What do you need to do Architecture at University?
Architecture involves designing and creating buildings and structures, creating something out of nothing. To become an architect, you must have some formal qualifications such as a bachelor’s degree in architecture, civil engineering or a related field. You then need to undergo a training period and acquire a license to practice architecture.
The main requirement for studying architecture at university is an aptitude for basic design principles such as form, composition, colour and spatial relationships. An understanding of maths and physics may also be helpful. Additionally, the ability to imagine future spaces in the form of visualisations, model making and diagrams is a fundamental aspect of architecture.
Apart from the academic component, you will also need to sharpen your observational skills and ability to think creatively and innovatively. These are both essential for the development of spatial concepts and the implementation of design solutions.
Direct experience of the built environment is another essential component of studying architecture. An understanding of people’s lifestyles, building regulations and sensory components of the built environment all play an important role in architectural education.
Finally, in order to actively participate in and contribute to the profession, a good understanding of the history of architecture, the development of building technologies and the evolution of our cities is needed.
An architecture degree will also provide you with the research skills needed to become a qualified architect. Digging out information, researching historical data and engaging in design research are all part of architectural education. Research helps architects stay up to date on new materials and building regulations, as well as understanding how cities and environments evolve.
In addition to developing research skills, an architectural degree requires that you become comfortable with a diverse array of thinking and techniques. You must learn to think critically about design decisions and understand how the built environment is altered through activities. You must also understand the purpose of design theories and the importance of practical experimentation.
Project management skills are often overlooked but are a major component of successful architecture. Architects must be able to evaluate different strategies, assess the costs and benefits of a given project and oversee the proper execution of designs.
In addition to the technical skills a prospective student should possess, qualities such as leadership and good people management are also essential. Managing a team of people and working in one’s own individual capacity are both cornerstones of successful architectural design. This requires personal as well as professional maturity – traits which are generally developed during university.
An understanding of digital technologies and the ability to develop digital 3D models are both major skills to be learned when undertaking architecture. This includes the use of computer-aided design (CAD) software such as AutoCAD, SketchUp and Revit.
The ability to work with virtual tools and manipulate digital scans has become an invaluable part of architectural design. Knowledge of computational intelligence, artificial intelligence, robotics and computational design has become a requisite skill for modern architects.
Practical considerations such as a good command of building materials, their properties and the most appropriate material applications are also another important aspect of an architecture degree. Knowledge of the safety and health regulations relating to materials is also often required.
In addition, it is imperative to acquire an understanding of construction techniques, techniques for drawings and documents, as well as techniques for visual communication. Knowing how to measure spaces, calculate the costs of projects and draft construction documents are all essential components of a successful architecture degree.
The Labour Market
Although there is a steady demand for architects in the job market, the need for architects with experience and specialised qualifications has become increasingly prominent. With the development of digitalisation, new opportunities for architects with a good understanding of digital technologies have opened up. This said, a good knowledge of designing and constructing buildings is still essential and non-negotiable.
Ultimately, studying architecture at university is not only a vast and rewarding undertaking, it is also a necessity. An architecture degree offers the technological, social and creative skills to be successful in the modern-day labour market. When combined with a passion and dedication to the profession, it has the potential to provide amazing results in the form of innovative and revolutionary designs.