Design Tips for the Newly – Graduated Architecture Student
The difference between expectation and reality is an important subject to consider as a new architect. Chances are high that after 5 to 6 years of schooling to achieve your degree, you’ve already experienced some of your expectations about the glamorous field of architecture shattered by the reality of how grueling and time-intensive it really is. While architecture is undoubtedly a very rewarding pursuit for those with the passion for it, maintaining a sense of reality will help keep you on track and motivated when things get tough.
Newly graduated architecture students will find that their time spent as an intern for an architecture firm is an exciting and eye-opening experience. While your schooling aided in textbook teaching, it is your internship where you will learn real-world design skills and put your book knowledge to use.
Here are a few design tips to keep in mind as a budding architecture intern in the real world…
Interior Design of a Building is Just as Important as Exterior Architecture
One thing you will have learned quickly in school is architecture is just as much about the interior structural features as it is about the exterior. It goes without saying that a building without solid, safe structure is doomed to failure, but it is also the architect’s job to creating functional and beautiful buildings.
As an architect you may dabble in interior design quite a bit, depending on your field and the firm you work with. Some newly graduated students may even find it is interior architecture and design that interests them most, despite originally pursuing their degree with structural design in mind. Being comfortable with interior design will also aid in creating a building that flows well together and has a cohesive appeal.
Focus on One Area of Architectural Interest and Master It
You may have heard, “Jack Of All Trades, Master of None” before, and it applies well to the world of architecture. As a student you will have gained a basic knowledge on many aspects of architecture and the individual fields of interest that make it up. However, as a graduate you will find that eventually mastering one particular field will pay off.
Being able to experiment a bit is a wonderful luxury, but by taking specific interest in a subject that you are truly passionate about makes you a more valuable asset when it comes time to changing from an intern to an employee. For example, you may find a personal interest in sustainable architecture and design. You will help your firm develop LEED-certified buildings, introduce sustainable materials like modified wood, and bring in new clientele interested in green buildings.
Become Flexible Enough to Adapt to Design Requests from Clients/Your Firm
Mastering one field is important for obvious reasons, but as an intern and an architect you will also want to gain more real world experience by working on a variety of client projects offered by your firm. Having a basic understanding of design principles will help in a number of different projects, but also expand your own knowledge. You may be all about modern or contemporary designs, but your firm’s client may be dead set on a rustic home, complete with Amish living room furniture and giant exposed beams. It might not be your particular cup of tea, but working on these unique projects adds to your own skills as an architect.
Always Strive to Continue Your Education and Discover New Concepts
Every successful architect will agree that continuing your education and staying on top of new concepts is the key to success in the industry. The world of architecture is constantly evolving and if you want to stay relevant you must keep up with the trends. Continuing you own education will involve personal research, attending conferences, and additional architecture courses to get licensed. Don’t forget to stay on top of trends in building materials as well. Manufacturers are consistently improving their product range, offering tougher, more effective materials. An example of that is engineered wood flooring, a highly durable alternative to natural wood flooring in building design.
Embrace Failure and Use it to Further Improve Your Design Tips Knowledge
As a newly graduated architect you will find that real word architecture and working within a firm is vastly different than the courses you took. The road to success is a bumpy one and you will experience some failures in terms of design, especially as you experiment with your own ideas. This is all part of the process and shouldn’t discourage you from continuing on with your career. The world of building design and architecture is vast and one of the best ways of learning what does or doesn’t work is trial-and-error. Rather than seeing failures or mistakes in your designs as a negative, see them as a valuable learning opportunity. Also, never be afraid to ask for assistance or help on projects as an intern.
Architecture is a wonderful field that really is a mixture of science as well as art. The idea of creating blueprints for a massive building or skyscraper is alluring, but remember that the aesthetic design is just as important as structure. The nature of exterior and interior building design is just as much rule as it is creativity, but over time you will find your own niche and develop a realistic approach to your work. Keep your own interests in mind when selecting an architecture firm to intern with. This will help ensure you are able to fit well into their work environment while also expanding your knowledge on whichever field interests you most.