5 Ways Architecture Will Ruin You

Architecture can be a lonely pursuit — but also the greatest thing you’ll ever do.

Samantha Raburn Markham Samantha Raburn Markham

Samantha Raburn is a newly licensed architect at Stantec Architecture in Plano, Texas. Her blog, The Aspiring Architect, recounts her journey to become qualified and acts as an insightful guide to all those following a similar path into the profession.

After going through a couple years of architecture school, I began to notice a change in the way I thought, talked, looked and lived. I slowly realized that as I would say things and talk about projects to my non-architecture friends, they would be looking at me like I was speaking another language.

They had no idea what I was talking about or why I would be so consumed with finding the perfect piece of basswood for my model. I would tell them how my “crit” went or how awesome the new 3D printer was, and still, to my dismay, I would only get empty stares.

It only takes a few years of school and practice for you to realize that architects are pretty unique people and architecture will consume at least 75 percent of your life. There are a few exceptions to that statement, but from my experiences, I’ve concluded that there are five ways in which architecture will forever ruin you …

1. You will never be able to look at buildings, plazas, structures, parking lots or constructions the same.

Every time you go into a building, your eyes will immediately start to examine it. Is that doorway to code? Was that really detailed like that? Is that flooring supposed to run into that base like that? Is that structure really only held up by that? And so on and so on … You will be forever curious and question everything you see. And as for construction sites: They become the most fascinating places in the world when you are an aspiring architect. The education opportunities at job sites are endless, and it also gently reminds you how much you have left to learn …

Via Archinect

2. You will find that you are talking about architecture about 80 percent of the time, especially in school.

You will be thinking about how to fix your circulation paths in your studio project, or talking about someone else’s awesome rendering and asking how they did it. You will be discussing the last architecture lecture, or dreaming of what it would be like to work for your favorite architect. When studio mates and I were at dinner, we would literally have to tell ourselves to not talk about architecture. And then, just five minutes later, we’d be talking about everyone’s project and how long we’d be up that night.

Dinner can be reduced to a paltry snack if you are not careful … via YouTube (Katy Wise).

3. You start to overly appreciate the small ordinary things in everyday life.

When you are in architecture school, you adapt to a new way of life that revolves primarily around architecture. For me and most of my studio mates, we were so excited to turn in a project because that meant we could finally eat a normal meal and go home to get a shower. Yes, a shower. There were those days we literally felt like we couldn’t spare enough time to go home to get a shower or eat a sandwich. It happened every quarter (aka our semester) around midterm and finals week. You get used to it, but after graduation, you definitely appreciate being able to have a regular schedule with normal meals and even daily showers.

Via The A.V. Club

4. When you say you’re practicing architecture, your friends and family think that you are going to make tons of money and can design and build anything they could possibly want.

Architects have been given a certain character reputation. Most people instantly think of Ted Mosby or Mike Brady. You’ll spend much of your career showing and telling your friends and family what architects really do (and even then, they sometimes will still just say, “Oh, so you’re going to be like Ted Mosby!”).

© Photographer:Justin Tijerina

© Photographer:Justin Tijerina

Via The Daily Cougar

5. Everything always becomes a new project, a new experiment, a new model material or a new problem in need of a design solution.

If you buy a house or rent an apartment, you will always think of ways you could have designed it better. You will always find a room that needs a renovation. You’ll think of a new piece of furniture you have to build. You’ll find a new texture of chipboard you’ll just have to try on a model. It goes on and on and on … and it never turns off.

If you are studying to be an architect or a practicing architect, you’ll probably find these things to be positive. They are positive. It means that you are truly passionate about architecture and genuinely care about your career. This is just a warning for those just starting out: Get ready to think, talk, look and live differently. You might get a few crazy stares here and there, but that just means you are well on your way to becoming an architect.

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Top image via DopamineLabs. This post first appeared on The Aspiring Architect.