This blogpost is part of the Monthsary release of GBA. If you want to read about other 13 for 13, you can check out 13 Gifts for the Architecture Student and 13 Songs for the Girlbosses. If you’re thinking about pursuing Architecture, here are 13 reasons why you should:
13 Reasons Why Choose Architecture
If you haven’t read my post about motivation, then I suggest you check it out but if you don’t, I’ve mentioned there that it helps for us to know our “Why” – why we do things. Here are some of the why’s of mine which might help you if you’re considering to pursue architecture.
A Creative Profession
I’ve always been somone who loves studying/learning about things but I’m also the type who loves creativity. I like drawing, writing, singing, dancing, and doing other creative things. Architecture may be a technical profession but it’s also a creative one allowing you to make your own designs (subject to client’s wants, realistically speaking), but what really got me was that knowing that something I think of today and draw or plan today, could be built – in real life – tomorrow. It’s a creative thing put not just on paper or in people’s minds but it lives and stands on actual reality where people get to live and stay in it.
A Technical Profession
A down side on being in a creative profession is that it tends to get subjective. The technical side of it, however, restores the balance. There are limits – that’s the reality. This is not a creative profession where you can go completely abstract. There are standards, codes, laws to follow. But the challenge is (which is a good thing if you love a challenge), how do you bring out that creativity and work around the limits? The givens? And if you’re worried that you’re not “creative-enough”, it can still work since it is a technical profession as well – as long as you get to understand the theories and proper planning of spaces.
Trust me, I’m not great at drawing but, thanks to God, still managed to get 1st in my first year, and still blessed with a scholarship throughout. If I can do it, you can too!
A Problem Solver
For me, this puts meaning in the profession. We don’t end up working for ourselves alone, not even for our clients alone. Every project presents a problem – whether you see it or not. It’s up to the architect to find solutions on how to affect these problems since the project in itself affects everything – from the outside community, to the environment, to the users. We’re told we can’t solve poverty. We really can’t solve every problem, how can you with a building? But you can help with the impact. Social housing, actual green buildings, sustainable projects – there are different ways to be of help and present a good impact.
A Jack-of-all-trades Kinda Thing
Realistically speaking, this is also the reason why it gets tiring for me. There’s just a lot of work. But the good thing about it is that you get to learn a lot of skills and knowledge. An architect does not need to know only the things that concern a building or design or spaces. An architect needs to consider the users – psychology, the structure – engineering, the cost and management – the business, etc. It involves a lot of planning and thinking things through but even if it seems like it’s a lot to take in, you really get to involve yourself in different fields.
Remember the whole quote! “A jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one.”
Inclusive of Classes
I’m not going to sugarcoat this part so I’ll just say it directly. The main reason I got into this profession is that I want to use the rich people’s money to help the poor. Your clients will certainly have money. What I plan is to earn an enough amount, save up, to build social housing for the poor by working with different organizations. But the involvement of different classes doesn’t stop here.
In every project, you get different users. You have to find a way for each user to be comfortable and for them to be able to use the place efficiently. From those used to comfort to those who arent, and especially those who are differently-abled. A building or structure or space should not be discriminatory.
An Everlasting Profession
I don’t think we’ll ever run out of projects – in general. If a day comes we lose land (which hopefully doesn’t come since that would be really bad in terms of saving or helping the environment), there are renovations and demolitions everywhere. We don’t just build for expansion. If the place or location isn’t safe anymore or usable anymore, we renovate or rebuild the place.
Variety of Specializations
I personally want to focus on residential projects in the future but there are loads of specializations you can choose from, from landscape architecture to conservation, to urban planning. In the Philippines, you can also study to become a Master Plumber which is really helpful if you’re an architect who wants to plan his own layouts. Since the course is also a science course, it is considered Pre-Law and Pre-Med, if you decide to pursue on other things. Our assistant dean is an architect-attorney!
Go Solo or Go with Teams
Now I don’t just mean group works. I mean in the outside world, after school. I’m looking at sole proprietorship but you can also work in smaller teams and start a firm, or work for bigger firms, corporations, and associations.
You can’t ever work alone though because we are interdependent with the other fields. Not unless you are also a graduate of Engineering and such.
Serves the People
When I was picking a course for college, I had other things in mind but Architecture particularly caught my attention because I knew that with it, I wouldn’t be working for myself alone, that my work is for somebody, to help sombody. It’s a tangible help I could give to them.
It’s Personal and Professional
I believe that every design has a reflection of who you are, no matter how little. Which makes it personal. We all have our own taste. So given the fact that it’s for the others and you’re being professional, there’s still that personal aspect which is how you design – you alone, your signature.
You Can Work in Any Place/Country
I also wanted to be a lawyer when I was in high school, and if I decide to pursue, I still can since like I said, Architecture is also pre-law. But I really didn’t, and still don’t, know much about how lawyers work. All I was sure of is that if I pursue to become a lawyer, I’d be studying my country’s laws. Does it mean I can work abroad? Probably not.
Not that I’m planning to head out the country, but I wanted the freedom to be able to stay anywhere and practice work. I didn’t want to be limited in terms of that. With architecture, I can still practice outside, with corresponding requirements, of course.
More Possibilities in Engaging with Other Fields
Every field needs their connections. Architecture is no different, but the more people you know, the more it helps you. Each and everyone you know is either a potential client, or potential collegue ie. engineers and contractors.
In relation to a jack-of-all trades kinda thing, the people you know can also help you grow in different areas that are helpful to your work. Exposure is key.
It’s Not Monotonous (for the most part)
I consider myself to be someone easily bored. I want variety, fun, change. I get real sad and paralized if I feel like my day is becoming the same and “it’s never going to end”. Another reason why I chose Architecture is that you get to work on different projects every time. Not unless you dedicate yourself to a single client who only develops malls, for example (not that that’s bad, that’s okay.) Different clients, different projects. Different clients, different schemes. Although don’t get me wrong, it gets monotonous in terms of work process. Conceptualize, revise, design and build, repeat, but I would prefer this than any other work that’s even more monotonous.
Here are 13 Reasons Why Choose Architecture, if you’re considering it:
1) It’s a creative profession.
2) It’s a technical profession.
3) It’s a problem solver.
4) You become a jack-of-all trades.
5) It’s inclusive of classes.
6) It’s an everlasting profession.
7) There’s a variety of specializations.
8) You can go solo or go with teams.
9) It serves the people.
10) It’s personal and professional at the same time.
11) You can work in any place/country.
12) There are more possibilities in engaging with different fields.
13) It’s not monotonous, for the most part.
If you’re interested to see more if 13 for 13, be sure to check out 13 Gifts for the Architecture Student to hopefully help you this holiday season, and 13 Songs for the Girl Bosses to help boost motivation.