Architecture became an organized profession by mid-nineteenth century. In the year 1837, The Royal Institute of British architects in Miami (RIBA) was established. This was formed in order to improve the art and science of architecture in Britain. Furthermore, it was established in order to highlight the effects of architecture in the towns and cities. Twenty years after, The American Institute of Architects was also founded following the examples of the British.
The Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris was the main influence in both the American and European architectural education. Established during the 17th century, this French academy preferred the study of ancient Greek and Roman Architecture. Students from this academy were encouraged to create building projects in sophisticated two-dimensional watercolor renderings. All of which were in symmetrical designs. The Americans in many of their architectural schools adopted the same method. This style led to the Beaux-Arts Classicism. This architectural style was widely applied in all of America including such buildings as the New York Public Library and Grand Central Terminal.
The turn-of-the-last-century architects were mostly showmen, much like today’s pop stars. They made it a point to pay careful attention to the designs and location of their offices. Additionally, they dressed according to styles of their creation. Architect Henry Hobson Richardson was a good example whose studio resembled an artist’s atelier. Richardson wore a monk’s robe and made the visitors feel like pilgrims entering his exotic retreat.
Modern architects like Frank Lloyd Wright also created their own artsy style. Architect Frank Lloyd Wright was known to wear capes and pork-pie hats. Architect Louis Kahn was always seen sporting bow ties. Architect Le Corbusier always wore his owlish round glasses, a style that was later adopted by architect Philip Johnson. Today, the same image-building strategies are still evident in most architectural practice. Most successful architects are first-rate marketers and business people themselves aside from being artistic and creative.
How does one get to be an architect? In the United States, each state requires a person to get a license or proper registration to practice architecture. The requirements for acquiring an architect license include the following:
If you want to be an architect, you can choose from several types of professional degrees in architecture. There is a 5-year Bachelor of Architecture degree. This type of degree is especially designed for students entering the program directly from high school or those who do not have any prior architecture training. There is also a 2-year Master of Architecture degree. This type of degree is intended for students who already gained an undergraduate degree in architecture. There are also some universities that offer 3 or 4 year Master of Architecture program. This usually caters to students who already finished a previous course other than architecture.
Finally, architecture is man’s world. Recent studies show that only about 13 percent of all registered architects are women. Only about 9 percent of these women head their own architectural firms. However, even if you are a woman, this should not deter you from becoming an architect. This is an exciting and challenging field that any woman who loves architecture should try their hands in. Accept the challenge, be an architect now.
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