Architects...What do they really do? Careers in Architecture

I recently entered into a casual discussion with an acquaintance who happens to be an editor from the New York Times...she confessed, "I don't know if I ever told you but I always wanted to be an Architect....but my parents made me take typing instead of drafting in High School." 

While an entertainment channel did a montage recently of celebrities answering the question "If you could be anything what would you be resulted in 50 or so people saying "Architect," "Architect," "Architect," "Architect," "Architect," "Architect," "Architect," "Architect,"

"Teacher," "Architect,""Architect," "Architect,"

"Architect," "Architect," "Architect," "Architect," "Architect," "Architect," "Architect," "Teacher," "Architect,""Architect," and the men have been named the sexiest professionals, I think many are confused about what we really do.

Some of the myths and mystique revolve around what we do and wear.  It seems that we all wear black, cool glasses and point at cool drawings and models.  But it has became clear to me that being an Architect is much like being a writer/editor --we are three dimensional storytellers. 

I thought about how many people are calling me because they saw my portfolio on


and they love what they are seeing.  I visit with potential clients and they have print outs from the site or cuttings from a magazine and they tell me about how they are trying to create what is in the picture.  First and foremost it is like trying to get the look of the person on the cover of a fashion magazine.  These images have fancy lighting, they are staged and they have been photo shopped.  What I believe people are responding to is the story that is being told...the problem is that it is not "their story". 

Successful architecture tells a story of its occupants and the site.  Much like a good story has a hero and a context that support the plot, successful spaces are created when the Architect understands the setting and the client and how they are going to move in and around the space and how they live and work.  Trying to copy an image you see online might give you a look, but if you want that space to make you feel good like your favorite pajamas or an old leather jacket, the space needs to tell the story of you.  Not the story of a famous designer ...but the story of you.  It should be tailored/edited to meet your living style and needs and should have your voice. 

I like to think the reason people are drawn to the images in our portfolio is because they like the stories that being told and they want us to help them tell theirs.  A good Architect will help you find your voice.  They will listen to your stories about your life and how you work and play, what your interests are and help you write the story of you in 3D.

Many people don't know this either...if you want to be an Architect, you don't have to take High School Drafting.  You don't even have to have to be really great at Math.  What you do have to have is the ability to conceptualize, draw and tell a good story.