Pub. Date:
MIT Press
Architect?: A Candid Guide to the Profession / Edition 2

Architect?: A Candid Guide to the Profession / Edition 2

by Roger K. Lewis


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"This is a terrific book for anyone thinking about a career in architecture. It's very useful and valuable."
-- Richard Meier, Richard Meier & Partners

"Required reading for would-be architects, it's also of value for those who teach them."
-- Architectural Record

The first edition of Architect?, published in 1985, quickly became known as the best basic guide to the architectural profession. More than a decade later, it is a standard text for introductory courses on architecture and recommended reading on the application forms of many schools of architecture. This revised edition includes new information pertinent to current education and practice and addresses issues and concerns of great interest to students choosing among different types of programs, schools, firms, and architectural career paths.

Roger K. Lewis, a practicing architect and educator, takes a hard look at the education of the architect as he covers such topics as curriculum content, pedagogical theories and methods, program and faculty types, the admission process, internship, compensation, computer-aided design, and the culture of small and large firms. He tells how an architect works and gets work, and explains all aspects of architectural services, from initial client contact to construction oversight.

The author describes the benefits of becoming an architect, including the opportunity to express oneself creatively, to improve the environment, and to achieve notoriety. But he doesn't hesitate to show the other side--the lack of steady work and appropriate compensation, the intensity of competition, the restrictions imposed by clients, and the high degree of anxiety and disillusionment among young architects. Written in a clear, accessible style, the book is accompanied by the authors often-humorous illustrations and a valuable appendix.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780262621212
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 02/24/1997
Edition description: revised edition
Pages: 299
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Roger K. Lewis is a practicing architect and planner, Professor Emeritus of Architecture at the University of Maryland, and a columnist for the Washington Post .

Table of Contents

I To Be or Not to Be . . . an Architect?
1 Why Be an Architect?
Money and Lifestyle; Social Status; Fame; Immortality;
Contributing to Culture; Helping and Teaching Others; The Rewards of
Creativity and Intellectual Fulfillment; Love of Drawing; Fulfilling
the Dictates of Personality; Freedom to Do Your Own Thing
2 Why Not to Be an Architect
The Odds of Making It; Lack of Work; Competition; Inadequate
Compensation; Ego Vulnerability; Getting Lost in the Crowd; The Risks
of Envy; Lack of Power and Influence; AnXiety, Disappointment, and
Depression; Personal Encumbrances; Lack of Talent; Lack of Passion and
Dedication; Legal and Financial Risks; Disillusionment
II Becoming an Architect
3 The Structure of Architectural Education
Program Types; Curricular ContentDesign, The Design Studio, History
and Theory, Technology, Structures, Materials and Methods of
Construction, Environmental Controls, Computeraided Design,
Management, Electives
4 EXperiencing Architectural School
The First Year and Work Load Shock; New Values, New Language;
Competition and Grades; Pencilphobia; The Culture and Community of
Architecture School; The Jury System; Other Traditions
5 Professors and What They Profess
The Professors; Some isms and OlogiesMorphology, Historicism,
Historic Preservation, Technology, Deconstructivism, Sociology and
Psychology, Functionalism, Methodology, Ecology, Urbanism, Symbology
6 Architectural Schools: Choosing and Being Chosen
Preparing for Architectural School; Choosing SchoolsLocation, Program
Type, Reputation, Resources, Cost, Students, Faculty,Program
Directions; The Admission ProcessThe Portfolio, Interviews, Reference
Letters, Grades, EXams, Timing, Financial Aid, Admissions Odds
7 After School, What?
Internship; Becoming a Registered Architect; Further Studies;
Continuing Education; Travel; Teaching; Work in Related Fields;
Abandoning Architecture
III Being an Architect
8 The Building Process and the Architect's Role
How Projects Get BuiltNeed, Site, Financing, Design and Design
Approvals, Engineers and Other Design Consultants, Brokers, Attorneys,
Construction Contractors; Role Playing; Users and the Community
9 How Architects Work
Drawing; Writing; Reading; Talking; Calculating; Model Building;
Client Contact; Government Approvals; Consultants and Coordination;
Computers and Design; Construction Services; Organization within
Architectural Firms; Other Services; The Goals of Architectural Firms
10 How Architects Get Work
Getting the First Job; Economic Conditions; Territory; Types of
Markets; Selecting Architects for Projects; The Direct Approach; The
Indirect Approach; The Interview; Joint Ventures; Architects as
Contractors, Construction Managers, and Developers; Design
Competitions; Free Services
11 Architects' Clients
The Household Client; DevelopersThe Corporate Developer,
Entrepreneurs, The Institutional Client; The Government Client;
Citizens and the Community as Clients
12 We Who Are Architects
Architects as Types; Idols and Adulation; The Faces of An Evolving
AppendiX: Accredited Programs in Architecture

What People are Saying About This

Deborah Berke

Roger Lewis's book Architect? is a complete and comprehensive overview of the profession and a valuable resource for students, teachers, and practitioners.

From the Publisher

Roger Lewis's book Architect? is a complete and comprehensive overview of the profession and a valuable resource for students, teachers, and practitioners.

Deborah Berke , Deborah Berke Partners


Roger Lewis's book Architect? is a complete and comprehensive overview of the profession and a valuable resource for students, teachers, and practitioners.

Deborah Berke, Deborah Berke Partners

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