As if being asked about your favorite buildings or whether you prefer neoclassical, gothic, or futurist styles was not enough, interviewers will often ask more in-depth questions related to architectural theory. These theoretical questions tend to focus on how well the architect applied their principles to create space, form, proportion, and so on.
The way to answer such theoretical questions is by breaking down the concepts into smaller parts that can be discussed separately. This article will go over some common theories used in architecture and how to respond to them!
Note: Before reading any further, make sure your house style, vocabulary, and fundamental understanding of these theories are all complete. If not, do that first!
Reader discretion needed – some topics mentioned here contain very strong language and may offend some people (like “theory” or “architecture”). Reader discretion advised.
As we discussed, being able to draw is important, but drawing alone isn’t enough to be successful as an architect. You need to know how to design buildings, or at least put some effort into learning that knowledge.
That means knowing what styles of architecture there are, which elements make up those styles, and why each style works when applied to building structures.
You also need to understand basic concepts like proportion, harmony, and balance. All three of these play a big part in designing beautiful spaces and buildings.
And while they may not be totally applicable directly to architectural drafting, understanding them makes creating your own designs much easier. They can help give yours more depth and sophistication.
So, now that you have all of that information, let's look at some questions architects commonly ask potential employers. I will go through each one, and suggest answers using either examples from real life or possible scenarios in the workplace.
1. Tell me about yourself.
As a prospective architect, your potential employer will want to make sure that you are not only knowledgeable in their field, but also that you can easily communicate what you know. They may ask about projects you designed or completed, as well as theories of architectural design.
It is very common for employers to ask how you would handle certain situations during an interview. For example, they might ask if you would be able to manage a project with little direction, or whether you would work effectively in a team setting. Or perhaps they’ll ask if you would contribute more towards social events or professional activities.
These types of questions show that your interviewer thinks you are self-motivated and capable of taking responsibility, which are both valuable qualities in anyone’s workplace. So, being able to talk convincingly about these things is important!
What level of expertise you need to succeed as a candidate depends largely upon where the job market is at this moment in time. If there are many candidates applying for positions, then it’s probably best to stick to giving examples of designs that you like, rather than offering yours. This way you won’t come across as too creative or entrepreneurial, which could hurt you.
However, if there aren’t too many applicants and you get a feel for one another during the interviews, then maybe you can share some insights into yourself.
As we know, architects are professionals who design buildings or landscapes, creating designs that fit with a given context and style. They usually work alone, but may collaborate with other designers or specialists (such as interior decorators or planners) in their jobs.
Architects must be familiar with many different styles, so they can choose which ones to apply to a project. These styles include Neoclassical, Gothic, Romanesque, Chippendale, Art Deco, and more.
Furthermore, just like any professional job roles, there is an undercurrent of what people refer to as “the architect culture.” This includes things such as preference for natural light over electric lighting, open-concept layouts instead of enclosed spaces, exposed brick rather than painted walls, and careful use of materials — all of which emphasize openness and space.
As part of this profession, architects are also trained in mathematics, science, art, and philosophy. While having these skills outside of work is great ways to enjoy your time, only some of them relate directly to being an architect!
That said, most employers expect at least a bachelor’s degree in architectural studies, along with proof of competency through either graduation or certification. Some specializations beyond that are very popular include landscape architecture, urban planning, building sciences, engineering, and interior decoration.
Being an architect is a great career choice if you are passionate about design and building structures. Working as an architect can be in commercial, industrial or residential settings depending on your experience level and area of specialization.
Some of the most popular areas for architects include working on buildings such as skyscrapers or shopping malls, designing houses or apartments, developing new types of homes, or improving current home designs.
Architects also work with engineers and other professionals to make sure that their projects meet basic codes and regulations while still looking aesthetically beautiful. Some examples of professional architects are Daniel Ceballos, David Carlisle, Paul de Ruiter, Robert Harris, Jorge Lusardi, Richard Obert, and William van Alen.
These individuals have done very different things, but all had a passion for architecture that helped them get where they are now.
There’s a reason that architects get paid well. Architects have enough prestige attached to their field that most employers will give them a free pass when it comes to poor job performance.
But this shouldn’t be the case! If an architect can’t perform his or her duties with proficiency, then why should he or she earn a pay check every day?
By having standards for professional conduct, employers create an atmosphere where employees feel comfortable performing their best. This creates a more productive work environment.
It also sends a strong message to potential future employers about how you handle yourself professionally.
Bad architectural decisions may seem innocuous at first, but they can have disastrous effects later on. Decisions such as these could cost you your livelihood and reputation.
Here we’ll discuss eight of the worst architectural sins and what to do if you find one being committed in front of you.
Choosing an architect is not like picking up any other profession, such as doctor or lawyer. An architect designs buildings so what kind of building you want to design has a lot to do with which architect you pick.
As human beings we develop relationships with people around us, just look at your parents! As difficult as they can be sometimes, creating strong connections with others is integral to success in life.
This applies to architects – if this was clear before, it is even more important now that you know how many different types of professionals there are within the field.
An architect’s main responsibility is to create beautiful spaces for people to live, work and play in. Spaces that are aesthetically pleasing and functional, however an architect isn’t necessarily responsible for the costs associated with their project.
That comes down to the person hiring them, like a landlord or employer. Some employers expect additional benefits from their employees beyond just giving good service, these things usually have to do with having higher goals than just making money.
Choosing an architectural firm is not like choosing between blue or green salad dressings at lunch, nor are there standard questions that can be asked during this process. Just because someone does not have a degree as an architect does not mean they will not contribute to your project!
As such, there is no hard and fast rule for determining if an individual or organization is the right fit for the project. It will depend mostly on those around them, and what kind of environment you want to create in the long run.
You want to make sure that whoever you hire is going to work well with the rest of the team, but also that they will develop lasting relationships in the industry. This way, when it comes time to ask for a big budget, they are already connected to people who can help get it approved.
There are many ways to evaluate an architect’s talent, so don’t just focus on their professional portfolio.
As mentioned above, architects are professionals who design buildings or landscapes, making them responsible for shaping spaces, designing layouts, choosing materials, and giving overall shape to what you want the space to be like.
They also manage construction projects by creating blueprints that show everything step-by-step, leading up to the final product. Beyond those practical skills, however, architects must have good communication and organizational skills, as well as understanding of mathematics, science, and psychology.
While having a degree in architecture is still considered a pretty important piece of the puzzle, most successful architects don’t necessarily have their bachelor’s or master’s from one of the top 20 architectural schools.