Career Path : Engineering Technology
Architecture literally forms the building blocks of all society and culture. In ancient times, when groups of people erected a building as a place of shelter, worship or commerce, this building became the central symbol the people would gather around. It marked them as a distinct culture, and from there grew the cities that housed the earliest civilizations. The term itself is derived from the word archon, meaning arch as in ‘primary’ or ‘beginning’ and tekton, meaning ‘builder,’ and from where we get the word ‘technique’. The architect is the chief builder not only of buildings, but of the identities of society.
Architecture as a trade has produced many famous and innovative minds. If you’ve ever considered a career in architecture, you’d be joining a long line of people who not only have set themselves apart as individuals, but individuals who have forced their creativity to serve the common interests of everyone. The architect is both an artist and an engineer, and this is why so many are attracted to pursing this career. There are many schools and institutions which have architectural programs with different levels of competitiveness for admissions. Take the time to do your research to compare admission requirements, course descriptions, facilities, and out-of-school programs when selecting a program in architectural technology.
Keep in mind that there are many different kinds of technicians working in architecture. If you are not sure what area of architecture interests you, it’s a good idea to find a program that begins with a covering of the basics and introducing the various branches. On one hand, there is residential architecture, which works with homes, apartments and buildings for smaller businesses. Then there is industrial or commercial architecture, which deals in larger public works and buildings, as well as factories, shopping centers and even power plants. The difference is a matter of scale, but in today’s modern design world, knowledge of one can only feed into the innovation of the other.
Get an understanding of some other things taught in architectural technician courses before making your decision. Firstly, architecture deals with more than simply designing how a building looks. The trade is upheld by knowing how buildings work: from their science and materials, to their electrical, ventilation and plumbing systems. Secondly, don’t assume all your time will be spent over a drafting table pouring over blueprints; you should get a range of experiential lab time and hands-on practical projects to work on as well.
A final factor that is somewhat new to the world of architecture is sustainably and having a more environmentally-orientated approach to building and engineering design. Find out if the school you are considering emphasizes the fundamentals of sustainable practices. This is important because it ensures the enduring significance not only of the buildings you design, but the enduring life of the planet which grants us the space to build upon.
Architecture is an ancient art and science, but it is also the engineering of the future. Because of the weight and importance of this role within society, the future architect must take every stage of building his career extremely seriously. This begins with the right training at the right school.
Visit Mohawk College for more information on architecture programs and other engineering technology college