Just like there are famous architects like Le Corbusier who ended up creating magnificent pieces of art without a degree in architecture, there are several other celebrities in different professions who made a mark in the path they choose after getting an architectural degree.
For creative fields like Architecture, it’s never about the degree, but about the design instincts that you’re born with and develop over the period. Just like there are famous architects like Le Corbusier who ended up creating magnificent pieces of art without a degree in architecture, there are several other celebrities in different professions who made a mark in the path they choose after getting an architectural degree. Had they not done so, the world would fail to witness some incredible personalities.
Below are listed only a few of the long list of Famous Celebrities in various fields who have an Architectural Degree.
1. Pink Floyd
Three out of five founding members of the iconic band “Pink Floyd” met while studying architecture at the Polytechnic in London, now known as the University of Westminster. It is said that their music had geometric precision and they went ahead and released an album called ‘Music for Architectural Students’ in 1969.
2. Jimmy Stewart
The legendary American actor, Jimmy Stewart with over 90 successful movies, is known to have been a prodigal student in the field of architecture and studied at Princeton after being awarded a graduate scholarship for his thesis “The design of an airport terminal”. Stewart never pursued graduate studies in architecture and thanks to that or we wouldn’t have found this brilliant showman.
3. Tom Ford
Beginning his dream with wanting to design skyscrapers and museums, amidst his graduate course in architecture at Parsons the New School for Design, Paris, he was awestruck by the fashion capital of the world. On completion of his architectural degree, Tom took up fashion designing as a career and created masterpieces but not architectural ones.
4. Art Garfunkel
Initially majoring in architecture, Garfunkel ended up graduating with a degree in art history in 1962 as well as completing a graduate degree in mathematics in 1967. This important half of the duo, Simon & Garfunkel, was the mind behind the successful band record “So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright” which was their tribute to one of Garfunkel’s architectural heroes.
5. Weird Al Yankovic
Known for parody chart-toppers, this musician was a child prodigy who graduated high school at 16, going on to graduate from California Polytechnic State University with a degree in Architecture. If the composer of Amish Paradise and Eat It, Yankovic, would’ve ended up designing buildings rather than music, the world would’ve probably been weirder than it actually is today.
6. Ice Cube
In case this exceptional entertainer would’ve failed in giving out killer verses and making you bust a gut laughing, he had a backup; Architecture. Ice Cube graduated with a diploma in draftsmanship at the Phoenix Institute of Technology. Thus, having a “plan B” is very important, proved Ice Cube.
7. Ralf Hutter
Like most musicians mentioned above, Ralf, the member of a famous German band “Kraftwerk”, has acquired a degree in architecture. He has seemed to mention, on numerous occasions, that he would pursue his interests in architecture if and when Kraftwerk disbands.
8. Thomas Hardy
This 19th-century famous English novelist and poet who wrote novels such as Far from the Madding Crowd and Tess of the d’Urbervilles, began his formal education in Dorchester, and then King’s College London, where he received his degree in Architecture. Before beginning to write, Hardy won numerous awards from the Royal Institute of British Architects and played a role in the design of London’s historic St. Pancras Station.
9. George Takei
The prominent LGBTQ activist and television star best known for his iconic role as Hikaru Sulu helmsman of the USS Enterprise, in both, the series and the feature film “Star Trek,” George Takei was once an Architecture major at Berkeley. He then went on to major in Theatre Arts after realizing that Architecture was not his calling.
10. Ratan Tata
The chief of the conglomerate the “Tata Industries” and chairman of Emeritus, considered the archangel of Indian e-commerce, Ratan Tata, completed his B.S in architecture from Cornell University and moved on to study MBA from Harvard. He’s also an acclaimed juror for the highest accolade in architecture, the Pritzker Prize.
11. Benjamin Netanyahu
Today, known as Israel’s Prime Minister, but not long before, the political figure was an architecture student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The most impressive part? Netanyahu, this prodigy, completed a typical four-year degree in just over two years.
The above-mentioned celebrities have all graduated as Architects, but there are a few that need to make the list as they dropped out of the course midway but certainly ended up winning millions of hearts across the globe with the profession they chose.
12. Courtney Cox
This famous television star popular among the ‘90s kids, for her role as Monica Geller, in the sitcom “F.R.I.E.N.D.S” portraying an obsessive cleaner and a rampant cooking enthusiast, spent some time as a student of architecture from Mount Vernon College in Washington D.C before moving to New York to pursue modeling and acting which catapulted her to fame. There would be no ‘go-to’ show without Courtney Cox.
13. Aishwarya Rai
The Indian beauty who stormed the world by winning the Miss World pageant in 1994, which led to the myriad of Bollywood and Hollywood film opportunities. Following her ambition to become an architect, she enrolled as an undergrad in the Raheja College of Fine Arts, Mumbai, but dropped out after 3 years to enter the film industry. She is well known for her role as Sonia along with Steve Martin in the Pink Panther 2 and plays a responsible part in putting Indian cinema on the map.