Rookie in need of help


Hi folks, I am a qualified architectural technologist, I found it quite hard to get employment but I have recently started at a consultant engineers as a CAD/ Building services technician. The director of the firm asked if I would work as an architect on a very small scale project and agreed as I felt capable. Little did I know that no one that works at the firm as any idea about architecture.

Basically, I am doing this project and I have no one to look to for guidance, I have completed my preliminary drawings and they are pushing me for the technical drawings. I am hesitant to do them as I am scared Im going to do something wrong and it will all blowing up in my face. I have been asking a couple of friends who are also qualified and working for guidance but Im trying their patience with all my questions. I really don't know what to do re materials, bespoke products, schedules, costs. As I say I have done my preliminary sketches, what do I need to next and what are the steps that I need to follow before I submit my drawings to the contractor? Someone please advise me, I really appreciate any help that I can get. 

Jun 10, 13 9:46 am

i don't know what an architecture technologist is.  it sounds something like .net architect or oracle architect.  "work as an architect" implies that you are an architect.  to be an architect means you have a license to practice architecture in the state of the project.  that's a pretty simple and clear dividing line for who can and cannot claim to be an architect.  in order to get a license to practice architecture in that state, you will likely need lots of college plus a really long internship to get real world experience plus some tests, and a bunch of fees along the way.  you seem to have skipped that part.

i suspect you were wrong when you said you were capable.  that's fine, it was a mistake.  i would say the right thing to do would be to back out.  i'm not sure the best way to do it, but asking an internet forum to bail you out is not the best solution. 

those of us here that are architects, and do what you're doing for a living, get paid to do so.  now you're asking us to volunteer to help you look better for your employer and put together a CD set, and ultimately in the process devalue our profession.  i'm sure that's not the perspective you considered, but for me that just doesn't seem right.

Jun 10, 13 10:12 am  · 

Option 1:Hire a real Architect! Bloody Hell.

Option 2:Say you can't do it and pass it back to your boss (who probably can't do it)

Option 3:Build off your sketches and kill people and go to jail for 30 yrs, more or less.

Option 4: Qualify the sketches with the client, make sure client signs off on the preliminary. Any changes they make during the construction will be a change order on them instead of your firm.

I recommend Option 1.

Jun 10, 13 10:16 am  · 

Who is your boss?

Something similar happened to me while I was working at a civil engineer's office while getting my architecture degree. He had "architecture" projects and I was the in-house architect and none of knew the wiser, not me nor them nor the city nor the clients. He was a civil engineer though, so it didn't matter that I wasn't a licensed architect. My projects were permitted and built just fine.

Jun 10, 13 10:25 am  · 

And I'll add that if you can get past how you are going to get the plans permitted with the authorities without a licensed architect, learning how a set of CD's goes together can be done by looking at similar set. That doesn't mean it is as easy as looking at another set of course, but that is the best platform off which to jump.

Jun 10, 13 10:29 am  · 

Your use of "bespoke" makes me wonder if you're in the UK? The laws there are different from the US, from where most of your responses to this question are emanating.

Anob, are you in the UK? Seems ralimiror needs to listen to you...

Jun 10, 13 1:32 pm  · 
boy in a well

I s'pose it does sound like you're a tad out of your depth.

Make it clear to the boss man (or dame) how you've satisfied their initial requirements (why they hired you) as a technologist and show them where your limit of knowledge / capabilities is, beyond which you need real guidance such that you can execute (essentially as a draftsperson) whatever guidance is given. Keep it above board. Throw it in their lap where it belongs. If you lose, and you might, then we all pray integrity will keep you warm at night.

ps - I don't like your friends.

Jun 10, 13 1:53 pm  · 

what is there to fear?  Just do it.  Heck.. I'd jump at the opportunity to play an 'architect' with only a technologist education anyday.  haha If any 'real' problem arises, it will be your bosses problem.   xDDDD

Jun 10, 13 3:11 pm  · 
boy in a well

seems to me someone fears losing their job.


Jun 10, 13 3:26 pm  · 

A qualified architectural technologist who can't do technical drawings doesn't sound qualified to me. WTF was all that education good for if you're stumped by a small project?

Your problem is lack of confidence. You're not going to get any from someone else, so stop asking. Sink, swim, or get out of the pool. Whatever you do, stop bitching about it. You got yourself into this, time to put on your big boy pants. Read some of the threads here, plenty of people on this board would give a testicle to be in your position.

Jun 10, 13 4:09 pm  · 
boy in a well

I've always had the impression that 'architectural technologists" were software jockeys with some sort of minimum knowledge - not of architecture, but of, say, generic building dept. requirements. Often make miserable drawings with appropriate notes pulled from precedents. ...Same as some youngster with a B.Arch. depending on the type of drawing...

Hardly fair or appropriate to talk about big boy pants when the training in all likelihood doesn't cover what even a small project eventually needs with no one to advise. WWPST? (What would Patrik Schumacher think?)

I think there's a middle ground between support and ridicule.

BUT - all my opportunities were rough as fuck and do it yourself. So I hate to admit it, but get out of the pool maybe the best advice to some . . .

Jun 10, 13 4:43 pm  · 

More proof that architectural education is an oxymoron.

Find the drawings for a similar project and copy the details. Find the drawings for any project and copy the details. Go to construction sites and look at how things are put together, then draw those details. Look at Architectural Graphic Standards (it's generic, but it's a start) and copy those details. Prepare dimensioned design drawings and specify that the contractor provides detailed shop drawings for review and approval.

In other words, OBSERVE and COPY. Any monkey can do that. It's not ridicule, it's tough love. I save ridicule for starchitects.

Who cares what Schumacher thinks? He would go on some thinly-masked pseudo-intellectual rant about the poor output of his competition and how parametricism is the only paradigm for the future.

Jun 10, 13 7:10 pm  · 

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