Top 10 Skill Set Every Architect Must have
Every architect has a defined tool set, but using the tools to the best of his advantage is the skill set of an architect. With the never-ending surge in competition, it is a must for every architect to have a large and refined skill set to his name. Without further ado, let us take a look at the skill set, every good architect must have.
Doodling/sketching is an absolutely critical part of an architect’s skill set. Quick doodles are often critical to the initial stages of conceptualization done by architects. Doodling is not only used by architects for form visualization of a building, but also plays a central role in thinking out a building. It enables an architect to perform simple form experiments and innovate with form. Last but not the least, good architects often incorporate doodles in their communications with clients. Doodles not only help communicate clearly, they are also visually attractive, making doodling a must-have skill for every architect.
Image credit: Flickr/Andika.
Critical thinking is the stepping stone that delivers an architect from the good, to the great plane. Critical thinking is not just used by architects to distinguish the right from wrong; it is extremely important to anticipate the next. Envisioning the future, involves rethinking the present; critical thinking is the tool that enables an architect to do so. Critical thinking takes from all fields like politics, economics, social and hence helps connect the architect to practices outside its domain. A significant tool of the masters, like Le Corbusier, Louis Kahn and Mies Van Der Rohe; critical thinking is absolutely essential in any architect’s skill set.
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‘It is a master draftsman, who becomes a master builder.’ One could ask why this practice is so vital to the profession. The answer to that is communication. In his absence, it is an architect’s drawings that do the talking. Drafted drawings, manier times, are often the sole mode of communication between the architect and the site. Hence, an architect’s drafting skill should be impeccable, so that his drawings can speak volumes of his capability.
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Models are used by architects to visualize and communicate. Architects often display physical models of their work in client meetings and advertising setups. Models are used to communicate the finished product to a mass audience. Nowadays, digital modeling is very much in vogue amongst the young generation of architects. Not only is it faster but also helps architects visualize different elements in great detail. Architects also often do quick rough models to ideate and conceptualize. An important tool for visualization, conceptualization and communication, makes modeling an indispensable skill, for an architect.
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons
Presentations form a very important of every architect's work life. Whether he is presenting to a juror or a client, presentations can often make or break an architect’s career. Making good quality presentations is an art of its own. Presentations have to be visually appealing, compact and self-explanatory. Architects use several software like InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop and many more, to make impactful presentations. Presentation-making skills are an important part of any good architect’s skill set.
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons
Architecture is all about teamwork. A good architect does not only have to be a team leader, he must also be a team worker. A smart architect always leads by example. Hence, along with leading his team, by keeping them motivated, he will be a part of the team by partaking in all processes. To be equipped to deal with team dynamics and interpersonal relations is as important for the architect as knowing which column goes where. Thus, every architect looking at running a practice of his or her own, must have this one skill straight.
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An architect has many roles to play. The spotlight is often on that of a designer, multitasker, or leader; the one role that is often forgotten is that of a manager. For an architect with his own practice, sometimes the latter role takes precedence over all others. An architect has to manage all sorts of things, such as his studio, his team, the client and most importantly the site. Apart from his basic education, the architect should also educate himself in areas like finance, law and business management, to be able to cohesively manage his practice.
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It must be clear from the above, that clear communication is an extremely important part of what an architect does. On a daily basis, an architect has to practice many forms of communication; some are verbal, some via graphics and drawings, and others, financial. A good architect knows how to pull these communications through efficiently and clearly for a clear and smooth functioning of his practice; hence making this skill an absolute for an architect.
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Above all, what an architect must have is the ability to multi-task. An architect is said to be an all-rounder. To a large extent, it is true. An architect is required to have knowledge of not just his field but of all the allied fields of architecture. An architect is expected to cohesively understand, and manage his practice. A good architect should be able to deal with all tasks at hand, related to the site, studio, society and change. If one is to be a good architect, multi-tasking is a pre-requisite.
Image credit: Flickr/ Lars Plougmann
To inspire, is a characteristic rather than a skill, nevertheless, every great architect possesses it. All great architects, whether it is Louis Kahn or Le Corbusier, all had this ability, the ability to inspire. A part of any profession is to give back. In architecture, one often gives back by either doing something inspirational to inspire young minds, or by firing up think tanks of young architects by the form of speech and writing. This legacy of giving back, via inspiration, is an extremely important part of the work cycle of any great architect. It is a skill, that all great architects must possess.
Image credit: Flickr/Taubman College
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