Saturday, June 2, 2012

Drawing Skills necessary to become an Architect?

All of my life that I can remember, I've been interested in buildings. I have watched HGTV frequently since my early teens, which, compared to other teenagers, I consider slightly abnormal. Architecture is probably one of my few deep interests.

I'm now 17 and just completed junior year in high school. Throughout all of my school years I've gotten As, and I've taken AP English and Chemistry classes. I've gotten decent ACT (28) and SAT (1850) scores. I've also taken CAD classes (dual credit) for the past two years, earning both As and praise from my teacher. I've heard photography helps as well, and I've been very interested in that. I've taken classes from a professional photographer who is a family friend. I'm even taking my own senior pictures this year.


I consider myself very interested in becoming an architect.


However, more recently it has come to my attention the amount of art classes that architecture students have to take. I can draw a decent stick figure, but really that's about it. I used to take art in elementary school and was good, but I stopped after 5th grade and my drawing skills have suffered immensely.


Honestly I'm not ready to give up on my dream of being an architect, but I'm worried about the art classes. Are the classes really as prevalent as I've heard? Is the fact that I lack drawing skills enough for me to not pursue architecture? Are there other architecture related careers that do not involve as much art? Does my adequacy in CAD drawing alleviate some of the drawing pressure? Does my background in photography help? What do the colleges expect from incoming architecture students? What advice would you give to someone in my situation?
__________

First, congrats on your desire to pursue architecture and your academic successes.

Please let me provide some insight on an architectural education; in my opinion, it takes three things to be a successful architecture student - 1) intelligence, 2) creativity, and 3) passion/dedication.  The best part is that you only need two out of the three.

Having worked at three architecture programs, I would not worry about the art courses.  Architecture is not about art, but it is about creativity and the ability to communicate your ideas.  Architects do use hand-drawings and sketches to communicate their design ideas, but also use computers to do so.


How much graphic courses you take will depend on the program you select.  Some programs have an ART emphasis - Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) or Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), but others do not.  Some require a portfolio from high school applicants, but others do not.


Do not get me wrong -- you will need to draw, but you admit that you were good, but you are out of practice.  If possible, take an art/drawing course in your senior year.  If that is not possible, simply draw for 30 minutes every day drawing every day objects -- do not worry about the quality of the drawings -- instead, work on developing the habit to draw and see.  That is important in architecture.


Keep asking questions of the profession, potential architecture programs and of me as appropriate.  I would still consider architecture as a career choice, but continue to learn more.


Best!

No comments: