Define: Architect

Definition: An architect is a licensed professional who organizes space. Architects design houses, office buildings, skyscrapers, landscapes, and even entire cities.Architects are trained in many areas, from historic preservation to structural engineering. Like doctors and lawyers, architects have completed university programs and lengthy internships. In most parts of the world, architects must pass a series of rigorous exams in order be licensed. In North America, the initials RA designate a registered, or licensed, architect.

An information architect is a person who plans the flow of information on Web pages. This use of the word architect is not related to building design.

The services of a licensed architect depend on the type of project; fees may range from 10% to 15% of the total construction costs.

Also Known As: Architects design buildings, but a “Building Designer” is not usually a licensed architect.
Examples: Since the dawn of time, humans have constructed dwellings and created new environments. We often use the word “architect” to describe the artists and engineers who designed historic buildings like the Taj Mahal. However, it was only in the twentieth century that architects were required to pass tests and be licensed. Today, the word “architect” refers to a licensed professional.

Becoming an architect

Architecture is taught in a different way to the majority of other subjects. Most of your studies will be based in the studio for design work, or tutorials and ‘crits’ (critiques). The crit, a common term in art and design education, is where you present your design project work to tutors (and other students) who provide feedback. You will also attend history, theory & technology lectures and computer aided design tutorials, have essays to write, site visits to go on, and visits to buildings and places of interest.

Some schools of architecture provide opportunities for hands-on building projects; and some also offer specialist areas of study or have developed strengths in particular areas, for example sustainability, urban design or construction technology. Skills in problem-solving and team-working are also developed through project work.

Qualifying as an architect in the United Kingdom involves a combination of academic studies and professional experience within a practice, and takes a minimum of seven years to complete. However, an architect must commit themselves to ongoing development and learning throughout their professional career.

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