Breaking the Box: Explode out of Architecture School to a Successful Career as an Architect
This is part 1 of Chapter 2: In Architecture School you will not learn ________.
In Chapter 1 I highlighted the most important things that you will learn in Architecture School. To go back to Chapter 1: Click Here
Chapter 2 will emphasize the most important things that you will not learn in Architecture School. Upon graduation these real world lessons are likely to knock you on your ass!
In Architecture School, you will not learn about Money.
The role of money in Architecture is one of the themes of this book and an element that will stifle you throughout your entire career as an Architect. Upon graduating architecture school, you will be most underprepared for these 4 roles of money in Architecture:
#1 – A Client’s Budget
In Architecture School, there is rarely a budget associated with your design projects. In the professional world of Architecture, there is always a budget associated with your project. This dichotomy creates an issue. Being able to design on a budget is extremely important for an architect. You can have the greatest idea but if it is not financially viable then it will just remain an idea.
I don’t want great ideas. I want great buildings.
#2 – The Business of Architecture
This is one of the most common complaint from Architects: Architecture School did not teach me enough about the business of Architecture. Which is a hard truth. There is little time in Architecture School dedicated to the Business of Architecture.
Architecture is the finished product. An Architecture Firm is a Business that sells architectural design services. If you would like to work for an Architecture Firm than you need to understand that it is a business. It is not a non-profit. The harsh realities of the business side of Architecture can be very frustrating.
The ability to design architecture for a living is a gift. It is a gift only made possible by having a successful business.
#3 – An Architect’s Income
In Architecture School being a poor college student is the norm. When you enter the profession you will be eager to start earning a healthy income and living the good life. Unfortunately your meager intern architect salary coupled with your college loan debt will leave you strapped. It will not be glamorous and this challenge may cause you to question your choice in career.
Nothing easy comes free. Although you will be strapped in the beginning, there are effective methods for increasing your earning potential. More on that in Chapter 5.
#4 – The Economy
Architecture school insulates you from the realities of the Economy. I can’t remember any ‘downsizing’ in Architecture School but I can remember friends and colleagues getting laid off during the ‘Great Recession.’ It fucking sucked!
The volatility of the economy is very stressful especially for an architect. If people aren’t building then you aren’t designing. The lessons shared in this book will help you become indispensable and immune from economic downturns.
“But Steve, I didn’t get into Architecture for the money!”
Well…..me either. You may not have gotten into architecture to become rich, but your ability to manage a budget: both yours and your clients will be imperative to your success as an Architect.
This is just a taste of the role of money in Architecture. Further detail will be provided in Chapters 5,6, and 7.
A question for the readers
What has been the biggest lesson about money that you have learned in the real world of Architecture?
Flip ahead to the remaining parts of Chapter 2: