Essential Tool Kit of An Architect

published On Feb 02 2017

Essential Tool Kit of An Architect

A doctor cannot operate without his tools, a writer can not write without his; similarly an architect cannot perform, when left unaided, sans his tools. Now, one could ask, what tools could an architect possibly require?

Some of the main tasks of an architect are, conceptualizing, ideating, visualizing, and transforming his digitized idea into a physical reality. To complete all the above tasks successfully, an architect requires a wide array of tools.

For an architect, his tools are like an extension of his brain; the architect works in a synchronized manner with his tools, to complete all the various studio processes. Tools help an architect to transform an idea into a tangible reality; they not only help them visualize and present, but also aide in improving their ideas and communicating them to people.

Image credit: Flickr/Wladislaw

Let us take a look, at some of the essential tools of an architect.-:


Drafting is one of the core processes of all architecture studios. Drafting is of two types, manual and computer aided. Both methods of drafting are poles apart, hence so are their tools. Manual drafting involves specialized stationary equipment, like set squares, parallel bars, compass, curve tools and most importantly a drafting table or board.

Computer aided drafting, on the other hand, involves complex software programs. The most important tool for it apart from the software is a computer or laptop. Both methods of drafting are equally important and tools for both are a must have for all architects.

image credit: Amazon


It is said that a good architect can guess the dimensions of an object, simply by looking at it; for all others, there are the tools for measuring. Measuring things, from walls to sites, is a part and parcel of an architect’s existence. Thus certain measuring tools, such as five meter measuring tape and triangular scales, are a constant in every architect’s bag. Newer tech age tools like, Laser measurement device and Digital Ultrasonic Tape Measurer are other measuring devices available in the market. Though these technically advanced help simplify measuring larger sites, a five meter measuring tape is still the most important measuring tool for all architect’s in the field.

Image credit: Amazon


Writing tools help an architect express himself. They are of a large variety, and hence can be used in several different ways. Writing tools also vary in mediums, some are ink based like Rotring pens and sketch pens; while others are lead based, such as pencils. Pencil colours are also used by architects as writing tools for presentations and much more. While everything has it’s own use, but the classic drawing pencil is an absolute favorite of every architect.

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Technology is an extremely popular amongst all architects. Working with gadgets like laptops, camera’s, tablets makes up most of an architect’s day. Whether it is documenting site happenings on camera, or simply drafting on one’s laptop. Architect’s spend up to eighty percent of their work life, interacting with some or the other form of technology, making these gadgets one of the most essential haves on any architect’s must have list.


Magazines and reference books not only help keep an architect up to date with the happenings around the globe, but also help inspire architects. A very important section in every architectural college and office is the reference section. The domain of architecture is so vast and so spread out, it is difficult to keep up with everything that is going on. Hence magazines and reference books are good forms of documentation of the same, so that every architect has a data archive to go back too.

image credit: Flickr/See Ming Lee

Must have e-books


One must keep up with the current times and currently, softwares are the way to go in the architectural world. They serve various purposes in an architect’s studio. Example, software like 3ds Max and sketch up, help an architect make visual models of their buildings; while others like Auto Cad and Revit help in making working drawings for the same. There are also some like Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator, which help in making presentations and doing mapping graphics for projects, especially in Urban Design projects. Softwares not only help speed up processes that would take very long to do manually, they also play an important role in new age buildings design with organic and futuristic forms.

Image credit: Gumtree


Painting and sketching are often used by architects to visualize in early stages of conceptualization. Painting tools include A4 sketch pads, easy to carry around, plus basic must haves like water colours, sketch pencils, drawing pencils and sketch pens. These tools help an architect communicate ideas to his team as well as his clients.

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A magic potion of 99.9% of all architects is coffee. It is an extremely important tool for all architects, it not only inspires us but plays an important role in help complete all processes involved in a project; making it absolutely indispensable.

Image credit: Flickr/Laurens Bonnema

For an architect, his/ her tools are like the armor to a soldier. They need them, every single day, to accomplish their goals. Not only is an architect incomplete without its tools, but is also quite useless without them. Apart from brain power it is must for an architect to learn how to use all it’s tools proficiently to be a great architect.

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