The Life Of An Architect

How much do we know about the life and professions of real-life architects? Do they always carry a pen and blueprint and T-squares to always be ready to draw and pen those designs that linger in their creative heads? We’re pretty sure it takes more than that to be one.

Architect Mac Lim, 39, who started to work in an architectural model making company shared a bit about his work as a professional architect, “When I was fresh out of college and just finished completing the necessary license to be a real architect, my first job was not as complicated as I had hoped. Since I was a neophyte then, I would often be asked to accompany senior architects in my firm and would often be tasked to do the physical scale models of the original home designs that my seniors did. I learned much about how important measurements are and how precision matters in this business as much as working on a set timeline faithfully.  My bosses taught me never to procrastinate but always keep yourself inspired by new ideas by always researching for new and old trends. That’s partly how you grow in this business. I remember being asked to do an oil rig model and it took me a while to finish it because I knew little about the subject. But upon diving onto the project deeper, I was able to finish it with minimal supervision. Fast forward to today, I am given bigger projects like collaborative designing of towers and bridges here and abroad. And I realized that those small steps I took in the earlier days of my career, the discipline, creativity, patience, and precision, prepared me for more complicated projects I handle today.”

Architect June Parsons, 33, who also began as a humble model maker in Singapore when he was just starting out as an architect shared some of the most challenging projects he handled, “ People think architects just help design towers, houses and skyscrapers. But in fact we do all sorts of things. We design even schools, hospitals, churches, bridges, and some of us even design complex furniture. As for me, the most challenging project I handled was this hotel that was supposed to be built in a very secluded island. It was a challenge because there were so many rooms to be drawn with different patterns and needs. The work was very meticulous that I think I spent less than a month perfecting every little detail of it. I loved that I designed a very unique stair for that particular hotel. It was like my own brand per se. But I needed a partner to cross check with me in this project just to make sure everything is taken account for. Aside from making sure that it has all the little elements that the client requested, we had to make sure it is safe and secured too.”

On the other hand, there are architects who do not necessarily work for other firms in the genesis of their careers. Some of them opt to start their own company like Architect Matthew Solenger, 25. “ When we graduated in 2010, I and 4 of my close friends and classmates decided to loan some money in the bank and started our own architectural firm. Since we specialized in different areas,  it was easy for us to split the kind of clients we get. We design almost anything: bridges, towers, churches, schools, hotels, hospitals—we even design shirts, notebooks, toys, etcetera. We do a lot of animations and scale models still just to be more graphic in showing our clients how much we are willing to be as transparent as possible. The business grew in no time, and we feel very happy where we are now. For those who want to be architect themselves, always find your passion and do not be afraid to take good risks. If we did not try to work independently and did not collaborate right after graduating, perhaps we will still work for others now. But because we took a calculated risk, we were able to make it—and we are now our own boss.”

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