What skills do you need to be an architectural designer?

As in any 21st century job, you'll have to be a technology expert. While some architects continue to write plans and construction designs by hand, most have opted for digital technology, mainly because it allows them to share drafts and prototypes with clients easily. Therefore, it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with programs such as computer-aided design (CAD) and building information modeling (BIM). Anyone who designs buildings without construction knowledge is, in essence, just a 3D artist.

As such, architects must have in-depth knowledge of the materials, methods and tools used in the construction or repair of buildings and other structures to integrate that knowledge when drafting designs. To be successful as an architecture student, you'll need to have strong mathematical and scientific skills to understand how and why certain designs and ideas may or may not work before they are built. After all, your calculations could make a project a success or a failure. As you might expect, design skills are extremely important, regardless of whether you're creating a new piece of machinery or designing an entire building.

Architecture students need to be able to have calculations to back up their claims, but everything they build must also look elegant. To be successful as an architectural designer, you must have excellent technical skills and master computer-aided design (CAD) software. You must have excellent communication and customer service skills, and you must have the creativity needed to shape innovative and unique designs. As much as architecture is based on design and drawing, the ability to think critically is just as important.

A design must bring together a lot of perspectives and considerations if everyone who uses it is going to like it, so you must have the ability to reason and explain every choice you make. Remembering these five skills in every aspect of your architectural journey will go a long way in ensuring success. Architectural drawings act as a guide to what a finished building will look like when it is built. Of course, this unique combination of skills is honed and developed over a period of time; after all, architectural degrees typically last between five and seven years.

While many drawings are now done digitally, your drawing skills are still essential to expressing your ideas on paper from the start and should be at the top of your list of architectural skills to perfect. Although many people see an architect's final product and think that it's design, architecture is largely based on strong mathematical and scientific skills, such as geometry, algebra, engineering, programming, and physics. The architectural designer's responsibilities include meeting with clients, creating drawings, designs and layouts, and complying with industry regulations. Architecture students work with many other people, such as designers, engineers and other architecture students, when they create complex projects, so it's important to know not only how to be part of a team, but also how to lead it when necessary.

An architect plays an important role when it comes to bringing a design to life, but he must also have enough skill to build something safe. As you'll be working with many different types of people as an architecture student, you'll need to be able to communicate your ideas efficiently and effectively to people working on multiple projects.