What is Architecture and What does it take to become an Architect?

In our modern world, we see architecture all around us. Our homes, schools, hospitals, offices, factories, and supermarkets (to name a few) and the various physical structures we see around us have a purposeful design. All these designs were created by someone or by a group of people. At some point, each of these buildings and physical structures were just ideas – ideas brought into existence and then given form by architects. Architects don’t just design buildings – they do much more. Here, we will look at what architecture is, its importance, and the architect’s responsibilities and job role.

What is Architecture?

Architecture is the science as well as the art of designing and constructing buildings and other types of physical structures. Within a wider scope, architecture also includes town planning, landscaping, urban designing, and furniture design.

Another definition of architecture revolves around it: manipulating shapes, form, space, and light to change the environment.

As well as considering the physical appearance and function of a building, architecture considers the aesthetic effects, safety, economic viability, and the needs of the people who will use it.

Architects also design open areas, community spaces, and various types of environments and artificial constructions.

Architecture is not only about building new structures – it includes renovating, remodeling, conserving, and restoring existing buildings and structures.

Sometimes, architecture can also include the design of furniture.

The importance of Architecture

Architecture is not just about building a building. It is all about realizing a concept or an idea. This idea can revolve around construction, use, or how the structure fits into a particular landscape.

The field of architecture is important because no two building structures can be completely similar. Each project is unique, and the architect must take into consideration its:

  • Site
  • The climate of the locality
  • The budget for projects
  • The materials required to make the project fit for its purpose

Buildings Should:

  • Stand the test of time.
  • Adapt to the user’s changing requirements.
  • Be sustainable in terms of materials and energy resources.

All that is not possible without a thorough understanding of architecture.

What are the Duties of an Architect?

Architects have unique specialist construction knowledge that helps them to conceptualize and create designs for new buildings. They can also see how existing buildings can be improved and provide useful suggestions for alterations and redevelopments.

The typical work of an architect includes the following:

1. Consult with clients to understand their requirements.

2. Create designs and high-level drawings of buildings to specification.

3. Create various construction documents.

4. Liaise with engineers and other construction professionals to understand the feasibility.

5. Apply for planning permission for new projects.

6. Write proposals and contracts for Clients.

7. Specify the requirements of a project to builders and engineers and ensure those specifications are followed.

8. Travel regularly to the building/construction site to ensure the construction is going as planned.

9. Work and coordinate with teams located in remote locations.

10. Adapt plans to resolve unexpected and complex problems that might arise during the construction of the building.

What Skills does an Architect need?

Some skills help architects to carry out their duties successfully. As an architect, the following skills can help you:

Communication Skills

As an architect, possessing excellent communication and listening skills will help you to understand, be understood, and avoid misunderstandings. You can connect with people, understand your client’s requests thoroughly, and articulate and share your ideas and visions with your clients and your teams.

Legal Knowledge

Building codes, rules, regulations, and laws surrounding building and construction are a part of your regular job. Understanding and deciphering legal language can help you stay current with the latest rules and regulations and avoid costly litigations. While architects’ professional insurance can help if you get caught in a legal battle (click here for more information on architects and engineers insurance), legal knowledge will be valuable.

Logical and mathematical Skills

A thorough understanding of the rules and limitations of logic and math – algebra and geometry are critical for all architects. Only with this understanding can you ensure your designs stand on a sound foundation of measurements and scales. That will make it faster and easier to translate your designs from paper to the real world.

Creativity and Originality

Just as crucial as logical and math skills are creativity and originality. Yes, your designs must be based on math and logic, but you should also visualize projects, come up with original and inspiring ideas, and create abstract concepts to be successful.


If you love the idea of restoring old buildings or planning and building new ones and have a creative streak within you, this might be the right career path for you. There is never a dull day in the life of an architect. If you prefer to work alone, you can start your architecture firm and be your boss. If you are willing to give your career your best shot, this can be a very lucrative and rewarding career for you.