Monday, July 8, 2013

Too old to become an architect?

I recently read Becoming an Architect and found it to be of much interest. I am in the process of reevaluating my career and architecture is definitely the field that draws me the most, and reading your book has only strengthened my opinion that this would be a very fulfilling career, and compatible with my skills and attributes.

However, Becoming an Architect has also fed a certain doubt I have been having since I started contemplating this career change. Most of the testimonies featured in your book mention being drawn to this career at a very young age and the study and career paths of the architects you interviewed seem to be mostly straight as an arrow. I am currently 31 and have been working in 3d animation and visual effects for 10 years. I believe this background might help me in my studies and eventual career as an architect, but I have no illusions about the fact that I'll have to start back at the bottom, and I am fine with the idea. 
I know it is theoretically possible for me to make it as an architect, but I wonder about the practical rate of success of such a career move. I was wondering if you had any firsthand knowledge of people that switched to this career a bit later in their life, and of the obstacles, difficulties and successes they encountered. 

I realize you must be receiving a lot of inquiries about your book, and I would be most grateful if you could find the time to share your thoughts on my situation. I thank you very much for writing the exact book I needed to read in the process I was going through.

First, let me thank you for your kind words on Becoming an Architect.  I am pleased that you found it of interest and that your more drawn to pursuing architecture.

While it may be true that those in the book pursued architecture from an early age, I know of plenty who have done so later in life.  Perhaps most famously is Philip Johnson one of the most influential architects of the 20th century who was not licensed until age 39.  He practiced architecture til he past away in his 90s.

Given your background, I do not think you would need to start at the bottom upon graduation, but have you thought about combining your interest in architecture with that of your animation.  Is there a way to transfer your current skill set to the discipline of architecture now.

As you know computers have made animation more of a stay in architecture.

I am not suggesting you not pursue becoming an architect, but there may be a way to enter the profession sooner than you think.

You are NOT too old to pursue architecture.  

I wish you the best and let me know if you have other questions.

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