What Subjects Do You Need To Do Architecture

What Subjects Do You Need To Do Architecture

Architecture is a complex field of study – one that requires knowledge of mathematics, science, technology, and the creative arts. Those wishing to pursue a career in architecture must possess the right combination of mental and physical abilities, but they also need to be comfortable with certain subjects and skills. In this article, we’ll explore what subjects are needed to pursue a successful career in architecture.

The most important subject to consider is mathematics. Architecture is a discipline that requires problem-solving, precision, and analysis. Mathematics, especially geometry and trigonometry, teaches students to think logically and solve problems. Students should also be comfortable with basic algebra and calculus, as these will help them understand and calculate ratios and distances.

Once mathematics is mastered, architects must also understand principles of physics. Physics helps them comprehend and design structures, as well as materials’ properties, forces, and their impacts. Through physics, students learn how to design durable and safe structures, as well as calculate and understand the effects of gravity, wind, and other elements on structure designs.

Architecture requires an understanding of science and technology, too. Science is particularly important in terms of understanding the environment and creating ecologically-sound and sustainable designs. Technology assists with the design, planning, and construction processes, as well as incorporating aspects of building automation and energy efficiency.

Finally, architects need to understand the creative side of their profession. Traditional sketching is essential to good design work, while an understanding of contemporary visual design elements helps create aesthetically-pleasing, visually-balanced structures. An understanding of the history of architecture is also useful, as it allows architects to draw on tried-and-true elements of design.


Mathematics is the most important subject in terms of architecture. Geometry is particularly important, as students must be able to understand both simple and complex shapes, and then translate them into drawings. Trigonometry is also essential, as it helps with understanding structures with multiple planes and their orientations. Having a strong understanding of complex mathematical principles is essential for constructing safe, stable structures.

Algebra and calculus are also important. Algebra focuses on the manipulation of symbols and numbers, making it useful for problem-solving and design. Calculus allows students to calculate distances, areas, and enclosed volumes, meaning it is essential for successful spatial design.


Physics is another essential subject for any aspiring architect. Physics helps architects understand and craft better structures by teaching them how materials and forces interact. By understanding the fundamentals of gravity, weight, and displacement, architects can design safer and more stable buildings.

Physics also helps budding architects understand how energy is used in building design. This way, they’re not just able to keep a building standing: they’re able to ensure it works well both structurally and functionally.

Science and Technology

Science and technology are crucial for modern architecture. Architects need to be aware of the impact their designs have on the environment, and must take into consideration the effect that the building will have on its surroundings. They must also understand the techniques necessary for constructing eco-friendly and sustainable structures.

Technology advances are also hugely important for today’s architects. While hand-drawing is still an important part of the design process, computer-aided models and 3D software give architects the ability to plan, design, and visualize projects in spectacular ways.

Creative Arts

Finally, successful architecture isn’t just about function; aesthetics play an important role, too. Architects must understand how to sketch and draw designs in a traditional fashion, as well as how to use contemporary techniques to create visually appealing structures.

It’s also important to understand the principles of composition, line, balance, and proportion. By combining these principles with an understanding of color, textures, and lighting, architects can create buildings that are a pleasure to look at, ensuring their designs are visually fleshed-out.

It’s also important to understand the history of architecture, and to draw on time-tested principles of design when constructing buildings. By understanding the roots and history of architecture, architects have access to a rich source of design inspiration and knowledge.

Analytic and Communication   Skills

Analytic and communication skills are essential for any aspiring architect. Architects must be able to understand complex ideas and devise effective solutions to challenging problems. They must also be able to explain and discuss their ideas to clients and other architects.

Architects must also possess an understanding of how to read technical drawings and documents, as well as an understanding of how buildings are constructed and maintained. Knowing these processes helps architects ensure that their designs are structurally sound and cost-effective.

Computational Skills

Modern computer software has made huge advances in architecture. Architects should have a basic understanding of how to operate software and manipulate models for presentations and simulations. Learning the basics of coding and programming can also help architects create more sophisticated and interactive designs.

Computational skills also teach aspiring architects to structure their data and understand the implications of their field work. They can be a great asset in helping professionals to quickly identify problems in the design process and devise effective solutions.

Business Skills

Architects also need to understand the basics of business. Architects must be able to communicate with clients, generate proposals and contracts, and stay within a time frame and budget. Business skills will also be useful in helping architects manage staff, build relationships, and navigate the complexities of the field.

Understanding business practices also allows architects to market their services and promote themselves, helping to establish a network of clients and contacts. Furthermore, having a basic understanding of financial principles helps architects work with financiers, investors, and other stakeholders who may be involved in the all-important construction process.


Architecture is a complex and demanding field that requires a range of skills. Mathematics, physics, science, technology, and the creative arts are all important subjects for any aspiring architect, as are analytic and communication skills, computational skills, and an understanding of business. Those wishing to pursue a career in architecture must be willing to devote time and effort to mastering these subjects.

Anita Johnson is an award-winning author and editor with over 15 years of experience in the fields of architecture, design, and urbanism. She has contributed articles and reviews to a variety of print and online publications on topics related to culture, art, architecture, and design from the late 19th century to the present day. Johnson's deep interest in these topics has informed both her writing and curatorial practice as she seeks to connect readers to the built environment around them.

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