Join 500,000+ Artists
Its' free and it takes less than 10 seconds!
I decided on a career, and I'm 90% sure at the moment that I want to be an architect! Anyways, I've been scouring the inernet looking for any info that could give me a headstart on this career. So far, I've found that the college you go to needs to be approved by the National Architectural Accrediting Board for you to actually be considered and "architect" when you graduate. Well, I'm looking at some local schools: Wahsington State University, and University of Washington, which are both accredited, and they seem like pretty decent schools to be an architect. Does it even matter what school you go to as long as it's approved by the board? I know that it's different from a pure art career, in that the school you go to means a lot more, but does it really matter that much? Anyways, are there any architects on this board that could give me advice so I could get a jump on this career? I know that Feng Zhu got a masters from Berkley in architecture, but I dunno if he'd see this... Even if you aren't one, it'd still be nice if you could give out some info. What schools are good? How classes and stuff could help me get into this career? How can I increase my chances of getting into the best architectural school possible?
Thank you sooooo much guys for any help you can give me. This is my dream job. I love the freedom that this job provides, such as the ability to travel; and all at the same time you ge to be artistically creative.
Last edited by MurkyDreams; September 1st, 2004 at 01:25 AM.
Does no one even care about architecture here? I guess that's a yes if i dont get any responses.
I am doing my first year of the University of Hawaii's architecture program. They have a seven year doctorate of architecture program. Most schools feature a five year bachleor's program.
Like with all majors, some schools are better at it than others. The one you choose is up to you. There are plenty of websites that rank the quality of architectural schools. Do some research before making a final decision.
As for getting in the portfolio is the most important part. The school wants to see your creativity and design ability. The pieces I included in my portfolio had nothing to do with architecture. I had some drawings and various things I have made in photoshop. Be sure to pick your pieces wisely.
I am having a wonderful time in all of my architecture classes, especially the studio class. It requires a lot of out of class work, so if you want an easy time in college architecture isn't the way to go. I have been spending quite a few hours daily in the studio working on the current project. I enjoy it though, so I don't mind at all.
You definitely get to use your creativity. Standing out in architecture class is all about being different and doing things others have yet to think of, which makes it so much fun.
Good luck with your decisions and getting in.
I'm currently in the same situation as you .. figuring out which mode of
design career I'd like to pursue, and have been doing some heavy research
into both architecture and industrial design.
A word of caution about architecture -- if you're expecting to draw and
design soon after graduation, you may be in for a shock. Until you
get your license (which is usually 3+ years after an accredited program, e.g.
an MArch), you may be relegated to drafting (a 'cad jockey'), and building
elements -- the opportunity to do some real design may be many years away.
I initially got excited about architecture from looking at student projects from
some of the more artistically oriented schools (like SciArc, GSD), and I wholeheartedly agree that an architectural education is mind-opening and
a lot of fun. However, the reality of the profession and practice is a different story .. you are much more likely to be working on boxy office buildings and strip malls than some of the 'cooler' projects (ie the Frank Gehry and Asymptote type stuff).
If you have a passion for architecture specifically, then by all means go for it.
But if you're looking for a creative outlet, and an opportunity to express yourself artistically, then I would suggest another field of design, e.g. graphic design, industrial design, fashion design, or environmental (interior) design.
I hope I didn't discourage you, but I wanted to give you an alternate view of things, as some of the architects I've spoken to have done for me.
Architecture is a long and expensive education so it's important to get the
cold hard facts first -- do lots of research. I would suggest contacting some architects in your area and talking to them about the profession (try both corporate firms and smaller, more avantgarde firms, to get a broad sampling). Also try asking some of your questions on the Archinect discussion forums (http://www.archinect.com) -- some very intelligent, open (albeit jaded) individuals there who will be able to help you out and give you a realistic picture of practice.
A few more links to forums dealing with other design fields:
Graphic Design: http://www.graphicdesignforum.com/
Industrial Design: http://www.core77.com
Originally Posted by MurkyDreams
Hello MuryDreams... Well, im an architect down here in Venezuela, well i guess the point with the architecture is, that you must have really clear what you want to do with the architecture. Basically the nature of the profession lets you point in almost any direction you decide to point it... Some classmetes o'mine are stuyding Masters in multimedia comunications, others are working for television chanels creating sets, and some others are creating architectural proyects... you can also be related with the mangament departamen or the construccion industry.
Also some of my architects profesors where writers, or where leading museums, there is also cases of movie directors that were architects like Stanley Kubrick (he studied, but im not quite sure if he finish it) and Peter Greenaway). And i almost forgot, most of the greatest production designers of Hollywood are architects.....
When you have already CLEAR, of WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO with your architect tittle, you must be SURE that you can create that vision of your career with in the architecture school that you desided to go. Personally, i considered my self more a concept artist than an architect, but i can't denied that my career gave me strong art and historycal bases to do a lots of concepts.... I hope that these lines were helpfull to you...
Thank you so much for your responses guys! I've looked at a lotta colleges, and I'm probly gonna go to University of Washington or Washington State University. Does anyone know how good the programs at those schoosls are? And I was also thinking about maybe going to a more prestigious school... such as Berkley, or Harvard lol. That's a dream right now... but what would help me get accepted into a more prestigios school like those? I currently have a 3.94 gpa and I do extracurricular stuff such as track, choir, youth comitee, and I'm thinking of also getting an internship at an architect's firm. The internship would also give me a good idea of what I'd be doing as an architect. I'm also taking dual credits at my local college. What classes could help prepare me for real college? Any help would be much appreciated.
Anyways... I'm not quite sure what type of architecture i want to get into yet, but probly whatever involves designing buildings, or doing landscape design. I think that type of stuff is just awesome.
If you're looking for a more artistically oriented school,
these schools might interest you:
Rhode Island School of Design:
For help with applications and portfolios,
check out the Academia section on the Archinect forums:
They have also set up a 'school blogging' project, where students from
various schools keep a journal of their experiences -- very helpful to
get an idea of the culture and curriculum of the school.
The portfolio is generally the most important part of getting accepted
(more so than marks) so make sure it's a good solid one!
Originally Posted by MurkyDreams
I'm a student at UC Berkeley. Does anyone know more about how Feng Zhu transformed from an architecture major into a conceptartist?
Hello there, fellow architectoids,
I spent my whole life wanting to be an animator for Pixar (since I saw Luxo Jr. being showcased at Disney World in 1987). And then, for a brief 18 months, I made it my mission to try to be an architect. Armed with only a psychology degree (long story...), I started to take art classes full time and worked for an architect part-time. I applied to Yale, Columbia, University of Washington, and RISD. I got into the second two, despite trying my best to forge contacts at the ivy league schools. I had recommendations from two people who taught at or attended YSOA, and thought I had the grades, scores, and portfolio to be a competitor. But alas, it wasn't to be, and I was left with the option of attending RISD for a mere 108,000 dollars. Shyyyeaa. So now I'm back on the animation track, and I didn't like working for the architect. 10% of the time it was tremendous fun, designing *real things* that were going to be *built*...but then it always fizzled into stupid and mundane details involving budget issues.
But, that said, it was a fun 18 months. I got to meet Frank Gehry twice, and Zaha Hadid, and built a lot of crazy models....but frankly I don't think it's worth selling your life to try to get monuments to your creativity built (on someone else's dollar).
RISD architecture school looked pretty awesome, though. The kids were all *really* sharp--not just talented. If arch. is your bag, RISD surely ain't a bad place to study it.
Oh, p.s. - My roommate is currently an architect (we live in NYC), and he works until almost 8pm every night, and gets paid the same as I do, and I just sit on the phones fixing computers and posting on ConceptArt.org. He's currently designing a huge staircase for an apartment building in Brooklyn. Not gargoyles, though. More like "Americans With Disabilities Act Regulations."
Hey, I'm not sure if you still check this thread but here's what I've seen. I currently go to the University of Texas A&M for architecture environmental design. We're ranked 10th in the nation and have very nice sized classes. I'm currently on something called the Visualization track which leads into a masters of visual science (www-viz.tamu.edu). They currently have about a 90% job placement rate in the industry as technical directors.
Anyways here's what I know about the process to becoming an actual architect. You have to get a bachelors. Then you get a masters. After the masters you typically do a two year intern where they TEACH your what you really need to know. After that you take four tests that are regulated by a national group that I can't remember the name of... NAAB... after that your licensed in YOUR state. You have to take tests again to be allowed to practice in another state. And expect to pay a yearly few to stay certified.
The typical architecture student here has somewhat of a non-existent social life. Our main building is called the Langford(name of building) hotel. Because students actually bring in sleeping bags and pillows. Typically there are 3-4 projects a semester with 3-4 prelims each project. And you have to put in four times the amount of time per hour requirement weekly. (for a 4 hour class that's 16 hours of outside work a week).
The schedule the counselors set you up with assumes your gonna take 18 hours a semester (HAH yeah right). Anyways, that normally assumes 2 studios, 4 hours each, 32 hours outside work. Add in other classes like calculus, structures(vector math about buildings), and other classes there is little time left.
The people are AWESOME everyone is creative and typically wants to do well. Grading sucks, your entire grade is based on your professor who walks around looks at your designs or project and goes... (You get an A, you C, You B, You B++++++++++, You I... I expect it redone by next week). One of our hardest teachers actually will give grades like B+ with 6 pluses. My friend is an Architect at Texas Tech, I'm not sure of their rating but he says their school doesn't offer studios until junior year. We offer 2 studios every semester minus one semester for study abroad(manditory... whoop for Italy). Any more questions I'll try to remember to come back or email me at...
jsimpson "@" tamu . edu sorry don't want spiders to pick up my email.
Thanks for all the replies guys. And yes, I indeed have been checking on this thread every once in awhile. Anyways, I'm living in Washignton, and I have a lot of interest in going to the University of Washington or Washington State University to get my degree. How good are these school compared to all the others in the nation? Has anybody went to either one of them?
Hmmm... I might even try to apply for an Ivy League school like djmez did. I'm currently taking dual credits at my community college for both high school and college, and my grades are somewhere around a 3.94 gpa. Unfortunately, after this quarter, my gpa will drop a slight bit. Anyways, how do I best prepare for a career in architecture? What classes should I take? Oh yah, I'm a track athlete also, and i was wondering if extracurricular activities like this will have a big impact on acceptance to a college. If not, I'm just going to quit and concentrate strictly on the arts, because it consumes a lot of time. Thanks for the help guys!
This is a little late, but still.
I'm a senior in high school and I've been doing arcihtecture for 4 years. I've won every state competition for the last 4 years, worked with Verizon Wireless, Pape Dawson Engineering, and I work for a building specialties company. Basically if you want to do architecture, you have to be extremely good at whatever you plan to design if you want to design one type of structure or just contract out your work. It's not hard to get into an architecture college since the learning curve is rather high, but having proof that you're good really helps, plus it pays good and you can get a BA in architecture from mostly any state school.
Hope this helps,