An architect creates space for people to live in, work in, and occupy in various ways. A good architect responds to clients, contractors, consultants, and site and city constraints to design something that is environmentally sensitive, structurally sound, aesthetically pleasing, safe, and easy to occupy. Most architects have a good spatial sense - meaning that they understand space in 3 dimensions, and can draw and plan spaces and work with a team to build them. Architects must also be sensitive to societal and cultural needs for space, and design accordingly. Different architects focus on different things - some are code experts, some focus on financial constraints, and some are design geniuses. But all have a vision for something that has not yet been built. This is the most exciting, and most difficult part of the job. When I was younger, I couldn't stop drawing houses that I wanted to live in. They had places like "the ropes course room", or "the underwater room". All my spare time was spent designing imaginary places I thought I'd never see. Now that I'm an architect, I can build the things I imagine. For a creative person, it's a fantastic career and life.
Miriam recommends the following next steps:
- Participate in an architecture workshop/course for students who are considering the field of architecture.
- Try drawing a space you have imagined, and see how detailed you can get about how the space is used, built, and seen from the inside and out.
- Sketch a building or place that you like. Architects do a lot of sketching!
- Talk to an architect and ask to shadow them for a day at work.
- Take a woodworking or model-building class. If you want to be an architect, you must learn how to build things. I spent 3 years as a carpenter so that I'd know how to build the places I design.