What You Need To Study Architecture

What You Need To Study Architecture

Studying architecture as a profession requires passion and commitment as well as knowledge and skill. Aspiring architects need to understand not just the aesthetics of a structure, but also the mechanics behind the construction. They must be able to understand the physics that go into the strength and stability of a building, the potential issues associated with its construction, and the engineering principles required to address such issues.

Architecture is a combination of science, art, and communication. People tend to think of architects as artists and visionaries, but there is a lot more to it than that. Architects have to have a working knowledge of scientific principles, as well as the ability to communicate effectively with clients and stakeholders. They are expected to consider the various components of a building, from the structural integrity to the materials used, and to weigh the pros and cons of each selection.

When studying architecture, students should start by getting a strong foundation in mathematics and physics. Higher math, such as calculus and geometry, is essential for understanding the engineering principles that are a necessary part of architectural design. Students must also understand the basics of physics, such as Newton’s laws of motion, in order to understand the forces that will act on a building.

In addition to math and physics, it is also important for prospective architects to gain a strong understanding of the structural elements of building design. This includes the basics of structural engineering, such as columns, beams, and load-bearing walls. It also includes elements such as foundations and roofing. This understanding should also include the principles of building materials and construction methods.

Aspiring architects will also need to develop an understanding of the various materials used in construction. They should have a knowledge of various types of materials, such as metals, plastics, and wood, and how they are affected by forces such as gravity and wind. They should be familiar with the latest developments in materials technology, as well as their environmental implications.

In terms of design, aspiring architects must be well versed in the principles of composition and design; that is, how lines and shapes can be used to create a pleasing aesthetic. They should also be familiar with the elements of design, such as symmetry, balance, and contrast. An architect should also understand the elements of color, how it can be used to create a desired effect, and how it affects the overall design of a structure.

In addition to the technical and creative aspects of architecture, an architect must also be familiar with the legal aspects of the profession. This includes an understanding of zoning laws, building codes, and regulations. They should also have a working knowledge of contracts and other legal documents, as well as the liability associated with architectural work.

Finally, an aspiring architect should also consider acquiring a strong portfolio of projects. Having a portfolio of successful projects, that can be used to showcase their experience and abilities, is essential to securing a job in the field. This portfolio should include information on the project, such as the budget, timeline, and how the project was managed.

Computer Knowledge

These days, most architects also need a good working knowledge of computers and the latest technologies. Architects need to be able to use computer-aided design (CAD) programs, as well as Virtual Reality software, in order to create designs and present them to clients. They should also be comfortable navigating the internet and the various web-based architecture and engineering tools available.

In addition to understanding the software, architects must also know how to effectively communicate digitally. This includes both basic email communication and the sharing of project documents through the cloud. As such, aspiring architects should be familiar with a range of file types, from image formats to plain text.

Understanding and utilizing computer assisted design software is a key requirement for many positions. CAD software is used to generate construction drawings, enable design reviews, and even simulate the functioning of a building. Aspiring architects should be familiar with the major commercial CAD programs, such as AutoCAD or the open-source program, Blender.

Architects also need to have a working knowledge of programming languages such as HTML, JavaScript, and CSS to create rich, interactive websites. These websites not only showcase their portfolio but also provide a way to communicate with clients. Knowledge of basic website development also allows architects to create custom interfaces, applications, and simulations to make their projects more interactive and informative.

Architects must also be able to utilize 3D printing technology to produce physical models of their designs. 3D printing has quickly become an invaluable tool for architects, as it allows them to create detailed physical models quickly and easily.

Skills in Business

Architects must also possess business and management skills. As an architect is often in charge of the design of a building project, they must also have the ability to manage costs, materials, and people. They should be able to effectively communicate with the client and other stakeholders, as well as be able to effectively negotiate with suppliers and contractors.

An understanding of budgeting, scheduling, and risk management is also necessary. Architects must be able to think strategically, plan ahead, and foresee potential issues before they arise. As their primary goal is to deliver a finished structure within the specified budget, they must be able to minimize costs while still providing a high-quality product.

In terms of business management, aspiring architects need to understand the basics of customer relations. Along with traditional customer service techniques, they must also have the ability to effectively manage client feedback and criticism. Architects are expected to handle objections, suggest alternatives, and ensure that their clients are satisfied with the final product.

Finally, aspiring architects must also be competent in the use of professional software such as accounting, scheduling, and invoicing software. This would enable them to better manage the project and make sure that it is on track. Having a good understanding of such software would also help architects maximize their profits and minimize their costs.

Creativity and Leadership

It is important for aspiring architects to develop the skills of creativity and leadership. Architects must learn to think outside the box, coming up with original and innovative designs. They should be able to identify potential problems and develop solutions in an efficient manner.

Leadership is also key for architects. They must be able to effectively lead a team of engineers, contractors, and other stakeholders in order to ensure that the project is completed on time and within budget. They should be familiar with project management techniques, such as creating timelines and setting goals.

Aspiring architects must also have strong interpersonal skills. This includes developing relationships with clients, understanding their needs, and convincing them of the benefits of their design. Architects must also be capable of negotiating and mediating with stakeholders, balancing their own creative and technical visions with the practical requirements of the project.

Ultimately, studying architecture requires a great deal of dedication and hard work. Architects must develop an understanding of the technical, legal, creativity, and business aspects of the profession if they are to be successful. With the right skills and knowledge, aspiring architects can develop a successful and rewarding career in the field.

Hands-on Experience

In addition to gaining a strong theoretical foundation, it is important for aspiring architects to gain some hands-on experience. Apprenticeships, internships, and shadowing can provide students with invaluable experience in the field. Participating in design competitions and exhibitions is also a great way to gain experience and exposure.

Hands-on experience also enables aspiring architects to gain insight into the various aspects of the profession, such as the business side. Working on real-world projects gives them an idea of the various challenges they are likely to face as a professional architect. It also provides them with an opportunity to develop their skills and gain recognition from peers and potential employers.

Most importantly, gaining hands-on experience builds the confidence of students and helps them gain a better understanding of their chosen profession. By immersive themselves in the field, students are able to gain a better appreciation of the technical and creative aspects of architecture, as well as gain invaluable knowledge of the business side of the profession.

Time Management

Time management is an essential skill for aspiring architects. As they are expected to work on multiple projects, they must be able to coordinate and complete tasks in a timed fashion. They should be able to manage their time effectively, delegating and prioritizing tasks, and adjusting to unplanned events.

Time management is not only important for architects but also for their clients. Architects must be able to accurately estimate the time required to complete each task and adjust their schedules accordingly. This includes taking into account the availability of materials, the number of stakeholders, and any unforeseen events or delays.

Architects should also be able to work within deadlines without compromising quality. Knowing how to prioritize and plan ahead is essential for meeting objectives within the mandated timeframe. Architects must be able to motivate themselves and their team to stay on track and maintain a steady pace of progress.

Finally, architects should be familiar with various productivity tools and techniques, such as the Pomodoro technique, to improve their focus and reduce distractions. This can help them streamline their workflow, enabling them to complete their tasks more quickly and efficiently.


Communication is another key skill for aspiring architects. As their primary goal is to ensure that their designs meet the client’s expectations, they must be able to provide clear, concise, and accurate updates on the project’s progress. This includes providing insight into the design process, as well as updates on materials and timeline.

Good communication skills are also essential when negotiating with clients and stakeholders. Architects must be able to present their plans and defend their decisions, as well as understanding the needs of their clients and developing solutions that meet those needs. They must also be comfortable when interacting with clients via phone, email, or in person.

Finally, architects must be able to clearly explain technical concepts and terms in a way that is easy for clients to understand. They should be able to translate design decisions into visual diagrams that can help clients better understand the design, as well as using models and drawings to explain their plans.

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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