14 Aug Skills needed to be an Architect – Hint: you don’t need math skills…
What are the skills needed to be an Architect
If you read the previous post about what an Architect does, you will start to see that there are a lot of skills needed to be an Architect.
Following the basic description of what an Architect does, the biggest skill an Architect needs is the ability to design. But what does that mean? Designing buildings means taking the requirements of what the building will be used for such as building size, how spaces are organized, and general feel of the spaces, and putting it together into a package that is usable, functional, and most of all, aesthetically pleasing. So the skill an Architect should have is the ability to creatively problem-solve.
The occupation is based upon that idea of problem solving. The owner has a problem; they want to build something that will provide a certain function, and you are hired to solve that problem by designing the building. Throughout the process, that skill continues as you will now have the problem of figuring out how to actually build the design you put together and then the problem of making sure the owner can afford the building, etc.
“Do I need to know how to draw to be an Architect?” Not necessarily. Architects don’t need to be great artists to be successful. They don’t need to be able to perfectly replicate the human form on paper, but they have to be able to express our ideas to people through paper form. That is why Architects don’t need to know how to draw in the traditional sense, but they need to know how to sketch. Sketching is the act of putting your ideas down on paper so others can understand them. The great thing about sketches is that they don’t have to be perfect, in fact they shouldn’t be. A good sketch is one that somebody other than yourself can understand, and you can later spend your time (often with computers) making it perfect.
“Do I need to be good at math to be an Architect?” Again, not necessarily. It is important that Architects are capable of doing simple math to locate parts of the building and calculate square footages, but they don’t necessarily need to know how to calculate the loads on a column based on trigonometrics and physics. These higher level math tasks are typically delegated to specially trained engineers who have training and experience in the area. The Architect only needs to understand the concepts to ensure their designs are possible before it gets to the engineers.
In order to become an Architect you need to have the ability to creatively problem solve, have the ability to sketch and have a passing knowledge of math, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. A successful Architect should also be knowledgeable about public speaking, politics, business, real estate, marketing, construction and environment, just to name a few. The biggest skill an Architect can have is the willingness and ability to learn many different things and apply them to their profession.