Posted by steve on October 09, 2002 at 08:30:03:
In Reply to: future of profession posted by Daniel on October 08, 2002 at 21:04:11:
"And my main question is what do architects do all day, besides using CAD , business side of things, other
What is their main purpose besides dseigning buildings on the computer
Building is a complex undertaking. There is much more that goes on that doesn't involve drafting. A mid-career architect might spend some part of his day marketing, designing, detailing, drafting, observing construction, drafting a contract, writing a specification, coordinating with consultants...to name a few things. CAD plays a role in just a part of this. Now, in medium and large firms, generally you narrow your focus down to the things that you do well. Some folks specialize in Construction Administration, some in Project Management, some as Designers, etc. In smaller firms, and in some design oriented firms, there is an attempt NOT to limit one's activities. Its the Jack of all Trades VS. The Expert debate. But one thing is common to just about all firms and architects: you will be doing a lot of drafting during your first few years, and chances are it will be CAD drafting.
As for work load and location, this changes over time. Some regions are notorious for their boom and bust cycles, while some areas are slower but steadier. Western cities seem to be of the boom/bust type. The north-east and mid-west are more stable, which is not to say that there aren't dry spells. The south-east has been booming for quite a while, but the quality of the work suffers in general.
The traditional architect will always be around, but more and more work is becoming non-traditional. Much development is being done design/build, which means the builder is in the driver seat and you work for him (not the building user) which is an unfortunate arrangement, but one that produces faster/cheaper. Architecture for the elite clients however will continue to be done traditionally.
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