Pull up a chair, order your favorite drink, and let me tell you about architecture in the “real” world. I thought I would try to make this an upbeat article but as I sit down to write it, I’m not so sure how successful a job I am going to do. Andrew Hawkins and I recently got together to discuss the perception of being an architect versus the realities of being a practicing architect and the disconnect that frequently exists between the two.
All industries have specific tools that make their business work – and architects are no different in this regard. During the 26+ years that have passed since I graduated from college, I have seen tools that I had previously used every day become obsolete while new tools have taken their place. Few architects actually draft anymore (I’ve got one left in my office) so once common names like “Borco” and “Mayline” have been replaced with “Revit” and “VR.”
As an architect, every space I walk in to, I look at … intensely. I scrutinize, evaluate, process, and redesign. Every. Single. Space. There are times when I wish this didn’t happen … most of the time actually. Being blissfully unaware of unresolved plan geometries – particularly when I am not “on the clock” sounds pretty good but I know it won’t be that way for me any longer. I have completely crossed over to the architect side.
This is the 9th annual and highly anticipated What to Get an Architect for Christmas gift guide. It’s hard for me to process that when I wrote the very first gift guide back in 2010 that this would become the most requested blog post that I would write every single year. In that first year, the guide was just my own personal gift wish list, but now I spend almost an entire year curating what sort of items should make the final cut.