Architecture is one of the most enduring art forms that make our environment beautiful, daring or simply functional. Our city skylines -from concrete monstrosities to sleek glass lines- are created because of architects’ visions. Architecture has evolved as a profession over centuries. The ancient city of Mohenjo-Daro – the present-day India and Pakistan or the Great Pyramids of Egypt are magnificent examples of early architecture.
Can we say the Pharos were the first known architects? Well, I can say for sure that Michel Angelo and Leonardo DaVinci are the first for sure, their work is known till date.
Architectural style has changed in time and today we cite examples such as the Imperial War Museum North in England and the Petronas Twin Towers in Malaysia, or Burj Khalifa in Dubai, or the museum of the future in Dubai, as modern-day architecture marvels. All these magnificent buildings reflect the efforts that were taken by the architects who designed them, and their superb thinking. The Sydney opera house and the Eiffel tower represent two architectural sites that are marveled by the world population.
Architecture is a creative as well as technical and academic subject to study. Although it is still largely vocational, architecture students focus heavily on the aesthetic. Architecture and Design would enable people to work in many fields, including fine arts, product design and engineering.
Architects hold about 3-4 million jobs in the world. Most of these jobs were in the architectural, engineering, and related services industry. A small number worked for residential and nonresidential building construction firms and for government agencies. About 21% of all architects were self-employed. 1
Architects are responsible for designing new individual buildings, their surrounding landscape, interior design and usually the supervision of their construction. They are also responsible for the refurbishment of old buildings and the extension of existing buildings
“Training in architecture excited my interest in the structure, workings and appearance of towns and cities. It left me well prepared to move into a specialist role in town planning which has allowed me to play a significant role in the revitalization of one of the country’s major cities.” Colin Haylock, Town Planner, Newcastle
Few Examples of well-known architects are below:
Designed the Sydney opera house was a Danish architect, noted for the many awards he received for his work in architecture.
Frank Lloyd Wright designed more than 1,000 projects, which resulted in more than 500 completed works. His work includes original and innovative examples of many different building types, including offices, churches, schools, skyscrapers, hotels, and museums. Wright authored 20 books and many articles and was a popular lecturer in the United States and in Europe. Wright was known as ‘the greatest American architect of all time”
Daniel Burnham designed some of the world’s earliest skyscrapers and helped create the first complete plan for controlling urban growth. Drawing upon the City Beautiful movement, Daniel Burnham proposed a plan for Chicago that included extensive parkland and laid the foundation for modern theories of urban design.
Famous for his incredible striking projects such as the Los Angeles International Airport as well as over 200 individual homes in California. A lot of the most famous and beautiful homes in the famous star ridden area of Hollywood were designed by Williams himself like Frank Sinatra.
Joseph, an American architect with German background innovated the design of Bascule bridges and was chief engineer and architect of the golden gate bridge in San Francisco.
Was an educator and a philosopher, he also started a movement in education, and he started the first school to teach children in a very unusual way, however he also designed the Goethe Anum which is still considered a brilliant design and a masterpiece in modern architecture.
Was a Belgian painter, architect and interior designer. Together with Victor Horta and Paul Hankar he could be considered as one of the main founders and representatives of Art Nouveau in Belgium. Van de Velde spent the most important part of his career in Germany and had a decisive influence on German architecture and design at the beginning of the 20th century.
Was a German architect best known for designing the Berlin Philharmonic concert hall and the Schminke House in Löbau, Saxony. He was an important exponent of organic and expressionist architecture.
Was an Iraqi-British architect and the first woman to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize, in 2004. She received the UK’s most prestigious architectural award, the Stirling Prize, in 2010 and 2011. In 2012, she was made a Dame by Elizabeth II for services to architecture, and in 2015 she became the first and only woman to be awarded the Royal Gold Medal from the Royal Institute of British Architects.
Typical courses taken in architecture programs include architectural theory and history, construction methods, physical sciences, liberal arts, math, building design, technology, and structures
With a degree in Architecture, a person can work in various disciplines under different titles such as landscape architect, naval architect and software architect. They can specialize in building code, sustainable design, real estate development, construction management, project management, and interior design.
After graduating with a degree in architecture, the student can apply for the following jobs;
- Construction Firms (including infrastructure companies)
- Architecture Firms
- Landscaping Companies
- Real Estate Developers
- Historical/Cultural/Archaeological Organizations
- Federal government agencies including the Department of Defense, Department of Interiors, Department of Housing & Urban Development, General Services Administration
- Own Business
One can study Architecture after completing other programs as well. It is not necessary that one knows his or her interest straight away in life, for example Dame Zaha Hadid studied mathematics, however she switched to architecture only years later.
You will need a portfolio of artwork and some writeups about architects that inspired you. Also, a good personal statement will always take you place.
In my opinion, Architecture is one of the studies that will not be obsolete, we always need thinkers and designers to build our homes, our buildings, and our cities or to design games for children and adults alike. Also, Architecture can be split into various small components, for example street lighting can be a master’s program field of study.
For PHD in architecture, one needs to think of the subject carefully, most PHDs of architecture focus on the ingenuity of the student as well as on the possibility of the application of the study. However, one can be as wild as can be (provided of course that it can be built).
On a final note, I think architecture doesn’t not only mean buildings, homes, museums, galleries, palaces, mosques, and the likes, it means to “make a living place”, this can even be in making portable tents, or designing moving houses as trailers. One can be very creative. I just read somewhere that the son of Franck Lloyd Wright had designed the first Lego. Well, we always say the son/daughter of the duck will always be a swimmer. And it’s true in this example.
According to the architecture association there are 1.3 million architects in the world, however we only hear about the great ones. How to be great? Well, you study, you dream, and you do. You can be an architect on Mars if you register for the trip Elon Musk is planning.