Evil Top Ten list – I hate you

Bob Borson —  March 22, 2010 — 72 Comments

Julius Caesar

I have been struggling lately with a post I wrote some time ago about the top ten reasons to not be an architect and the top ten reasons to be an architect. When I wrote these, it was a response to another blog I saw where the author was really down on the profession of architecture and had prepared a list of reasons why someone should not consider architecture as a career. I thought the list was terrible and when I finished reading the list, I determined that he must not be a very good architect; if your terrible at your job, you probably don’t like it regardless of what it is. Right?

The only way I would write my own reasons for not being an architect would be after I had written one containing a list of reasons why you should be an architect – so that’s what I did. The problem since then is that these are the two most popular posts (or at least the most viewed) I have written – with the list of reasons NOT to be an architect in the lead – by a mile.

“Et tu Brute?”

Shakespeare wrote this now famous line describing the moment when Julius Caesar saw Brutus amongst the traitors who stabbed him; in my case, the role of Julius Caesar will be played by Architecture, I will be Brutus, and the first post I read that led to me writing my own list of reasons will be Cassius. If I remember my history, things did not go well for Brutus and he took his own life.

In the 23 days since I wrote the first list, it has had almost 8,000 views (that I know of). I have been contacted by several other sites asking if they could copy the list and add their own comments. A German design magazine wants to run it in their magazine. In addition, I know that it’s also been published in Italy, Portugal, and Brazil. At first I was really excited because I had just started writing my blog and these lists were generating a tremendous amount of interest in my site which lead to them being exposed to my other posts. I had no expectation that these two posts would be popular and quite honestly, I didn’t have anything clever to write about so I took the easy road and wrote these top ten lists.

Maybe the reason I feel so guilty about writing the list of reasons not to be an architect is that despite being a party to trashing the profession that I love, I am happy that people have found my blog. I told someone just a few days ago that I write my posts for other people to read and that it was important to me to get more and more people reading this blog, otherwise I should just keep a diary. I care about what I write and I want people to feel something when they read it – move them to thinking or understanding something differently. To stop writting now seems unfathomable, but maybe I am at a crossroads. Do I keep writing and try to stay relevant so people are interested and keep coming, keep writing but at my own pace and schedule (and unplug from the para-metrics that tell me if anyone is coming and what they are reading), or quit all together.

I’m not sure what I’d vote for just now, but I never thought that what people wanted from me the most was a top ten list…..I feel cheap, like veneer…

So if your  reading this post, I would like for every architect (or architect in training)  to list one reason in the comment section below, or email me at bob@lifeofanarchitect.com, about what you like about being in this profession. I will collect all the answers and publish them. Since I have so many readers from non-english speaking countries, I will do my best to translate your comment.

Thanks.

  • Marie

    Hi Bob

    I’m a recent final year graduate, and probably still enveloped by that idealistic aura that comes with varsity projects that pretend to solve all the world’s problems but never have to prove their worth in the physical world. But I love what I do, for various reasons:

    1. It has taught me to see. To notice.
    2. It has created within me a desire to understand. Why do people choose a certain lifestyle? What does that mean for community? The environment? Happiness?
    3. It allows me to create. And not objects, but places. How amazing to create a place? Somewhere that people can visit, but not own. Experience, but not hold. Know, but not all at once. It’s an experiment, and something that no-one can control completely.
    4. I love that we get to deal with people from all different walks of life, and that a place enables those lives. Having a hand in creating those places is a privilege.
    5. It has shown me how to grapple with an idea, from the big beginnings to the smallest detail, always bearing the core issue and concept in mind.

    If I consider how the study of architecture has shaped me, I cannot imagine doing anything else. Like I said, I probably haven’t spent enough time in the professional environment to understand the frustrations voiced by other contributers here, but the contribution that architecture has made to my own mind will hopefully never be a waste.

  • 8

    I have read both lists. In both lists l have found only the reasons to be an arcitect. “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. Architecture makes me feel alive (even after sleepless night). IT IS a way of living, thinking, loving, watching…WORLD.

  • Gary Thomas

    Hello,

    I’ve been a registered architect for many years now, and consider myself among the top 5% in my community. I won’t explain why I feel this way, but suffice to say: I turn work away nearly every month and routinely turn down job offers.

    Having said that, architecture is a lifestyle that is taxing on you, your family, and ultimately your happiness.

    I work from 7am until about 5:30-6pm every night. I’m in the office that entire time unless I’m at a job site, meeting, or presentation. I.e. I don’t go to lunch unless its a business lunch or something for Continuing Ed. In those 10.5-11 hour stretches I do everything from manage idiots (internal and external) to having periods of near bliss when a design or project or bid comes together with that rare nexus of design creativity, cost (budget) control success, and ultimately a happy Owner (or Client depending on the Ownership Structure of the project).

    However, burn-out is always one phone call away. When I leave at 6ish every night I have a one hour commute to the house that we bought and we renovated. I say “renovated” in the past tense while in realty its a never-ending process of evolution. But I digress.

    During my one hour drive home, that we thought could be my “cooling down” period when we bought our “home in the country”, I am tethered to my profession by the nefarious device known as a cellular telephone.

    Clients spend what they consider to be “exorbitant” sums of money with architects, and as a result have a feeling of ownership over the architect’s time. This equates to calls and texts at all hours of the day and night. I have one particular client that won’t contact me until AFTER business hours. I have another that routinely contacts me at 10, 11 or even 2am when he’s brain storming about his next project. (This same client ignores social norms, and will call on holidays, during illnesses, etc).

    Herein lies the problem with the author’s article and responses about his reader’s responses….

    In order to be a “good” architect you have to be willing to sacrifice everything else. This is why architects marry architects. This is why people complain about the income levels, hours, benefits, etc.

    I know, and have worked with/for doctors, lawyers, engineers, dentists, etc and can state – quite categorically – no other profession places the same amount of demand on the individual as does architecture.

    Being a “Good Architect” is about being good at sacrifice. I suspect if architecture is your “hobby” it wouldn’t be viewed as sacrifice, but those of us who felt the draw as a young person (I can’t remember ever wanting to do anything else), endured five or more years of college, 3 or more years of IDP, nine registration exams, constant badgering from AIA and NCARB for money, and only view it as a “profession” are left with one sad realty….

    Architecture rates high on the public’s general misunderstanding of what we do and subsequently we rate high in “prestige” but low on the areas that really count to most people. Granted, when I was young I savored telling people I was an “architect” because it generated positive responses. I liked “impressing” people with the fact I was a young and talented professional. However, with time architects mature and grow weary of feeling special when asked what they do. At this point in their lives/careers, I suspect everyone starts assessing the areas that really matter: income; benefits; freedom (being a “good architect” means working all the time); freedom from stress, and a life outside of work.

    Architecture is like an explosively dynamic marriage. When you’re getting along with your spouse its the greatest aspect of your life, but when you’re not – you feel trapped, angry, and unhappy.

  • RD

    Good morning Bob,
    I am an interior architect for 8 years now. And graduated in a Bachelor of Design degree. One thing that I should warn everyone looking to make this a career, is that each night be prepared to work long hours because it is seen to be passionate about the industry. Working until 10.30pm every night is surely not inspiring but this goes to say that over promises are made to highly demanding clients. I am on the edge of leaving & starting a new career. Not because I’m not passionate but after 8 years of bad pay & long hours. It’s exhausting

  • Former architecture graduate

    Of course many architects (maybe the majority of them?) hate architecture.

    It all boils down to the horrific disconnect between your average architectural education on one hand, and the real world architecture, on the other hand.

    How can you expect someone with an “arts” degree (your typical graduate) to perform a job suited for someone with an economics/law/business degree, namely the ideal background of your typical Project Architect, who incidentally has the skills which are actually in demand, and can actually land you a job.

    This disconnect is an ongoing, structural issue :) and therefore will always generate this animosity.

  • CJ

    Architecture gives you the freedom to experiment. It’s an art form. One that gives you a broad scale of materials, and yet requires a logical understanding of the human life.

    • Paco Diego

      This is the type of naive rhetoric that comes from someone that probably has never set foot in a real office. Its an art form only to those that don’t have to deal with the actual realities of running a business. Get a clue.

  • Jason in Tucson

    I’m an older architect student, fairly early on in the process of earning a degree. Architecture has vacillated between an interest and a passion for decades for me. I spent several years in construction before life guided me back to school. I have several reservations about what it means to be an architect in this day and age, but I am still excited about the opportunity to learn how to problem solve, to create, to improve, and most of all leave something behind that I can feel good about and take some pride in. I’m not interested in fame or becoming rich, I just want to implement design that resonates with me morally, ethically, logically, and aesthetically. That opportunity is what excites me about architecture.

  • andrea.unm

    I am a female, undergraduate student at UNM and am not your average cup o’joe one would say. I am different than my class mates; I have life experience, piercings, tattoos, and well I am DIFFERENT. It seems the architecture field is not ready to TRUE artists and people who are DIFFERENT. I would like to hope this is only the case at my university but I fear that it is like this across the board. I am at the end of my 3rd year and just want to get through the last year and figure out where I belong because the architecture field is not open to DIFFERENT. It is a sad semester.

    • http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com Bob Borson

      Andrea,

      Don’t take this the in the overly harsh way that it will sound but architecture has nothing to do with how you are perceived – true artist or not. The fact that you think that piercings and tattoos are mainstream enough that you won’t be judged by them just shows that you haven’t been in the professional work world yet or you are turning a blind eye to the realities of professional life. 

      That having been said, if you have the abilities and skills to transcend the judgement you are sure to face (regardless of which professional vocation you choose … good luck with bank, real estate, engineering, lawyer, etc…) it won’t matter what you look like.

      Best of luck

  • archamy

    Bob-

    I am a 34 year old woman who just graduated with my Masters Degree in architecture.  This is for several reasons actually…. I got married and had children young and am now developing my career.  You could say that I went about it ‘backwards’.   Husband and kids came first and then college…. What I love the most about architecture, personally, is that I have lived a lot of life at 34 and architecture gives me a creative outlet that is reflective of that.  I have two beautiful daughters and a loving, supportive husband of 11 years and I believe that my design aesthetic has been made better, earlier in my development as an architect.  I truly love the creative process and the kinetic energy that explodes through my brain when I feel like I am ‘on’ to something…..

    What do I dislike…. I dislike basic office politics and the ‘red tape’ of building code.  I believe the building codes are good for human protection but when the code becomes directive and all-consuming the project suffers.  I wish, here in America any way, that the building code and the creative process could strike more of a balance…… utopia, I know, but a girl can always dream!

    • http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com Bob Borson

      and what a dream that is! but it sure sounds good to me

  • shtrum

    Hi Bob.

    Ran across your site from somewhere else about a week ago, and have been perusing old posts during my lunch hour.  This one in particular spoke to me.

    At 46 years old, i may be done with architecture.  Have done the firm thing, non-profit urban renewal thing, competitions, etc..  Long story short, it’s just not fun anymore.  And with this economy, prior problems that were once cracks in the profession are now showing up as fractures (especially in your city, where i’ve heard mention that 50% of Dallas architects lost their jobs).  So it’s not surprising that your most popular post dealt with the negatives.

    That said, i’ll toss in one thing i like/dislike about the profession.  Like:  the dual right side/left side brain thing, of taking a creative concept and making it real.  Dislike:  the (unfortunate) issue that this rarely actually happens.

    So anyway, look forward to more posts.  BTW, my 2 sons are also into the hex bug phenomena (na? non?) . . . i agree, they are way cool.

    • http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com Bob Borson

      things are definitely tough and nobody I know would think twice about hanging it up if it’s not fun anymore. Most of the time I can write off the pay and the hours because other things make up for it – mostly I enjoy what I do and find it rewarding. You take those last two out of the mix and I would find something else to do as well.

      Best of luck

  • archiblech

    I like being an architect, but I do not enjoy interacting with the older generation of female architects.  Mainly the ones who have reached a position of authority.  Maybe they are so aggressive, and have a by “hook or crook” attitude because they are in a male dominated profession, and have been conditioned to think this way.  However that doesn’t give you the right to be unethical, manipulative, and just plain rude and unpleasant.  This is why I don’t enjoy being an architect.  Because as a female, with a strong personality, I seem to run into this problem at every firm.  Usually every one else loves having me around, except that one women.  All I want is to be able to practice architecture, get along with my co-workers, and walk by you without feeling nauseous.  Architecture really is an inbred society, where architects work, befriend, and marry other architects.  However, you rarely see “Ms. Ima Architect, at the happy hour. That’s because you burned your own bridge, trying to prove what a hard ass you are.

    • andrea.unm

      I am an undergraduate student at UNM, female and even in studio this is the case. Looks like my instincts of choosing another profession are probably true.

  • Publicweb

    I hate Architecture. It is the shittyest profession in the world. Yes I am Ncarb, AIA registered in three states. Now this shitty profession has caused me to lose my home and any form of security that I thought I had. You are better off working at mcdonalds After 10 yearss of education and 3 years of internship and 9 f’ing test. I made $23,000 last year. The same amount I made part time in school to become an architect. Yes I saw that you said that the guy that hated architecture was a not a very good architect. Maybe so or not. I have won multipule awards, done cumminity service projects gotten lots of press. I have done an average of 60 projects per year for ten years running before THEY F’ed up the finincal system. I say this world deserves the very shitty buildings that they get. Architects are not valued in this world and that is why all these stupid up start churches are in prefab metal buildings. That is a world that they can have. I hope that they enjoy it. I will evelate my soul cutting grass for the city while These stupid asses rot in their cheap uninteresting prefab metal buildings. I do not reccomend this stupid profession to anyone. Except those that like Talkitecture. Talk about it and sound cool and educated.

    • http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com Bob Borson

      I am very sorry to hear that things have/ are going so poorly and thank you for sharing your experience and story. People need to hear both sides of the story and yours is certainly different from my own experience.

      All the best to you, I hope you find something that makes you happy.

      • http://twitter.com/LansingAtDCCADD Lansing Pugh

        Yes, well, of course, this is just the sort blinkered philistine pig ignorance I’ve come to expect from you non-creative garbage. You sit there on your loathsome, spotty behinds squeezing blackheads, not caring a tinker’s cuss about the struggling artist. You excrement! You lousy hypocritical whining toadies with your lousy colour TV sets and your Tony Jacklin golf clubs and your bleeding masonic handshakes! You wouldn’t let me join, would you, you blackballing bastards. Well I wouldn’t become a freemason now if you went down on your lousy, stinking, purulent knees and begged me.

        • http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com Bob Borson

          Lansing,
          Ha! – at first I didn’t understand your response and I thought, has his profile been hacked? Now I realize this is a fairly accurate recreation of the ‘Architect’s Sketch’ from Monty Python when John Cleese berates his clients for not understanding or valuing the design he created for them.

          Whew! Nicely done.

      • izzy darlow

        wow.

        Know that It’s not my intention to be vulgar, and I don’t say this flippantly (to you or Publicweb) but if a wound’s festering and gangrenous, It’s time to consider amputation.

        With that, the thing that I like most about the profession is the fact that it uses all of my mental and physical faculties. What’s great about this characteristic, is the fact that it isn’t dependent upon any specific outcome of any application of those faculties.

        Hopefully, that makes sense.

        Anyway…

  • 8dogsbarking

    The one thing I enjoyed doing is getting engrossed in a design problem with a coworker who was on the same page as myself, but alas, all I do is manage pumped up egos with large wallets and little minds. I am Architecture’s victim. To wait 30 years to do what I like is lunacy. Architects shouldn’t be called on to manage projects, it strips our soul of the innocence that allow us to create beautiful, sublime spaces.

  • http://www.spacestl.com Mike Benz

    Bob, here is just one reason why I like being in the architectural profession. This is in addition to many of the obvious ones regarding creative expression, solving problems for people etc. Those go without saying.

    One of the less obvious reasons I love this profession and one which I make sure to point out to high school kids who are considering it is that I get to learn so much more about the world and what makes it tick then other professions would expose me to. Because I have a generalist practice and have always worked in generalist firms I get exposed to many types of business cultures, processes etc. As a result, I am always learning something about the world at large (in addition to always learning something new about Architecture) through collaboration with my clients. I have worked on everything from 1,000sf boutique cafes to 500,000 corporate headquarters to 6,000 square foot mountain residences to fire truck manufacturing plants to a medical equipment research lab, a sophisticated producer of airplane parts, a furniture distribution center, advertising firm offices, hospital wing addition, police station etc etc.

    So every new project type is like taking a new and fresh college course in an interesting subject. Whether I am learning about how fire trucks get made, the latest medical invention, or the fact that houses in the mountains need to be ‘bear proof’ (because they know how to use a lever handle) it is always something new. It allows me to be better versed in what makes this world of ours go around and around – be it the good, the bad or the ugly it is all endlessly fascinating to me. Add to that mix the satisfaction of the creative process in general and in 27 years of doing this I can safely say that the days in which I have felt like work was a ‘grind’ I can count on one hand!

  • http://www.tonystefan.com Tony Stefan

    I wouldn't sweat that you contributed to the “trashing” of architecture. all the architects understand–we learned to be critical didn't we? how would we not be critical of the profession itself? i think the popularity of your top ten post is a reflection of it's inanity: it's a top ten list. it will fit in quite easily as a sidebar in a design magazine somewhere. it's been RSS-ed, but for print. it's good to be self conscious about what you write, and to your credit it is a reflection that you care.

  • Nell

    I’m going to reply to your request by describing why I am trying to remain an employed architect even when the odds are so against most of us right now. I like people. I like the differences among us. As an architect, particularly one that has been blessed to have often been in the project initiation phase where folks are excitied about a project and dreaming and thinking big, I like to listen and gather all that energy from those individauls. Then – when I do my job well – I get the pleasure of squishing it all around and presenting it back to them as a program and conceptual idea that honors their individual needs but works for and nurtures the whole community! That’s the part that I like best; being the assimilator and consensus builder.

    • http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com Bob

      Nell,
      What a great response, I really enjoyed reading it. I have talked about feeding off the excitement and the energy of my clients but I haven’t heard too many others mention that. Based on your list, I would gather (hope) that we would be good friends.

      Changing how people experience the world is the most common reason I received thus far (that is a good one). I hope you will read some of posts here and leave additional comments.

  • Nell

    I’m going to reply to your request by describing why I am trying to remain an employed architect even when the odds are so against most of us right now. I like people. I like the differences among us. As an architect, particularly one that has been blessed to have often been in the project initiation phase where folks are excitied about a project and dreaming and thinking big, I like to listen and gather all that energy from those individauls. Then – when I do my job well – I get the pleasure of squishing it all around and presenting it back to them as a program and conceptual idea that honors their individual needs but works for and nurtures the whole community! That’s the part that I like best; being the assimilator and consensus builder.

    • http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com/ Bob

      Nell,
      What a great response, I really enjoyed reading it. I have talked about feeding off the excitement and the energy of my clients but I haven’t heard too many others mention that. Based on your list, I would gather (hope) that we would be good friends.

      Changing how people experience the world is the most common reason I received thus far (that is a good one). I hope you will read some of posts here and leave additional comments.

  • http://www.faleide.com Patrick Lee

    Bob,

    That is an excellent program and glad you got a chance to experience it. While in school I did not get to take part in that, but after VT while working in Hamburg around 1993 or 94, i did get to meet up with a couple of groups as they came through Berlin and Eichstadt, which was rewarding in itself. I graduated in 1991, but don’t recall a Lesley.
    Speaking of small world, the reason I said I related to your Arkansas post is that I was just there in January and went to look at Marlon Blackwell’s library renovation in Gentry and also to Fayetteville to check out the Fulbright Building renovation. I enjoy his work too and looking forward to seeing more of it.

    • http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com Bob

      So you got to work in Hamburg – our trip didn’t go through there but I made a personal trip afterwards for awhile and got to look and see some really interesting “floating houses”. I think the architecture in Germany is underrated – at least I can’t recall spending any appreciable time on it while in school and found all sorts of buildings and spaces I enjoyed. Although I didn’t enjoy my one night in the hostel in Munich after drinking 3 liters of beer, I still don’t know how we navigated the medieval streets to find our way home.

      I didn’t make it down to Gentry to see the renovation but was able to explore all over in the Fulbright building during my visit with Marlon, the available photos don’t do it justice. There is the Blessings Golf Club building Marlon designed in Johnson, it’s private and he didn’t have the time to bring me out there but it is definitely something to look up. Marlon is also working on a large addition to the building that the College of Architecture is in. I don’t know if you knew this or not but the University of Arkansas changed the name of the College of Architecture to the Fay Jones College of Architecture and they named Marlon as the Head of Architecture (not the dean). Marlon also is designing the new Fayetteville High School which looked amazing – I didn’t publish any of those things here because of their status in the process and they are still somewhat hot potatoes.

      I am glad you found my blog, I hope to stay in touch.

  • http://www.faleide.com/ Patrick Lee

    Bob,

    That is an excellent program and glad you got a chance to experience it. While in school I did not get to take part in that, but after VT while working in Hamburg around 1993 or 94, i did get to meet up with a couple of groups as they came through Berlin and Eichstadt, which was rewarding in itself. I graduated in 1991, but don’t recall a Lesley.
    Speaking of small world, the reason I said I related to your Arkansas post is that I was just there in January and went to look at Marlon Blackwell’s library renovation in Gentry and also to Fayetteville to check out the Fulbright Building renovation. I enjoy his work too and looking forward to seeing more of it.

    • http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com/ Bob

      So you got to work in Hamburg – our trip didn’t go through there but I made a personal trip afterwards for awhile and got to look and see some really interesting “floating houses”. I think the architecture in Germany is underrated – at least I can’t recall spending any appreciable time on it while in school and found all sorts of buildings and spaces I enjoyed. Although I didn’t enjoy my one night in the hostel in Munich after drinking 3 liters of beer, I still don’t know how we navigated the medieval streets to find our way home.

      I didn’t make it down to Gentry to see the renovation but was able to explore all over in the Fulbright building during my visit with Marlon, the available photos don’t do it justice. There is the Blessings Golf Club building Marlon designed in Johnson, it’s private and he didn’t have the time to bring me out there but it is definitely something to look up. Marlon is also working on a large addition to the building that the College of Architecture is in. I don’t know if you knew this or not but the University of Arkansas changed the name of the College of Architecture to the Fay Jones College of Architecture and they named Marlon as the Head of Architecture (not the dean). Marlon also is designing the new Fayetteville High School which looked amazing – I didn’t publish any of those things here because of their status in the process and they are still somewhat hot potatoes.

      I am glad you found my blog, I hope to stay in touch.

  • http://www.faleide.com Patrick Lee

    I just came across your blog this past Sunday, it was via a sidebar link on Archidose (been reading that for years now) to [the belly of an architect] (clicked it only because the name intrigued me) scrolled his site briefly and saw Life of an Architect was linked up because of your Top 10 posts. Again, just because I was curious about the name – did not follow the Top 10 link and still have not read them, but I got to your site and was immediately captivated because of your Arkansas/Blackwell post. Why? Because I can relate to it. The same reason I clicked the links mentioned above – searching for something I think I can relate to, which in turn may give me new insights, thoughts and ideas.

    That said, yes I think you should turn off the para-metrics. If the majority of people are only coming to your blog for the “Evil List”, so what, maybe it is the 10% of people like me who only found you because of the list that count. I am excited to continue the Arkansas story. You have to remember that our culture has been reduced to the bumper sticker slogan, which is unfortunate, but true for a host of reasons. It is senseless to fight it, but if you embrace it and try to make it better you may get somewhere, and that in a sense is what I imagine your Top 10 lists may be – larger thoughts with substance boiled to their essence for easy consumption.

    Now, to get to your original request with this post – state one reason why to be an architect – I need to tell a story:
    In 1991 during my last year of architecture school, I told my studio professor I was looking for a movie to watch that related to architecture, could he recommend any? He said sure, watch “The Name of the Rose”. So being the eager student, that night I rented it and started watching. The whole time I’m sitting there watching, thinking Architecture, Architecture and as the movie progresses I start thinking How does this relate to Architecture? I don’t get it, did I get the wrong movie? I double check – Umberto Eco’s Name of the Rose, nope this is what he said, so I keep watching. So after the movie I reflect on the story and how it could relate to architecture and came up with a few ideas: mystery, self-doubt, questioning the rules, temptation, secrecy, discovery. I never asked him why he recommended that movie because I was unsure if I had really understood what he meant and was embarrassed that maybe I missed the point. But I kept thinking about it for months and one day it dawned on me, his point was that you can think about ANYTHING in terms of architecture, the importance is how YOU relate the two. This was an epiphany, and in retrospect was a guiding force on my path to become an Architect.

    I once heard someone say: “If you find a job you love, you will never work a day in your life.”
    That’s why I am an architect and practicing architecture:
    Architecture is a life-force, it is not confined to time or space – it can be with you whenever and wherever YOU want it to be.
     
    to give you a brief context for my ramblings above, here is a little bit about me:

    - studied at Virginia Tech
    - 17 years practical experience in Architecture in both Europe and USA
    - currently in Denver, Colorado

    Key quotes I relate to daily:

    “for every expert, there is an equal but opposite expert”

    “I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.” –Bill Cosby
     
    Looking forward to keeping up with your Blog.

    Patrick

    • http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com Bob

      Patrick,
      I graduated from the University of Texas at Austin and went on the London/Lugano travel Scholarship with VT in 1990 (great program) did you get to do that? The only name that immediately comes to mind is Lesley Paiva (at least that’s her name now). I can go bcak and look through my “memorabilia” and see what I dig up.
      Small world.

  • http://www.faleide.com/ Patrick Lee

    I just came across your blog this past Sunday, it was via a sidebar link on Archidose (been reading that for years now) to [the belly of an architect] (clicked it only because the name intrigued me) scrolled his site briefly and saw Life of an Architect was linked up because of your Top 10 posts. Again, just because I was curious about the name – did not follow the Top 10 link and still have not read them, but I got to your site and was immediately captivated because of your Arkansas/Blackwell post. Why? Because I can relate to it. The same reason I clicked the links mentioned above – searching for something I think I can relate to, which in turn may give me new insights, thoughts and ideas.

    That said, yes I think you should turn off the para-metrics. If the majority of people are only coming to your blog for the “Evil List”, so what, maybe it is the 10% of people like me who only found you because of the list that count. I am excited to continue the Arkansas story. You have to remember that our culture has been reduced to the bumper sticker slogan, which is unfortunate, but true for a host of reasons. It is senseless to fight it, but if you embrace it and try to make it better you may get somewhere, and that in a sense is what I imagine your Top 10 lists may be – larger thoughts with substance boiled to their essence for easy consumption.

    Now, to get to your original request with this post – state one reason why to be an architect – I need to tell a story:
    In 1991 during my last year of architecture school, I told my studio professor I was looking for a movie to watch that related to architecture, could he recommend any? He said sure, watch “The Name of the Rose”. So being the eager student, that night I rented it and started watching. The whole time I’m sitting there watching, thinking Architecture, Architecture and as the movie progresses I start thinking How does this relate to Architecture? I don’t get it, did I get the wrong movie? I double check – Umberto Eco’s Name of the Rose, nope this is what he said, so I keep watching. So after the movie I reflect on the story and how it could relate to architecture and came up with a few ideas: mystery, self-doubt, questioning the rules, temptation, secrecy, discovery. I never asked him why he recommended that movie because I was unsure if I had really understood what he meant and was embarrassed that maybe I missed the point. But I kept thinking about it for months and one day it dawned on me, his point was that you can think about ANYTHING in terms of architecture, the importance is how YOU relate the two. This was an epiphany, and in retrospect was a guiding force on my path to become an Architect.

    I once heard someone say: “If you find a job you love, you will never work a day in your life.”
    That’s why I am an architect and practicing architecture:
    Architecture is a life-force, it is not confined to time or space – it can be with you whenever and wherever YOU want it to be.
     
    to give you a brief context for my ramblings above, here is a little bit about me:

    - studied at Virginia Tech
    - 17 years practical experience in Architecture in both Europe and USA
    - currently in Denver, Colorado

    Key quotes I relate to daily:

    “for every expert, there is an equal but opposite expert”

    “I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.” –Bill Cosby
     
    Looking forward to keeping up with your Blog.

    Patrick

    • http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com/ Bob

      Patrick,
      I graduated from the University of Texas at Austin and went on the London/Lugano travel Scholarship with VT in 1990 (great program) did you get to do that? The only name that immediately comes to mind is Lesley Paiva (at least that’s her name now). I can go bcak and look through my “memorabilia” and see what I dig up.
      Small world.

  • http://www.vongdc.com Julie

    Here goes my response Bob…

    Confirmed architecte with my own office for the past 10 years… Went through the same initial training as you Bob! (UT SOA-BArch ’91)

    What I like about this profession… long list strangely enough. Considering that almost every day I ask myself WHY??? I want to be an architect… The answer is always the same – “I cant imagine doing anything else for the rest of my life”. Nothing else gives me such a sense of passion, challenge, of being alive and actually doing something that is important and that I love. Everything is a project to be discovered, thought about, looked into in its globality. Every time that I think that an answer is obvious… I end up looking deeper… and the farther I look in to the probleme – the less obvious it is. I discover more and more about my own humanity, which is something amazing in itself.

    We Architectes are destined to continually ask the question WHY? Where? What? When? How? Like Philosophe/maçons! Building answers only to test them again. Looking into every aspect of our lives, in order to understand, heal, and make things better… hopefully. Jack of all trades and master of none. We just cant help ourselves. We never really “KNOW” – we just try to “BELIEVE” – we HAVE to continually question ourselves.

    I think that anyone that wants to have all the answers is not intended to go into this profession. I would like to use words from Louis Kahn… ‘From “Essential Texts” – Silence and Light – ed. Robert Twombly – NORTON)

    “The essential quality which I admire most in Einstein is that he was a fiddler. From this he derived much of his sense of the universal – or rather, you might say universal order was something that came to him from his sense of eternity, not from just his mathematical knowledge or the knowledge of science. Why didn’t it reach the other fellow if knowledge was there, because it filters through everybody? Knowledge is avalable. It just happened to be in him, the knowledge of something else, and so it is in every one of us. Knowledge is very specifically something that belongs to each individual in his own way. The book of knowledge has never been written, nor will it ever be written for man. …
    Going bact to the university, then this was a center; it was something about the humanities that was really the university. Another part of it was that of the professions. This was the engagement of man in the various avenues of expression be he a doctor, or a lawyer, or a bookkeeper, or a nurse because you want to, you have something that tells you to be a nurse, or something that tells you to be an architect. And the university position has nothing to do with the marketplace. The marketplace has to do with the way that which personifies this profession is practiced by the individual; this is something the university should not be concerned with, except to inspire him in the nature of the profession, and in what way he will, in the end, be the happiest in the exercise of this expression. Problems of the marketplace really do not belong there, because no matter how much you teach it, the tendancy will be for the person to find his own way, because a man does not really learn anthing that’s not a part of himself. He might try very hard. He may even pass examinatins, but he’ll nver really be a chemist, even if he studies chemistry, unless he’s a chemist from the very very start. …”
    This is just a part of it… the rest is far too long.

    Bottom line – if you are passionate and it is your nature – you have all the reasons in the world to be an architecte despite ANY agravations you might encounter. If you are not – well, lets just say that you can find TOO MANY reasons not to.

    Julie Howard
    Architecte DESA – BArch UTSOA Austin
    Paris, France
    http://www.vongdc.com

  • http://www.vongdc.com/ Julie

    Here goes my response Bob…

    Confirmed architecte with my own office for the past 10 years… Went through the same initial training as you Bob! (UT SOA-BArch ’91)

    What I like about this profession… long list strangely enough. Considering that almost every day I ask myself WHY??? I want to be an architect… The answer is always the same – “I cant imagine doing anything else for the rest of my life”. Nothing else gives me such a sense of passion, challenge, of being alive and actually doing something that is important and that I love. Everything is a project to be discovered, thought about, looked into in its globality. Every time that I think that an answer is obvious… I end up looking deeper… and the farther I look in to the probleme – the less obvious it is. I discover more and more about my own humanity, which is something amazing in itself.

    We Architectes are destined to continually ask the question WHY? Where? What? When? How? Like Philosophe/maçons! Building answers only to test them again. Looking into every aspect of our lives, in order to understand, heal, and make things better… hopefully. Jack of all trades and master of none. We just cant help ourselves. We never really “KNOW” – we just try to “BELIEVE” – we HAVE to continually question ourselves.

    I think that anyone that wants to have all the answers is not intended to go into this profession. I would like to use words from Louis Kahn… ‘From “Essential Texts” – Silence and Light – ed. Robert Twombly – NORTON)

    “The essential quality which I admire most in Einstein is that he was a fiddler. From this he derived much of his sense of the universal – or rather, you might say universal order was something that came to him from his sense of eternity, not from just his mathematical knowledge or the knowledge of science. Why didn’t it reach the other fellow if knowledge was there, because it filters through everybody? Knowledge is avalable. It just happened to be in him, the knowledge of something else, and so it is in every one of us. Knowledge is very specifically something that belongs to each individual in his own way. The book of knowledge has never been written, nor will it ever be written for man. …
    Going bact to the university, then this was a center; it was something about the humanities that was really the university. Another part of it was that of the professions. This was the engagement of man in the various avenues of expression be he a doctor, or a lawyer, or a bookkeeper, or a nurse because you want to, you have something that tells you to be a nurse, or something that tells you to be an architect. And the university position has nothing to do with the marketplace. The marketplace has to do with the way that which personifies this profession is practiced by the individual; this is something the university should not be concerned with, except to inspire him in the nature of the profession, and in what way he will, in the end, be the happiest in the exercise of this expression. Problems of the marketplace really do not belong there, because no matter how much you teach it, the tendancy will be for the person to find his own way, because a man does not really learn anthing that’s not a part of himself. He might try very hard. He may even pass examinatins, but he’ll nver really be a chemist, even if he studies chemistry, unless he’s a chemist from the very very start. …”
    This is just a part of it… the rest is far too long.

    Bottom line – if you are passionate and it is your nature – you have all the reasons in the world to be an architecte despite ANY agravations you might encounter. If you are not – well, lets just say that you can find TOO MANY reasons not to.

    Julie Howard
    Architecte DESA – BArch UTSOA Austin
    Paris, France
    http://www.vongdc.com

  • Erica Dugdale

    As an Interior Design student what I think is the best thing about architecture and design is the intersection of so many ideas that occurs. From lighting, furniture, and materials to the environmental, emotional or sociological impact of design, a whole world of details is there to be considered and it can be inspiring to see how these different facets coalesce.

    Plus, we get to look at all the pretty stuff out there. My family doesn’t understand why I sigh over Ann Sacks tile but my Interiors buddies do, haha!

    • http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com Bob

      Erica,
      I like that you have referenced theemotional and sociological impact of design – these are things that you don’t necessarily think about when you are first starting out. The longer you go on working, and the more you discover your own sense and how that impacts how you work, you can’t help but become emotionaly tied to your work and that something that I didn’t put on the “to” list as compared to other professions but I should have.
      Thanks for commenting, it’s good to hear from you.

  • Erica Dugdale

    As an Interior Design student what I think is the best thing about architecture and design is the intersection of so many ideas that occurs. From lighting, furniture, and materials to the environmental, emotional or sociological impact of design, a whole world of details is there to be considered and it can be inspiring to see how these different facets coalesce.

    Plus, we get to look at all the pretty stuff out there. My family doesn’t understand why I sigh over Ann Sacks tile but my Interiors buddies do, haha!

    • http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com/ Bob

      Erica,
      I like that you have referenced theemotional and sociological impact of design – these are things that you don’t necessarily think about when you are first starting out. The longer you go on working, and the more you discover your own sense and how that impacts how you work, you can’t help but become emotionaly tied to your work and that something that I didn’t put on the “to” list as compared to other professions but I should have.
      Thanks for commenting, it’s good to hear from you.

  • Tim

    Bob-
    There were quite a few reasons why I chose to pursue a career in construction rather than architecture. First and foremost was instinct. While I loved design, and wanted to be an architect from an early age, I found myself wanting to be the one who figured out how to build a project rather than design it. To me it was a challenging model to figure out how each nut and bolt of a great design came together in “the real world”. Also, the ability to bring an architect’s knowledge and sensitivity to the world of construction is a great asset. It is certainly easier for me to relate and understand what an architect is trying to accomplish.

    I have also learned that I am not the type of person to sit behind a drawing board all day (I would make a terrible production architect). The ability to touch and feel the job sites, interact with the skilled tradesman, negotiate deals, manage multimillion dollar budgets, and see a tangible result in the form of a completed project is incredibly exhilarating.

    Unfortunately I have to also admit that financial reasons also come into play. It has always amazed me how most architects are severely under-compensated for what they do. This was always a struggle for me, and I found early in my career that I could provide a better living for myself in the field of construction. Don’t mistake this as my reason to change, but rather an added benefit. It is an entirely other subject, but hopefully architects will take more responsibility (legal) for what they do, and as a result will hold a stronger position in the market that will result in larger fees and compensation.

    The beauty of being an architect is versatility. There are many avenues in the world of project development that this training can serve, and many opportunities for an architect to be a contributing force in completing a project and bettering our world.

  • Tim

    Bob-
    There were quite a few reasons why I chose to pursue a career in construction rather than architecture. First and foremost was instinct. While I loved design, and wanted to be an architect from an early age, I found myself wanting to be the one who figured out how to build a project rather than design it. To me it was a challenging model to figure out how each nut and bolt of a great design came together in “the real world”. Also, the ability to bring an architect’s knowledge and sensitivity to the world of construction is a great asset. It is certainly easier for me to relate and understand what an architect is trying to accomplish.

    I have also learned that I am not the type of person to sit behind a drawing board all day (I would make a terrible production architect). The ability to touch and feel the job sites, interact with the skilled tradesman, negotiate deals, manage multimillion dollar budgets, and see a tangible result in the form of a completed project is incredibly exhilarating.

    Unfortunately I have to also admit that financial reasons also come into play. It has always amazed me how most architects are severely under-compensated for what they do. This was always a struggle for me, and I found early in my career that I could provide a better living for myself in the field of construction. Don’t mistake this as my reason to change, but rather an added benefit. It is an entirely other subject, but hopefully architects will take more responsibility (legal) for what they do, and as a result will hold a stronger position in the market that will result in larger fees and compensation.

    The beauty of being an architect is versatility. There are many avenues in the world of project development that this training can serve, and many opportunities for an architect to be a contributing force in completing a project and bettering our world.

  • http://mowerymarsh.blogspot.com/ Jennifer Marsh

    I can’t recall how I found your site a few weeks ago…maybe Daily Dose of Arch? What brought me back though, was your post on the house numbers, if you can believe it. I crave practical information about good design that I can apply to my work. I also appreciate when you talk about the profession as it relates to your family. But mostly, I enjoy your ‘voice’… it’s real, humorous, and relatable.

    I just went back to read the top 10 and I must say they were dead on, the good and the bad. The profession has turned out for me just as I had hoped back in 1991 when I got into architecture school. First, it’s a productive creative outlet that is based in pragmatic thought. I get to use both sides of my brain everyday in every thing I do. And secondly, I’ve managed to keep my career moving forward while having a family. I’m a better architect today juggling kids and work than I was 6 years ago working full time at a big firm in NYC.

    The worst for me is what you said about your house depressing you. My husband is an architect too (oh yeah, that was #1 on the bad list!)… and we are constantly looking at how we can improve our less than ideal living situation and contemplating another move. Fortunately, we are like minded and get through it together.

    Congrats on such a successful blog. Keep it coming!

    JM

    http://www.mowerymarsh.com
    http://www.mowerymarsh.blogspot.com

  • http://mowerymarsh.blogspot.com/ Jennifer Marsh

    I can’t recall how I found your site a few weeks ago…maybe Daily Dose of Arch? What brought me back though, was your post on the house numbers, if you can believe it. I crave practical information about good design that I can apply to my work. I also appreciate when you talk about the profession as it relates to your family. But mostly, I enjoy your ‘voice’… it’s real, humorous, and relatable.

    I just went back to read the top 10 and I must say they were dead on, the good and the bad. The profession has turned out for me just as I had hoped back in 1991 when I got into architecture school. First, it’s a productive creative outlet that is based in pragmatic thought. I get to use both sides of my brain everyday in every thing I do. And secondly, I’ve managed to keep my career moving forward while having a family. I’m a better architect today juggling kids and work than I was 6 years ago working full time at a big firm in NYC.

    The worst for me is what you said about your house depressing you. My husband is an architect too (oh yeah, that was #1 on the bad list!)… and we are constantly looking at how we can improve our less than ideal living situation and contemplating another move. Fortunately, we are like minded and get through it together.

    Congrats on such a successful blog. Keep it coming!

    JM

    http://www.mowerymarsh.com
    http://www.mowerymarsh.blogspot.com

  • http://www.studiopacifica.com kbrtmyr

    The top reason why I am an architect is that I can’t imagine anything else would so successfully satisfy both my craving to make and my craving to organize. Sigh. I am now a consultant, so I miss the designing part desperately and have slid back into redoing my personal surroundings AGAIN to satisfy that craving.

    I also read your blog because I stumbled on a recent post where you mentioned Michael Malone – coincidentally a former co-worker and longtime pal of mine. I had no idea he’d written a book until I read it on your blog. Thanks for the connection (it’s a small world, huh!)

  • http://www.studiopacifica.com/ kbrtmyr

    The top reason why I am an architect is that I can’t imagine anything else would so successfully satisfy both my craving to make and my craving to organize. Sigh. I am now a consultant, so I miss the designing part desperately and have slid back into redoing my personal surroundings AGAIN to satisfy that craving.

    I also read your blog because I stumbled on a recent post where you mentioned Michael Malone – coincidentally a former co-worker and longtime pal of mine. I had no idea he’d written a book until I read it on your blog. Thanks for the connection (it’s a small world, huh!)

  • Jennifer

    As a student with some work experience, I identified with many of your top ten reasons to be an architect. Many family members and friends have asked me countless times why I want to be an architect, given the many years of school and long hours. But I honestly couldn’t imagine studying anything else.

    This may sound navie, but I’m excited about the possibility of improving lives through design. Regardless of the scale of a project, architecture impacts how people interact, and the better the design, the more positive that interaction can become. Externally, I’m also very interested in how architecture can affect wider society and the natural environment.

    Also, I enjoy being able to express my ideas in so many different ways – through drawings, physical models, verbal communication, etc. There are so many means through which architects can be literate.

    Finally, I agree with earlier comments concerning this blog in particular. I recently found the lists, but I’ve enjoyed reading the rest of your posts these past few weeks. When I was first considering architecture as a career, I met a lot of really cynical architects, so reading this blog is both encouraging and educational for me.

    • http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com Bob

      Jennifer-
      simply and beautifully stated. I can’t imagine doing anything else either. Cheers!

  • Jennifer

    As a student with some work experience, I identified with many of your top ten reasons to be an architect. Many family members and friends have asked me countless times why I want to be an architect, given the many years of school and long hours. But I honestly couldn’t imagine studying anything else.

    This may sound navie, but I’m excited about the possibility of improving lives through design. Regardless of the scale of a project, architecture impacts how people interact, and the better the design, the more positive that interaction can become. Externally, I’m also very interested in how architecture can affect wider society and the natural environment.

    Also, I enjoy being able to express my ideas in so many different ways – through drawings, physical models, verbal communication, etc. There are so many means through which architects can be literate.

    Finally, I agree with earlier comments concerning this blog in particular. I recently found the lists, but I’ve enjoyed reading the rest of your posts these past few weeks. When I was first considering architecture as a career, I met a lot of really cynical architects, so reading this blog is both encouraging and educational for me.

    • http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com/ Bob

      Jennifer-
      simply and beautifully stated. I can’t imagine doing anything else either. Cheers!

  • http://www.mynta.ca Mynta

    I also found your blog through the lists, but read on and added it to my reader because of the rest of your posts. So I’d say to you: consider your lists a good hook, but trust the quality of your other posts to keep readership. Write on

    As an architect who actually wishes she could stop being an architect (to pursue full time my work as a silversmith / jewelery designer), I can say in all honesty that one reason I like being an architect relates to a point on your list: the feeling of being part of a respected profession; that approving exclamation one often gets from strangers when you reveal what you do, when you know you are being thought of as someone creative and artistic.

    True or not, the aura that architecture has is always pleasant to bask in. Sometimes my ego needs it after a soul-killing meeting with a particularly difficult client.

    I’ll also echo Tim’s comment and acknowledge that what my training as an architect gave me, is probably what I value most. I am always glad of how it shaped the way I see the world, my hobbies and even my friends. The comforting part is that practicing architect or not, this I take with me always.

    • http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com Bob

      Mynta,
      It is amusing that so few people really understand what we do (including architects who are in or just out of school) but yet they all want to do what we do. As soon as I tell people that I am an architect, everyone (and I mean everyone) tells me that they wanted to be an architect or at least thought about being an architect. It’s nice to be a part of something larger – particularly on the soul-sucking days which for the record – everyone has those, they aren’t unique to us – so we look for the good to help define our own perception of what we do. At least I do.
      Thanks for your comment, I hope to hear more from you.

  • http://www.mynta.ca/ Mynta

    I also found your blog through the lists, but read on and added it to my reader because of the rest of your posts. So I’d say to you: consider your lists a good hook, but trust the quality of your other posts to keep readership. Write on

    As an architect who actually wishes she could stop being an architect (to pursue full time my work as a silversmith / jewelery designer), I can say in all honesty that one reason I like being an architect relates to a point on your list: the feeling of being part of a respected profession; that approving exclamation one often gets from strangers when you reveal what you do, when you know you are being thought of as someone creative and artistic.

    True or not, the aura that architecture has is always pleasant to bask in. Sometimes my ego needs it after a soul-killing meeting with a particularly difficult client.

    I’ll also echo Tim’s comment and acknowledge that what my training as an architect gave me, is probably what I value most. I am always glad of how it shaped the way I see the world, my hobbies and even my friends. The comforting part is that practicing architect or not, this I take with me always.

    • http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com/ Bob

      Mynta,
      It is amusing that so few people really understand what we do (including architects who are in or just out of school) but yet they all want to do what we do. As soon as I tell people that I am an architect, everyone (and I mean everyone) tells me that they wanted to be an architect or at least thought about being an architect. It’s nice to be a part of something larger – particularly on the soul-sucking days which for the record – everyone has those, they aren’t unique to us – so we look for the good to help define our own perception of what we do. At least I do.
      Thanks for your comment, I hope to hear more from you.

  • Janice

    The best parts about being an architect in training are the late nights, new friends (who become closer than your family), unreal projects (that jurors always remind us that we’ll miss when we start practicing in real life) and fixitive. I believe we “hate” something as much as we love it. It’s like how people say “I hope I’m not like my parents when I get older”…30 years later, you become the very thing you thought you didn’t want to be, but you love. So all the reasons NOT to be an architect could very well equate to reasons to BECOMING an architect (although I haven’t read your list yet). So far, the absolute remarkable part about training in this field is realizing how your mind changes. I go into a building and marvel at the structure, while normal people look for something to sit on. Different strokes for different folks.

    • http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com Bob

      Janice,
      Very interesting comment that the list of reasons NOT to become an architect could change into the reasons why you WOULD. I had this very same conversation with another architect right after I originally wrote the list. The thing that I find most intriguing is that the list of reasons why not to be an architect are so generic that this could be a list for any profession. I thought that it would be fun to compare this list to what would happen if you went to a fortune teller – that they would tell you things that would resonate with everyone but you hear the message as being specific to you (your going to do some traveling in the near future…).
      Maybe that’s why this list is connecting with so many people?
      Thanks for your comments and for reading the blog, and feel free to post anytime – the dialog is great.

  • Janice

    The best parts about being an architect in training are the late nights, new friends (who become closer than your family), unreal projects (that jurors always remind us that we’ll miss when we start practicing in real life) and fixitive. I believe we “hate” something as much as we love it. It’s like how people say “I hope I’m not like my parents when I get older”…30 years later, you become the very thing you thought you didn’t want to be, but you love. So all the reasons NOT to be an architect could very well equate to reasons to BECOMING an architect (although I haven’t read your list yet). So far, the absolute remarkable part about training in this field is realizing how your mind changes. I go into a building and marvel at the structure, while normal people look for something to sit on. Different strokes for different folks.

    • http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com/ Bob

      Janice,
      Very interesting comment that the list of reasons NOT to become an architect could change into the reasons why you WOULD. I had this very same conversation with another architect right after I originally wrote the list. The thing that I find most intriguing is that the list of reasons why not to be an architect are so generic that this could be a list for any profession. I thought that it would be fun to compare this list to what would happen if you went to a fortune teller – that they would tell you things that would resonate with everyone but you hear the message as being specific to you (your going to do some traveling in the near future…).
      Maybe that’s why this list is connecting with so many people?
      Thanks for your comments and for reading the blog, and feel free to post anytime – the dialog is great.

  • Tim

    My reply to this question is probably more reflective of the fact that I am no longer a practicing architect, as I have decided to pursue my career in the world of construction. The education of an architect is priceless, and when we think about it applies to all aspects of our lives. Even though I do not practice architecture at the moment, my life has been and will always be affected by the education/training that I received. We see the world in a different way, and it is our responsibility (or gift!) to share this vision with others. This can never be taken from us, and it will constantly be with us in our journey through life. The best part about being an architect is the way that it has changed our own lives and our ability to share this passion/vision with our family, friends, coworkers, and most importantly clients!

    • http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com Bob

      Tim,
      Thanks for chiming in, I was wondering if I had architects that had moved on to other fields reading these posts. I think your comment is insightful but I am really interested in why you moved into construction. Did you discover that the construction industry suited your skill set better or was it driven by the market, or salary, etc. Considering so many people are interested in the reason why not to be an architect, maybe understanding why those who were architects moved into other fields would be of interest?

  • Tim

    My reply to this question is probably more reflective of the fact that I am no longer a practicing architect, as I have decided to pursue my career in the world of construction. The education of an architect is priceless, and when we think about it applies to all aspects of our lives. Even though I do not practice architecture at the moment, my life has been and will always be affected by the education/training that I received. We see the world in a different way, and it is our responsibility (or gift!) to share this vision with others. This can never be taken from us, and it will constantly be with us in our journey through life. The best part about being an architect is the way that it has changed our own lives and our ability to share this passion/vision with our family, friends, coworkers, and most importantly clients!

    • http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com/ Bob

      Tim,
      Thanks for chiming in, I was wondering if I had architects that had moved on to other fields reading these posts. I think your comment is insightful but I am really interested in why you moved into construction. Did you discover that the construction industry suited your skill set better or was it driven by the market, or salary, etc. Considering so many people are interested in the reason why not to be an architect, maybe understanding why those who were architects moved into other fields would be of interest?

  • Sally

    I found your site a week or so ago because of your top 10 lists, but your other posts are what I stayed for, so please consider staying around. Your posts are refreshing, entertaining, and inspiring to those of us out here plugging away in the profession. Architects have the potential to profoundly affect a person’s everyday experience. It’s fun! We get to draw things, and then watch them appear, and hopefully these things improve somebody’s ability to think/sleep/work/etc. All the crap we have to wade through sometimes make us forget the fun, that’s all.

    • http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com Bob

      Sally,
      Thanks for commenting, I am glad to hear you think the other posts are worth your time. I had no idea how much effort it would take putting this together and while it has been rewarding, it has also been exhausting. To see that the list of reasons not to be an architect is the most viewed post ever, I started thinking what’s the point.

      To put it current perspective, so far today the list of reason not to be an architect has been read twice as much as any other post. Sigh…..

      Your comment is very encouraging – thanks.

  • Sally

    I found your site a week or so ago because of your top 10 lists, but your other posts are what I stayed for, so please consider staying around. Your posts are refreshing, entertaining, and inspiring to those of us out here plugging away in the profession. Architects have the potential to profoundly affect a person’s everyday experience. It’s fun! We get to draw things, and then watch them appear, and hopefully these things improve somebody’s ability to think/sleep/work/etc. All the crap we have to wade through sometimes make us forget the fun, that’s all.

    • http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com/ Bob

      Sally,
      Thanks for commenting, I am glad to hear you think the other posts are worth your time. I had no idea how much effort it would take putting this together and while it has been rewarding, it has also been exhausting. To see that the list of reasons not to be an architect is the most viewed post ever, I started thinking what’s the point.

      To put it current perspective, so far today the list of reason not to be an architect has been read twice as much as any other post. Sigh…..

      Your comment is very encouraging – thanks.

  • http://www.abadiaccess.com Marcy

    The best part of being an architect is helping a client make their vision a reality. I currently focus on handicap accessibility and as an architect it is still very rewarding to help my clients solve issues and assist them in creating a space they are both proud of and that serves the patrons that use it! Thanks for your post….It really is a great profession!

    • http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com Bob

      Marcy,
      Thanks for your comment. I agree about helping clients with their vision (as long as they don’t demand glass block!!)

  • http://www.abadiaccess.com/ Marcy

    The best part of being an architect is helping a client make their vision a reality. I currently focus on handicap accessibility and as an architect it is still very rewarding to help my clients solve issues and assist them in creating a space they are both proud of and that serves the patrons that use it! Thanks for your post….It really is a great profession!

    • http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com/ Bob

      Marcy,
      Thanks for your comment. I agree about helping clients with their vision (as long as they don’t demand glass block!!)