Okay, so admittedly, architects aren’t (strictly speaking) an alien species because it is just a job. But it’s such a great job and such a clever one that it’s easy to believe it takes superhuman brainpower to do, hence the dramatic opening for comedic effect.
You probably already know that architects design and plan buildings, seeing as we said it in the intro. An architect can work on anything from a teeny tiny garden shed to an iconic landmark like the Burj Khalifa (the tallest building in the world, dontcha know).
Architects are always drawing buildings, as it’s a great way to get inspired by all the different styles of architecture. Gothic, neo-Classical, post-modern, mock-tudor, Brutalist… there’s just a few for you to be getting on with. Come back when you’ve learnt them all. Chop chop.
Architects make sure the building does what its supposed to do as well as looking funky. It’s all very well to design a block of flats shaped like a ferris wheel with their own nightly fireworks display, but is it practical? And how much would the pyrotechnics display cost? That’s the kind of things architects have to think about.
Architecture has been around since humans began constructing mud huts to live in, so that’s a long time. Modern architects use a ton of clever computer programs to design their buildings, especially the complicated bits about window sizes, room dimensions and wall thicknesses. But there’s still a lot of good old-fashioned drawing, so you’ll need to pick up a pencil and get sketching some buildings, as well as practising your structural skills!
*made that one up, sorry.
Architects also get to work both indoors (designing) and outdoors (watching other people build the design), as well as alone (designing) and as part of a team (telling people about the design). They experiment (okay, play) with the materials they want to use in their structures, and monitor the impact of their buildings on the environment. So bulldozing a rainforest to build a concrete mansion is out, sadly.
Why YES of course. Architects spend a LOT of time studying, which combines classes with projects and work experience and some tricky exams. Like graphic designers, architects usually have a portfolio with all their work in to show off to people too, so the sooner you get drawing and designing the sooner you can build the next Taj Mahal.
So there you have it! The fascinating creativity and non-stop fun (after the studying part, obviously) of being an architect! Think you’ve got the skills and vision to jump into architecture? To test your skills, we’ve devised a devious quiz! Simply tell us where you’d find these famous structures!
1. London, UK
2. Giza, Egypt
4. Paris, France