Sunday, January 31, 2010

I am currently a junior year at my school and i was wondering how can I improve my creativity in order to become an architect. I'm just taking my architecture class this year but i feel like i need to take some other classes as well to improve my creativity. Any suggestions?

First, what architecture classes are you taking this year?

There are many ways to improve your creativity. Here are some --
  • Look -- Look all around you at the built environment. Look at the details of a door, a window, or another part of a building to see the creativity.
  • Draw -- If you can take a freehand drawing art course while still in high school. If not, simply start to draw. First, draw what you can see -- your hand, a tree leaf, a shoe. Later, draw what you cannot see but is in your imagination.
  • Read -- Check out books on architecture and read about design and creativity.
  • High School Summer Program -- If you schedule allows, attend one of the many high school summer programs that architecture programs offer. A list is available from
Dr. Architecture

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Teaching Architecture Question

I am an American teaching at Peking University in a field unrelated to architecture. I was recently asked however by the Dean of our campus if my wife would be interested in teaching architecture. My wife received an acredited 5 year BArch more than 12 years ago, did IDP through NCARB, and is AIA licensed. Can she teach at the university level? I cannot find a clear answer for that and she doesn't know. Some schools seem to compare such a degree to a MArch but we wonder if she can teach at the university level.

First, your wife is not AIA licensed. An architect is licensed to practice by the state in which they applied. The AIA is a membership organization.

The answer to your question is YES. An individual, regardless of education and background, can teach architecture if the University deems that individual qualified. You are correct that most U.S architecture programs either require or highly encourage a Master of Architecture as a minimum qualification to teach, but there are still current professors that only have a BArch like your wife.

I would suggest that she go for it if Peking wishes to hire her and she feels qualified to teach.

Dr. Architecture

Sunday, January 24, 2010

BA in Art History, wanting to be an architect

I am currently taking courses to receive my BA in Art History. I have always been interested in being an Architect and I am looking into further education after I graduate with my degree in order to become one. I have heard mixed opinions about Art History and Architecture mixing, but I was wondering if you could help me in telling me what my best option would be. Can I go on to an MArch with this 4-year BA under my belt? Or would I have to start from scratch?

The least amount of time it takes for me to receive the Architecture degree the better, but I don't know where to even start to look or what applies and what doesn't.

Thank you so much for your time, I hope this makes sense and that you can possibly help me out.

To begin the process, visit the blog listed below which lists answers to questions from previous individuals who have contacted me and obtain Becoming an Architect, 2nd Edition.

Given your BA in Art History, you are eligible to begin the path of becoming an architect by pursuing the first professional degree, Master of Architecture (3-4 years). These degrees are targeted for individuals like you that have a degree in another discipline. There is no need to start from scratch.

To research programs, visit -- -- and -- --. You may also wish to consider taking a freehand drawing course as you will need to prepare a portfolio for admission.

Depending on your desires, you may be too late for Fall 2010 but some programs may still accept applications for the fall; otherwise, take the year to visit programs and prepare your application for Fall 2011.

If you have more questions, please feel free to contact me. Best to you.

Dr. Architecture

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Career Change

I presently have a BA and an Ma in Talmudical Law from an accredited college. I have been involved in many building and design projects (building design, renovation floor plans, furniture concepts, design and construction) in my neighborhood and religious community, and have experience in computer graphics, hand drawn art and hands on construction. I have an interest in pursuing a career in architecture in which I would be able to utilize my talents and experiences into a very rewarding future.

However as a family man and father of three, going through a full 5 years of full time college for a BARCH degree is both time consuming and financially not feasable. I was wondering if there was any fast track to being able touse my existing degrees and to minor in architecture. Also I was wondering how one could proceed with a BS in Architecture Sciences to achieving full licensure as an independent architect. Specifically, is there any way to achieve licensure as a certified architect through experience in the field such as working as an intern for a number of years. Is there any known architecture program designed for a working individual such as one with distance learning, online courses or night courses. I live in the central NJ region, within a reasonable distance to both Philadelphia and all 5 boroughs of NYC.

Unfortunately, there is no present way to become an architect through experience alone. All states require education, experience, and exam ( More specifically, most states require you to obtain a professional NAAB ( degree in architecture, complete the Intern Development Program (IDP) and pass the Architect Registration Exam.

However, given you have a degree, you are eligible to apply to the Master of Architecture (3-4 years). For a list of programs visit -- and/or --

There are a few states that allow one to pursue licensure with only a BS in Architecture, but it would require additional years of experience. NCARB ( has a website listing the state requirements for education and experience.

Dr. Architecture

Friday, January 15, 2010

Architecture Education Question

I have recently been searching both bachelor and masters of architecture programs and came across a blog of yours. After reading several posts I felt that your were certainly someone who could help answer some of my questions.
I am seriously interested in Architecture as a career, more specifically sustainable design in small construction. I am currently a Junior at Elon University in North Carolina and pursuing a bachelors in Environmental Studies. Unfortunately Elon does not offer an architecture degree, but being that environmental studies is also a strong interest, I feel it will work out for the best.
My question is what is the best path for me in the future, regarding additional education. Ideally I would have the least amount of additional education but not limit my career possibilities.
My girlfriend is currently selecting graduate schools for Marine Biology Ph.D. and I will likely end up living where ever she decides to go. FSU Tallahassee, NC State, or VIMS. I was wondering if I should be looking at obtaining a bachelors in architecture or a masters. After researching a few programs I've found that without a bachelors in architecture, a masters can take a substantial amount of time to complete.
Perhaps my true question is what differences in career options will I see between a bachelors in arch vs. a masters?
I truly appreciate any advice you can give me.

Given that you are interested in environmental studies and you are close to graduation, I would advise you to complete your undergraduate degree at Elon University and pursue a professional NAAB accredited Master of Architecture (3-4 years) for individuals who have an undergraduate degree in another discipline. Certainly between now and graduation, you should consider pursuing an art course (freehand drawing) to develop materials for a portfolio; an additional option would be pursuing an Ind. Study with a faculty that is connected to architecture in some way at Elon. In this way, you start your studies and could obtain a letter of recommendation from your faculty.

Pursuing the MArch will be the shortest path given your current education status. If you pursued a BArch, you would be retreating and the degree would probably take five years. A MArch would take between 3-4 years depending on the program. Both degree will allow you to become an architect.

As for potential programs, visit the following -- -- and -- -- Both have search engines to locate architecture programs by location.

Dr. Architecture

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Becoming LEED GA?

I'm an undergraduate Architecture student at the University of Cincinnati and I will be working over the summer at an architecture firm.

I would like to become LEED GA certified. What should my first steps be towards earning LEED GA certification? Do you have any tips as I prepare for a LEED GA exam?

According to the GBCI website, the following description and website should answer all of your questions.

LEED Green Associate

For professionals who want to demonstrate green building expertise in non-technical fields of practice, GBCI has created the LEED Green Associate credential, which denotes basic knowledge of green design, construction, and operations.

Dr. Architecture