Building For the Future: Architectural Training
Career Path : Architectural Education
Architectural education is unique because it encompasses both the arts and the sciences. Thus, an architectural student works to enhance their creativity and hone their versatile cognitive skills. Courses in construction protocols, materials and engineering design are common. Humanities courses that focus on communication, writing skills and art are also part of an architectural curriculum. An architectural degree will include training in CAD, or computer-aided design. Architects use CAD systems to create and modify designs for buildings, landscapes and other urban and rural spaces as digital files readily communicated to other industry professionals.
An Enhanced Portfolio
One of the most important tools an architect maintains for the marketing of their skills is their portfolio. This consists of a body of work that demonstrates the various kinds of designs they are proficient in creating, as well as works as a showcase for their artistic imagination and ingenuity. Students begin building a portfolio in college, accumulating designs and concept pieces through their coursework. This work provides the foundation for the persona presented to potential employers and clients, and thus must be guided by reputable instructors at a school that is supportive of the students’ future aspirations.
Contemporary Trends in Architecture
Architecture, like any vibrant discipline, responds to the demands of the consuming public and the most exigent issues of the day. There are a number of critical matters in designing today’s built environs, although the most critical are energy and materials sustainability, and conservation and efficiency built into the way buildings function. Thus, architecture training will focus on green building design and the most cutting-edge technology for utilities provision and waste management. Sustainable architecture, a growing disciplinary movement, takes the concepts of conservation and environmental responsibility as givens, designing buildings and spaces that maximize efficiency and minimize negative aspects such as dumping carbon into the environment. Contemporary trends in architectural sustainability and efficiency include:
• Bioswales and Rain Gardens: rain gardens are intended to maximize the absorption of rainwater, and bioswales remove silt and pollution from runoff.
• Renewable Energy Generation: rather than relying on grid provided utilities, sustainable architects design around solar energy collectors, wind turbines, geothermal heat and cooling systems, and other new green technologies.
• Recycled Materials: there are many cast-offs that can readily be turned into construction materials such as reclaimed lumber or stone and recycled copper.
• Low Impact Building Materials: for example, replacing traditional insulation that can be carcinogenic or contain toxic substances such as formaldehyde with low VOC (volatile organic compound) materials is a good way to design both a green and a healthy building.
The architect works at the forefront of bringing built environs everywhere into line with contemporary social, scientific and industrial concerns. It is an important profession and industry, responsible for creating the sustainable surroundings that will characterize the future. An architectural degree will poise the student at the brink of designing a better world.
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