Architecture as a Career in the 21st Century

architecture as a career

We have all wondered how humans, centuries ago, managed to build something as enigmatic as the pyramids or Taj Mahal or all the other magnificent buildings that stand tall today. While looking at these buildings, some are struck with a sense of purpose to design or build something of equal caliber.

Architecture: it is the art and technique of designing and building. With the growing population of today’s world, the need for building spaces is also increasing, and with this need comes the need for architects. Architecture is a profession that is ever-changing and evolving. At the moment, a career as an architect has enormous scope in India.

One can work on designing & constructing houses and business establishments. However, one can also enter various fields of designing exhibitions & sports events, creating unique lighting systems, and designing landscapes.

An Architect’s Passion

One of my closest friends, Vatsal S T, is studying B. Arch at RV College of Architecture, Bengaluru. I spoke to him about his passion for choosing architecture. This was his response:

“Usually, the ideal career path for everyone is Engineering or Medical, which is considered the most well-paid and successful career. But when it comes to architecture, the main thing that I like is that it is a combination of all the subjects: it isn’t particularly science, arts, or commerce, one needs to understand each aspect of a human being: mentally and physically”

“I’ll give an example: if we’re given a project, we’ll have to understand the geography of the entire location, the topography of the land, the weather and climatic conditions, and the type of soil on the site. Based on this, I will decide on the foundation materials to be used; here, chemistry comes into play. I will also decide on the roof type and figure out the critical points to support the foundation; here, physics comes into play.”

“An architect doesn’t just build a building; he’ll also need to understand human anatomy to design furniture and understand human mentality and psychology to design the living space; here, biology comes into play. It’s a very hands-on career path. I’ll have to meet and socialize and understand the point of view of my client.”

“Visual is one of the most important aspects. Colors, textures, paint, lighting, locations, shades, shadows, and how you work with them and how you design these also become significant. Statistics will come into play, what is trending, and what the new look is. “

Architecture is developing rapidly.

“There are so many things you might have heard of: there are moving houses, where the houses are pulled out of the ground., using wheels. There are special eco-friendly materials, a type of foam, that provides good support. You spray the foam, and it can expand to 12 times its size, where it replaces bricks and makes the construction more efficient.”

“In the upcoming future, considering the bloom of population, there will be space constraints, the costs will increase, and an architect will have to come up with smart solutions.”

“I like the lifestyle of an architect. There’s much suspense. There are no shortcuts. You don’t build the building right, it’s going to collapse, and people will die. There will be many losses. You need to make sure everything needs to be covered. I feel like there isn’t much recognition for an architect. People don’t understand the difference between civil, architects, builders, contractors; they know someone will build their house and go.”

“I hope that there is more recognition for us. Cause there is a lot more involved other than bricks and colors. People’s lives are in our hands. Especially when it comes to government projects such as bridges, flyovers, and dams. I don’t want to say this, but today all this is monetized, and there is politics involved in almost every step hand in hand with power games. But some people are passionate about it but have not yet been able to get an opportunity. I hope that this changes.”

In the end, he quoted Laurie Baker, a British-born Indian architect: ‘Bricks to me are like faces. I like the contrast of textures of brick, of stone, of concrete, of wood.’

The Path to Follow to be an Architect

The most common way to become an architect is to complete a bachelor’s course in Architecture, commonly known as B. Arch. One can enroll for B. Arch either through JEE (Main and Advanced) or NATA (National Aptitude Test in Architecture).  There are further PG and Doctoral Degrees one can pursue if interested; if not, most start looking for job opportunities after finishing their B. Arch.

Careers in Architecture

Architecture careers are more diverse than you might think, including:

  • Building architecture – designing new buildings or adapting existing ones.
  • Landscape architecture – planning, designing, and managing open spaces, including both natural and urban areas.
  • Naval architecture – involves designing and building ships and marine vessels.

Following are a few titles one can achieve through pursuing architecture

Types of Job Roles as an Architect

Architecture designer
An architect working on a draft with a pencil and ruler

There are various architect job profiles that aspirants can target based on their interest areas. Following are some of the job profiles for architects that one can opt for:

  • Construction Manager: They are responsible for the planning, development, and coordination of construction projects. They may be owners of a company or salaried contractors of a more prominent firm.
  • Architectural Engineer: They plan a layout of the building’s design by applying engineering forms, ventilation, lighting, structural systems, and building codes.
  • Architectural Managers: Architectural managers are those who plan, direct, and coordinate activities for engineering and architectural companies.
  • Construction Managers: Construction managers plan, supervise, fix the budget, and coordinate construction projects from start to finish.
  • Construction and Building Inspectors: They ensure that construction meets local and national building codes and ordinances, zoning regulations, and contract specifications.
  • Industrial Designers: They consider the function, aesthetics, production costs, and usability of products when developing new product concepts. They create ideas for manufactured products, such as cars, home appliances, and toys.
  • Landscape Architects: They design parks and the outdoor spaces of businesses, campuses, recreational facilities, private homes, and other open areas.
  • Interior Designers: They estimate material requirements and costs and present the design to the client for approval. They select or design and purchase furnishings, artworks, and accessories. They make interior spaces functional and beautiful by determining space requirements and selecting decorative items, such as colors, lighting, and materials.

Employment Sector/Industry for Architect

There are a variety of employment opportunities for architects in different sectors. Some of the top industries that require architects are mentioned below:

  • Corporate businesses
  • Teaching
  • MNCs
  • Consulting Firms
  • Engineering firms
  • Product Manufacturing
  • Building safety
  • Architectural Photography

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