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When you think of an architect, what is the first thing that comes to mind? We bet it’s one of these ten classic misconceptions that we’ve compiled below. While every profession contains certain stereotypes (and some may be valid), architects tend to be right up there with engineers when it comes to misunderstood notions.
Take a look at our list of ten classic architectural misconceptions to see if you have any, and perhaps consider whether these are actually valid ideas or myths that need to be debunked.
1) Architecture is for men
There are so many architectural misconceptions, but perhaps this is the first to be debunked. While it is true that architecture is a male-dominated field, it is not true that it is a male-only career.
Great female architects are finally getting their due attention with female architects like Theresa Borsuk receiving the 2015 Female Architect of the Year award. Women certainly have a place in this field of design.
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2) Architects are rich
Unfortunately, this is not true. Despite years of hard work at school, all his studies do not pay off in the sense of bank balance. Despite mainstream thinking, architects are not paid like doctors, they earn a good income, but not one that makes them rich.
The median annual salary in 2013 was $74,110 USD, with the top 10% earning $119,370 USD per year and the bottom 10% earning $44,930 USD per year. As you can see, you certainly won’t be poor, but you won’t be rich either.
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3) Architects are builders
Architects use tools but not hammers. Architects design buildings, they don’t build them. Your designs and plans are passed on to the builders/developers who then bring the design to fruition.
Yes, this requires a close relationship between the architects and the builders, but the final structure is created by the developer/builder. Should we mention the salary of a developer? No, that might depress the architects reading this.
4) Architects are cool like James Bond
While many architects don’t want us to debunk this classic misconception, they all want to be stylish and cool like James Bond, but architects are not the eccentric, cool, cigar-smoking characters that the general public has imagined them to be.
Sorry, they’re just average people like the rest of us, sitting at desks (perhaps in a cubicle), hunched over computers, and usually working on the minute details of a project.
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5) Architects are introverts
Wrong! Architects cannot afford to be introverted: their design ideas would never go from blueprint to reality if they were quiet and shy.
For their designs to be accepted and taken seriously, and for builders to follow their designs, architects must be loud and proud. A timid architect will have a hard time in this field, as the job relies heavily on communication skills with clients, designers, builders, contractors, the public, etc.
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6) It’s a glamorous job
Becoming the next Frank Lloyd Wright sounds glamorous, right? Yes, it must have been glamorous to be a famous architect who created some of the most ingenious structures, but this is not reality for the average architect.
Most architects are busy figuring out the details; meet with city officials; trying to skip the red tape; deal with building codes; limited by a client’s budget, or visiting contractor sites—none of these tasks are glamorous. Although some architects have the opportunity to travel, it is not as common as some think.
7) Architects are creative artists
While many architects entering school think they need incredibly creative artistic skills, it’s simply not a job requirement. Architects need to be creative problem solvers, but they don’t need the skills of Picasso.
In fact, much of his work involves basic geometry skills that are not creative at all. And computer-aided design (CAD) has pretty much taken over pen and paper, so more often than not architects are leaning over computers rather than drawing their own design.
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8) Architects work alone
Like most projects—architecture It is not the work of one person, it takes a team. There are usually dozens of people involved in the larger projects (interns, modelers, CAD designers, people in the field, etc.)
While most design companies have a management principle: one person who facilitates the design; they are usually not the actual designers. Rather it is the lower totem staff who create the design, but sometimes the management principle becomes ‘The Architect’ who designed said building. We see how this could be frustrating for the rest of the team. Just know that when you read in a magazine about ‘so-and-so was the architect’, there were probably many more people involved than the person mentioned in the article.
9) Architects can get you the materials
Architects design, as we mentioned earlier, they are not the builders of their designs; therefore, they are not intermediaries for the materials used in a project.
They can only suggest what materials are most suitable for the design and perhaps mention a possible source of such material to the builders, but the builders probably already have their own sources of materials and perhaps their own ideas about what materials will work best.
10) All architects are equally qualified
They all went to school to get the same degree, right? So should everyone be equally qualified for the task at hand? Wrong. Yes, architecture is a science, but there are numerous ideologies that can change the way an individual company approaches their work.
Look at your individual past experiences: What do you predominate: commercial, housing or green design, etc.? Ask how they approach a job, what their workflow process is, what their previous projects are like. No two architects or architecture firms are the same, so choose the one that best suits your individual needs.
Wow! There are many misconceptions about architects. Do any of these ring true to you? We believe that despite all the ups and downs of this field of study, architecture is still an amazing job where you can become known for your unique and creative design skills.
What do you think is the most common misconception of architects?