Architects are something of the unsung heroes of the world, they design and innovate the building, bridges, roads and sculptures that we see around us, yet we know the names of very few of them. One name that I do know very well is that of Pedro Martin, something of a hero of mine and the reason why I wanted to become an architect in the first place. The reason for this is that with his work as CEO of the Terra Group, Martin has taken architecture and real estate developments away from the skyscrapers and involved his company with community based projects, something I am very interested in.
I give many talks around schools and colleges about architecture and one of the most common questions that I am asked is what are the skills that are needed for this profession. Without further ado then, these are the skills which you will require to be a great architect.
Eye For Detail
Working as an architect is all about the details and you must be some sort of perfectionist to really get on in this industry. We work in a world where a millimeter is the difference between a building withstanding everything that nature could throw at it, or collapsing when a bird lands on the roof. If you want to be an architect you must have the eye for details.
Away from the artistic architecture which you may have seen, we are ultimately working in a profession that is designed to find solutions to the world’s problems. The most basic example I could give would be the bridge, a method by which people can get over water at speed. If you want to become an architect, you must also have that natural desire to wish to solve problems that exist.
It is very rare that an architect would ever work alone on a project and throughout your career you will find that you play many different roles within a team dynamic. As the architect, whether you are heading up a project or not, you must put ego to one side and focus on working as a team to create the best project which you possibly can.
When a project is underway, architects can expect very long hours until it is competed. In order to continuously do this year in, year out, you must be a very hard worker and have a real desire to see the project through.
Without a creative mind, becoming an architect is damn near impossible, you must be able to see things differently, constantly seeing to improve or re-design, and you must also have the creativity needed to turn a problem into a beautiful solution. The creative mind forms the basis for almost all that we do as architects and if you have it, you will do just fine.