When one thinks of an architect, a few things that come to mind are buildings, skyscrapers, landscapes and even an entire city. An architect is the person behind all those mind-boggling structures and the ace who organises space. Being an architect is not easy, neither is it too tough a job. You just need to have the zeal to create something out of nothing. If you are imaginative, analytical and a practical dreamer with ideas floating in your mind, then architecture could just be your game!
Architecture is the seamless fusion of science and arts. Architects transform our need for places to eat, live, work and play into concepts and then develop those concepts into tangible spaces. The positive punches of being an architect include being your own boss, artistic freedom and personal expression. Besides, there is an incredible variety of options within the profession. The challenging part about being an architect is dealing with clients and involves getting to know them, their likes and dislikes and what kind of structure they are looking at. The exciting part involves putting their ideas onto paper with twists and turns until satisfying results are obtained. The most fascinating part begins when you see your two-dimensional drawings translated into a three-dimensional reality. Creatively hypocritical, flexible and vivacious architects are not rooted to age-old traditions and communication. In fact, they make the best use of technologies and tend to be quite tech-savvy.
What It Takes
You don’t need to have any ‘natural talent’ to be an architect but you do need to have a knack for designing and a whole lot of innovativeness. Architecture involves the use of all the senses. You should know the value of colour, the meaning of light and the importance of involving all senses in your work. While dealing with clients, you must be able to adjust yourself with their needs. Some people know what they desire and want their architect to execute their ideas, while others look to the architect for advice. In the latter case, you will need to create something fresh and unprecedented keeping in mind the client’s interest. A misconception attached to architecture is that if you want to be an architect, you must be good in drawing. Although, a little bit of knowledge on drawing won’t hurt. Besides, these days, architecture takes place in a digital environment. Software such as Archi Suite, Sketch Up Pro and ArchiCad 15 are used for architectural designing. Regardless of what kind of person you may be, you do need a few general skills to be a good architect. You need to be able to switch tasks and be able to flow with changes. You must also be able to prioritise tasks and deliver your projects on time. Just like any other profession, you need to be a good communicator. Flexibility, commitment to learning, logical reasoning, concentration power and the desire to immerse yourself in your work are some desirable qualities if you wish to be an architect.
What You Need
Architecture courses give you the liberty to play with your mind and also gives you the opportunity to showcase your talents. Aspiring architects must undertake an architecture course of a minimum duration of five academic years. To be eligible for such courses, you must hold a class 12 certificate from a recognised board or university with mathematics as the main subject and with at least 50 per cent aggregate marks. Recently, the craze for architecture has increased tremendously as with other professional streams like engineering and medicine. In India itself, there are various tests like AIEEE, NATA and the popular Aesthetics Sensitivity test, which measures the aptitude of the applicant, mental ability, architectural comprehensive skills, creative capability, architectural awareness, etc. If you are interested in pursuing an undergraduate course in architecture (Bachelor of Architecture) in India, it is necessary to take the NATA (National Aptitude Test in Architecture) that comprises two parts – a paper-based drawing test and a computer-based online test. For the test, you need to do a bit of homework on subjects like mathematics, physics and chemistry that can be learnt at coaching classes as well as through self-study. Keep in mind that there exists tough competition in this field and hence you need to work hard to score high grades. The best thing about NATA is that all architecture schools, universities, governmentaided colleges and private colleges require applicants to take the NATA. Thus, all the dedication you put in won’t go in vain. There are different architecture programmes offered by design schools, each specialising in their own unique area of architecture. However, if you are confused, you can begin studying and then later move on to specialise in any particular field.
There are numerous institutes that offer courses in architecture. Research institutes over the Internet and check the requirements for admissions. Before you enroll in an architecture course, always make sure it has good reviews and that it meets the criteria established by the country where you plan to live and work.
Work and Money
Architecture is a field that can never go downhill. With more and more planned cities coming up, architectural jobs are blooming. It can be a bit confusing and tough at the beginning. But after completing your course you can begin to chart out your career in architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, industrial design or other related fields. Ecofriendly architecture has also become all the rage today. There are a grand number of career opportunities open to architects. Architects can explore employment in both public and private sectors. A qualified architect can work with government organisations like central and state public work departments, housing and urban development corporations, municipalities, city development authorities and state housing boards. Moreover, architects are also employed in industrial ventures, consultancy and private architectural firms, teaching institutions or real estate development firms. The ‘wow’ factor of being an architect is that after gaining some years of experience in an organisation, you can set up your own business, which means that you can explore your own style and creativity. In a private practice, an architect’s client may be an individual, firm or local body. Without a doubt, the most important part of job satisfaction is the money. Nobody really likes to work for peanuts! In the government sector, the pay scale is not as lucrative as the private sector. However, a fresh graduate working as a trainee has the opportunity to make fast bucks that lie in the range of `10,000 – `12,000 per month. An architect’s salary largely depends on whether they are running their own firm or working for an established firm. Architects working directly on the payroll of firms, governments and corporations usually earn a regular annual salary. If you are considering a career in architecture, firgure out what you like, where your interests lie and what your skills are best suited to. If you can do that, you will definitely go along way, regardless of what your pay check might be.
Volume 1 Issue 9