What academic knowledge should an architect have?


More thinking about scientific subjects like: Math, Physics, Chemistry?

Should an architect have them? If so, how high a level of expertise should they have at their disposal? Basic? Intermediate? Expert?

thanks for an answer

Oct 12, 16 11:43 pm
Non Sequitur
Oct 13, 16 4:12 am

How to lick shoes.

Oct 13, 16 5:19 am

There's a thread about this very same topic for it

Oct 13, 16 6:41 am
Non Sequitur
^ ability to do basic research is not a bad idea either.
Oct 13, 16 7:59 am

Everything you need to know you learned in kindergarten. The rest is superfluous. 

Oct 13, 16 9:29 am
Non Sequitur

^ I spent most of my kindergarten years stealing toys from the classrooms.

Oct 13, 16 9:39 am

now it's spent stealing revit families?

Oct 13, 16 9:45 am

That's supposed to say 10th grade. Everything you need to know you learned in 10th grade. 

Oct 13, 16 9:47 am

I'm an architect then !!!! :-)

Non Sequitur

all the revit families I need I stole in my first week on the project...

That's not true, I have technologists who steal for me. Ah, the times we live in.

Oct 13, 16 9:49 am

nuclear physics, thermodynamics, rocket science, molecular biology, differential equations, linear algebra, organic chemistry, astronomy.  You should be able to solve the hardest geometry problem in the world.  

Oct 13, 16 12:23 pm

and you better know your medieval British literature...

Oct 13, 16 1:01 pm

Mostly the applied sciences - at least to mid level collegiate (200 to 300 level coursework) - best to be able to discuss with engineers, particularly for permit approvals. 

Other subjects: enough to have conversation with clients on topics of interest to them (depends on client demographic, but ability to discuss art/literature/music at a college educated level has been a base standard in my experience).  Law is another topic that is helpful to know to understand code and permits.

Oct 13, 16 1:27 pm

You know the answer to solve all the problems of the physical world: griege (beige+gray). But do you know why?

Oct 13, 16 1:33 pm

yes - I have extensive knowledge in colorimetry, electromagnetic radiation, and color theory, how else could an architect pick a color?  One needs to know the inner workings of the eye and all of the hard sciences to even begin to select an appropriate color for a given application.  Anything else would be purely amateur.

Oct 13, 16 1:49 pm

The same as for any other educated individual.

At a minimum: general knowledge of the sciences and the humanities with deep knowledge of at least one or two subject areas.

my 2 cents

Oct 13, 16 1:53 pm

Of course it isn't necessary, but I've taken several biology and psychology classes focused on sense and perception and I would definitely recommend them to any designer. 

Oct 13, 16 3:37 pm
Olaf Design Ninja_


Oct 13, 16 8:58 pm

Olaf, why did you change your last and middle names?

Oct 13, 16 11:26 pm
Olaf Design Ninja_

philosophical reasons. philosophy is key to architecture. you could have mental problems otherwise. Plato and Deleuze for starters. I am killing the concept to rebuild it.

Oct 14, 16 7:03 am

An architect need to have good knowledge in mathematics and physics rather than chemistry. But more than that, he or she need to be excellent in mechanics.


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Oct 14, 16 7:07 am
Non Sequitur
But Olaf, what about the business cards and all those hats and frisbee you already ordered?
Oct 14, 16 7:39 am
Olaf Design Ninja_

NS. grabbed a laborer the other day wearing a Olaf Design Ninja Vuuve Challenge t-shirt, wrestled him to the ground, grabbed his carpenters knife and cut the Design Ninja out from his t-shirt. He wanted to the call the cops but I paid him off in beer.

Oct 14, 16 8:25 am

A great archinect with reasonable price.


Oct 15, 16 1:45 am

learn a bit of everything, then acquire a great deal of common sense

Oct 17, 16 4:22 pm

Not necessarily in that order.


Since the history, music, art, and architecture of each age have common threads running through them those are the subjects you need to study. Studying a language like French or Italian would not hurt either.

Mar 1, 18 7:54 am

Just be good at problem solving simple things and working through it.  Architecture ain't rocket science.  Most things we do is pretty common sense if you think about it.

Mar 1, 18 10:31 am

Know some chemistry, alkalinity and how different metals react. Know how hydration occurs in cement. Know some biology regarding mold growth bacteria. Having some understanding of real-estate law and contract law is good.  Understand how politics works at the local level (this is not always academic). Ethics is useful even if it is an aspiration. Know how to read and use the census and take a few demography classes, can be especially helpful if you design housing or retail. 

Just some ideas, I think another key thing is to have knowledge and some interest/connections outside of architecture and construction because that is where you may find clients. 

Over and OUT

Peter N

Mar 1, 18 2:15 pm

“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. 

Specialization is for insects.”

Robert A. Heinlein

Mar 1, 18 8:07 pm

Common sense, creativity and knowing when to call in an expert.

Mar 2, 18 10:44 am

If you can do this level or better, you just might be an architect..............someday????  (LOL)

Mar 12, 18 4:36 am

The ctb-settings are way off...


No that house is logical and would appeal to the general public. Definit
ely not done by an architect.


LOL.... yeah. You're right. This is:


ctb-settings still off...


Who gives a shit, use a color pencil then.


And those hatches sure look exploded to me.


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Jul 23, 19 3:11 am

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