civil engineer work
I am a civil engineer by profession. My field involves building and structural design, which means that infrastructures are too familiar to me – something that architects share with civil engineers. Which is why some days, I cannot help but ask myself, “Can a civil engineer like me work as an architect?”
Architecture is described as the art, the science, and the business of building. It is commonly poked fun as the same as engineering but without math. If that is the case, architecture is not so hard to like given that math is that one huge obstacle, among others, in engineering.
Going back to the question, is it really possible that a civil engineer can become an architect in the industry? I have took to forums and found these answers to settle this crisis once and for all.
One said that the answer is a yes and a no. Because one should specify first about which kind of architect a civil engineer wants to be: a design architect or a project architect.
It is less likely that I can become a design architect, which is an architect who takes care of the outer and inner aesthetics and pays a lot of attention to colors, textures, finishes, and detailing, without a degree in architecture. It is these kind of textbook information that is learned inside the classroom and applied in buildings. Of course I could study them all by myself but it takes genuine architecture teaching to really learn “design”.
To become a project architect has a higher possibility. Because civil engineers also deal with construction and project management, this is fairly easy to learn. Project architects do not design, but ensures coordination work with the design architects and supports the on-site execution team. They are the ones wearing yellow hard hat in construction sites.
Another said firmly that civil engineers doubling as architects are not entirely new to his field, only that they cannot sign as an architect, of course, but take its job anyway. He also cites that the only problem is that engineers usually don’t have that “artistic touch that architects have”. Which I agree, because I speak of personal experience.
But famous architect Santiago Calatrava disproves this. One forum commenter made him familiar by saying that he is a Spanish-Swiss structural engineer and architect, famous for his bridges supported by single leaning pylons, and his railway stations, stadiums, and museums, whose sculptural forms often resemble living organisms. He understands his craft in aesthetics while integrating his knowledge in engineering.
So that pretty summarizes it. One can become an architect if one is already an engineer, given that he or she has undergone proper technical training. Santiago Calatrava is living proof.
I have also read about civil engineering majors who take an architecture route in graduate school. I think this is the best way to become an architect if you are a civil engineer, only that it skipped the design essentials in a BS in Architecture.
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