What you need to know before entering the professional world of Architecture and Design?

If you are about to graduate or just starting off your career as an architect, these different tips and ideas provide you with some food for thought in your early years of architecture in the professional atmosphere.

All-nighters are not as necessary

Architecture students tend to have a hard time managing their time. While part of the design process is the design aesthetic and direction, sometimes it can be hard to get to work in a methodical productive manner. There is a lot of competition and gamesmanship that goes on yet by managing your time in the studio like it is your job allows you to make all-nighters less and less necessary. So make sure that you have different strategies and incentives structures that provides you with a balanced schedule, so you can also avoid burnout.

More often than not last minute changes do more harm than good

It’s always hard to stop designing, especially in school, but at some point the goal is to present the concepts, the drawings, and models to support your ideas. If you were to think of this process as if you were presenting to a client and work backward from a deadline, you will have far less negative work. If you determine that it is going to take you 4 days to build your model out of basswood and 2 days to render the drawings, leave yourself the appropriate amount of time and stop creating original work.

You should be updating your portfolio completely every 2 years, ideally

Your portfolio overtime becomes of diminishing importance because you will discover that the purpose your portfolio serves isn’t what you thought it was. It isn’t to show off some awesome creative project you designed, it’s about illustrating your proficiency in the various skills of the trade and showing that you know how to think and process information. You gain a better sense of what it is that you want to emote when other architects are just starting to work with you or are considering it.

Always take on feedback in the correct way!

It is really another important part of your education. The most important thing you can get out of these critiques is practicing the art of standing up in front of a room of people and emanating confidence and knowledge. You are the expert on your design so you should be able to convey the objectives, strategies, and directions your design takes better than anyone else. Talking under pressure without ahh’s and uhmm’s is not a gift – it’s a skill. If I had known that the ability to effectively communicate was a more prized skill than designing in an architectural office I would have put more effort into developing it at a younger age.

When considering your next career move, plan proactively and create Portfolios that include your best work. Consider looking into finding a mentor with Architect-USand improving your Portfolios with our Portfolio Plans and Career Advice Program. We provide coaching and personalized mentorship, so you can have a professional and experienced take on your next steps in your career, as well as a great team to confide in.


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