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.

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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.

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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.

Things we don’t learn in an architecture school -1
Image Sources: Site visit ©Stuckeman School

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!

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5. When looking for a job, go for the EMPLOYER and not the JOB

Remember that!

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

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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!

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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

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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!

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Things we don’t learn in an architecture school -2
Image Sources: Magazines ©Boca Do Lobo

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

Note That!

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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.

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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

Shop carefully!

25. Get involved with as many opportunities as you can

Don’t limit yourself, EVER!

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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

Be Understandable!

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.

Things we don’t learn in an architecture school -3
Image Sources: integrative design ©YouTube

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?

Be Concerned

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”.         

         

Author

Nishtha is a 23 years old Architecture Graduate from India currently working with an award-winning Architecture company based in Florida, USA. She is involved in various departments including Design, Management and Writing for their projects. Her participation in International Conferences and Summer Abroad Programs while exploring around the world, let her inner thoughts flow in having a Vision of helping others through architecture and that is how she wants to leave a mark wherever she goes.

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Rethinking The Future Awards 2022