience
Then think about specializing
39. A great story is what it needs
Yes, Meaningful Architecture comes from a great story behind it
40. The economy plays a huge role in the Construction Industry
When the economy is good, Architects rely on experience.
When the economy is not good, Architects rely on people/business skills.
41. Idle at work?
42. Don’t trust “the best firms” Google search
Not all firms that are on the top are good.
43. There is nothing called, “Beautiful Architecture”
44. Build Relationships
With People, With Computers, With Pets. Why not?
45. Don’t Get Upset
Some clients think they know more about Architecture. Learn how to talk through them.
46. Words are as powerful as Drawings
Powerful Narratives are a good way of selling your project
47. Don’t Burn Bridges
Your Actions are always remembered
48. Technology is important
Learn Softwares and be proficient in them as soon as you can
49. Architecture Education never ends
You will have to keep yourself updated in the field even when you are 65 years old.
50. Help the World
Don’t just fantasize about the word ‘Sustainability’ or ‘Crisis’. Believe in it!
51. Struggle in the ’20s
Focus on getting better, learning, and expanding your knowledge.
52. “Idea” matters
More than Designing or Planning.
53. Design can’t be judged!
True, it can’t.
54. Branding is important!
55. Good Design is not necessary for running a successful Architecture Firm
56. Develop interests beyond Architecture!
57. Same Daily Schedule?
Not a good sign. Don’t just end up going to school/work and back home.
58. Involve with community
What can you do for the community? Think about it.
Last and very important,
59. Save the Profession
Architects need to be licensed and prove their worth. The world needs architects to build better-built environments. We understand them. We know what has to be done. We can give them more than they know. Architecture is not just “designing”.