Architects influence vehicle traffic through cities and foot traffic through office buildings. They create awe-inspiring towers and inspirational education campuses. With a hand in the design of nearly every built structure in the world, Randy Deutsch of Architects 2Zebras believes that architects are important now, and will remain so in the future.
Here are 9 reasons, based on Deutsch’s 107, why architects do matter, perhaps much more than anyone outside the industry realizes:
#1: They Represent Optimism and Empathy
Architects are perennially optimistic. Every project is designed for a need. And the architect works to ensure that the need isn’t just met, but met well. To do this, they also have a healthy measure of empathy. They genuinely want to know more about the end user in order to create the best solution.
#2: They Excel at Resource Conservation and Historic Preservation
Architects work on tight budgets and tighter deadlines. Resource conservation comes natural, so they’re not known for devil may care attitudes about waste. This conservation mindset spills over into historic preservation, too. Why destroy something just to replace it with something else, especially if it can be updated to improve function?
#3: They Understand that Everything is Connected
Although most architects work for one client at a time, the effect of that work influences individual people and whole communities. Something as simple as a sidewalk can permanently alter traffic patterns. User-friendly outdoor spaces can change the way people take lunch breaks. No one understands the ripple effect better than architects.
#4: They are Artists
Every building, road, house, convention center, and city park began as a vision in an architect’s mind. They’re artists who work with modeling materials and computer programs, all to create a tangible representation of creative thought.
#5: They’re Safety Managers, Too
Architects are concerned with the safety of end users for every project they design. Glass tiles might be beautiful, but they might also be a safety hazard in certain areas. An elevator design might be impressive, but before it becomes a reality it must be proven safe.
#6: They Know a Lot About a Lot of Things
Some people are as deep as a teaspoon and half as smart. Architects are the exact opposite. Their depth and breadth of knowledge comes from intensive education, real world experience in all facets of design, and a genuine desire to know everything that they can about as many topics as possible.
#7: An Architect Probably Designed Every Created Place You’ve Ever Been
Are you sitting in an office building or a house? Chances are, an architect designed it. From amphitheaters and high schools to sports stadiums and office towers, architects design beautiful, enduring structures that benefit society. Sure, there are plenty of buildings that were not designed by a professional. But many more were, and are every day.
#8: They’re Distillers of Concepts
Architects are problem solvers. They’re critical thinkers. They have the ability to see all sides of a problem, understand internal and external influences, and then distill it down into the best solution. They help take even the most abstract idea and transform it into something logical. They turn dreams into realities.
#9: They’re Always Learning Something New
One of the reasons why architects are able to influence so many and effect such great change is that they are constantly in a state of learning something new. And then at the top of the heap are the pioneers who create what others learn about later.
Architecture might be one of the most misunderstood disciplines, but it’s also among the most important. Although some new computer programs, such as Google Flux, might seek to replace their expertise with preprogrammed, cookie-cutter solutions, no software can compare to the mind of an architect.
Education is critical to architects. So much so, the industry requires professional development hours at regular intervals. They’re always learning, which means they’re always honing skills to make their effect on society better. When your next PDH requirements are due, check out our courses at PDH Academy and see our streamlined continuing education process for yourself.