F. A. Q.

I am finally getting around to making this Frequently Asked Questions page (in my case, it should really stand for “Finally Answered Questions”). I have been thinking about assembling a page like this for the last 2 years hoping that it would reduce the amount of email I receive since people tend to ask the same sorts of questions. I will periodically add more questions and answers to this list because I don’t think it will ever be completed.


Bob Borson on a job site

There are loads of typical questions I get asked but I still haven’t had time to post them here (and my TV ain’t gonna watch itself). Because I am a mean person, if you write me an email asking me one of the questions I’ve already answered below, I might respond and refer you here but probably I’ll just shake my head, sigh, and delete your email. Sorry.

Now let’s get this party started!

I am in school and despite being really smart, I look around see how much better everyone else is than me. What am I doing wrong?

Just because you are smart does not mean that you are cut out to be creative. My identity crisis had more to do with how easy everything had been previously – that I did pretty well without trying – and when I got to architecture school, I was mediocre. Once I dedicated myself to the work required, I did not struggle. Once I stopped goofing around and removed all the distractions I had surrounded myself with, I think I was one of the better designers in school. If you are doing the work but it’s still not coming together for you, I don’t know what to tell you. I don’t know you and you can’t tell me enough information in an email for me to tell you what is broken and how to fix it. Going to college is a life expanding process – mostly because this is a time when you discover a lot of things about yourself. You are in one of these moments and only you can work yourself through this moment.
I know you would have liked for me to tell you the secret that would make everything better, I wish I could have done that as well. Just think of it this way, if it’s easy, it probably isn’t worth doing.

I am about to turn [any age] … am I too old to go to architecture school?

No – you are never too old to go to architecture school and pursue something worthwhile.

I have a question regarding [fill in the blank]

Feel free to send my your questions and I promise I will do my best to answer them. Due to the volume I receive, I might not get around to your email for a while so be patient. If it’s been more than a month, email me again. If it’s been more than 2 months I probably won’t respond. Sometimes the que of emails to answer gets longer and longer and even though I should start at the bottom, I don’t. If your question is easy, I’ll probably respond anywhere between a few hours and a day or two. If you are asking something that requires a fairly involved and lengthy response, I mark the email as unread with the idea I’ll get to it later when I have more time (right? … it almost never happens). After a while, I just delete any emails I haven’t answered yet because I get tired of looking at them, sitting there all unanswered making me feel like crap.

I’m thinking about starting my own blog and I like the way Life of an Architect looks – how do I make that happen?

I am on a WordPress.org site (which means I host Lifeofanarchitect.com myself – which I highly recommend) and my template is “Standard” by 8Bit. The bad news is that my template is no longer available because 8Bit are now closed for business. When I first started and my traffic was lighter (less than 100,000 per month) I hosted my site on Bluehost which I highly recommend and it only cost about $6/month. They had unbelievable customer service – which came in handy because I had no idea what I was doing when I started. I called them a lot in the beginning (including one time when I accidentally deleted my entire site which they restored for me). If you are trying to determine where to host your site, I loved my Bluehost experience and I recommend them based on my own experience.

Once my traffic got into the 150,000/month range, I ended up moving over to a dedicated virtual server over at MediaTemple. I am on a dedicated virtual server that has 2GB of ram, 30GB of storage, and 1TB of bandwidth. Technically you are supposed to be able to manage this server yourself but even with my lack of knowledge, customer service has always stayed on the phone with me and walked me through what I needed to do. This service is a bit more expense and runs approximately $120/month

Both of the links I’ve provided in this question are called “affiliate” links. This means I get a few bucks when you sign up which is great for me because it helps me keep Life of an Architect on the web. You don’t pay more when clicking these links, I just get  ‘Thank you’ from those companies for sending you their way. I don’t have any moral issues using these links, it’s who I used, I have/had great experiences with both providers, and would tell you the same thing if we were talking face to face.

Can I just ask a question in the comment section below?

I would rather you didn’t unless it’s specific to the content covered in that post – i.e. – If the post is on radiant barrier flooring and you ask a question regarding your school portfolio I am going to delete it. Time and place folks-

I have questions about what school I should attend, or anything related to college, can you help me with that sort of thing?

No. I haven’t been to college in a long time and I don’t keep up with requirements, what school is better than that school, what sort of classes you should take in high school, etc, etc. Sorry but there are other websites out there – or better yet – contact the school you are interested in attending and ask them what sort of thing they like to see in their incoming freshman. You be about to pay them ten’s of thousands of dollars so I don’t think it’s unreasonable that you should expect them to answer your questions.

I have a student project where I need to interview an architect. Can I email you some questions?

I hate leading off with this question because my answer makes me look like a total jerk. No, I won’t answer school project interview questions anymore. I receive about 10 requests a week and there just isn’t time to respond to them all – so I don’t respond to any. The questions are generally really complicated and require several sentences to answer. Next thing you know, after 10 questions, I’ve basically written a 1,500 work article. Now multiply that times 10 … and it’s not so hard to realize why I spend so much time on the computer these days. Because I don’t want to sit on the couch 3 hours a day after I get home from work, I am going to have to take a flyer on the school project questions project.


Is your work copyrighted? Can I repost it?

Yes, my stories and graphics are copyrighted, but as long as you attribute (give me credit) and provide a link back to the source material, I won’t get up in your face about it. I would ask that you don’t repost entire posts because it just sort of sucks. Why? Well, frequently it comes across as someone else taking credit for what I’ve written and prepared and since I’ve given up any sort of personal time I have to create these posts, I take it personally when someone else just takes them to create content on their own site. All you have to do is ask – I’ll probably say yes but there are a few posts on here that I don’t want in other places.

I am thinking about becoming an architect. Is there something special I should know?

Probably. Here is  something to get you started – Top 10 Reasons to be an Architect

Feeling a little jaded? – Top 10 Reasons NOT to be an Architect

How about – Top 10 Reasons to be a Residential Architect

top tens from Life of an Architect

Whew! Okay, I am Top 10’d out for now. Maybe eventually some of the other Top 10 lists I’ve prepared will show up here.

What sort of computer should I get?

I don’t know … a powerful one with lots of RAM and memory if you plan on doing any 3D visualizations – probably with a really powerful graphics card as well. I work on a PC at the office and a Macbook Pro at home.

Why did you choose this job?

I think it chose me. I knew I wanted to be an architect before I knew that architects existed.

For more: “What did you want to be when you grew up?

I’m in 8th grade and in class we are choosing our electives for high school. I always wanted to be an architect but I’m afraid architecture is hard and that I won’t make a lot of money. Is it true?

Just as with all professions, some people financially do better than others. To make the sort of decision you are talking about at your age wouldn’t be very prudent. The architectural profession is undergoing some fairly radical changes and by the time you graduated with a professional degree (9 or 10 years from now) things will be different.

I don’t recommend that your base your decision based on how much money you might make, at least not when your in 8th grade. Give it some time and revisit this question in a few years.

How much traffic does your site get?

According to my server provider, as of April 2014, I am currently averaging between 250,000+/- unique visitors a month and approximately 650,000 page views a month. Don’t ask me how, I can’t explain it either.

I have a cool blog, want to trade links?

No. Sorry, not trying to be a jerk (again) but it is too much work to keep up with everyone else’s links and rather than hurt someone’s feelings by not including them, I just don’t include anyone. I will try to find another way to be supportive though – just ask.

Can I put an ad on your site or embed a link into an article you have written? Do you accept guest posts?

As far as ads go, I don’t do very many and I turn down 90% of the people who ask. If I think it’s something that the people who visit my site might be interested in than maybe – email me the particulars and we’ll see what happens. As far as embedding a link within a post … it will never happen. I don’t sell content within the body of anything I write. There is a clear delineation between side bar ads (that help cover server costs and what not) and the posts I write. I want people to know that if I talk about something, it’s because I believe in it and I am speaking the truth as I see it. If there is a guest post on my site, it’s because I know that person and I have asked them to write an article for me. I do not need any “high quality articles that you think my readers will enjoy in exchange for a link embedded in the post”

My readers are clearly not interested in “high quality posts” or they wouldn’t be on this site in the first place.

What is your favorite part of your job?

I’m not sure I have a favorite part, I like it all (although there are some days when I hate it all but that’s not intrinsic to being an architect). I probably enjoy construction administration more than construction documentation although if I didn’t pay attention to the documentation, I probably wouldn’t like the administration part. I generally get along really well with contractors and sub-contractors because I respect what they do and the challenges they have to deal with … but I also have been fortunate to have worked with good contractors so I don’t have to mess about with guys who shouldn’t be contractors.

You seem to be killing it, how much money do you get paid? Are all architects rich?

Thanks, I do all right but I’m not going to tell you how much I get paid. I have to tell you, I hate the whole “architects are underpaid” conversations. For me, the more appropriate way to answer this question is am I happy with how I am compensated? I like my job, my clients are interesting and I can pay my bills … that all sounds pretty good to me. If you want to know what architects make, you can read Architect’s Salary – Wanna Know? and How much money does an architect make?  Of course there are still plenty of variables that will affect what level of compensation you receive – skill and ability level, size of firm, where you work, etc.

I really like your sketches. What sort of pens do you use?

I use Sharpie brand pens – Ultra Fine Point for thin lines and the Fine Point for fat lines (I know, why is the “Fine Point” called that, it isn’t fine at all!). I am hardly an artist but I do think I can communicate well enough when drawing. I love my Sharpies and I am quite sure that between my office, my house, and my car, there are several hundred laying out.

Hand Sketch on Instagram by Dallas Architect Bob Borson

I always wanted to be able to use a fountain pen but since I am left handed, I would inevitably draw my hand through wet ink and smear whatever I just drew. These Sharpie pens lay down a nice dark line with little effort and the nib has enough give that I can get a little pen weight when I draw.

What are some skills you need in this job and why?

I think you would need to be good at visualization, 3 dimensional problem solving, creative, and a good communicator. I’d even put a little extra emphasis on the “good communicator” part. For a little more elaboration, read this article I wrote on communication skills needed by architects – “Square, Crescent or Nugget – How do you like your ice?” (just so you know, it isn’t really about ice cubes)

Do you think it would be possible for me to become a successful architect as a woman starting late in the game, or am I kidding myself? Would it be too much to try to balance family life and a challenging graduate program Most importantly, do you think anyone would hire a 45-50 year old woman just starting out?

As far as going back to school to become an architect, I have seen it done many, many times. Your path may be harder than someone in the mid twenties but if it’s your dream, I don’t think you should let that get in the way. I have worked with an older woman who went back to school in her 50’s and received her architectural license on her 60th birthday! It does happen.
The negative to going back to school at an advance age is that some firms might see an older person as a challenge because they are more set in their ways and sometimes it’s hard to establish yourself as “the boss” when your employee is the same age or older. I did notice some challenges that the woman I worked with had to deal with – she wanted to be talked to in a different manner than everyone else (she wasn’t wrong – it was just different) and I know she had a hard time fitting into the youth culture of the other employees that were at her same experience level but were 30+ years her junior. As you could imagine, younger people talk about all sorts of things that someone in their 50’s probably doesn’t really care about. But that is as much a personality thing as it is an age thing – maybe you wouldn’t have the same issues.

What school did you go to become an architect (what courses did you take)?

 I went to the University of Texas at Austin (graduated in 1992) and with the exception of band (marching and Jazz) and the occasional pottery or other fine arts class, I pretty much stuck to the syllabus. Design studios, Construction Materials & Methods, a few years of Structures, etc.

Bob Borson in Europe circa 1990

In 1990, I participated in the London Lugano Travel Abroad program – a joint program associated with Virginia Polytechnic Institute where I spent a portion of the summer and Fall semester traveling throughout Western Europe. I studied Architecture in Europe – but so what? (nobody really cares when it was 20+ years ago. I just wanted a way to include a picture when my hair was still brown)

I am thinking about attending [fill in the blank] University. Is it a good school to go to and if not, what are some other colleges I should consider?

I don’t have any idea. I went to the University of Texas and I know it is a bad ass program (ranked #2 in the country in 2012). Since I didn’t go to the school you are considering and I graduated from college 20 years ago, I haven’t keep up with the curriculum at [fill in the blank] University. Do some homework, visit the campus, and look for people who recently graduated from that program.

How long will it take to complete a project?

Depends on what sort of project, how large or small it is, are the clients available to meet regularly and will they make timely decisions? There are too many moving parts to this generic question to provide an answer of any value. Of the projects we tend to work on, new homes over 4,000 square feet generally take 3 months to design, another 2 to prepare the construction documents that are suitable for bidding and permitting the project, 1 month to either get a hard bid or a negotiated project estimate.

What is your project management style?

My project management style is awesome. Honestly, I’m not sure what this question really means. If you work with me at my office you might need to know but if you are a client, all you would care about is that we are full service, I always answer my phone, and if you say you need something, you tend to get it immediately. There is a lot of personality that goes into creating residential architecture and I generally start with an attitude of “how can we get to yes?”.

I sent you an email/ friend-request on Facebook / left a comment and you didn’t respond. Are you a jerk or do you hate me?

I might be a jerk but that’s not why I didn’t respond to you. Some emails are easier to answer than others and I can respond to 20 or so of the easy ones over my lunch break or in the evening when I have some time. Others require far lengthier responses if they are to have any value and so I put them off until I have that sort of time. Eventually, I have this huge cue of hour-long emails responses still to write, I get depressed and decide to purge them all so I don’t have to look at them. If you get caught up in a purge – sorry, it’s nothing personal, chances are pretty good that I skimmed it only enough to know that it didn’t fall into the “easy” list. I also don’t accept friend requests on Facebook from people I don’t know really well. While my blog can be personal in nature, it isn’t the same as my personal Facebook page and I don’t really want to see pictures of your dog if I don’t know you.

How do architects evaluate or design a site?

If I understand this question properly, they way we go about evaluating a site start with zoning, setbacks, deed restrictions, etc. All the things that tell us where we can – and where we can’t, build a house. From there we look at any natural features the site might contain – trees, topography, possible water areas, in order to see what items can be used to benefit the design and which items will provide hindrances to the design. From there, it’s a balancing act between what the land offers and what the clients program dictates.

What software do architects use and need?

If you were to ask 10 architects this question, you would get 11 answers. In our office, we mostly use AutoCAD for drafting although we do own Revit software as well. Other software that is routinely used is SketchUp and Photoshop. There are all sorts of other platforms out there that allow some really amazing  3D work but our clients generally don’t request that level of visualization and probably appreciate that we don’t “just do it” and end up building that type of effort into our fee structure.

Do you have a particular design style?

Me personally? Sure – I like modern because it’s clean and simple and promotes a certain lifestyle that aligns pretty closely to my personal lifestyle beliefs. That having been said, I believe that I am educated, trained and experienced in a way that allows me to solve spacial and aesthetic problems systematically so that the value of the end product exceeds the sum of its parts. All these things collectively allow me to make informed and qualified design decisions in areas that don’t follow my personal tastes and predilections.

What is your favorite building

Ugh – I generally hate these sorts of questions the most – I don’t really have a favorite of anything – things sort of ebb and flow in and out of the top slot.

Kimbell Art Museum by Louis Kahn in Fort Worth

My favorite local building – and that’s an easy one for most architects in the Dallas/ Ft. Worth area – is the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth (completed in 1972). It redefined how museums and art galleries used natural daylighting and is truly a modernist masterpiece. I am also lucky that it’s in my backyard and can go and visit several times a year.

The Gallery of Paleontology and Comparitive Anatomy

The Galeries de Paléontologie et d’Anatomie Comparée (Gallery of Paleontology and Comparitive Anatomy) is a jewel. Part of the French Muséum national d’histoire naturelle(Natural Musuem of Natural History), it is located within the Jardin des Plantes in Paris near the metro stop for Gare d’Austerlitz.

The gallery, designed by French architect Frederic Dutert, was inaugurated in 1898 as part of the l’Expositions universelles de Paris of 1900 and was the creation of Professor of Paleontology Albert Guadry and Professor of Comparative Anatomy Georges Pouchet who wished to preserve and present to the public collections from the great expeditions of traveller-naturalists of the 18th and 19th centuries.

The building is done in an architectural style called ‘Naturalism’, a sort of generic term for Art Nouveau, Organic Architecture, and Expressionism. Art Nouveau was an anti-historical movement that was predominantly in Europe between 1890 and 1914, and as a style was developed by a generation, most likely as a response to the Industrial Revolution, who sought to create an art form appropriate to the new modern age.

For more information/ pictures (including the most popular photo on this site), read the entire post – My Newest Favorite Old Building

Is it difficult to become an architect?

Yes. I wrote a post about the process: Do you want to become an Architect?

Is it easy to find work?


If I wanted to become an architect, which I’m highly considering, what would be the best college to go to?

Depends on what type of architecture you are interested in – at least what sort of slant the schools take towards teaching. It also depends on where you live, the cost and ultimately the value you place on the name associated with where you get your degree. I don’t keep up with any of these sorts of things since I graduated 20 years ago but there are lists available for free (and some for purchase) online. Here are a few links to look at:

2013 Best Architecture Schools in the US via ArchDaily

America’s Best Architecture Schools in 2014 via ArchRecord

I’m currently making a portfolio so I may be accepted to the [generic] College of Architecture. Is there any advice you could tell me?

I have been removed from college for 20 years now so I am probably the worst person to give advice on this subject. I would say that whatever you submit, allow it to show some diversity and personality – whatever subject material you choose to submit. You could also contact the university to see if there are any previous examples you could look at or if there are certain types of things they look for in a portfolio.

What classes would you recommend for architecture besides the basic ones?

If I was going back and doing it all over again, I would have added some rudimentary business classes and possibly some real estate classes. Nothing too heavy, just enough so that you can get a grip on some basic business concepts and when needed, you can talk the language of your clients.

I’m in my first year and am really struggling with my architectural lettering. Do you think this needs to be of great concern to me?

Nobody writes that way anymore so I wouldn’t worry about it. I had to go through that process practicing my handwriting and I can do it but since everything is on the computer these days, who would know if you can or can’t letter? 

I am about to start looking for a job, do you have any advice on how to keep my design mind alive and what jobs to avoid?

As you make the shift from school to the working world, I generally tell people to go for any sort of job that excites you. The practice of architecture varies so widely between the sizes of firm and the market sectors they practice so you should expect to find a job just to discover what mixture is right for you. Smaller firms tend to give responsibility more quickly but advancement is limited. Their projects are also typically smaller and don’t last as long (which can make things stay interesting for longer). Larger firms have more room for advancement but you will be exposed to more specific tasks and opportunities.  When you are young, it’s about discovering what you like and what you want to do – most young architects tend to change jobs pretty frequently in the beginning for just this purpose.

I am taking a look at a few short night courses that would benefit me, how do I know which drafting software to learn?

I generally try to recommend to people that they contact the people they would like to possibly work for and ask them what sort of skills and software platforms they typically use. For the most part, AutoCAD is the industry leader and you won’t go wrong by learning that software package. There might be some value to learning Revit (also by AutoCAD) but it is BIM – Building Integrated Modeling. Many of the larger firms are making the transition to this type of software so you might be better serve spending your time learning it rather than AutoCAD.


If you are interested in learning more about architectural fees, I have written a few posts on the subject:

Architectural Fees: Part 1

Architectural Fees: Part 2


Finding a Contractor:

30 Interview Questions: Selecting a Contractor

Selecting a Contractor – Checking References


where is Bob Borson?

Where am I?

Architizer Interview – Graphite Poetry and All That Conveys

New York Times – Interior Fort structures

Best Practices: Time Management – Architect Magazine March 2015

Building App-titude: Apps for Architects – Architect Magazine August 2014

Word Wars – Architect Magazine January 2014

Balancing Architecture and Family Life – Freshome.com

Designer Interview on Achica Living

Creative Type Interview on Here in this House

Interview on Zingsphere

Lecturing Mentors – from Build llc


Insightful and clever articles I’ve written elsewhere

ArchDaily – handpicked favorites that the folks at ArchDaily wanted to rerun for their audience

Brand Elements | Architect Magazine (clever article about naming your architectural firm)

Architects Guide to Glass (way more interesting and exciting than  it sounds…)

My Three favorite wood species (wow, what a title!) on Gold Notes

Remnant” for the ISSUE: Collective – The University of Texas School of Architecture


I have been interviewed for radio and video a few times …

Entrepreneur Architect – Secrets to Blogging Success

Business of Architecture – Social Media and Marketing (this one has video)

How to Succeed in Architecture: Social Media to Get What You Want – Novedge

Builders Link – the dulcet tones of Bob Borson

Heritage Radio – Burning Down the House



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  • sid

    things to keep in mind while doing site plna for exbihition centre?

  • Tim

    8′ door on a 9′ wall. My wife and I would like to place a 16’x8′ pocket door on our living room wall to access the covered patio. The plate height is only 9′ high, so our contractor is telling us that there is not enough room to fit the door and the header. Are there any options for us other than buying a shorter door?

  • Delilah Shaun

    As a choice, I am doing architecture for a school project, and I wanted to know a) In a few words, what is an architect b) summary of what does an architect do


    P.P.S. You look great with White hair

  • Sean Revell

    i was wondering about wether or not workplace legislation has effected architects, like the number of hours worked now compared to the mid 1900’s and the pay that follows the hours worked say “41 hours a week’ “$39 an Hour”.

  • Osama Fathi

    Hello Bob
    I am a Sudanese Architect 2005 Graduated From Sudan , Live and work at Saudi Arabia , my wife is British she is living with me right now , but she want to get back to UK , and she want me to go with her , and i know nothing about UK, i work in a good position in my job right now , and i have no Idea at all to left my company and my good position to start from the beginning , for the last 5 years i worked as a site Engineer , and i have no Idea about the new Design Programs , i just know how to use Autocad , and 45% of using 3Dmax , and i don’t want to start from the beginning from the university , i know that our qualification from Sudan unacceptable At UK , so I decide to work as a technician drafter if i go to UK , my Question is what is the program that i should know well to work at Architect offices at UK ?? Or any other advises ?? i Really appreciate your interesting and your time .
    Thanks ….

  • Talshyn Lee

    Hello! I just wanted to tell that U R SO AMAZING! I already read all ur responses, so I have nothing to ask. I love your personality, your job, and your opinion about architect’s life. You inspire me (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧Thank you. I’m gonna be an architect in the future, and I hope I’ll be successful as you :D I want my life to be interesting and colorful! And I love architecture so much. All of this makes me happy^^

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


  • Rachel Reams

    Hello Bob,

    I am a senior in high school, and I am writing a 10 page paper about architecture; I love the career field, and want to be apart of it. A large part of the essay is interviewing someone who is in that specific field. I don’t know of any architects, and when I stumbled upon your web sight, I figured I would give it a shot. I live in California, therefor a face-to-face interview would be nearly impossible; even though a trip to New York would be a dream. If you had any time in your busy schedule for a phone interview I would greatly appreciate it. If not, I completely understand, no hard feeling.

    Thank you.

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

      Hi Rachel,
      I stopped doing student interviews a while ago because I couldn’t say yes to everyone that asked so rather than try and qualify who gets a yes and who gets a no, I just decided to not do any of them (I know – what a jerk). Most of the questions that student interviews ask can be found already on this FAQ page and within one of the articles you can find just above in the “Where am I?” section – particularly the “Achica Living” and the “Here in this House” articles.

      • Rachel Reams

        No worries!!! Thank you for the response, I understand, fair is fair. Thank you again. Have a good day.

  • Mina Shikonda

    Hi Bob. I need help??? with a project im working on… please… im down on inspiration

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

      Hopefully you found your inspiration – that’s one of the things as a student you have to figure out for yourself. I wrote an article titled “The Creative Process for an Architect” which might provide some insight to you for future reference. You can find it here:

  • MoreDawn

    Just discovered your blog as I begin interior design classes. Will definitely dig through all the great articles. Love that London Underground pass pic!

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

      very glad to hear it – good luck on your ID classes!

  • Jaime Zander

    Hello, I am currently 15 and attending high school. I have no idea what I want to do with my life, but I have recently discovered my interest and love for architecture and interior design. I am seriously considering this as a possible career when I leave school (which is very rare for me). I am just concerned that it I will not be able to succeed in this field or be able to study it because I have not taken suitable courses (e.g visual arts, graphics, physics or mathematics) for the career. This year I am studying mathematics but struggle and do not intend on continuing it, I will probably will have the opportunity to do physics in the remaining two years of high school I have left, and I am a average/ decent drawer but with a little practise I think I could grasp the concept. What I am trying to ask is would I still succeed in the field or get into an architecture school if I have not taken the beneficial subjects for the job?

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

      Hard to say really – I didn’t take physics when I was in high school, I didn’t take any art or drawing courses either other than drafting (which was taught by the weight-lifting coach from the football team). I know things have changed from the time I was in school so I can’t really speak to the specifics.

  • Janani Ganesan

    Hello Bob
    I am studying in grade 11.My father is an architect.I also want to be an architect.But I’m not sure about my decision about being an architect.what do i have to do? I’m not sure whether i want to be an architect just becoz my dad is an architect or is it my interest?

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

      Have you talked to your Dad about this? That seems like a logical first step to me but regardless of your decision, if you decide to pursue this, you have the time to discover for yourself if this is something you really like while you are still young enough to do a course correction and take a different degree.

  • Noor Farhan

    Hello Bob

    I’m a women with architectural degree from Baghdad, got
    Married had kids not working since 2008, I love to design and good at it, I
    have good experience in Autocad 2012 and
    revit 2011, but I have big lack of actual working experience, I thought about
    volunteering but not so sure of how to
    approach Architectural companies and asking to become one, do you see it
    happen and do you have any ideas that can be useful for someone like me ?


  • SaraT

    Hello! what makes frank lloyd wright such an important architect ?

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

      There’s about a million books on the subject, just start with one and decide for yourself if you think he was an important architect.

  • Michelle Gutierrez

    What other majors can you work in with a Architect major?

  • rachelle

    I enjoy your blog sir. i am also an architect! cheers!

  • tamikacruse

    I am searching for a program in architecture that will teach a 19 yr old. He is still trying to find out who he is but architecture is a definite interest. Because of his previous convictions he is not able to go college. If you know of any programs please contact me at Tamika.cruse76@gmail.com.

  • Leo

    As I am recently exposed to Architecture (after graduated from high school in Australia), how would you go about in maturing social skill, dedication and wit so that the lack of exposure would not act as a disadvantage? I have been fascinated with the art of construction, planning and sustainability for a major part of my life and Architecture fulfils every aspect; but I lack a good amount of communicative and thinking-outside-the-box skills. Thank you for your blog as it has helped tremendously.

  • shobe

    hello i have a question regarding with rendering your plates using kurecolors,do you outline them first with techpen or do you render them with markers first?

  • john

    sorry to hear about the break in.
    send me text descriptions of the jewelry–i will make it a projects in metals class. who know what we will get—most will be interesting.
    :john humphries

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

      very cool offer – albeit also terrifying. You are a nice man, and MMalone sends his love

  • Riley

    Do you think it’s acceptable for architects to have tattoos?

  • angelica lopez

    I’m an archiecture student. There is a assignment on what are the architetural methods. Can you help me? Thanks

  • Tim Barber

    Enjoy your blog, keep up the good work, I know how much time it takes. Having been a member of the “Triangle AutoCad Users Group” many years ago here in (Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill) and producing the news letter I appreciate your commitment to the blog.
    What architectural college should I go to? Easy answer – One that offers a professional degree and that will accept you!
    See you on Google + some time.

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

      Thanks Tim – I can’t figure out why I’m doing it, one day, maybe I’ll just disappear …

      probably not

  • shradha

    your blog helped me on how to face a interview… thanks a lot..

  • kaban

    i got my b.arch degree last year and seeking for higher education.

    my questions are

    is higher education helps to start and develop a individual practice.

    is it make more career opportunities. ( increase gross annual income while working as a intern)

    if it is helps what are the areas i must concentrated on.

  • zmhilander

    Hi! I’m wanting to become an architect. Do you need a language to be an architect?

    • kaban

      if u planning to be an architect

      first u need to attend to a school and get the significant degree ( get proper qualifications)
      second u must have a talent and to do designs. this (creativity) cannot get from education.

      as i feel, languages are everywhere. it is a creation of nature. u must have a inbuilt talent to read and understand those.Of course some architects who practice out there has a unique language. but it is not necessary.

  • akhil

    I am doing my architecture course in india,i would like to work in us or uk,I really just want to know how the firms from abroad recruits architects to their firms?

  • Alexa

    What tupe of maths did you learn?

    • Alexa


  • Fawkes

    I am in my fifth year of architecture school and I love architecture, its all I can remember ever wanting to do. However, I hate architecture school. I love working in firms and going to sites, etc. but, in my five years of school I have had almost everything I love about the field crushed before me by bitter professors. It makes me question the format of architecture schooling today because I have become so jaded in school and I know of others who feel the same way. Is it wrong or bad of me to feel this way? I really just want to get out of school and work.

  • Himesh

    I am Himesh Kadakia, I am a final year student of architecture, where everyone is in search of an appropriate architectural firm, to do their internship.
    Could you give me some advice on how can I go about it ! I really want something which is compatible with my working style.

  • Sourabh Trehan

    what is a concept?
    my prof. always asks for a concept before any design but i dont have any concept, i just have design?please help

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

      Think of it this way – the concept is the destination and the design is the road map to that destination.

      • Sourabh Trehan

        thanks bob

  • Sai Roshan

    hi Bob,i am an architecture student from india,pursuing my third year,i am interested in doing my internship in a firm abroad during my 4th year for a period of six months,can you suggest me some firms or advice on choosing firm and also on creating an architectural portfolio.

  • Lean T

    Hi Bob, Last night i was out with some friend for some coffee time catch up, there was a new comer that night, he was an engineer, during the conversation, he said “all architects do is smoke weed and draw pretty pictures” i didn’t take it in quite well..exterior wise i was doing a fake laugh but inside i was boiling. what do i reply intellectually? what can i say to open up his mind? what architects have that engineers don’t? what makes us important/special compare to them? if i encounter this again.. :'( sniff sniff

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

      Ignore those people. Who cares what that person thinks? That’s one of those conversations (or arguments) where people talk at each for as long as they can take and nobody EVER changes their mind.

      Try and identify those conversations (or people) and avoid them – you’ll be a much happier person.

  • Lean T

    Hi Bob, can you give me any advice on studying extra two units in my university, to advantage/boost my current architectural studies? please im alittle lost in what i should enroll in.. Thank You appreciated regards, Leant

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

      Take some sort of business or real estate class – try and learn something that you future clients would want you to know. As much fun as I had in my ceramics class, it is the one class that I think I could have used on something else that would have benefit me today.

  • Kevin G

    Thank you for the helpful article Bob,

    As a student, something I’ve noticed is the vast amount of construction materials available, and trying to learn the advantages and disadvantages of them all. When detailing building construction and materials, what resources do you typically use to figure out what materials to use, installation methods and proper terminology to avoid any confusions with the construction team?


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

      There is too much out there to simply try and keep up. I tend to become of aware of new products through looking at magazines, going to trade shows, seeing other built projects, etc. Once I see something that I think might suit a need or look I am pursuing in one of my own projects, that’s when the research begins – the meetings with product rep’s, etc….

      See a need, solve for the need

  • Marvel Muñoz Ramírez

    Hi Bob! Awesome blog. Very insightful.

    I know reading should be an integral part of an architect’s life, so wanted to ask you which book (or books) would you recommend that may help to sort of ‘open up’ one’s mind about the logic of architectural design. I like Kevin Lynch, but wanted to know your opinion.


  • Arch

    Thank you so much for sharing all of those cool things! I really appreciated it.

  • StudentPPP

    Do you know of any other careers that you can pursue after studying Architecture? You may say you do not know any, but you have mentioned a friend who is doing well as an illustrator I think? Do you know of any other professions that utilize the skills you acquire while studying for an architectural degree?

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

      This is a terrible question for me to answer – I’ve never looked into what other sorts of jobs you could do with and architecture degree that weren’t being an architect. You can look at this post – What Does an Architect do? http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com/what-does-an-architect-do/

  • Megan

    I currently go to a cc and want to transfer to a university as an arch major.
    I am trying to find an architecture internship for this summer to get some experience and all make my application look good.
    Ive had a hard time finding an internship because when I called some firms in my area they said they were too small or they werent looking for an intern. Craigslist only had one internship posting for arch.
    How can I find an internship???

  • Jimmy D

    Is it difficult to find work if you only attend Graduate School for architecture, having studied something else for undergrad?

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

      I wouldn’t think so – at least, I have not seen a time where that has been an issue

  • http://www.facebook.com/juan.pinon.31 J Carlos Piñon

    Hey Bob, I Love your blog and it is people like you that inspire myself to become an architect even more,Quick question. Ill be starting my architecture program in Chicago this coming fall, I was wondering if you think it is to early to begin reviewing for the ARE, read some books and what not during my spare time (if i have any of course). Would that be a good idea or would I be overwhelming myself with material I basically havent started covering or know about. Thanks!

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

      Yes – it is too soon. Things are constantly changing and you would be better served spending your time and attention on the tasks currently before you (I.e. school and studio)

  • satyajit lal

    i want to open a architectural farm.i think i give my farm name is inside arch.
    plz.help me out

  • Student

    Good evening. I have currently finished my Foundation studies in Architecture.
    Recently, I have been offered by my parents on a trip to Beijing, China and Shanghai, China.
    I have always been keen to look at the architecture elements and structures whenever I travel.

    Despite that, I have declined the offers for I am worried that I am not knowledgeable (Foundation Level) enough to understand the architecture elements and techniques seen in those structures. Thus, I’m afraid it might not be worth spending
    money on such travels.

    I would love to see the structures but am i a dilemma whether will it be worth the cost.

    It would be nice to have some advice from someone experienced. Thank you.

  • tes

    do we have to be a dreamer or an illusionist freak to be a good architect…..i always dead tripping on crazy shapes and figures to developed good ideas… for real i don’t take drugs. so badly i just want to create good/cool looking designs…I’m in Fiji and we don’t have cool designs like in overseas…what is your secret in doing all those designs….?

  • Abel Tariku

    should i be a creative to be an architect…? if yes what i’m gong to do..?

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

      I don’t know

  • Nico Gonzalez

    I’m studying Construction Management, but I have always wanted to be an architect. I have had some design classes as well as estimating, scheduling, building methods, etc. Will this make me less competitive in gaining a career in architecture; not having a B.S. in Architecture?

  • Jim

    Are you hiring?

  • RaySkywalker

    Hi, sir. I’ve been reading your site for a while now. I have a question that needs to be answered and I could use an opinion from an actual architect. I wanna know is maths really important in becoming an architect? On a scale from 1 to 10, how much would you rate the importance of maths in this field?
    I’m still in high school and I kinda suck at maths but my passion is to design buildings. Thanks.

  • Vinny G

    when are you going to touch base with your old school pal Vincent “Woodstock” Graziadio? and when was the last time you had a kamikazee party?

  • KT Tyler

    one question i have that you did not answer, how long is architect schooling?