Dear Future Architects

If you read enough articles about architecture, eventually you will come across one (at least one) that gives some sort of advice to all the future architects out there.  You will here advice about sketching, computer programs, traveling, and just about everything else you can think of that in one way or another crosses an architects path.  For this months #ArchiTalks post, my take on that is going to be a little bit of the same, and probably a little bit of something you won’t expect.  If you are new to #ArchiTalks, have you been hiding under your drafting desk without any internet access?  This is a monthly series of blog posts all written by architects coming from a very wide variety of backgrounds and experiences.  The catch, we all have to write about the same subject and post it at the same time, without ever seeing anyone else’s idea.

Learn Everything



When I think about it hard enough, for me, it really boils down to only two different things.  The first I think is going to be more of a common theme that you hear a lot of in way or another.  Learn everything you can from everyone you can.  Although it doesn’t seem like it all the time, architecture is a field that in one way or another touches just about every aspect of life you can think of.  Our modern way of life involves specializations of all kinds, and almost all of these are influenced by the architecture in which they are performed.  I’ve learned countless lessons over the years from architects and non-architects alike.  What’s funny is the ones that stick out in my mind the most are the ones that, at least at the time, didn’t seem to be the big life lessons or teaching moments, they were the little nuggets of advice that happened in a passing moment.


I’m currently working on a project that is a gathering space for students, similar to one they have on another campus.  While touring the existing space we noticed that hardly anyone stopped in there to just hang out, kinda the point of the whole thing and the point of the one we are creating.  The question that has always sat in the back of my mind was, “What’s going to happen if nobody uses our new space either, why were they not using that other one very much?”  It was a very good looking space, lots of light, nice blend of materials, and plenty of power sources for students to power there device d’jour.  What was it that we needed to differently to make sure our space gets used?  In a passing conversation with some of the staff, we found out that the area in question gets pretty warm during the afternoon hours, and by warm I mean it gets hot!  For our design I have now been researching shading options and solar control for our glass.  That one conversation has had a definite effect on what we are going to do, and I’m pretty sure it will stick with me for a long time.

Ignore Everyone

Yeah, I know… That one sounds about as dumb of a piece of advice as I could possibly give, but wait a minute, let me explain.  I’ve now been working in the architecture profession for 16 years and I think every time I need to make a decision that is not a cut and dry decision I question myself over and over again.  Am I making the right decision, Is this in the best interest of the owner, Will this turn out the way I’m thinking, and a whole laundry list of worries that go through my mind.  Now that I have some experience behind me, I trust my instinct a bit more, but there has been many times in the past where I didn’t and went with a piece of “advice” that I got from someone else.  Sometimes it worked out just fine, but there are more times when I see the outcome and regret not going with what I knew and should have believed was a better solution.  There will always be times when you can get overruled by your boss, the client, or a whole string of other people involved in the project; but when you feel passionately about something on a project and feel deep within yourself that you have the best answer to a solution, jump up on the table and make sure that your voice is heard.


Still not convinced on this one, ok let me try one more thing.  I was in a meeting just a few days ago, and the subject got brought up (for the umpteenth time) that a certain computer program was phasing out of the industry and being replaced by a different way of not onl doing drawings, but communicating with the entire project team.  I was once a fierce supporter of this new mantra (now don’t get me wrong here, I still think it is a better way, but if we started talking computer programs here, I would probably put you all to sleep faster than a good shot of NyQuil) but I have come to realize, it’s not phasing a different program out and it’s definately not phasing a certain group of architects out of the profession.  In my opinion it’s simply adding to the richness and complexity of a profession that thrives on history as well as innovation. The fact that we are still having this argument, for me it’s been going on for about the last 10 years, just showed me that none of us truly know where the profession as a whole is headed.  We are all so caught up on our own individual workflows, clientele, and project types it is hard for us to see the larger picture.  I think we are starting to understand it better being able to talk to so many in our own industry with such varied stories to tell, but we still have a ways to go.



Well, there you have it, now if you wan to get into more specifics about programs, line weights, or …… zzzzzzzz   Huh, what.  Oh, see I told you.


For a completely different take on this months #ArchiTalks post, check out all of the other posts, and have yourself a good read.

Enoch Sears – Business of Architecture (@businessofarch)
Dear Future Architects: A Confession

Bob Borson – Life of An Architect (@bobborson)

Marica McKeel – Studio MM (@ArchitectMM)
Dear Future Architects: 4 Perspectives

Lee Calisti, AIA – Think Architect (@LeeCalisti)
dear future architects

Evan Troxel – Archispeak Podcast / TRXL (@etroxel)
Dear Future Architects

Lora Teagarden – L² Design, LLC (@L2DesignLLC)
Dear Future Architects: 3 letters

Jeremiah Russell, AIA – ROGUE Architecture (@rogue_architect)
future architects: #architalks

Jes Stafford – MODwelling (@modarchitect)
Dear Future Architect, Listen Here

Eric T. Faulkner – Rock Talk (@wishingrockhome)
Dear Future Architect — Remember Then

Michele Grace Hottel – Michele Grace Hottel, Architect (@mghottel)
“Dear Future Architects,”

Meghana Joshi – IRA Consultants, LLC (@MeghanaIRA)
Dear Future Architects..

Michael Riscica – Young Architect (@YoungArchitxPDX)
Dear Future Young Architects… Please Quit Screwing Around!?!!

Stephen Ramos – BUILDINGS ARE COOL (@sramos_BAC)
Dear Future Architects: Don’t makes these 4 Mistakes

brady ernst – Soapbox Architect (@bradyernstAIA)
Dear Boy in the Plastic Bubble,

Michael LaValley – Evolving Architect (@archivalley)
Dear Future Architects, Be Authentic

Greg Croft – Sage Leaf Group (@croft_gregory)
Dear Future Architect,

Jared W. Smith – Architect OWL (@ArchitectOWL)
Dear Future Architects…

Rusty Long – Rusty Long, Architect (@rustylong)
Dear future architects, never lose your optimism

Keith Palma – Architect’s Trace (@cogitatedesign)
Dear future architects, are you credible?

Adam Denais – Defragging Architecture (@DefragArch)
Dear Future Architect, a Letter to My Younger Self

Jim Mehaffey – Yeoman Architect (@jamesmehaffey)
Dear Future Architects…

Ken Saginario – Twelfth Street Studio ()
Dear Future Architects…


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