An Eye for Design
As an architect, you need to create designs that are both functional and visually pleasing. This skill is very important, no matter what type of building you are designing. You can improve your eye for design by studying the work of other successful architects, to better inform your own architectural style.
You also need to be in touch with your own artistic side to make sure that your design is aesthetically pleasing as well as safe and practical. Inspiration can come from anywhere, not just other buildings, so always be on the lookout for forms, shapes and styles that inspire you.
Your design choices as an architect must be logical, and there should be an explanation for even the most minor details of a project. For example, you should be able to answer questions as to why your stairway wall shouldn’t have a window or why the staircase cannot be built in front of the entrance.
As much as architecture is based on designing and drawing, the skill to think critically is equally important. A design should bring together many perspectives and considerations if it is going to please everyone who uses it, so you should have the ability to reason and explain every choice you make.
If you are an architect, you should be able to notice whether a line is straight or not even from a distance. The ability to notice these minute details results from an unmatched drawing skill that comes from years of practice.
Architectural drawings act as a guide for what a finished building will look like when it is constructed. These can either be hand-drawn or can be designed using different software. Whilst many drawings are now done digitally, your drawing skills are still essential to how you express your ideas on paper in the first place and should be the top of your list of architectural skills to hone.
An architect works closely with engineers, construction workers, and clients. Therefore, every message and idea must be communicated with the utmost care and efficiency. It only takes one miscommunication to cause a disaster!
As an architect, you must listen to what each person in your team has to say. In return, you must give your valuable feedback and communicate if a design idea is good or not, whilst making sure to stay objective and positive.
Communication skills in this field comprise the following things:
- Client relations: The rapport between you and your client plays a significant role. You will need to make sure the ideas you deliver are clear and concise.
- Verbal communication: An architectural project will involve plenty of conversations across the board. You will need a confident and friendly manner in order to manage this aspect of the job with ease.
- Collaboration: Designing a building is not just limited to an architect. You also need to understand the different views of the people associated with the project, which could include the construction workers as well as the client. Remember, you are working as part of a team, and each idea and contribution is significant.
- Marketing: A lot of architects get work through word of mouth, but in order to grow an architect business you still need to be able to communicate this business effectively to the rest of the world. This means clear messaging on all of your marketing campaigns, SEO, PR and website, to make sure you reach as wide an audience as possible.
- Written communication: When you show your design ideas to a client, you need to have explained every detail and clarified anything that might not be clear in initial plans. You will also need to make specifications very clear when discussing materials and construction, so written communication skills are just as important as verbal.
What would you do if your design doesn’t turn out as planned? As much as you would like to, you cannot just abandon your responsibilities and run away. Therefore, as an architect, it is essential to have good problem-solving skills so that you can help fix any design-related issues immediately.
Almost every architect on this planet will have faced a significant design issue somewhere along the line. Having creative and resourceful problem-solving skills is vital in these situations to save your project and get it back on track.
The problem-solving principle also goes for designing or drafting an idea as well. You need to question yourself constantly and think about functionality in different ways, which will help you to continually improve your work.
Some people consider architecture a significant part of art, history, and culture. And whilst you can rightly term architecture as a part of art, it also needs to be highly functional and practical. It takes a very skilled architect to create a building that is both beautiful and functional, and will be remembered for centuries to come.
An architect plays a significant role when it comes to putting life into a design, but they must also be skillful enough to build something safe. Remembering these five skills in every aspect of your architectural journey will be a great help in ensuring that you succeed.
When considering your next career move, plan proactively and create Portfolios that include your best work. Consider looking into finding a mentor with Architect-US, and 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.