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5 Steps You Should Take from A Young Age to be a Successful Architect
July 23, 2021 at 6:30 PM
by Devayani Bapat

Let us begin with a disclaimer - If you’re a young architect reading this article, this isn’t clickbait.

When one is young, wild, free, and fresh off the boat of Architecture school, the dreams are big and ambitions high. The path to success in an exceedingly competitive field such as architecture is taxing and the journey to accomplishment arduous. Reading this must not make you panic for we at Archslate strive every day to make the construction of your triumph easier and your journey to build up your career, brick by brick, memorable.

As a young architect, we’re sure you look up to older architects with wonder in your eye and one question haunting your mind continually - “How did they carve their niche on this mountain of architects?” Well, we’re here to tell you just that and we’re sure to keep it short and sweet.

5 Tips to Become a Successful Architect at a Young Age

1. Networking

2. State of the Art Portfolio

3. Never Burn Bridges

4. Travel, Travel, and More Travel!

5. Knowing the Past, Present, and Future Trends in the field!

1. Networking

While many would disagree and put this step at the bottom of the list, Networking is the biggest step a young architect must focus on to ensure that they are seen, heard, and noticed. Be it a top-notch architect, a professor at university, a receptionist at an architecture firm, an abstract painter, the owner of a furniture store, or absolutely any individual remotely related to the field, we would recommend striking up a conversation with them, exchange contact details and make sure you follow up with an email or a text to let them know you valued the tête-à-tête with them and would love to stay in touch. In your interaction make sure you are approachable, friendly, and well-informed regarding industry happenings to ensure that the conversation stays afloat. While there might be many-a-column in the hall of architects, be the one that stands tall and shines bright. It’s sure to get you noticed and most importantly remembered!

2. State of the art Portfolio

While it sounds like we're stating the obvious, we can’t help but emphasize enough the importance of your portfolio to help you stand out in the crowd. From the small projects you’ve assisted with to the biggest projects you’ve done, your portfolio need not be crowded with a timeline of every job you’ve worked on. Pick out projects that stand out, speak volumes about the kind of work you want to pursue as you go about your career, and amalgamate your state of artworks to put your best foot forward. Make sure you capture the versatility of your works and display your skills through your portfolio across just a few projects because your portfolio is just like the highlights of the football game, a window into the greatest goals you’ve achieved along the way.

3. Don’t Burn Bridges

Back in the day people would get on board with an architecture firm and ensure that they stick to that single firm in order to climb up the corporate ladder. Needless to say, that isn’t the case amongst the generation of architects that are cultivated in the market today. Individuals are vying for new opportunities with every passing second and hoping to latch onto bigger, better chances every step of the way. Our only advice to you, make sure you keep your referrals handy and don’t burn bridges with a firm prior to moving on from it. The architecture community is a close-knit group that flourishes on referrals and if you don’t manage to get that stellar recommendation or end up in a brawl or some kind of milder version of the same with your ex-boss, chances are that word will spread like wildfire and the moments of opportune for a brighter future might decrease. Stay polite, courteous, and respectful come what may.

4. Travel

"Travel is the bridge between you and everything"

- Rumi

This quote by Rumi stands so true when it comes to being a young architect, starting out, on the brink of an explosion of ideating, creating, designing, and building. As a young architect, travel is essential not just for growth on a professional level, but also on a personal level. Not only will you be able to see different places, explore varying landscapes, experience a plethora of shapes, textures, and colors, but you will also be able to interact with and meet people from different walks of life that will enrich your mind culturally and open you up to a treasure box filled with inspiration. Whether it's a small trip to the town not too far away or a stroll by the lake in the countryside or a walk down a crowded city street bustling with people, there is a little something you can take in from every adventure and pour those experiences into your world of architectural design.

5. Keep up with the past, the present, and the future

"As an architect, you design for the present with an awareness of the past for a future which is essentially unknown."

- Norman Foster

As a budding young professional trying to set your footprints in the sands of architectural design, make sure you are aware of the historical past of architecture. While studying architecture from the beginning of time, from cover to cover is not what we are asking you to do, reading up about the works of the pioneers in the field of architecture and creation will help give you perspective on the evolution of the field. Make sure you also keep up with current trends and trendsetters in the field to ensure you’re up to date with the happenings of the profession. Also, make sure to keep up with technology and design and find ways to implement futuristic design elements into your works to grant the wholesome cultivation of your profile as an architect. Not only will this help you to opine and frame your outlook towards different parts of being on the job, but it will also catalyze conversations whilst networking as you can definitely add an element of knowledge to the banter.

While most listicles might instruct you to make a to-do list, get yourself a mentor, set a schedule, participate in competitions, and more, and while all of the above are extremely helpful if one wants to move ahead in absolutely any career, we at Archslate believe in tying professional and personal growth into one. We believe that it’s not just the theories you learn as an academic student or the mentor you have when you’re an intern or the jobs you do as a working professional that help you grow but it's also your personal experiences that contribute to your growth as an architect.

So learn, grow and sparkle, you’re young and you’re going to make it, just believe. :)


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