I still haven’t received my licence from the AIA yet. I do, however, have the title “Assoc. AIA”, but come on; everyone knows it’s just a few letters representing the money I paid to a professional organization for the benefit of having a cool tag behind my name.
Seriously, the true AIA title is no joke. Once you have that you can stamp drawings of buildings and stuff. For now, I guess I have to be satisfied with working on other people’s designs.
Let’s break it down.
My current job description:
- Take a hand sketch of a building layout and convert it to digital (Revit Architecture)
- Send this initial layout to our engineers so they can begin their part of the design (Civil, Structural, Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing)
- Receive emails and calls from engineers about major design issues
- Design solutions for problematic layouts
- Attempt to sneak in a neat design feature somewhere in the building
- Remove said neat design feature, because my boss didn’t like it
- Prepare a ba-jillion redundant drawings to describe a simple concept
- Hide in the bathroom from calls I don’t want to take
- Discuss design changes with my boss due to client input
- Redraw the ba-jillion drawings to accommodate the changes
- Get fussed at by the engineers about the changes to the design
- Negotiate a later deadline because we kept making changes
- Finally, send the drawings out the door to the contractor with a satisfying feeling of closure
- Receive calls from the contractor about how the building won’t work in real life
- Inspect the completed building whilst noticing all the flaws only an architect would see
On a more serious note, I really enjoy what I do. I think I would miss the challenge of putting a building together if I was finished designing a project at the schematic phase. As someone important once said, “God is in the details”, and I couldn’t agree more. The true beauty of building design (or any design, really) is the degree of quality that well thought out details can bring to a project. I think one of the things that separates good design from great design is how the parts come together to create the whole. This is one of the reasons I really enjoy the work of Renzo Piano (if you don’t know this man, then shame….just shame…).
Anyway, enough with the spiel. Here are some more photos of a school I helped produce. They are of the new Long County High School in Ludowici, Georgia. It is the first project I have worked on from start to finish, and I will be very glad when construction is complete.
Thanks for reading.