Posted by Trebor on November 21, 2003 at 15:14:21:
In Reply to: which is the best country to study architecture? posted by ken on November 20, 2003 at 10:02:19:
In general, I'd have to say your native country, assuming that there are schools of architecture. You will be most familiar with social and climatic conditions and design standards where you live, and it will probably be easier to gain admittance to a school with more liklihood of getting a scholarship or internship. Having said that, living for awhile in a foreign country is very broadening and educational, so it would certainly benefit you to do a part of your study overseas if possible.
Architects both design and draw. The trend in professional degree programs seems to be oriented toward design and aesthetics, as opposed to technical skills and working drawings. If you want to be well-rounded, the best course of action is to acquire some training and experience in both, as well as a good working knowledge of construction trades, so that your innovative and beautiful designs will also be buildable! Most technical drawing is now done by computer, and in the USA at least, AUTOCAD is the most widely-used software. In my opinion, you should still develop your artistic sketching, rendering, and hand-drawing skills as much as possible - again to make yourself very versatile and adaptable.
As to your question of "What is Architecture", there are some differing definitions! To paraphrase a few: "Architecture is the essence of building correctly." "It is the innovative and pleasing unity of design integrity and materials, and the development of new concepts, building systems and materials." "Architecture is defining a space." Most Architects would agree that to be considered "architecture", a building must be site-specific and be the best possible solution to a client's requirements while being appropriate to its location and surrounding natural or built environment. For example, a spec home which is repeatedly built the same exact way on different sites in various parts of the country may represent acceptable design, but it should not be considered architecture.
The final thing to keep in mind is that the educational/internship path to becoming an Architect may differ in various countries, but in all cases it is a challenging and rather lengthy exercise. There is also certainly no guarantee of a lucrative career once you have your credentials, and most architects earn relatively modest incomes.
All the best to you!
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