The term 'architecture' is derived from Greek origin meaning 'arch' first and 'tecnh' craftsmanship. In other words, architecture includes within its scope the design of buildings in their macro and micro levels.
Architects design places in which to live, work, play, learn, worship, meet, govern, shop and eat. These places are private, public, indoors, outdoors, rooms, buildings or complexes. In other words, architects are 'licensed professionals' who are trained in the art and science of building design and who develop concepts and structures into images and plans.
Architects design buildings and other structures. But they not only consider the external appearance of these buildings and structures but also the functional aspects such as safety and economy. Whether it is a custom built mansion or an efficient low income housing, a residential architect helps people realize their vision of an ideal home. A landscape architect should be innovative enough to create aesthetically pleasing environments at the same time ensuring that the changes to the natural environments are appropriate, sensitive and sustainable.
A US statistical study indicates that architects held about 132,000 jobs in 2006. While approximately 7 out of 10 jobs were in the architectural, engineering and related service industry, about 1 in 5 was self employed. Some architectural practice options include a broad range of possibilities from teaching and writing to construction supervision and management. Architects design buildings, construct scale models, write specifications, supervise and manage architectural projects. They also teach architecture, carry out research and advice building owners.
Skill set to become an architect
A professionally licensed architect in the United States must have education, experience and should graduate in the qualifying exam. The requirements for becoming an architect are stringent because an architect must take legal responsibility for his work. An academic degree focused in architecture from a suitable architectural program in a college is the first step.
After the degree, an internship in an architectural firm in minimum of 16 specific areas of practice is the next step. A pass in the National Architect Registration Exam is the final one and now a candidate is eligible to apply for registration in any one of the state in the US. Alternatively, one can also start a firm of one's own, if he/she so desires. This entire process of obtaining license to practice architecture typically requires eight to ten years after a completion of high school studies.
An architect requires proficiency in mathematics as well as fine arts. All schools imparting courses in architecture test these two skills in prospective candidates. It follows then that an architect is the person with imaginative blend of artistic and scientific perceptions that can see a design idea become a physical reality.
A right mix of intellectual stimulation and ability to meet technical challenges is essential for right footing in this profession. These days architects plan and design through computers. So the knowledge of computer aided designing is very necessary for an architect. Computer aided designing (CAD) has become an integral part of the architectural study program.
Architects in the years to come
A study reveals that in the US employment of architects is expected to grow by 18 % between 2006 and 2016 which is faster than the average for all occupations. This is forecasted due to strong growth potential in non residential and residential constructions as demand for commercial space and home occupation is increasing exponentially. In recent years, the growing trend is for architectural firms to outsource architects for design and drafting of construction documents for large scale commercial and residential plots.
Landscape architects create the landscape around us. They help plan, design and manage open spaces which includes natural and built environs. Landscape architecture can be defined as the art, planning, design, management, preservation and rehabilitation of land. A landscape architect should be innovative enough to create aesthetically pleasing environments at the same time ensuring that the changes to the natural environments are appropriate, sensitive and sustainable.
Landscape architects work on diverse projects, be it urban or rural from designing the layout of parks, gardens and housing estates to city center design and motorway constructions. Landscape architecture is a multi-disciplinary field which includes in its purview geography, mathematics, science, engineering, art, horticulture, technology, social sciences, politics, history, philosophy and even zoology. In this process, a landscape architect collaborates closely with landscape contractors, other architects, planners, environmentalists and surveyors and engineers.
Landscape architect career
Those aspiring to become landscape architect should have an intrinsic appreciation for nature. These skills are necessary to apply in the analysis, planning, design and environmental restoration and rehabilitation of land from garden design to town and urban planning to creation of park and recreation facilities. The professional task of a landscape architect is very broad and wide in its range and scope. Some typical work schedules include:
Some typical project types of a landscape architect would include:
Civil design, public infrastructure, storm water management , gardens and green roofs, treatment of wetlands, civil designs and public infrastructure, parks, botanical gardens, nature preserves, recreation facilities, golf courses, theme parks, sports facilities, housing areas, commercial developments, urban design, town and city squares, reservoirs, dams and power stations.
A residential architect creates living spaces for individuals and families. This could mean development of living spaces for single-family housing, multiple unit residential housing, tract homes and senior and assisted living. He should have knowledge of architectural languages, ordering principles and aesthetics concerning interior spaces, pathways, structure, facades and thermal and visual properties. Developing modern computer aided methods combining traditional inputs is the hallmark of a successful residential architect.
Green design architects
Green design is known as 'sustainable design' and it insists on energy efficiency, renewable resources such as energy and water, waste reduction and environmentally friendly design specifications and materials. Many buildings in the US and other parts of the world are being built 'green' to combat rising energy costs and increased concern about the environment.