Simply defined, the architecture profession involves the design of buildings, open areas, communities, and environments, while achieving an aesthetic effect. With the exception of uninhabited natural regions, people experience architecture constantly, which is why what we do is so important. It is not enough however, to simply creating strong designs. Success in this profession requires aptitude in other areas as well!
We are stewards of the environment. Today’s designs aren’t deemed successful if they don’t incorporate environmentally responsible features such as energy efficiency, the use of sustainable materials in design and the preservation of exterior green space. To make things more challenging, the costs associated with environmentally-responsible design are often in opposition to a client’s budgetary concerns.
We are referees in client versus public interest contests. While a client is paying for a design which will meet corporate needs, the design will affect other people. Employees, customers and local citizens will all experience the design in some sense, so the client must be satisfied in a manner which is respectful to others outside the organization.
We are problem solvers, and wrong-righters. In communities with older buildings, we understand modifications made over the years can limit the use of the building. We fix what has broken, beautify the ugly, and try to make the best of bad situations we didn’t create. Needs change, people change and architecture changes in response.
We are clairvoyant to the expectations of future generations. Not only are we meeting the needs of today’s clients, we are expected to do this in a way that transcends the present time. Designs must last– structurally, of course, but also environmentally and aesthetically. Working with today’s circumstances, we must design for today and tomorrow.
While our end goal is an appealing architectural design, the journey to its achievement is almost always circuitous.