Archinect
anchor

Working as an architect is fulfilling, fun, and meaningful.

archanonymous

A little counterpoint to the negativity here. What do you find good about your job/ career/ profession?

I'll start:

  • I love solving complicated problems with a physical outcome. Puzzles ftw!
  • I get to work on projects that provide important civic and social spaces to communities - the pandemic has made it fairly obvious how important these actually are.
  • I get to work with really intelligent, friendly, passionate people - both inside my firm and on consultant teams and clients.
  • I can make an immediate impact in environmental stewardship and sustainability beyond my own choices.
  • Some days all I do is draw or sketch. All damn day. I get paid. To draw. Holy shit.
  • Everything in my wardrobe matches. Black.
 
Feb 5, 21 5:54 pm

+1 on puzzles ftw! I get a kick out of figuring out how things get put together. 

Every project is different. Every. Stinking. One. Even when we try to copy details from the last one, they always ends up different. How boring would it be to work in manufacturing or something where the end result is always the same? 

Trivia and random bits of information. What is a more wonderful way to show off for friends than pointing to random buildings and telling them what could be better, what was done well, what that material is, who designed it, etc.? So what if they don't seem impressed!

Feb 5, 21 6:13 pm  · 
2  · 
gibbost

As an architect, I certainly value the interactions I have with other creative and brilliant people in design.  More than that though, I cherish the time I have on site with the trades.  Hard working, clever, gritty, fun men and women who have found their skill and honed it to perfection.  I sometimes feel almost selfish for striking up conversations with many of them and stealing them away from their day--but I always learn something from each of them.  Those moments are what keep me invigorated.  Oh, and sketching.  I love drawing by hand.

Feb 5, 21 6:14 pm  · 
4  · 
Non Sequitur

I split my day today between sketching out a 9 story resort apartment building and a custom steel railing post base detail (for a waterfront bar patio) Two vastly different scales at the same time. 


This is the fun stuff. 

Feb 5, 21 6:28 pm  · 
3  · 
proto

mostly, the groupies

esp when I do The Point with my Roll of Blueprints

Feb 5, 21 6:49 pm  · 
7  · 
archanonymous

I hope you shade your eyes by placing your hand on the brim of your hardhat simultaneously. Even if it's overcast.

Feb 5, 21 6:54 pm  · 
1  · 
Wood Guy

Count me in on liking the solving-puzzles aspect. I think the main reason I love what I do is the seemingly unlimited amount of things to learn and know. It just doesn't end; there is always a new rabbit hole to go down or a new technique to try. I also find my niche of "green" design and sharing information about building science to be relatively fulfilling in terms of serving a greater good, which although I don't think is necessary to enjoy a career, it has become important to me.  


Feb 5, 21 8:39 pm  · 
3  · 
bowling_ball

I'm not at really involved with the production side of things any more, but that's opened up a new appreciation for how much of a team sport this is. I learn something new every single day, which keeps me interested.


I get a lot of my work from clients who've fired their previous architects for one reason or another. It's really satisfying to help people solve problems that others apparently couldn't (and honestly, it's not difficult).


I get paid well enough. 


My body won't be wrecked by this job, unlike generations of my family before me who've toiled in physical labour.


Occasionally I get to see, and point out, buildings I've worked on. That's satisfying. Not every project, mind you, but that's okay. 


There's a lot more. I'll be back. I'm just a little tipsy from our 5 hour-long happy hour this afternoon. Another perk of not working with my hands. Cheers.

Feb 5, 21 9:12 pm  · 
5  · 
archanonymous

Totally agree on the manual labor... my great grandfather was a coal miner, the other one a shoemaker. Grandfather was also a coal miner, the other grandfather a shoemaker. My grandmothers were both homemakers. I imagine they'd be pretty proud of me, and my grandmothers would be proud that my wife works as well, and is even more successful than me!

Feb 6, 21 1:22 pm  · 
2  · 
midlander

i love it. i like drawing things, i like talking about architectural ideas, i like taking trips to study buildings and cities, i like looking at an empty site plans trying to think through what i'm going to need to learn to get started - and then once i start, sketching a dozen careless thoughts to pick through looking for kernels of unexpected insight.


i very much enjoy the puzzle of laying out tower cores or squeezing secondary spaces into a form. i love looking at models of a design and figuring out a logic and process for producing the documentation. sketching out key sections and thinking over appropriate systems and how to detail them - all fun.


i actually hate building models though. it took a long time to find a role in working where i could express myself and be useful without being excellent at 3d modeling.


i think anyone who really enjoys thinking about buildings will find something in architecture to enjoy. the people who i've seen get burned out were invariably the ones who had nothing to say about design and no enthusiasm to look at obscure and ordinary buildings just to figure out how they worked.

Feb 5, 21 10:30 pm  · 
4  · 
gibbost

mid_ your part about 3d modeling resonated with me. I've always struggled with getting the latest software to work with me and not against me. I think three dimensionally and can solve complex problems, but generating it in the computer is not my strength. I too am happy I've found a role that allows for me to do just that--with the support to produce the modeled content as a team.

Feb 6, 21 6:32 pm  · 
1  · 
randomised

I love making drawings, 3d models and solving spatial puzzles, coming up with variations and different solutions, I love working on the different scales from large regional scale maps for analysis and strategy to fiddling with handrails and stairs in details and all scales in between, I love seeing what I made get built, winning competitions and writing proposals for research, I love to make presentations and diagrams or hold a proper book in my hands that I wrote and designed with projects I did in it, I love judging other creatives' work in juries and mentor interns or junior staff, and I love working within a team of likeminded people on projects that really make the world a better place.

Feb 6, 21 6:14 pm  · 
2  · 
curtkram

i feel triggered.  i can't wear black because i have two saint bernards.

Feb 6, 21 7:17 pm  · 
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bowling_ball

Yep. Got two light haired dogs. Black on black on black is for very special occasions only. Oh, it's worth it.

Feb 6, 21 7:37 pm  · 
 · 
archeyarch

I feel good, I feel great, I feel wonderful...

Feb 7, 21 3:12 pm  · 
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tintt

I love to draw and figure stuff out by exploring possibilities. I love taking a set of contradicting criteria and making something not just satisfactory but making something that is cherished. I love that when I tell people what I do they often can't wrap their minds around it. I love that I can have a fun, relaxed, productive work session on Saturday evening and blow off the stress of Monday. I love that my work is related to places and travel and I can stimulate my brain just by looking around me and taking in how things are built. I love that I'm an artist and make good money being one. I love driving around town with my kids and pointing out projects I worked on. I love that no matter how much I learn and how much skill I gain, there is an unlimited amount of ground to still cover and my potential is unlimited. I love that problems can sometimes be solved with a nap or a long walk.

Feb 8, 21 6:59 am  · 
6  · 
Wood Guy

^^^ I love your comment ;-)

Feb 8, 21 10:18 am  · 
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I'm in it for the high pay, loads of adoring fans, private jets, and worldwide recognition.  

Oh wait . .

What I love is taking a series of conflicting constraints and using them to create a building that not only meets the clients needs but looks FABULOUS!  ::snaps fingers in back and forth motion::

Feb 8, 21 10:58 am  · 
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x-jla

I think of landscape and architecture as the stage set where the drama of life plays out.  Working in this field is like working behind the scenes of the greatest movie ever made.  

Feb 8, 21 11:01 am  · 
2  · 
Non Sequitur

that reminds me of my (late) undergrad school director who would say to design around where the xmas tree would go.

Feb 8, 21 11:04 am  · 
 · 
thatsthat

I work on historic buildings; I love the process of falling in love with a building that previously had a dynamic life, now needs rehabilitation, and seeing people enjoy the space again. So many of our clients truly love their buildings and the role the building plays in their community; that love and interest becomes infectious. When I see how much it means to them, it makes me want to go the extra mile to ensure they can use the space even better than before. 

Plus I love the daily puzzling things out, drawing, teaching new interns, talking about the biz, etc. But it is the clients that keep it all going for me.

Feb 8, 21 1:01 pm  · 
3  · 
archanonymous

Every 2-4 years I'm like "I should work on a rehab, it's been a while." They are such fun projects.

Feb 9, 21 9:37 am  · 
2  · 
archi_dude

Working as an architect when self employed is fulfilling, fun and meaningful. Working for an architect is boring, defeating and belittling. 

Feb 8, 21 1:40 pm  · 
6  · 
Archi880

your comment was the most fulfilling of all. you said it all

Sep 11, 21 7:46 am  · 
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Bumping this to offset the negativity that's been taking over the forums lately.

Today I had a project architect reach out to me because they had a unique request from the client that they didn't know how to address. I was able to point them in the right direction and let them know that they can actually do what the client wants, even if they might need to prepare the client's expectations a little more for the reality of the solution. I absolutely love the little things that I learn while doing my job, and that my colleagues trust me to help them find solutions to their tricky problems.

Jul 13, 21 5:00 pm  · 
5  · 
archanonymous

Agreed. I can already see that there is no end to the learning in this career. I guess that cuts both ways depending on who you are, but for me it's pretty exciting.

Jul 14, 21 5:29 pm  · 
3  · 
atelier nobody

I love those moments.

Jul 15, 21 12:31 pm  · 
1  · 
z1111

I am autistic. Architecture has provided me the means to turn a disability into a gift.

Jul 13, 21 6:01 pm  · 
7  · 
elonorchoa

My nephew is autistic. I buy him lego architecture set and he put together perfect so fast. He is only 5. I think probably he is genius.

Jul 15, 21 2:02 pm  · 
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Don't forget about the money!

Jul 13, 21 7:41 pm  · 
2  · 
randomised

That’s just this years tuition fee

Jul 14, 21 2:21 am  · 
7  · 

Pfffft. That's my fee for designing that 3,000 sf retail shell building .

Jul 15, 21 1:55 pm  · 
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RJ87

In fairness a retail shell is only one pallet. Thankfully there are usually multiple buildings in a shopping center!

Jul 15, 21 3:50 pm  · 
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gwharton

For me, the best thing about being an architect is the opportunity to create places which provide a positive, supporting, and emotionally-resonant environment for people to live their lives. There's nothing quite so satisfying as to meet someone who lives or works in a building I designed and hear them talk about how it makes their life better or how much they love it, especially when they don't know I'm the one who designed it.

Having said that, the prevalent fee-for-service model governing the vast majority of architectural practice in the modern world is not well-suited to pursuing that goal, which is why I switched to real estate and do architecture exclusively for myself as client now.

Jul 15, 21 1:53 pm  · 
1  · 
whistler

When the the occasional client comes along and has the money and means to do whatever they want and says ..."do what you think is right" or "just charge me what's fair, and I will pay in less than 5 days" ( and usually pays in 2-3 days ) or my new favourite "waste my money, not my time!" ( typical older client with de-e-e-e-p pockets )

All true, however that can be offset by their wife who feels they really do need that $80,000.00 Cornue Stove to impress their girlfriends and will likely never cook on it little lone understand how it works because "the help" will take care of it! Also true.

Jul 15, 21 2:01 pm  · 
1  · 
archanonymous

Donna's post about her recent job change had me thinking too - there are so many aspects to architecture and design, and just because you aren't putting together drawing sets or fancy renderings, doesn't mean you aren't an architect. Sure it is tough starting out, but once you get a bit of experience, there is no reason to stay in a job or role you dislike.

 Go teach! Go do forensic architecture! Be an owner's rep. Go work at an arch products manufacturer. Start your own firm!  Take a bunch of peyote and start an architecture commune in the desert!

We have so many more options than many professionals do. 

Jul 15, 21 4:01 pm  · 
4  · 
randomised

No matter what I’ll do as a job I’ll always be an architect...

Jul 15, 21 4:19 pm  · 
1  · 

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