I'm a 33 year old board-certified emergency physician in Philadelphia who's wondering what to do about an architecture bug that I have. Designing the lighting scheme for our living room was nearly as exciting as the first time I scrubbed on open-heart surgery, and I am frequently surprised by how intuitive street directions and architectural drawings are to me.
I've been reading Hal Box's "Think Like An Architect," and while I'm not ready to a career switch, I certainly don't want to end up 50 and thinking where life would have gone if I had actually taken an architecture class in college.
Assuming that money and academics aren't a limitation, any suggestions on how to get my feet wet, while holding down a flexible but still full-time job?
Many thanks for any insight you may have.
Thanks for contacting me and congrats on your interest in architecture. Given your architecture bug, there are many ways to become involved in the profession without becoming an architect.
First, you are in a great architectural city - Philadelphia. Take full advantage of the resources and events that the city has to offer related to architecture. Start with the AIA Philadelphia, the professional association of architects. They sponsor architectural walking tours - besides taking them, inquire about becoming a docent to lead the tours. Each year, they sponsor lectures to attend - as I am sure both Penn, Temple, Philadelphia U and Drexel do as well - the four architecture programs in Philly
Aside from the AIA, here is an online guide to architecture of the city.
At minimum, read about architecture from books or online journals. Consider taking a class in drawing or history from the architecture programs listed above.
As you are a healthcare professional, did you know that one can become a healthcare architect. Perhaps, there is way to become involved and serve as a consultant for a firm that does healthcare work.
As you can see, there are many ways to become involved -- also, if you decide to become an architect, consider obtaining Becoming an Architect 2nd ed. (Wiley 2010).