By definition, the architect is the design expert in the building world, but contrary to what we are led to think, his profile is not only usable in the construction sector but, as we will see today, his specializations are the most various and range from interior design, to graphics, to industrial design. A demanding, stimulating and profitable job, so much so that many ask themselves ” how can I become an architect?”
Today we will provide guidelines to all interested parties, indicating a continuous training path that starts from the graduation, passes from the state exam and continues in a perpetual manner with continuous training and professional updating. Read below and find out how to become an architecture and even one of the most famous architect in history.
What is architecture
Who knows how many times have you asked yourself: what is architecture? According to the dictionary, architecture refers to the artistic elaboration of all the structural, functional and aesthetic elements concerning a building.
Not only that, today but also in antiquity, architecture was a means to design and build functional spaces for everyday life or for religious or pagan cults, for sports and the most varied activities that are part of human everyday life. Thanks to rules, concepts and subjects such as physics, mathematics, the arts, through technical drawings and equally specific calculations, an architect can give shape to practically anything.
In fact, architecture encompasses many different disciplines, starting from art, geometric and technical drawing and a good professional must also be endowed with personal skills such as creativity, curiosity, inspiration, technical-artistic ability, problem solving, etc. Today there are several fields of study on an architectural level, always in the university field and we speak for example of:
●Architecture and Urban Design;
●Interior Architecture, or Interior Design.
There are many different addresses and post-baccalaureate study courses that can be followed and which generally train professional architects or courses to become an interior designer. Obviously every year the same study paths change, they evolve, but in general architecture always concerns the built, the building that combines form and function, decoration, aesthetic aspect and today as for example in Greek Art, it also takes into account context in a prominent way.
What are the architectural styles?
Architecture in the history of man has had, and still does, a very important role. The same reflects the society of the time, its uses and customs, reflects habits, ambitions, cults and beliefs and since the most remote times we can speak of authentic architecture. Let’s think, for example, of the stilt houses of primitive men: they had studied how to build homes that would make them safe, that would allow them to enjoy shelter, to better enjoy everyday life by exploiting available raw materials and also respecting the surrounding nature.
But certainly they are not the only examples we can give and which date back to ancient times. Let’s say that in general from the origin of man each of his housing, worship and leisure works can be defined as architecture, even if primordial or minimal. Then there are real architectural styles that mark the changes in this construction art and that are an integral part of the study of modern art. Among these we mention the most important:
Classical architecture, from Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome, is still admired today, existing, present in our Italian cities. It is a massive style, we could say colossal and which exploits above all open places, just think of the temples, the agora, that is, the squares, the colonnades, etc. The materials were sumptuous, marble and stone were in force and there was no shortage of hyper-colored decorations which unfortunately have now been lost and which exploited pigments also originated from natural raw materials.
Romanesque architecture, which developed in Europe between the sixth and ninth centuries, reflected the critical period that humanity was experiencing; the buildings changed a lot and became closed, separated from the outside by small openings, secure openings and very little decorated or sumptuous. However, it was a period of war and the architecture had a celebratory and residential purpose but above all a protective one.
The Gothic architecture, unlike the Romanesque, is characterized by stained glass windows, soaring arches and buildings that rise upwards. We want to celebrate a good God, savior, father, showing him the beauty, the artistic abilities of man. There are, however, several currents of Gothic in the world and some show constructions that remain more faithful to the Romanesque for the structure of the buildings and dark environments.
Baroque architecture is pure splendor, for many architectural scholars the Baroque only wants to amaze with special effects, with excessive and eccentric decorations. But behind these rich and attractive facades there are buildings, churches and buildings that are simple, even sparse, minimal and not very charming indoors.
Neo-classical architecture, which took hold from the 18th century onwards, sought to revive, aesthetically and in terms of size, the classical buildings of the ancient Greeks and Romans. This reflected the social status of the time, grand-tours for the world and Europe were customary, there was the industrial revolution that enriched many countries and necessarily tried to build worthy buildings.
Beaux-Arts architecture is a period that was born and developed above all in France, in Paris, around 1830. It was indeed a neo-classic but decisive and without frills, made with innovative materials such as steel, iron, glass, a good garment for Gothic and Romanesque in short.
Art Nouveau architecture
The Art Nouveau architecture, also of French origin, actually mixes the existing architecture with noteworthy decorative elements that had characterized that historical period. In particular, the buildings already rich in curved and sinuous lines were embellished and adorned with decorative elements inspired by plants, flowers and animals.
Modern architecture opens the world to a new era and was born in the early twentieth century. We remember movements such as the Bauhaus, the futuristic ideas of Walter Gropius, the idea of putting man at the center of the built and creating, above all, houses with minimal, essential, concrete shapes. The materials are no longer luxurious and rich, but concrete, glass and steel stand out.
In recent years there has been a lot of talk about sustainable architecture, but what is it really about? Basically we mean a type of architecture, project, idea that is compatible with the environment, with nature and the earth in general. Both the function, the usability, the location, the structure must take into account the built, directly connected flora and fauna, but also the materials count a lot. In fact, natural, recycled or 100% recyclable ones are preferred and the origin and processing is better both with a reduced impact on the environment.
Relationship between art and architecture
Art and architecture go hand in hand, from certain points of view we can say that they are coplanar. In ancient times, if you think for example of Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Brunelleschi, the great artists who made history, they were not identified as a painter, sculptor, architect. They were simply artists and thanks to their talent, studies, knowledge, but also creativity and great curiosity and spirit of observation, they were able to conceive and have noteworthy architectural works created.
Obviously at that time the architecture had more than anything else the purpose of serving the courts and the clergy and the buildings had the purpose of worship above all, or had to show the power of the client families.
Architecture today is much more aimed at functionality, practicality, it must fit well in contexts already heavily dense with buildings, infrastructures, it must have a low environmental impact and at the same time be comfortable and durable over time.
How to become an architect: the degree courses
The first step on the path of the architect is made by choosing a specific course of study, or one of the ones that lead to a degree in architecture. There are universities that provide for a degree in architecture in their teaching plan and access to them is governed by decrees which, similarly for the medical and health professions, regulate the programmed number, in practice it is a faculty to limited number to access which you must pass a test. The subjects subject to the test are usually:
But let’s focus on the 4 degree training courses which, specifically, are:
●Conservation of architectural heritage;
The subjects to study to become an architect
Even if it seems superfluous, to tell the truth, we want to spend a few words on subjects related to degree courses for architects. They are obviously related to the professional sphere of architecture and are usually:
●history of art and architecture;
After obtaining the degree it will be possible to decide to obtain a specialization in a certain sector of architecture, the main specializations are:
Continuous training and professional updating
For professional orders there is a regulation that imposes continuous training and updating courses, to ensure the customer a high standard of service and above all in step with the times and updated with the new regulations. Since then, the unit of measurement for professional training has been the CFP, or professional training credits, which can be obtained through:
●masters and research doctorates;
●conventions, seminars, conferences or other activities selected by the National Councils or Territorial Orders;
●classroom training courses;
●distance training courses;
●e-learning training courses;
12 things you need to know before enrolling in Architecture
If there is one thing you will learn during your university years, it is that studying architecture requires a lot of sacrifices. At the same time, however, it is capable of transmitting a lot and giving you a sense of planning that few other faculties are able to do. Not everyone has an older person – a student, a professor or an architect – who knows how to explain to those who are about to approach a cycle of studies in Architecture what they will have to expect. Read below and learn important things before enrolling in architecture.
You have to objectively say goodbye to your old social life
You will meet new people, you will have the opportunity to spend hours and hours with them and you will create unique relationships, but forget about being able to do as your friends who have chosen to study other noble subjects in which no one is forced to produce tons of tables and models. You can do even worse just by enrolling in medicine.
To be a great architect you really have to have it inside
It is not wise to start from scratch at the age of 19! If you have not already had experience in the field (for example parents or relatives who are architects) or if you do not have a firm passion since childhood – which led you in the high school years to begin to deepen the countless subjects (be they modeling or history programs) – it will be very hard for you. Competition is high and there are so many things to know. Sometimes you can’t fill the gap if you start from scratch and risk being left behind for all 5 years if you really don’t commit to 150%.
One of the many ways you can “recover” is to feed yourself every day with inspiration-projects-inspiration. To do this, you may find the list of the best information sites for architecture useful.
You will be asked to know and study a lot
Thank goodness an architect is expected to know statics, sociology, psychology, graphics, geometry, drawing, at least 5 2D and 3D graphics programs, history, urban planning, modeling, technology and (hopefully) sustainability. Luckily yes, because buildings have great responsibilities for the lives of all of us, but these are things that are asked of you and that you, to be a good architect, must know.
The specialization, if it comes, will come, but for all this there will be an exam and you will not be able to do without it. This, if you like, is the noblest part of architecture.
The University gives you 50% (or less), the other 50% you have to create yourself
I’m not talking about job opportunities or anything else, this post is about wanting to become the best architects around. What I mean is that the theory and practice they will teach you will not be enough to make you come out confident in yourself and your means if you have not worked hard in the meantime. Experiment and learn about architecture on your own. I recommend applied as much as possible, the balloon was Holly and Benji’s best friend, the pencil and the mouse are yours.
Don’t listen to the professors. Learn to use drawing programs (2D and 3D)
Unless you are an indescribable freehand talent, then don’t listen for a moment to all those dinosaurs who mumble from their primitive experience that the pencil is something else. “Now that you all draw on the PC you don’t one is more capable of thinking as it once was… ”Etc etc. From the first day you set foot on the faculty (if you are not already an expert) you will have to try your hand and learn 2 or 3 programs at best, and you will have to know at least how to use the most used ones (in all they do not reach 10). My personal advice is Rhinoceros, Revit and Autocad 2D, Photoshop to perfection and the others to follow: Illustrator, Indesign, Archicad and others you will come across. This is just my advice, you decide what to specialize in, but believe me .. Learn to know them as if they were your pocket.
It’s so late it’s early. Get used to nights
Bird singing or the early morning light could become a nightmare for you someday. If you are good you will do a few, if you are like me you will do some more, if you are crazy you will always do them. I don’t think there is a single architecture student who has never spent a night awake drawing.
In short, don’t mess around. The nights will really be there and some will be really hard, on the verge of mental and physical endurance. Just hope you’re in a good group, otherwise it’s going to be awful times.
The weekend is not relaxation, it is just precious time to finish the tables
There is this strange thing that during the period of study at the faculty of architecture it is as if the weekends disappeared. Now that I have been graduating for about a year I have begun to appreciate them again, but while I was studying they had essentially become an extension of the work week.
It is useless to rejoice on Friday, “thanks God it’s Friday” will be just one of the many tunes that will soundtrack your hours of work on the computer – the only thing you will think will be that you can finally dedicate yourself to your project for a ‘ all day.
The portfolio is the most important tool you will have. Think for him right away
From the very first day you step into college, you’ll have to think about how to make the best portfolio out there. The occasions in which you will need it will follow one another over the course of your career and all will be characterized by the “do it in a short time”. In the world of architecture the Portfolio is damn important, don’t underestimate it. Remember that in the first phase of selection it is even more important than your character, your commitment and your intelligence.
Keep in mind that you will spend most of your savings on prints and models
I believe that no one has ever made a total count, but if any architecture student were to take into account the money spent in the various printing works and in the various shops of model materials – really any – I think it would reach the sum of 1000/2000 euros over the of the five years. Thank goodness there are working groups. Unfortunately, there are also professors who ask for tables upon tables and models upon models.
If Architecture were a sport, it would be water polo
I have been playing water polo for over 10 years. Enough time to realize that it is one of the most absurd and tiring sports in the world. Tiring is easily imaginable even by those who have never practiced it; absurd because it requires huge efforts just to stay afloat. And here the comparison with architecture, where you will be asked for many sacrifices and hours of work just to do the bare minimum. Then comes all the rest.
Graduating in Architecture does not necessarily mean becoming an architect
It is also good to have this in mind. At the time of writing this post 5 months have passed since my graduation and I have not yet sent a CV to any architectural firm. For now, I’m looking for new ways. Architecture can give you a lot and even if it doesn’t seem like it, it allows you to choose many paths in which to specialize. You will be able to become a technician, a critic, a Physicologist, an urban planner, a landscape architect, a designer… Or why not? A great architect.
Become an expert in sustainability
This didn’t bring me much benefit. But in the future it will (fortunately) be an essential topic. Unfortunately we are not yet the enlightened generation of architects who look at environmental sustainability in the same way they look at architectural magazines. But for everyone it would be better.
Well, if they had made me read this post, perhaps I would not have enrolled in the faculty of architecture, or perhaps I would have tried to treasure any direct or indirect advice that lies in these lines. If you hadn’t done it, however, you wouldn’t be reading this article, and therefore better this way. I wish you all the wisdom you need to make an important choice, but not definitive, remember!
If you are a veteran and have any suggestions for this post do not hesitate to comment! If, on the other hand, you need some more advice because you are close to university, ask me all the questions you want!