Buildings are an essential part of the human experience. We live, work, shop, learn, worship, seek care, and spend our free time in these buildings. And we evaluate them based on how effectively they serve our specific goals. In any case, the design of modern buildings is an essential part of the work of craftsmen: architects.
Who is an architect?
An architect is not someone who decides whether or not to build. That decision is made by others who control the financial and material resources needed to build, by those who own the land or who represent the government. Architects do not build, they create designs that show others how to build.
People need places to live, eat, play, learn, worship, meet, work, rule, and shop. Designing these places is the responsibility of architects. Private or public; indoors or outdoors; etc. Architects have licensed professionals trained in the art and science of building design who develop concepts for structures and turn those concepts into reality.
It is unlikely that as an architect you will spend your entire life designing on the drawing board or on the computer using computer-aided design programs. In addition to time spent in the office, the architect moves between different parts of the building and is in constant contact with clients and many disciplines involved in the construction process. Skills such as computer literacy, site supervision, and project management are therefore essential.
Architects design the overall appearance of buildings and other structures, but the design of a building is much more than its appearance. Buildings must also be functional, safe, cost-effective, and meet the needs of the people who use them. Architects consider all of these factors when designing buildings and other structures.
What does an architect do?
Architects design buildings, but their job description includes more responsibilities than the artistic elements of design. So do architects:
1. Manage small businesses and lead teams of employees
2. market their firms and acquire new business
3. Communicate effectively with clients to create buildings that meet client needs
4. Budget, coordinate, and supervise projects
5. Translate their ideas into schematic design drawings and documents
6. Incorporate mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and other details into designs
7. Comply with building codes and zoning
8. Obtain project approval and agency permits
9. Prepare construction documents with detailed structural and material information
10. Work with contractors during the construction phase of a building
11. Protect the health, safety, and welfare of future occupants of your buildings
An architect’s work is limited by budget constraints, client preferences, building codes, and many other practical concerns. But, as award-winning architect Frank Gray noted, ” Despite all these constraints, I have 15 percent freedom to make art.
What is architecture?
But, as award-winning architect Frank Gray noted, ” Despite all these constraints, I have 15 percent freedom to make art. This is a philosophical question that defies a complete answer while stimulating intellectual study. Architects’ answers to this question help inform their designs.
What is architecture? It is also a question that is especially important for students who seek different perspectives on architecture in formulating their definitions.
While artists work from the real to the abstract, architects must work from the abstract to the real. Architecture, under all the constraints of technology, safety, performance, climate, and economics, has inspired us with abstract designs in space and light.
What is the origin of architecture?
The word architect comes from ancient Greek – arkhi- (chief) + tekton (master builder) and has the original meaning of master builder. For much of history, there was no distinction between the craftsman who designed a building and the one who built it. Then, beginning in the 1500s, increasing access to paper and pencil and the development of linear landscape drawing, which made it possible to represent accurate 3-D structures in two dimensions, led to much more extensive planning of buildings before they were built. In the 1800s, new organizations such as the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) were formed to set professional standards for architects and promote their art.
What are the different types of architects?
Nowadays, there are different professions under the umbrella of the architect. Some of these specialized roles are:
Design architects must conform to the general concept of an architect. They are responsible for designing the outline of a project. They interpret the client’s needs, analyze the building’s location and surroundings, consider the budget, and create a plan within those parameters.
The technical architects are responsible for the precise details of a building’s design, ensuring that it can be successfully built and operated. Technical architects prepare construction plans and are involved in construction management. Smaller projects may not separate design and technical plans, but larger projects, such as office buildings, usually require technical architects.
Creating new buildings is a complex undertaking, and project managers work on the project, creating a work plan and coordinating the work of various team members daily. Project managers need in-depth knowledge of the architectural process to communicate with all parties, solve problems, and lead.
The interior designers play a special role on large projects, best shaping the experience of the building’s occupants. Interior designers determine the layout of non-load-bearing walls and doors, select materials, install electrical outlets, design lighting, and even select furniture – all based on client preferences and building codes. Interior designers have their certification bodies, such as the North American Interior Design Competency Council.
The landscape architects design outdoor areas such as parks and gardens, as well as special structures in these areas. Landscape architects need many of the same skills as other architects, plus additional skills such as stormwater management, planting design, and sustainability planning. The designer of Central Park in New York City, Frederic La Olmsted, was the first to use the term landscape architect. Today, landscape architects are recognized by organizations such as the American Association of Landscape Architects and the British Landscape Institute. As urban planning in the 21st-century places increasing emphasis on green spaces, the importance of landscape architecture continues to grow.