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What are good classes to take in highschool if you like architecture?

I like architecture but I don't know what classes to take to see if I really have fun with this topic or if it just sounds interesting.

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James Constantine’s Answer

Dear Cassidy,

High School Courses to Consider for Aspiring Architects

For those drawn to the field of architecture, there are numerous high school classes that can provide a solid foundation and a glimpse into this exciting profession. Here are some highly recommended courses:

Art and Design: These classes allow you to foster your creativity, enhance your visual perception, and gain a deeper appreciation for aesthetics – all crucial elements in the world of architecture.

Mathematics: As architecture heavily relies on calculations, measurements, and geometric principles, courses such as algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and calculus are fundamental to building a strong base for architectural studies.

Physics: Physics classes can provide an understanding of structural mechanics, the properties of materials, and other physical aspects that are integral to architectural design.

Computer-Aided Design (CAD): Familiarizing yourself with CAD software, widely utilized in the architectural industry for drafting and designing, can be a significant advantage for budding architects.

History and Theory of Architecture: Delving into the history and theory of architecture can offer a profound understanding of the evolution of architectural styles, techniques, and principles.

Construction Technology: Courses in this area can introduce you to various building materials, construction techniques, and structural systems commonly used in architecture.

Environmental Science: With the growing emphasis on environmental sustainability and green building practices in contemporary architecture, classes in environmental science can help you comprehend these important concepts.

Business or Entrepreneurship: A grasp of business principles can prove useful for architects who might wish to establish their own firms or operate within a business context.

By engaging in these classes during your high school years, you can get a comprehensive overview of architecture, helping you decide if it aligns with your interests and abilities.

Top 3 Credible References Used:

American Institute of Architects (AIA): As a professional body for architects in the United States, the AIA website offers invaluable insights on education prerequisites and career trajectories in architecture.

National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB): As the regulatory body for architectural practice in the U.S., NCARB provides resources that shed light on the licensure process and educational guidelines for future architects.

College Board: The College Board website provides advice on high school course selection for various career paths, including architecture, and offers suggestions on pertinent subjects to study in preparation for a career in architecture.

Stay Blessed!
James Constantine Frangos.
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tiffanie’s Answer

Hello Cassidy,

I’d like to second Melinda’s suggestion about a CAD class, or in more general terms, a drafting class, if a computerized course is not available. Learning the software can come later, but even a hand drafting class will teach you the principles of designing space and how to represent that design visually. Plus, in all likelihood, working construction documents (floor plans, elevations, details, etc.) will be a big part of your responsibilities from your first job out of school. Perhaps you could speak to your school counselor and mention your interest in architecture / (might be lumped together with) engineering and see what courses in your school’s curriculum might support that?

Lastly I want to mention that there are so many aspects to a career in architecture, of which design is just one. Things like problem-solving, project management, writing specifications, learning building codes and dealing with challenging schedules, budgets and clients. So yes, while the creative part can be fun, there are many other parts that come with the territory. Also, there is a huge difference between studying architecture in school and practicing it as a career. There are a lot of videos on YouTube that talk about a “day in the life” of an architect that can show you what to expect during, or even after you complete your studies. Dami Lee is a good example. She covers topics like “Everything You Need to Know Before Starting Architecture” and “Skills to Learn Before Architecture School”.

Good luck to you!
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Melinda’s Answer

Hi Cassidy,

I agree with Henry's suggestions. The only other classes I can think of to add would be Art History and Industrial Arts. Art History would cover historical architectural styles and details that will influence your future designs. In Industrial Arts or Shop class, you could get experience building things which could help you learn about materials and methods of construction. If by some miracle they offer AutoCAD or any other computer-generated design class in your high school, that would be great for you to take.
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Rebecca’s Answer

Hello Cassidy,

I encourage you to explore and engage in subjects like Geometry, Physics, Industrial Arts, Art History, Art Class, Photography, and any Computer Aided Drafting or 3D modeling classes available. Many schools provide unique access to software like SketchUp, and it would be beneficial for you to learn and master these programs. If your school offers special student trips to locations with stunning architecture, don't hesitate to participate! It's an excellent opportunity to broaden your horizons.

I trust this advice will be useful to you!
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Henry’s Answer

Hello Cassidy, I appreciate your curiosity. You can explore your interest in architecture by enrolling in a variety of classes. For instance, modeling classes can enhance your ability to visualize in 3D, while sketching classes can boost your technical skills. Art classes, on the other hand, can provide you with a broader perspective on architecture. So go ahead, try these classes and see if architecture excites you.
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