Have you ever visited a worksite and thought, “Wow, this contractor knows a lot more about construction than I do”? Have you had to change your original design because it was too difficult to construct or because it exceeded the budget? Do you think you’re good at creating well-designed, efficient spaces but you’re not so good when it comes to resolving the project’s details?
Chances are you’ve found yourself in one or more of these situations, especially if you are a recent graduate. And depending on where and how you were educated, most students learn about construction and materials as it relates to the particular projects they are designing in school. Some people dedicate their career to the construction side of things–choosing classes, studios, and jobs that are focused on more technical, real-world training; others decide to focus their studies on urbanism, landscape architecture or the history of architecture. Finally, it also highly depends on the specific strength and concentration of the school you attend.
In spite of the differences that make our profession one rich in diverse interests and allows us to create many different kinds of buildings, the educational deficit (as it relates to materials and construction), prevents us from perhaps exercising the most significant parts of our job: the architect’s ability to bring designs to life.