The sum of architecture is made up of many addends, but most simply it is equal parts practicality combined with imagination. Students of architecture complete a rigorous and interdisciplinary curriculum in order to acquire the degree(s) necessary to enter the field as an intern, and eventually sit for the Architect Registration Examination (ARE). In order to balance the practical and imaginative components required to successfully practice as an architect, students take note of historical and cultural influences on architecture, learn the scientific and mathematical principals required to create safe and stable structures, and combine the two with an adept eye for unique design.

Hands-on Study in Architecture

Once a student has background knowledge in architectural theory, it's time to put it to work! Putting theory into practice is the meat of Architectural study, and requires a great deal of work in the field. From drawing and AutoCAD courses, to construction, surveying and engineering labs students first learn to construct models and eventually entire buildings. This takes study, not only in the classroom but also on the job. Hence, even after completing Bachelors or Masters degree programs, architects seeking licensure must work as an intern for as many as three years before being eligible to sit for the ARE.

Architecture Areas of Specialization

Those who study architecture often refine their study based on a particular area of interest. Specifications are numerous and can become quite narrow depending on an architects interests and successes. From cultural or historical influences to modern or sustainable initiatives, architects create stylistic profiles that shape their portfolios. Moreover, an architect can focus on commercial, residential or multi-use dwellings to suit the needs of inhabitants. Commercial architecture has many facets, based on the requirements of the business meant to occupy the structure. For instance, architecture for healthcare facilities requires intricate detail, with legal and utilitarian requirements for everything from the width of a doorway to the size of an elevator shaft. After all, what good is a hospital whose hallways can't sustain passing gurneys, or whose operating rooms are of insufficient size to accommodate multiple personnel? Other commercial architects work in venues like theatres and arenas, placing focus on the comfort and maneuverability of the space while taking into consideration aspects like lighting and sound. It is clear that with so many details to consider, the study of architecture requires a great deal of intuition and creativity in combination with a firm grasp of the proven tenants of the practice. Moreover, with technological advancements and a shift toward multi-use dwellings, it is evident that the study of architecture is a life-long endeavor.