Saturday, December 22, 2012

ARE Resources

Dear Dr. Architecture,

I came across your blog while searching on information about prepping for ARE exam. Thanks for the blog, it definitely give me confidence to begin the ARE Exam.

I need some advise on finding the best ARE books to begin my study. They're a few choices of books 

I found online, but not sure which one to choose from. What ARE prep books would you recommend? 

As I have not personally taken the ARE, I am not in a position to recommend specific resources for taking the ARE, but there are plenty of resources --

ARE Resources (AIA) (see list below)

Study Resources for the ARE

ARE REOURCES – as listed on AIA

Resources from the NCARB

Learn the latest information on the NCARB ARE Home Page. Begin the process by reviewing the materials the provided by NCARB, the developers of the exam:

Handbook for Interns and Architects
Describes the NCARB organization, services, procedures, and examinations. Also outlines requirements for certification, IDP training requirements, and certification requirements for Canadian architects. View all free publications available from NCARB.

You can register to take the ARE on the Prometric Web site.

ARE Study Guides

Several publishers and companies offer study materials. Please see their Web sites for more information. Check with your local AIA component to see if they lend ARE study materials. Also, enter the ARE Forum to get recommendations or buy secondhand books.

Amor Study Guides (3.1)
Study Guides for all Divisions and California Supplemental Exam
Author: William A. Amor, NCARB, AIA

Archiflash (3.1 & 4.0)
Practice problems for ARE 4.0 divisions.
Flashcards for all ARE 3.1 multiple-choice divisions.
Author: National Academic & Licensing Study Aids, LLC. (NALSA)

Architectural Licensing Exam Preparation (3.1)
For each ARE 3.1 multiple-choice division and California Supplemental Exam: Workbook and Sample Exam Booklet
Author: Richard Chylinski, FAIA

Architecture Exam Review (3.1 & 4.0)
Book series for all divisions of the ARE 4.0
Book series of Structural, Non-structural, Graphic topics include: Study guide, examples and solutions, practice exams
Author: Various practitioners, see Web site

Free lecture notes and structural tips
Author: David Thaddeus, AIA

Kaplan AEC Education (3.1 & 4.0)
For each ARE 4.0 division: Study Guide, Online Supplement, Practice Vignette Books, Question & Answer Books, Flashcards
For each ARE 3.1 multiple-choice division: Study Guide, Questions and Answers Handbook, Test Bank CD-ROM, Flash Cards, Online Interactive Review
For each ARE 3.1 graphic division: Study Guide, Practice Vignettes, Test Bank CD-Rom, Online Learning, Flash Cards
Author: Various practitioners and includes Architectural License Seminars (ALS) resources

MBA Architectural (3.1 & 4.0)
(909) 336-1180
CDs and DVDs and books for all ARE study divisions
California supplemental exam information also included
Author: Michael P. Boardway, R.A

Sissoko Design Office, Inc (California Supplemental Exam)
CSE study guide:  “California Supplemental Exam ---An elemental understanding of the CSE---A synthesis of the California Architects Board recommended reference materials” Also a companion book contains a total of 10 sample exams and answers.
Author:  Habib Sissoko, Licensed Architect

Workbook: Solutions: Understanding the Graphic Divisions of the Architect's Exam
Home Study Course includes: Solutions Workbook, Mock Exams (pencil & paper version or computer version), NCARB Tutorial Solutions, Past Exams
Author: Norman K. Dorf, AIA

ARE Seminar Instructors

Candidates should check with your local AIA component to see if they organize ARE seminars or look at the AIA national Events Calendar for already scheduled seminars. Seminars may also occur at the local, state, or regional level or through a school of architecture. Some of the seminar instructors also offer online seminars. Check their Web sites for more information.

Architectural Licensing Exam Preparation (3.1)
Richard Chylinski, FAIA

ARE Prep for Graphic Divisions (3.1 & 4.0)
Bob J. Wise Jr., Robert Elfer, NCARB, AIA, Laura Serebin, AIA

Funkaar Studios (3.1 & 4.0)
Umber Kazmi, LEED AP

PREPA-R-E (3.1)
Marc Mitalski, PE, SE, Assoc. AIA

Seminars on General Structures and Lateral Forces Divisions (3.1 & 4.0)

David Thaddeus
, AIA, NCARB | UNC-Charlotte | (704) 687-4021

Seminars on Mechanical and Electrical Systems Division
Wendell Edwards | CUNY-New York | (718) 260-5266

Mike Green
, PE | Arkansas-based | (479) 443-4786

Seminars for Graphic Divisions
Bob Stephen and Barry Chin | California-based | (415) 681-6991

ARE Scholarships

Check with your local AIA component to see if they know of local scholarships opportunities. To suggest an addition to this list, please email

Jason Pettigrew Scholarship
The AIA National Associates Committee (NAC) maintains a scholarship fund to remember their friend and colleague, Jason Pettigrew, Assoc. AIA. The scholarship recipients receive a full set of Kaplan ARE Study Guides and funds to cover the cost of taking each section of the ARE once. Please note $400 is awarded up front and remainder is paid upon successful completion of the exam, and to receive balance of award, recipients must complete the ARE within 5 years of receiving the initial award and submit passing reports from each of the divisions of the exam to the AIA for verification of completion.

Texas State Scholarship
A scholarship fund called the Architect Registration Examination Financial Assistance Fund (AREFAF) was created by the Seventy-sixth Legislature of the state of Texas.  This scholarship fund serves a public purpose of the state of Texas by promoting the professional needs of the state; increasing the number of highly trained and educated registered architects available to serve the residents of the state; improving the state's business environment and encouraging economic development; and identifying, recognizing, and supporting outstanding applicants who plan to pursue careers in architecture. The scholarship is a one-time reimbursement of $500 for taking the Architect Registration Examination. TBAE will award scholarships twice each year - December 31st and June 30th. The deadline for submitting scholarship applications is two weeks prior to each award date.

AIA Shreveport Grant for Interns/Edward Kemp Grant Fund
In an endeavor to assist intern architects enrolled in IDP with the cost of exam fees for the Architectural Registration Exam, the AIA Shreveport Chapter has established an annual grant fund for newly licensed architects. Intern architects are eligible for a financial grant upon passing the exam and obtaining a Louisiana license. Ask a board member for further information in regards to this grant.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Architects of Other Things

I could not resist including the attached series of images of architects of other things:

Architects of Other Things

A list of previous architecture students who are not designing buildings.

Who knew that you could become a queen or rock star after pursuing architecture.

With appreciation to my colleague, David Zach, below is a Word Cloud of Other Things you can do/purse as an architect.

Becoming an Architect: What to do in High School

i'm going to high school next year, and i want to be an architect. Do you have any advice for me? Buildings to see, books to read, classes to take? Thanks so much!

First, as you are just now about to enter high school, know that you are ahead of the game.  Many students do not discover their interest in architecture until well into high school or after.

Start by planning to attend one of many high school summer programs during your high school summers; for a list visit -  These are great opportunities to help you learn more about the process and determine if becoming an architect is what you want to do.

Next, learn to draw by hand -- do not worry about drafting or CAD which is taught by most high schools.  Instead, take ART or creative courses - drawing, painting, ceramics, etc.  If your high school does not offer ART, simply buy a sketchbook and draw 30 minutes per day of everyday objects.  You are trying to connect your brain, eye, and hand.

Also, explore and see the built environment around you.  It is great to see the architecture around you but start with your own house.  Become a detective and learn the materials of a buildings -- why did the architect do what he/she did.

Contact local architects to possibly shadow for a day or so to learn more about the career. Visit architecture schools to consider but also to see what happens in college.

A last idea is to obtain a copy of Becoming an Architect, 2nd. Edition.  These ideas should get you started, but feel free to contact me again as you explore architecture.


Friday, November 30, 2012

Civil engineering and Architecture

I came across your blog today and decided to send you an e-mail in order to describe my situation and seek your guidance. I have been studying civil engineering for 5 years and I' m just about to get my degree, so I'm currenlty looking into postgrads in Europe. I find myself seeking an architectural extention to my studies, since I am quite creative and environmentally sensitive and have always been a great admirer of architecture. I came across sustainable design and it seems like the right thing for me, since it doesn' t require having necessarily majored in architecture. However, i realised that if i make the said choice, i would like to direct myself towards sustainable design and construction in third world countries. I was wondering what my options are as a career path and also whether i can actually do that as a combination of my major and the postgrad. Furthermore, I would appreciate it if you could point me towards other masters combining civil engineering and architecture. Please help me make the right choice! I am looking forward to receiving your reply and i thank you in advance for your time.

First, I must share that my expertise is in "becoming an architect" in the U.S. and not Europe, but I will share what I can.

Given that you are pursuing a degree in civil engineering (an unrelated degree), you would be eligible to apply to a Master of Architecture (3-4 years) in the U.S.  Visit - - for a list of accredited programs.

Also, with your interest in sustainability, you will find many programs have that emphasis but all must address it as it is a performance standard for accreditation.

In terms of third world countries, I would suggest the following: 

Architecture for Humanity -
Global Architecture Brigades -
Architects without Borders -

As for joint degrees for civil and architecture, I can only suggest the previous NAAB website and search for those that also have civil.  I am aware of on program at the University of Illinos.


Unpaid Architecture Internships Come Under Fire

Given that architectural graduates are required to work under the supervision of an architect as part of the process of becoming an architect, I thought you might be interested in this article on Architizer.

Image below via @EricGlatt, who is working to end “unpaid labor guised as internships”

Story by C. J. Hughes
Architecture firms have often relied on unpaid interns, even if some firms don’t exactly advertise the tradition. But after recent lawsuits brought by former interns in other industries, the custom is starting to come under fire in the design world.


Preprofessional vs. professional

Why would a student pursue a pre-professional program in architecture vs. a professional program? Is it for someone who's not sure if they want to pursue architecture? What kind of job would they get upon graduating? I realize they would need a Master's program after that to pursue a career in architecture.

First, let me put your question in another context.  Instead of asking preprofessional vs professional, a better question is professional vs. professional.

NAAB (accrediting board) accredits three degrees - 1) Bachelor of Architecture (5 years); 2) Master of Architecture (4+2/3 years); and the Doctor of Architecture (only at Hawaii).  So, students can choose from any of these three paths to a professional accredited degree.

Thus, students pursue the 4+2 preprofessional degree + the Master of Architecture because it provides a broader undergraduate education; it provides the opportunity to pursue studies at two institutions/programs - one for undergraduate and one for graduate -- as well, it allows the opportunity to take time off between the two degrees.  Finally, many of these 4+2 programs do not require studio in the first year allowing a student to ease into architecture compared to the five-year BArch.

Students with the four-year preprofessional Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies can secure any entry level position with an architecture firm; just because they do not have the professional degree, does not mean that they cannot contribute their skills to a firm or any employer.

Ironically, in the early 1980s, there were about 90 BArch degree and 50 MArch; not it is opposite with about 90 MArch degrees being offered and 50 BArchs.

I hope this helps.  Thanks!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

What major if pursuing Varsity Sport

I am interested in studying to become an architect, but have an opportunity to play a varsity sport at a university that does not offer undergraduate architecture studies.  Is there an recommended major (Art, Environmental Studies, etc.) that has better placement for grad school Architecture programs?

The best major to pursue is the one that you will enjoy the most and succeed in as well as best allow you to pursue your varsity sport.  Certainly, related majors such as art or environmental studies might be considered the best but if either creates a challenge to succeed or pursue your sport, it may not be the best choice.

Certainly, if your intentions are to pursue architecture at the graduate level, you will want to take courses in art or related disciplines so you have materials for your portfolio.  Also, consider the graduate programs to which you might apply to see their requirements - calculus or architecture history.

Decisions on admission to graduate programs are not based on the major, but rather your academic record and portfolio.


Upcoming Career Days - Dallas, New York, Savannah

Between now and the end of the year, I will be attending a career days for aspiring architects and the annual AIAS Forum.  I will not be in NYC, but it is certainly worthy to attend.

If you live in these regions, feel free to attend.

2B an Architect
Dallas, TX
AIAS Dallas - Saturday, November 17

ARCHSchools Confidential
New York, NY
AIA NYC - Tuesday, November 27

AIAS Forum - Sunday, December 30


I’m interested in a career in architecture.  I have some questions for you.
What skills are people looking for in industry?
What are some ways to learn the basics?
What do you think I should do before I begin my first class in January? I’ll be starting out with drafting.
Thank You for your time

Thanks for your questions.

A great overview of the profession is from the DOL Occupational Outlook Handbook.

As for skills employers, they are varied -- beyond the traditional skills of design, technical skills, etc., they also want communication, collaboration, and leadership.  A great way to see what they want is to read position descriptions.

To learn the basics, read and sketch.  Go to the library to read volumes on architecture and review websites on the topic.  Purchase a sketchbook and draw what you see which will extend to drawing what is in your imagination.

As odd as it sounds, I would not start out with drafting; drafting is not what architecture is.  Instead, take an art course/freehand drawing to get started.  Try out a 2D design course instead.  Contact an area architect to possibly shadow for the day to learn the profession.

Visit - - to learn more.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Transfer to BArch or MArch

I am currently attending a junior college to complete all of my core requirements to transfer into an accredited college in Architecture.  I live in Illinois and am interested in IIT and also Southern Illinois University. I was accepted at SIU but decided to attend a Junior college this year for many reasons.  I want to transfer but am still a little confused about the  Architectural studies vs. the  BArch programs.  My understanding is to bypass the architectural studies and focus strictly on my BArch, this is the more focused approach.  Some clarity would be greatly appreciated and will provide me with the correct decision making when applying in December 2012 for the fall semester.
Thank you for your time and information,
To fulfill the education requirements of becoming an architect, one must complete the NAAB accredited professional degree; this is done via the 5-year Bachelor of Architecture such as IIT offers or the 6-year (4+2) Master of Architecture that either SIU or UIUC offers.  In this latter case, you first pursue a pre-professional Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies (BSAS 4-years)

Given that you are first attending a community college to complete your core requirements, you will still probably begin the studies at IIT as a first year student because of the studio and other required architectural coursework.  Thus, it will still take you five years to complete.  This may or not be the case at SIU or Illinois; you would need to check with them directly.

In some respects, a BArch is more focused because it completes the degree in a shorter duration, but there are other criteria that you will want to consider when applying.

I would suggest you visit both programs to learn first hand the transfer process.


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Interior Design to Architecture

Okay so the thing is, the university I applied to didn't offer me admission in its B.Arch program (which was my first option) but is ready to take me for its Interior Design program (my second option).

Since a very long time I have wanted to pursue the profession of architecture.  So now the question arises-do I take the offer or I don't) But before making that decision, I need to know a few things because of which I'm writing to yo.

So I have two questions.

1- If I have a 4 year Bachelors Degree in Interior Design and I want to do my Master in Architecture, the universities will consider me for their masters program in architecture right? I will be eligible for continuing my studies in the field of architecture right? And later on I can practice as an architect(after passing the license exams) ?

2- What degrees (masters) are offered in architecture? Coming from an interior design background (a 4 year Bachelors in Interior Design), what degree options do I have for masters level after which I'll be eligible for a job in a firm as an architect?

I'm really really looking forward to your reply.


Answers to your two questions:

1) With a degree in interior design, you would be eligible to apply to a NAAB accredited Master of Architecture; however, the length of completing the degree would be 3-4 years.  

2) The only degree to pursue to become an architect is the Master of Architecture.  Once you have completed the accredited Master of Architecture, you could certainly seek to pursue a post-professional graduate degree in any number of disciplines -- urban design, sustainable design, preservation, etc.


Monday, October 22, 2012

Teacher helping Students

How can I help my high school student decide if architecture is what she really wants before applying to colleges?

Perhaps, the most effective method is to have them experience the discipline first hand.  You do not tell me what subject matter you teach, but you can relate every high school subject to architecture - be it mathematics, science, English, history or even physical education. 

There are numerous websites that can provide you with guidelines on integrating architecture with the subject you teach -- researching a building, designing a classroom, testing structures, drawing or sketching perspectives.

Another way is to connect with a local architect.  Invite them to your classroom, or better take a field trip to an office.  Many local chapters of the AIA (American Institute of Architects) have programs entitled "Architects in the Classroom."

As well, encourage your students to attend a high school summer program (attached).  These programs offered by college architecture programs are designed to help students learn more about the discipline and determine if they would be interested.  As well, have them begin to draw/sketch every day to learn the skill of "seeing"

Finally, obtain Becoming an Architect, 2nd Edition and visit to learn more about the process of becoming an architect.


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Becoming an Architect? 3rd Ed. - Need help!

I need your assistance!

Last week, I submitted a proposal for 3rd edition of Becoming an Architect to publisher, Wiley & Sons; I also talked with my editor who will submit to editorial team next week -- she is confident that it will be accepted.

Thus, for next 10 months, I am writing but I need your help.  Do you wish to be profiled if you are an architecture student, emerging professional or architect? or Do you have thoughts of what should be included in the next edition (see TOC below)?  If so, please contact me -

Becoming an Architect
Table of Contents
1. The Definition of an Architect.
What Do Architects Do?
Profile of the Profession.

2. The Education of an Architect.
Path to an Accredited Degree.
Decision-Making Process.
Application Process.
You Are an Architecture Student.
Academic Enrichment.

3. The Experience of an Architect.
Gaining Experience as a Student.
Moving Toward Licensure.

4. The Careers of an Architect.
Career Designing.
Career Paths.

5. The Future of the Architecture Profession.
BIM-Building Information.
Integrated Project Delivery (IPD)
Agent of Social Change.
Distance Education/Learning.

Appendix A: The Resources of an Architect.
Collateral Organizations.
Architecture-Related Associations.
Association-Related Careers.
Institutions Dedicated to Architecture.
Community Service.
Recommended Reading.
Appendix B: Accredited Architecture Programs in the United States and Canada.
Appendix C: Career Profiles.

I am very interested in becoming an architect, this is my dream. But I have some concerns about the admission requirements for architectural schools for the Master Degree.
I have a Bachelor's and Master's Degree in Cybernetics, and I also have studied Public Administration at Tufts University, The Fletcher School, in Boston. Now I work at the Central Bank of Armenia, as a specialist in the Payments field. 
Thus, as you can see I do not have an architectural background. But I still have a great intention to study architecture, because my father is an architect and my grandfather was an architect also, and this is in my genеs. 
So my question is the following, is there any possibility that I have chance to study architecture and to get a master degree (MArch)?

I am pleased to hear of your desire to become an architect.

As you have a degree (albeit not architecture), you are eligible to pursue a Master of Architecture (3-4 years) designed for individuals with a background in a discipline other than architecture.

To learn more about potential architecture programs, consider visiting the following websites -- -


Another item is to consider taking a drawing/art course to develop materials for inclusion in your portfolio as all programs will require a portfolio.


Job Searching Challenges

I can't find a job in architecture!
I have done every possible thing to become employed, yet no offers at all!
I attend architecture events in Orlando Florida regularly and network with architects.I applied for all kinds of jobs in architecture, from drafting, to design to internships. I visited the career center in college to check my resume and they keep admiring it,I even made a website for my portfolio. I graduated with a GPA of 3.5 with masters degree from a program in Chicago , and received some recognitions and awards during my years there. I don't know what I have been missing, why I can't find a job? This is very frustrating, sometimes I feel I made a wrong decision to get into this major.


As you have learned, the job market for architects is a tough one.

First, it is hard to say for certain why you have not yet found a position in architecture especially solely from your comments below, but you can always do more.  It is hard, but hopefully in the end -- it is worth the effort.

Certainly, the most effective career search method is "networking" which you are doing, but how do you network -- Do you introduce yourself with the "30-second" commercial?  -- Who you are, what you are about, and what you are looking for?  Do you inquire with them about additional connections or potential firms that may be hiring?  Do you obtain a business card and use it to follow-up after first meeting?

You state that you have applied for all kinds of positions, but have you also applied for positions outside architecture that still develop your skills - engineering, interior design, construction, etc.  Also, to develop skills, consider volunteer work with community design centers, etc. to develop connections and skills.

I applaud your being in touch with your Career Center on your resume, but check with IIT about their alumni network -- again, more connections.

In the interim, consider entering design competitions to keep your work in architecture continuous.

I fully appreciate your frustration, but searching is a full-time job.  I do not know all of the details of your search, but be positive.  Below is an article that may be of assistance.

Architecture and Beyond: Opportunities Abound


Sunday, October 14, 2012

Graduate Programs

Dear Dr. Architecture,

I really enjoy reading your blog. Its informative, precise and aligns with the current questions student of architecture often have. I have done my B.Arch (5 yrs) from Mumbai and I am looking to pursue a Master's Degree in US. I have a few question from the prospect of being a Master's student, I'd be very glad if you could answer it.

1. There are various schools I am considering, but the question often arises, which schools are known for which programs. For Example, from talking to people I have gathered, for Landscape Architects, GSD or Upenn is very good. Is there some list, where I can refer and conclude which school is known for which program, so accordingly I can prioritize.

2. I have always been passionate about architecture as a whole, its not that I can't choose a specification, I just don't want to. I love all the bits about Architecture, whether it be Master Planning, Urban Design, Building Technology or Landscaping. Many say its futile, if you are doing Master's and not adding any specific skill's to your resume. Is that true? How do these specific programs differ from one-another, in terms of, subjects, career opportunities, etc?

3. Could you enlighten me, on the job opportunities Architects in the United States have? As a student, what is the best way I can reduce my tuition? What is the avg starting income for a Master's student with prior experience of say about 1 and 1/2 years?

Thank you for you time and patience. I really hope if you can answer my questions. It will be very helpful. 

1. The best list of graduate architecture programs is both NAAB - - and ARCHSchools -  Both provide a list of accredited architecture programs.

For graduate programs in general, probably the best source is Petersons - -.

2. Given you have a B.Arch degree, you have the flexibility of pursuing any graduate degree.  Unfortunately, you will need to research each program based on your own set of criteria.  Much of what you decide will depend on your interest and future career goal.

3. As you might expect, opportunities in the architecture profession are limited, but are growing.  Most graduate programs have opportunities with graduate assistantships which provide financial assistance. 


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Transfer to Architecture

I was wondering if you could help me, I am graduating from a Architectural Technology program with a Diploma and I would like to go to the next step in getting my Bachelors in Architecture. How do I got about finding schools that will transfer credits, where I can get the most out of what I have already completed? Any information would be extremely helpful! (I am located in Canada and would prefer to study there, but I am open minded about the U.S and Internationally). Thank you! 


First, there are no BArch programs in Canada.


Next, you can research architecture programs in the U.S. from the following:


To best determine how to transfer, you will need to be in touch with each respective program.  As you do so, be ready with not just your transcript but also course syllabi, etc.


Dr. Architecture. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

How to "network" your way into a job!

At least once in everyone’s career, whether by choice or circumstance, a job seeker will have to endure the stressful process that includes identifying, applying to, interviewing for, being offered, negotiating the terms of, and ultimately accepting – or rejecting – a job.

During my own job searches, I have found that my biggest asset is my strong network of personal and professional connections.  Without them, looking for a job would have been a far more painful process.  Here are some suggestions for how to network your way into a job:

  1. Classmates: Stay in touch with classmates; you've had similar experiences and probably travel in similar circles.  They know people, and so do you. Perhaps someone's firm is looking to fill a position?  Speak to friends, family members, previous employers (with whom you've presumably remained in contact), the girl at the gym, the guy at the grocery store, etc. You never know whom they know -- or who they know who knows someone else!

  1. School: Speak to your school's career counselor or alumni director.  Are there school-related events in which you can participate so that you can meet people? Do they keep their own job postings?  Do you have access to an alumni database?

  1. AIA: Attend an AIA event or program and/or join a committee.  Local AIA chapters are always looking for volunteers.  This is a great opportunity to meet people who share at least two common interests: architecture and the AIA!

  1. Social Media: Use social media to your advantage.  Websites like LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. will be great resources.  Do your research. Contact firms to set up an informational interview and/or firm tour. Many firms – despite their ability to hire – will still be interested to meet potential candidates for when positions become available. Also, architects love to talk – and will happily share their personal experiences. Usually the AIA has an updated list of the local FAIA members.  Seek them out as they are especially supportive of the young professionals and would gladly share a tale or two!

  1. Consultants: If you've worked in a firm before, talk to your consultants.  Your product/material reps are also great resources.  They are in architecture offices all day long and know which firms are hiring. They generally have good relationships with people in those firms and might be able to facilitate a meeting for you.

While it’s more helpful to forward your materials to someone directly if a firm is hiring, it's important to note that, in most cases, you can still forward your materials to a firm, regardless of whether or not it appears to be hiring.  Many firms don't have the time to keep their career postings up-to-date and others keep generic ads active as a way to solicit resumes from the current pool of job seekers.  This allows a firm to make a quick decision when new work comes into the office.  You want to be at the top of their list!

Finally, don't get overwhelmed. It may take years to establish an effective network.  But, when you do, you will be delighted to have such a strong support system.  And remember:

  1. Smile.  Everyone you meet is probably just as nervous as you are!

  1. Say "thank you.”  People are more likely to help you again if they know how much you've appreciated their help.

  1. It's a two-way street: What can you offer to the relationship?  Give your new connection another reason to keep in touch.  

About the author:
Lori Apfel Cardeli, AIA joined Bonstra | Haresign ARCHITECTS in Washington, D.C. in February 2012.  The firm focuses on affordable housing and multi-use residential projects.  Previously based in New York City, she also has experience in sustainable learning environments, high-rise residences, and high-end homes. Mrs. Cardeli received a B.S. in Architecture from Washington University in St. Louis (2004) and an M.Arch from Columbia University, GSAPP (2007), where she serves as an inaugural member of the GSAPP Alumni Association Board and Co-Chair of its Alumni/Student + Careers Committee.  As an active member of AIA, she was selected to serve on the Education Proposal Review Committee for its 2013 National Convention, participated in YAF Summit20, and is a two-time presenter at National Convention.  Mrs. Cardeli is a registered architect in New York State.

Mrs. Cardeli may be contacted, as follows:
t.  LArChitecting

Copyright © 2012 by Lori Apfel Cardeli.  All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Children Programs in Architecture

When my son was 3, I asked him what he wanted to be. "A builder," said he, "but not the guy who hammers the nails. I want to be the guy who makes up the plans that the hammerers follow." I taught him the word ARCHITECT and since then, he's been following a career of Legos, CitiBlocks, Jenga Sticks, Erector sets, Minecraft and LegoRobotics.  Probably helps that we live a block from the WTC site and his whole neighborhood has been under construction for all of his 10 years.

I'm writing to you to ask if you think that enrolling him in some kind of architecture summer program would be a huge help or just a way to pass the time. Thing is, I live in NYC where the more money you have, the better your advertising, and that doesn't necessarily correlate with the quality of the programming. I suspect that a lot of the "architecture summer camps" out here are just art school with day trips to skyscrapers. We live right in manhattan and the kid already has favorite buildings (the Chrysler tops his list). He says he wants to take beautiful old buildings and repurpose them into useful space, like taking lovely government buildings or museums and turning them into hotels with concert halls. When he was four, he wanted to make a mile high building with a monorail that only tenants could use that went straight to JFK. Not a bad plan for a little tot; maybe a little hard to push through the City ordinances. :-)

anyway - my main question is - at this terribly young age, does it make sense for him to go to specialized camp or should he continue to explore everything at the general camps he already attends? Is there any benefit to these architecture camps, for instance on a college application - or is vast curiosity and general knowledge of many things more highly valued. (seems stupid to be talking about college while he's not even in middle school, but there it is, the world is darn crowded.) 

So I reach out to your expertise.  Anyone in the office from NYC? Or have you heard of any particularly great summer programs in or near Manhattan for kids age 9-12? or should we just continue to let him play Minecraft and do Lego Robotics and whatever else satisfies his building urge and stop worrying about it until high school?

thanks for your help,

First, congrats on having a son who at an early age is excited about design and architecture. 

Clearly, involving him in activities related will be helpful assuming they are age appropriate. 

I have attached the list of summer programs (high school) for you but the more appropriate one given your location is as follows:
Center for Architecture - New York, NY
June 25 – 29, 2012 (1 week); July 2 – 13, 2012 (2 weeks)

As your son is such a young age, I would suggest exploring any and all programs to encourage his interest in architecture.  Being in NYC, he is in one of the best cities architecturally - as you state, just walk outside. 

Aside from programs like the one listed above, encourage him to draw and see.  As well, develop his spatial abilities - legos, blocks, lincoln logs -- one software to consider is sketchup, a free download from Google.  Encourage him to keep a sketchbook -- have him draw for a time each day much list you would practice piano.

One toy to explore used by Frank Lloyd Wright is Froebel Blocks -

You may also consider contacting a local architect to have visit a office, talk with architects, etc.  Of course, you have time for all of this.  Ironically, many entering college architecture students indicate an interest in the discipline at an early age. 

Do keep in touch if you have any further questions.