Architecture to other design careers


I have recently graduated from BA Architecture in the UK (RIBA Part 1) and I am currently working in a studio in what is considered a required year out in order to continue to Part 2. The thing is I don´t know if i want to continue through this next parts in order the get to part 3. I seem more interested in other parts of design, and more creative mediums. While at uni I loved the design process that took place on every project, but hated all the construction detailing and building permits and legal things that comes with every project.

Now that I am working I dont see myself drawing plans and details for the rest of my life, I feel my creativity is stuck while doing this. I am very intersted in drawing, design, industrial design, graphic design. I wanted to know if any of you have swapped from architecture to another design based career, and hopefully someone from the UK can share an opinion.


Feb 21, 13 10:53 am

Do graphic design. All other fields require understanding of technologies and how materials come together. Even shoe design requires expert understanding of leather, rubber, and glue. You can never become an architect without understanding how shit comes together. 

Feb 21, 13 12:03 pm

I'm just curious -- when you decided to enroll in in an architecture degree program, what did you think a career in architecture involved ... just sitting around drawing "creative designs" ?

Feb 21, 13 12:19 pm

I totally agree with Rusty. Even if you switch to another design field you probably won't be able to let the creative juices flowing much because most design fields make you do mundane work and don't allow you to be that creative (industrial design included) but for you I'd suggest graphic design. If you want to do stuff like you see on you should definitely switch to graphic design. It seems like it is the only design field where it is ok to give priority to aesthetics and pretty stuff than problem solving.

Feb 21, 13 12:33 pm
vado retro

if architecture school taught their students the true work of an intern ie drawing boring details, organizing the materials library, pretending to care about the genius architect's anecdotes and  taking the genius architect's car to be detailed, there would in no time be a shortage of architect fodder, as 90 percent of architecture students would change majors.

Feb 21, 13 12:44 pm

vado ++

Rusty: "You can never become an architect without understanding how shit comes together."

Alas, if only this were true.

Feb 21, 13 1:05 pm

Thanks for the replies. Distant: of course I knew what architecture was, and the whole process. Maybe its just the fact that through the years of study I have found a lot of interest in just the design aspects of things, not just buildings, and in a sense I want to expand that, not just design buildings. Rusty: everything needs enough detail in order to be created and I am not saying I dont want to do it, like with everything you have parts you like more and parts you like less. Perhaps the fact that I have been doing it non stop since I started working has made me dislike it more. Also the amount of detail you need to design a shoe, is not comparable to the amount of detail in a building, in my opinion. It is only natural to doubt which path to take, and i am in that position right now..

Feb 21, 13 1:15 pm

I think this a great, if naive, question. I think most of us would rather do the fun/creative part all day. You might have several avenues.

1. Find the creative aspects of seemingly menial tasks and excel at those tasks such that you get promoted to being the lead designer in a firm as fast as possible.

2. Start your own firm and hire others to do the boring stuff. Hopefully, you have lots of wealthy clients and your employees know what they are doing.

3. Focus on 3d modeling and rendering. I know several folks that work on more speculative competition/marketing projects almost exclusively on these types of projects. They work directly with the lead designers and get to do a lot of design to fill in the details. Also, I have found in the first few years of my career that the modeler can generally model their ideas right into the project until the person in charge wants to make a change. You get a surprising amount of influence this way.

4. Become a generalist designer. Research someone like Thomas Heatherwick. He gets to all kinds of weird stuff and he is not licensed.

5. Go into another field, like internet startups, and refer to your design background a lot.

The main problem is that all design fields require you work very hard to fully develop your design skills. If you can't handle doing some boring bathroom details, it is unlikely you will work hard enough to become successful. Good luck.

Feb 21, 13 3:59 pm

Thank you for such a constructive comment Iabocce, I think my first comment gave the wrong impression. I am quite constant about everything, and have worked very hard to get to where i am. i never had any doubts while at uni, and since i can remember i have wanted to be an architect, I just feel attracted to diversifying what I do, hence my initial question of moving into other fields of design, because i have always been interested. Im still fairly young though, thats why i think it would be interesting to try different things and be able to fully develop my skills.

Feb 21, 13 4:25 pm

that's what separates us (the real architects) from the fancy designers/visualization artists/grasshopper fiddlers who think they're on the way to become architects when they can't even draw out a thoughtful/rational plan.  we need more of them :)

Feb 21, 13 8:22 pm

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