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what is the daily life of an architect? is it fun? boring?

#architect #architecture

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Fred’s Answer

I'm not sure there is an answer to this question. My college roommate was an architecture major, and has now been a professional architect for about 30 years. He loves it. It sounds terrible to me.

I, however, have been in IT for 20 years. I love it - he'd hate it.

I know a lot of people who enjoy playing sports. I don't. I love watching Youtube videos about advanced math topics - most people hate that.

What one person finds fun, another finds boring.

Consider emailing a few architecture firms. Tell them you are a student interested in learning about what an architect does, what their day is like, etc., and see if they will let you interview someone, or even shadow them for a day or two. You'll probably get a lot of rejections or be totally ignored, but if even just one says yes, you may learn a lot.
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Nikki’s Answer

So this question is definitely one that is very relative to each person's individual interest and each person's individual job. With having a degree in architecture there are so many different sections of the profession that you have the ability to go into. If you are remotely interested in the profession there are tons of places you could potentially fall into. There are obviously some architecture jobs that are more boring/basic and then there are some that are more exciting (all of which is based on personal preference). The most important thing when evaluating if this is the job for you - think about the basic tasks that come at hand with the profession and see if having that foundation would support you in doing what you would enjoy doing. For example, would knowing about construction, design, project management, budgeting, drawing, 3D modeling, or scheduling seem like something you would like to know and do in your career? If you answered yes, then the profession of architecture is in that realm and would enable you to branch into any specific sector you would like in the industry. I like to think about having an architecture degree as having a solid foundation that is translatable to may different industries. I have found that the skills of an architect lend themselves to many different career typologies.

Nikki recommends the following next steps:

I would suggest learning more about the profession as a whole and doing research on different job opportunities with an architectural degree.
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Laura’s Answer

Hello marquis

Although it's hard to answer you without knowing what YOU consider boring - I can tell you this - a day in the life of an architect is probably not boring - because the best thing is that every day is different - you are not like processing the same forms everyday - everyday is different - because every project you work on is diferent - the clients are unique - the users are unique - the site is unique - you get my point - I hope .

Design and construction is one the the few remaining unique jobs - it is generally not sitting at a desk everyday because you need to go out and see- manage the construction in person.

Good luck with your future
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Luke’s Answer

A lot of people tend to go one of two directions, Project Manager or more a drafter. Though there are plenty of other smaller niches.

As a project manager, a the majority of most of your days is either doing 1. coordination, or 2. figuring out how the building needs to be from a code, zoning and other regulations perspective then conveying that to whoever is drafting which sometimes is yourself.
1. Coordination is working between the owner, contractor and consultants (engineers, sustainability consultants, acoustic specialists, interior designers, etc.)
2. what I mean by the second point is you go to the regulations, building code for example, and determine what fire-ratings, exiting elements, sizes, etc. are needed for the building to work. Then either creating redlines for others or drafting yourself.

Another way to look at it is the 6 phases of a project.
1. Feasibility Studies - here you're determining what can be built based on the zoning, owner desires, and site factors. This can be one of the more fun parts. For example, if you're building a bunch of townhouses, you'll lay them out on the site, see how many units you can get, see what the owner is looking for, layout the parking and other major site features that'll dictate how many units you can get.
2. Schematic Design aka SD: Here you're starting get an idea of what the building looks like, before they were just boxes. Now you figure out is going to be a flat roof/slopes, what is the footprint, basics like the height, how large is each townhouse. What site features are there, how big each is.
3. Design Development aka DD: Here you're making the building a little more real. Ideally at the end of DD no walls move, you know the exact placement of doors, windows, etc. Then you've figured how major code items so for example in the next phase you don't say, oh no a stair can't discharge into a parking garage, it has to the outside. Or oh no, we have to add an elevator.
4. Construction Documents: Here is the majority of the drafting, you're getting all the details, specifics, in the drawings so the city can approve your project and so the GC (general contractor) has the instructions they need to build the building and site.
4 1/2. Now that your drawings are complete, you submit them for permit. This is often when GCs bid a project. Questions come up from lenders and others. Then the contactor starts to figure out things like schedule, phasing, and in a renovation how much of the building can remain operational, etc.
5. Construction Administration aka CA. Now we're in construction. You'll occasionally visit the job site, see the work in progress, walk the completed work to approve it. Along the way, you'll answer contractor questions, you'll review submittals (all the products used) and approve them. Then the documentation to close out a project.

Now a lot of firms won't have you do all that. A small firm, you may be doing the entire project largely by yourself with some drafting help. A larger firm will tend to have one group of people do feasibility and SD, then another DD, then another CD then another person is CA. Some firms will have you do some interior design others won't.

Then eventually if you get into the business development end, you'll be either going out and getting projects or people will be coming to you. You'll put together proposals for what services you'll offer and the details of architectural services.

So, if you're the personality type that likes being a project manager, you'll like it likely. There's also a bit of problem solving figuring out the code and how something can be built.
Also, if you're the type of person that likes to just be told what to draw and you can have an easy day, headphones in just drawing it, doing problem solving trying to figure out how to draw something in the computer program, a lot of people like that too.
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