ARCHITECTURE: To be an architect?

- - The original note follows - -

From: [email protected] (Geoff M Langdon)
Subject: Re: What does it take to be an architect? How important is school?
Date: Mon, 24 Jan 1994 06:31:47 GMT

John Nieznanski ([email protected]) wrote:

: Hi everyone,
: I'm sure there are as many opinions as there are architects.
: Which specialties are expected to experience growth and/or decline?
: How do you see this field evolving over the next say, five years?
: I will gladly post a summary of responses. Thanks in advance!!

: Sincerely,
: John N

The qualities that it takes to do architecture well remain the same now
as it has for hundreds of years - a sense of space and aesthetics, an
ability to visualize in ones mind spacial relationships that do not
currently exist, innovative creative thinking for problem solving,
ability to communicate with other people well personally, visually, and
verbally, in order to get your ideas across first to the people who would
pay for our buildings and then to the people who would build them.

The peripheral businesses to architecture have always done better and
been more lucrative than merely practicing architecture itself.
Architectural model builders, Interior Designers, Facilities Managers,
Structural Detailers, Renderers, Architectural Magazine Editors, etc. all
historically have earned more than Architects. Also, historically,
Architects, and Architectural Firms that offer such supplemental or
peripheral services in addition to just architecture have always been
more successful. That is why there are so many "Architects and Planners"
and Architectural Engineering firms. There are also many successful
architects who are also structural engineers, offer rendering services, etc.
Other new combination areas are Design/Build firms, Firms with Solar and
Energy Analysis expertice, and Architectural Firms with Facilities
Management Services.

Your question implies, implicitly, that the newer technologies, such as
Architectural CADD, 3D CADD Rendering, Animation, Video, Imaging, CAE,
CAID, CAFM, and computer assisted robotic construction, (not to mention
Virtual Reality) will have some changing impacts on our profession.
Although I do see these tools changing our practice incredibly, I
believe, and hope, they will remain tools (not replace us) that we and
other architects of the future will use, and we must still posess those
senses of 3D aesthetic space, etc. that I mentioned above. What I see
happening is that the more successful firms will start offering different
combinations of these technologies as supplemental services, just as they
do now.
Whereas virtually ALL firms will probably offer 3D CADD modeling, and 2D
projections of those models (for plans, sections, elevations) and
rendering and animation on at least a simple level, some firms may offer
better broadcast level video rendering, others will have several Virtual
Reality rooms for their clients, others will offer CAFM, and others will
offer CAD-CAM direct design to factory built housing, for instance.

What I see disapearing, already HAS Dissapeared - firm specialists in
organizing those green templates, specialists in the pin-bar technique,
experts at Kroy lettering machines, the guy who seemed to love taking
care of the Rapidograph pens and airbrush equipment, etc, etc.
Geoff Langdon
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