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I've seen a few threads here about Architecture, and a lot of the things in those threads seem to be misguided. I'm a graduate of a U.S. architecture program and have been working as an architectural designer for over 6 years now while pursuing licensure. I'd like to use this thread to answer any questions I can from people interested in the profession regarding school, software, tools, business, resumes, etc. and generally discuss architecture.
>>
>>681912
How did you spend 2+ years working at a firm for AXP hours without wanting to kill yourself every single day and staring at the clock at 9:30 am begging for it to be lunch time already?
>how do you contain your rage when boomers stand behind your desk and ask you to adjust levels in photoshop
>how do you tune out the sound of h1b foreigners who can barely speak english yelling across the office about material finish sheets
>how do you make enough money to start your own firm when designers get paid garbage and rent is 1200+ a month and hordes of unpaid interns arrive at the office during crunch time.
>how do you use sketchup, rhino, autocad, and revit everyday without wanting to kill yourself
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>>681921
I've worked for about 6+ firms and a handful of other companies with equally shitty management. I finally landed at a place that is very small and I can work unsupervised. I work in a small town in the southwest, so while there's not a lot of competition, the projects tend to be very small/non-prestigioius in nature. I'm slowly getting better at the client relation/negotionation, though, and very slowly watching more and more clients trust me to try something more creative. The pay isn't great for the industry, but it's not bad. I don't think it's stuff that you could write a guide about, it's mostly luck and slowly learning how people/businesses work and using that to know how to say the right thing to the right person. I'm sorry you're in that situation man, it sucks and nearly everyone I know has the same sentiment about it.
>how do you make enough money to start your own firm when designers get paid garbage and rent is 1200+ a month and hordes of unpaid interns arrive at the office during crunch time
The hard part about starting your own firm is having the work lined up. You have to have clients who know you by name, and that's almost impossible at a medium to large sized firm unless you move up the ranks really fast, which is becoming more and more difficult thanks to a bunch of fuckery by the AIA and boomertects. At smaller places, from my experience, you have a much better chance to meet the client you're designing a home for, but even that's not guaranteed. It's all about networking with people who might someday hire you. You have to plant the seed of knowledge in them that YOU practice architecture. Start marketing yourself long before you get serious about starting your own firm.

td;lr
>find a small niche place somewhere you might not want to be, but that could give you more freedom than you have right now. If you make good work with your independence, you have a solid reason to leverage for more pay.
>>
do you use Revit, AUTOCAD or 3DSMAX ?
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>>681927
Depends on the project. For small stuff, AutoCAD. Revit for larger/more complex projects. Don't use 3DS.
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>>681912
If I can add anything to the thread, I spent 5 years in arch viz, essentially doing everything (except modeling) with 3dsmax & Vray
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>>682017
>I don't use 3ds

Not even for arch-viz?
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>>682019
is someone doing archviz basically on the same tier as a dazlet?
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>>682024
dazlet = someone pretending to create characters while actually just messing around in daz to come up with big tittied waifus?

if so, then yes doing archviz is a lot more creative and rewarding than that shit.. they're eons apart
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>>682025
i mean, at least the dazlets are morphing their characters. archies just drop in assets from evermotion and play doll house.
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>>682020
I hand-render for what little "arch-viz" that we need for client presentations. pic related.
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>>682027
it seems that you have a very misguided opinion about archviz artists...
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>>682028
nice! love these colour strokes
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>>681912
I am graduating highschool this year and going off to a 5 year b-arch program. my plan would be to graduate and get a job at a medium to large scale firm in a large city for at least 3-4 years. would you recommend this path or an alternative route.
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>>682029
explain, in detail, how you are not playing doll house.
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>>682032
You're very smart for going with a B-arch instead of a B-sci/art. As for your path, it all depends on what you are wanting to get out of a career and lifestyle. You'll probably change your mind two or three times when you are in school, but that's good. Have a direction, but don't get too attached to any one goal. Don't feel rushed. Architecture is a career where even the greats don't hit their stride until their 50s.
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>>682034
mate.. if you don't understand that the work essentially has to do with pleasing shapes, materials, composition, lighting, mood, color palette (all artistic stuff with a lot of room for creativity), there's not much more details i can share that will make you get it

just check OP's image
zero "doll house" nonsense you're talking about

for once someone started a thread that's not dogshit.. so if you've got nothing to contribute, just gtfo please
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>>682039
>extrudes some walls
>plops in some downloaded furniture
>slaps some arroway texture on the woods
>tries 5 different vizpark hdris
>artist

i'm actually just playing with you, but i'm having a good time doing it so i think i'll go on.

in my next post i'll describe how archlets weren't good enough environment artists for vfx and not good enough at look dev for high end advertising
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>>682044
>in my next post i'll describe how archlets weren't good enough environment artists for vfx and not good enough at look dev for high end advertising
Has /3/ turned into a sitcom now?
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>>682044
>look dev
..graphic design?
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>>682034
Would you consider a photographer not a real job? Because arcvis is very similar to being an arcvis artist, except instead of just taking a photo you have to make the entire scene create context and set up lighting, placing furniture is one of the jobs you have to do but it's only one of them and easily the fastest one to do. Not to mention you also have to have extensive editing knowledge because after you've created the entire image you have to comp it.

When looking at an arcvis image the focus isn't the furniture, the same cannot be said of daz
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>>682039
>>682044
I can't say I know anyone personally who only does Arch-Viz. I know a guy in Dallas who is purely an architectural illustrator, but he rarely uses 3D if at all. He does most of his work in photoshop from the ground up like a painting. Everyone I've met just does the visualization/rendering for their own project, or has someone in the office who does that in addition to being a designer. What DOES an Architectural Visualization Artist do that architects themselves cannot do?
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>>682049
no

>>682050
who said anything about 'real job.' if you're getting paid a non-slave wage it's a real job.
behold this dazlet did everything you've described while simulating his own hair and cloth inside houdini. the dazlets are levelling up, the archlets can't even do a decent groom on a throw.

>>682054
>What DOES an Architectural Visualization Artist do that architects themselves cannot do?
pirate Vray.
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>>682055
>Every architecture office I've been in operates near 100% on pirated CAD and Adobe Suite
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>>682055
lol, calling Rohan Dalvi a dazlet.
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>>682057
he's a dazlet where it matters: in his heart.
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>>682054
>What DOES an Architectural Visualization
Artist do that architects themselves cannot do

an architect does architecture (design, plan, technical building specs, CAD, etc)
an arch viz artist does 3D illustrations/video (modeling, lighting, rendering, etc)

pretty simple
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>>682045

This place is like watching a car crash in slow motion.
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>>682038
thanks a lot you're completely right
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>>681912
How much does it cost to commission plans for a ~1600 sqft home?
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>>682094
An architect usually has a set percentage of the total project budget (~11-14% for a professional firm) serve as the fee for the design as well as administrating the bidding process, filing the necessary paperwork such as permits, organizing the consultants and writing the contracts. Before a formal agreement is initiated, though, most offices have a set price like $2000 (again, depends on the type of project) as a "down payment" which the architects actually use to design the building to a phase where the client is completely informed about the design in order to enter into a formal agreement for construction.
>How much does it cost to commission plans for a ~1600 sqft home?
Specifically, it depends entirely on how fast you are wanting it, how detailed the plans need to be (schematic vs complete construction documents ready for permitting), how the designer perceives the working relationship to go once meeting you, and probably most importantly how much creative freedom you allow the architect/designer. I've made $8000 from a set of plans before, and I've done complete designs for free because I really like the client and the idea. There's no hard rule for it.
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>>682069
Very slow motion
>>
How often does your plan not get approved by the commissioner? You have to compete against other firms right?

How has the architecture industry changed in the past 6 years?Especially with 3d printers, VR, any physics tests in computers?
>>
Also how do you fit in the architecture business? Do you makes houses? Buildings? Bunkers? High Schools? Hospitals? What ideas or themes do you try incorporating? Based on the client?

What's your opinion on contemporary architecture? Is contemporary and modern architecture (pretty much the same?) soulless? Or does contemporary architecture really say something about identity and community?
>>
>>682257
Do firms ever work up construction documents from old Stickley/Sears/etc. plans at the behest of clients or do they only work from scratch?
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>>682291
Not that guy but every location for a structure is different and you have to take into consideration things like local vistas, slope of the land, direction of the sun throughout the day meaning that even if you where lazy enough to wanna go down that route full reuse of older plans is seldom even a option.
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>>681912
Where you from?
Can you find me a job?

>Inb4. Neet
I have been working since 2010, i'm an architect as well, also i have a master engineering degree. I used to work as a arch viz but now, i'm a cost manager. I think i have more talent to develop, because I feel stuck
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>>681912
I really like the posted work. Thank you for taking questions. I have a lot so just answer whatever you think is important.

With hindsight, what do you think of your architecture education? Was it valuable and relevant? Do you think your program did a good job - and can you see other programs strengths and weaknesses in other hires?

How have you landed jobs after graduation? How would you weigh a strong portfolio vs school prestige vs raw networking?
How would you describe work culture in different offices - what do you value most in an office culture? Do you like your coworkers?
Do you appreciate the art of architecture the way you did in school? What gets you excited after 6 years of practicing?
Do you find its better to focus and specialize, or generalize and make yourself independent?
Do you feel its a danger to get pigeonholed as a visualization person?

I'm quite hesitant about AAA firms after doing a few visits - top-performing regional firms with decent culture sound like the best fit. Do you aim to keep moving between firms or do you want to settle?
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>>682291
No, most plans in a planbook/plan website are intellectual property which can't be duplicated. If you were wanting a specific plan, the designer could research as much as they can about it, but because of factors >>682296 mentioned, it's always going to be mostly new drawings.
>>682380
I'm in the 806 area in north west Texas. Our firm is looking for a licensed architect, but I don't know if the pay would be worth relocating if you aren't close.
>>682413
>With hindsight, what do you think of your architecture education? Was it valuable and relevant? Do you think your program did a good job - and can you see other programs strengths and weaknesses in other hires?
Almost all of my day-to-day duties were learned from a job. The nuts and bolts of being an architectural designer are things like knowing who at the city/county you need to talk to to expedite a permit process or understanding accurate cost estimation and knowing how to play to each client to develop a good working relationship. While I don't think you can become a good designer without a formal education, I wish apprenticeship played a larger role. So many people I graduated with had no clue about the professional world and spent their first few years just learning the ropes while I and others who worked during school were already on to running whole projects. I will say that I learned a tremendous amount about general design + prototyping + fabrication at school when I don't think I would have learned it otherwise. The tools and resources you have available to you at university is staggering. Just having access to a decent architectural library of books was worth the price of my education, as it's enormous volumes of specific, illustrated information of a quality that I have not seen anywhere online.
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>>682436
cont.
>How have you landed jobs after graduation? How would you weigh a strong portfolio vs school prestige vs raw networking?
My first jobs mainly came because I knew Drafting/CAD from classes I took in highschool. I lived in the same city I was studying in so I wasn't going to leave during summers and holidays, and I think that helped. My resume was very straightforward and simple. As I would contribute more and more to a document set, I'd put together a small portfolio of entire pages I had done, etc. Eventually, these were added to my portfolio of school projects, and the whole thing showed interviewers that I knew construction technology as well as design, which I think is important. So far, networking hasn't helped me as much, but each place I've been I fit in more and more to the point where now I know quite a few people in the local development/real-estate/construction/civil government/architectural landscape through repeated interactions.
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>>682437
>>682413
>How would you describe work culture in different offices - what do you value most in an office culture? Do you like your coworkers?
In order, I'll describe the offices I've worked in:
-Office 1: Legacy firm of about 12 people managed by this ancient guy who had been practicing since the late '60s. It was a tiny place downtown and no one there really liked architecture more than it's capacity as a thing they did to pay for the stuff they did like to do. It was pretty miserable, and most of the projects were things like Taco Bells, shitty apartments, etc. since everyone literally put in the bare minimum. No one talked, no one ever did anything but punch in and punch out. Miserable.
-Office 2: Enormous regional production home builder. Almost opposite from office 1 in every way. Everyone their was too happy and energized all of the time for making fucking tract homes and nothing else. Hyper group-culture combined with standard corporate bullshit. I was in their Architecture dept. and they would constantly make plans to do something outside of work and the group manager would get pissed if you didn't come every single time. I know plenty of people who love that kind of environment, but it felt far too much like a church/cult than a proper office, and they didn't do any interesting projects anyway. I was eventually let go because "they felt that I would be too creatively stifled in that environment and would not yield productive results."
-Office 3: The place I'm at now is a design-build operation which acts as a contractor, developer and architect for projects. The architecture studio arm of the company consists of myself and the owner, who is a soon-to-be-retired architect. His son runs the construction side, so it's pretty much a two man operation with the son managing construction projects and me acting as architect. They are both really easy going and I have almost total freedom beyond requirements set by the client.
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>>682413
>>682438
>Do you appreciate the art of architecture the way you did in school? What gets you excited after 6 years of practicing?

Absolutely. I still love the buildings I loved before I even considered architecture as a career. Having gone through university and practiced the little I have, I've gained an entire new perspective on certain buildings because I understand what a challenge it is to realize works of architecture.
In school, a residential project would not have made me as excited as a major corporate office, but now I get excited about anything which presents a unique situation or challenge.

>Do you find its better to focus and specialize, or generalize and make yourself independent?
Depends on the person. I'm a generalist because I like being able to do 8+ different things in a day. I will say that, as a general rule, the architecture that I enjoy the most was created by architects who were generalists.
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>>682413
>>682442
>Do you feel its a danger to get pigeonholed as a visualization person?
If by "visualization", you mean just doing architectural visualization like others in this thread have mentioned, then sure. Large firms with 800+ employees are easy places to become stuck if that's not what you want. At a smaller place, it's hard to only do one thing, as you'll inevitably get pulled into working on some other aspect out of necessity.

>I'm quite hesitant about AAA firms after doing a few visits - top-performing regional firms with decent culture sound like the best fit. Do you aim to keep moving between firms or do you want to settle?
Right now, I'm very happy where I am and I see a lot of area for personal growth as I become a better architect. Eventually, I want to open up my own design practice because I believe that when I'm ready to do that, even the freedom I enjoy now will feel restricting; but that is a long way away.
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>>682289
>>682290
>How often does your plan not get approved by the commissioner? You have to compete against other firms right?
I've never had a project get flat-out denied by a permitting board. What they usually do is just call you up and say "Hey, this ramp needs to be a foot wider for ADA." or something to that effect. We make very sure that buildings follow code as closely as possible before submitting them for permitting. We do "compete" with other firms, but not like in other industries. Architects in the U.S. are not allowed to advertise, so almost all of our work comes through word-of-mouth. Because each architect and architecture firm are different, a project that may be a great fit for a "competitor" firm would not be for us, and vice-versa.

>How has the architecture industry changed in the past 6 years?Especially with 3d printers, VR, any physics tests in computers?
In 6 years I haven't seen it change very much at all. I've seen a shift in interior design trends, but no major shift in the industry. I'm sure an engineer could give a more interesting answer regarding technologies.

>Also how do you fit in the architecture business? Do you makes houses? Buildings? Bunkers? High Schools? Hospitals? What ideas or themes do you try incorporating? Based on the client?
I'm at a small firm, so we mostly do high-end residences and light commercial buildings (think small office buildings, retail centers, auto dealerships, etc) "Institutional" buildings like Hospitals and Schools are often designed by firms which specialize in that type of building, as their are loads of highly specific problems and issues surrounding them. That said, I have designed a few one-off things like churches, visitor centers and civic offices here and there which come in. I personally try to avoid "theming" things, and let the program of the building and the site where it sits determine how the building will be.
>>
>>682290

What's your opinion on contemporary architecture?
I don't really count every single building built as architecture necessarily. Most things built today are just buildings built to serve a specific purpose, so I don't try and judge them critically beyond performing that function. I don't personally care for most major things that are lauded and awarded in the architecture community today. It seems like too much of the same stuff from the same handful of people. I'm more attracted to older works from the 70s through the 90s because it seems more alien and novel compared to what is being done now.

>Is contemporary and modern architecture (pretty much the same?) soulless?
Everything starts soulless. A building is like a person in how it gains character and heart with age and love from the people who use it. It's like cars; the ones that survive the decades get to be classics, while the new ones must prove themselves.

One thing I really don't like is how almost EVERYTHING contemporary feels cold and sterile. I feel like many architects have forgotten that you can make something that is both cutting-edge and also warm and inviting. pic related. It's the "Rosenthall Residence" by probably my favorite living architect Robert Oshatz. The man is extremely talented yet very humble. I wrote him an email early in my career expressing my admiration for his work, and he called me and we talked for maybe 6 solid hours about architecture, business, life and the universe. I still need to make it up to Oregon to see more of his stuff in-person.
>>
This is a really good thread, thanks for the read arc anon
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>>682038
hey, different anon here, primarily a 3d modeler and surfacer by training, but architectural design has kind of caught my eye after working on a few arch-viz projects with some other clients (we were doing VR visualization, engine imports and rendering, functionality)

what is sort of "the route" to getting into architectural design? not interested so much in working on the engineering side of it as i've got mild dyscalculia, which would just make a mathematics heavy profession a nightmare, but after some google research, i'm just confused as ever, and it seems like there are many different pathways.

is there a position that deals more with just the aesthetics/modeling and visualization of smaller buildings like houses or small plaza's, or is it generally expected that the arch-viz guys should be able to do structure as well? and are there positions which would not neccesarily require a lot of additional schooling/licensencing/apprenticeships? or does that all tend to be mandatory regardless of position. already have a BFA in 3d modeling, rather not take on more loans
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>>682521
So first off, I wouldn't classify Architecture as maths-heavy at all. I use maybe basic addition, subtraction, etc., but we rarely even get into trig. Engineers are the ones who design structure and specify the thickness of beams and columns when needed. Most architects simply use standardized components and systems which have widely-available data on their load capacity.

The "Route" to getting into architectural design all depends on where you want to eventually be.

"Architect" is a legally protected term, like a Judge or Attorney. An Architect's signed seal is required on a wide variety of building projects in order for a government to approve them for construction, but typically, small construction such as single-family residences or small office/retail buildings under one story do not require the signature of an Architect.

An "Architectural Designer" is basically any Architect who has not yet fulfilled the requirements to be licensed by the government.

Unfortunately, there really isn't any role that is -only- aesthetic visualization, unless you count illustrators who exclusively render other designer's buildings. In order to really decide how a building looks, you have to understand how a building functions and is constructed; even buildings like pic related are designed by architects with decades of knowledge about the function and design of buildings in order to go in a more unusual direction. Aesthetics and structure and systems and functionality are all tied together.

If you want to design buildings but do not want to go back to school or become a licensed Architect, I'd recommend familiarizing yourself with fundamentals of architectural drafting, as well as general building construction.I'll recommend some resources to start in the next post.
>>
>Recommended Reading

>I want to know more about what architects do, how they do it, and how to become one
"Architect? A Candid Guide to the Profession" by Roger K. Lewis is a great place to start if you want an in-depth and comprehensive overview of the Architectural profession. This book is what made me decide to pursue this practice. It goes over general lifestyle trends of practicing architects, school requirements, general technical skills, licensure, and running a practice.

>I want to know more about the aesthetics and composition of architecture
"Form, Space & Order" by Francis D. K. Ching. The book explains form and space in relation to light, view, openings, and enclosures and explores the organization of space, and the elements and relationships of circulation, as well as proportion and scale. Fantastic illustrations.

>I want to know more about how buildings are put together/their anatomy
"Building Construction Illustrated" by Francis D.K. Ching. This has been THE STANDARD for introduction into the building arts and the principles behind building construction. Ching has a ton of books and they are all pretty great quality, but these two stand out as books which every architect owns.

>I want to learn the standards for architectural graphics and plans
"Architectural Graphics", again by Ching. Because most architecture students learn drafting in highschool, I don't consider this one as important as the other two of his mentioned here, but this is a comprehensive book on everything from concept sketching to producing professional-quality construction documents.

cont. below
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>>682028
That's a pretty expressive style. Do your clients respond well to that? I work in marketing for Oil & Gas, and cool stuff like this would turn them off. Most of my clients are engineers though, which some of the most literal people on the face of the Earth.
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>>682653

>I want to learn about the other parts of buildings beyond structure and aesthetics (lighting, acoustics, electrical systems, mechanical systems, functional interior planning, etc.)
"The Architect's Studio Companion: Rules of Thumb for Preliminary Design" by Edward Allen. I use this book daily as a reference for sizing things like stairways, deciding how many vents a particular room should have, the height windows should be for daylighting, etc.

>I want one book which combines every reference you would possibly need in designing a building from principles of structural design to color psychology to building codes to site planning
"Architectural Graphic Standards" published by the American Institute of Architects
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>>682655
This drawing was one of a few quick ideas very early in the design process to explore some different possible directions a process could go. As more time is spent, the drawings typically become less expressive and more detailed and realistic.
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>>682659
example: a more detailed drawing from the same project
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>>682659

What is the amount of new build work vs extensions/renovations you do? I ask this because i practice in the UK and a lot of the work i do involves working with with existing buildings, and i was wondering what the situation was across the pond.
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>>682762
I imagine in denser areas it makes sense to renovate existing buildings, but I work mostly in the southwest. Land is dirt cheap, and it's almost always cheaper to demolish and rebuild something new. The only "renovations" I've done are some light residential stuff.
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>>682657
thankyou very much for this breakdown. very encouraging, ordered the booklist and i'll be diving into it when they arrive.

appreciate the time you took and all the advice.
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>>682901
Glad to hear you found it useful! I wish someone had told me more about this career earlier in my life, because I've found a lot of meaning and engagement in what I get to do for a living. STEM is still very big, and most highschool/college guidance counselors seem to think that if someone has an interest in making stuff, they should be either an artist or an engineer, when architecture is a great midpoint between these. It doesn't help that architects aren't very good at marketing themselves and their profession, though, so I try to talk it up when I can.
>>
>the best thread on /3/ right now is an /ic/+/his/ thread



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