When you think of an architect, what is the first thing that comes to mind? We bet it’s one of those ten classic misconceptions that we’ve put together below. Although each profession contains certain stereotypes (and some may be valid), architects tend to be equated with engineers when it comes to misunderstood concepts.
Take a look at our list of ten classic misconceptions of architects to see if there are any that you have, and maybe you are wondering if they are really valid ideas or if they are myths that need to be debunked?
1) Architecture Is For Men
There are so many misconceptions about architects, but perhaps this is the first one that needs to be debunked. While it is true that architecture is a male-dominated field, it is not true that it is an exclusively male career.
Great women architects are finally catching their attention with women architects like Teresa Borsuk receiving the 2015 woman architect of the Year award. Women certainly have their place in this field of design.
2) Architects Are rich
Unfortunately, this is not true. Despite the years of hard work at school, not all of their studies pay off in the sense of the bank balance. Despite the prevailing thinking, architects are not paid like doctors, they earn a good income, but not an income that will make them rich.
The median annual salary in 2013 was, with the richest 10% earning per year and the poorest 10% earning per year. As you can see, you will definitely not be poor, but you will not be rich either.
3) Architects Are Builders
Architects use tools, but not hammers. Architects design buildings, they don’t build them. Their designs and plans are transmitted to the builders / developers who then concretize the design.
Yes, this requires a close relationship between architects and builders, but the final structure is created by the developer/builder. Should we mention the salary of a developer? No, it can depress architects when they read this.
4) The Architects Are James Bond Cool
While many architects don’t want us to debunk this classic misconception—everyone wants to be stylish and cool like James Bond-but architects are not the eccentric, cool, cigar-smoking characters that the general public envisions them to be.
Sorry, these are just ordinary people like the rest of us, sitting at a desk (maybe in a cubicle), bent over computers and working mainly on the smallest details of a project.
5) Architects Are Introverts
Wrong! Architects cannot afford to be introverted—their design ideas would never jump from the plan to reality if they were calm and shy.
For their designs to be accepted and taken seriously, and for builders to follow their designs, architects must be strong and proud. A shy architect will have a hard time in this area because the work is highly dependent on communication skills with customers, designers, builders, contractors, the public, etc…
6) It’s A Glamorous Job
Becoming the next Frank Lloyd Wright sounds glamorous, doesn’t it? Yes, it must have been glamorous to be a famous architect who created some of the most ingenious structures, but this is not the reality for the everyday architect.
Most architects are busy working out the details; meeting with city officials; trying to jump through bureaucratic paperwork; dealing with building codes; limited by a client’s budget, or visiting contractors’ sites—none of these tasks are glamorous. Although some architects have the opportunity to travel, it is not as common as some think.
7) Architects Are Creative Artists
While many architects who go to school think that they need incredibly creative artistic skills, this is simply not a requirement for a job. Architects are supposed to be creative problem solvers, but they don’t need Picasso’s skills.
In fact, much of their work is about elementary geometry skills that are by no means creative. And computer-aided design (CAD) has pretty much taken over from pencil and paper, so architects are usually leaning on computers instead of drawing their own design.
8) Architects Work alone
Like most projects-architecture is not the work of one person-it requires a team. There are usually dozens of people involved in larger projects (interns, modelers, CAD designers, people in the field, etc.)
While most design companies have a management principle: a person who facilitates the design; they are usually not the actual designers. Instead, it is the employees of the Lower Totem who create the design, but sometimes the management principle becomes the “architect” who designed the building. It can be frustrating for the rest of the team. Be aware that if you read in a magazine about “this or that architect”, there were probably many more people involved than the person mentioned in the article.
9) Architects Can Get You The Materials
Design architects, as we mentioned above, they are not the builders of their designs; therefore, they are not brokers for the materials used in a project.
They can only suggest which materials are best suited for the design, and maybe name a possible source of this material to the builders, but the builders probably already have their own sources of materials, and maybe their own ideas of which materials will work best.
10) All Architects Are Equally Qualified
They all went to school to get the same degree, right? So they must all be equally qualified for the task ahead of us? Wrong. Yes, architecture is a science, but there are many ideologies that can change the way an individual company approaches your work.
Look at their individual past experiences: what are they predominant in–commercial or residential or ecological design, etc. Ask them how they approach a job, what is their workflow process, what are their past projects like? No two architects or architectural firms are the same, so choose the one that best suits your individual needs.
That then! There are a lot of misconceptions about architects. Do any of them really look like you? We believe that despite all the ups and downs in this field, architecture is still a great job where you can make yourself known for your unique and creative design skills.