What does it take to be an architect?

Several months ago, I wrote the column, Why get an architect? The intention was to educate the general public on the services that architects provide.

It is easy to think it is all about drawing and designing, but its scientific and mathematical sides are as much prevalent in all the five years of the Architecture degree. 

So, what does it really take to be a good architect? 

Design skills

Drawing is the basic fundamental trait inherent in most students wanting to be an architect. For those good at drawing, they have the advantage of raw technical skills. This is cultivated well and systematically made more precise and developed in terms of mass, proportion, texture, depth and scale in the five years of architectural schooling.

Today, the playing field is challenged by the digital age, but nothing beats scaled, freehand sketching as this medium is the fastest and most commonly used by experienced and capable architects whether in the field or office. This is called capability. 


One’s love for designing is spread out across the five years of Architecture. Even as one takes on apprenticeship under a licensed and registered architect, one’s ability to grasp concepts and turn it into concrete forms will be the primary basis in evaluating one’s dedication and love for architecture.

The tiniest or the grandest of spaces are given thought and appreciation in design. The design approach is refined by the mentor architect as the apprentice learns the rudiments of the trade. In short, dedication is the good character. 


One important factor needed to be a good architect is the drive to excel. This will separate a good architect from just an ordinary one because there is motivation and a desire to be better. The architect here has to be focused and goal-oriented, inspired to go the extra mile. 

To do that, one must be creative and ready with ideas or schemes at a given instance. This is coupled with experience, knowledge and proper training. This is formed through competence at work. 


Someone once told me that in his search for himself as a professional, he found love for the work, then eventually for truth. That love was in the form of executing design during the construction stage. And the truth part was seeing the creation come alive.

It takes time to build one’s dream of a design and perfection to be an architect. The architect manages his team of professionals—design and construction—to work harmoniously and respect each other to achieve a satisfactory outcome for the client, in the most desirable time frame. 


The most wonderful blessing of an architect is seeing his work touch the lives of countless people who use it, transforming their lives for the better. The project becomes an inspiration to others, its design stands out while evoking the charisma, order, stability and beauty. 

This work of art in essence becomes the epitome of a good architect.