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A Day in the Life of an Architect

Architecture is a blend of artistry and precision, where creativity meets technical expertise. Architects shape the world around us, turning concepts into tangible structures. An architect’s day frequently starts out early. They rise with the sun, prepared to start a fresh day of designing and problem-solving. In this article, we’ll delve into a day in the life of Anu, an architect with a passion for design and a commitment to excellence.

Anu, founder of Tanjun Designs, followed her intuition as she always wanted to create things. “I always wanted to create things. So, I ended up creating spaces.”

Through Anu’s insights, we’ll explore the daily routines, challenges, and rewards of an architect’s profession, as well as her perspective on the future of architecture.

Anu and her team’s typical workday start early, marked by a strong cup of coffee and a review of emails and project updates. Their daily tasks include a mix of sketching, design and development, and selecting materials to dress the spaces they create. This blend of creativity and technicality keeps their work engaging and dynamic.

Collaboration is essential in the world of architecture, and Anu frequently interacts with other architects and professionals within the industry. Architects are often considered “jacks of all trades,” with a broad knowledge base. However, when a project veers into unfamiliar territory, they consult with experts in that domain to ensure a thorough understanding before completely diving in.

In the realm of software and tools, Anu relies on sketching initially, then employs AutoCAD and Revit for technical drawings. 3D modeling software like SketchUp and 3dMax helps bring designs to life. Anu acknowledges that technology has simplified tasks but emphasizes the importance of starting with a sketch to nurture creativity. “Technology has made life easier for sure. But sometimes, technology overrules the design.” – Anu

To ensure precision and accuracy in their drafts, architects like Anu follow a meticulous process of checks and reviews. Designs may pass through multiple hands, including draftsmen and architects, to guarantee alignment with the original vision. Deadlines and task prioritization are managed through precise time management. Anu recommends careful project load assessment to avoid compromising quality and timely delivery.

Meeting building codes, regulations, and standards is paramount in architectural work. Anu emphasizes the responsibility of staying updated on these requirements, as they vary by country and region. “Nobody’s going to come and tell us ‘Oh look, we’ve updated guidelines in this section’, we need to stay informed”. Accessible online resources make it easier for professionals to stay informed.

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Being an architect comes with a ton of memorable experiences from projects. Here are two memorable experiences Anu and her team faced:

One involved transforming an existing structure into an aesthetically pleasing holiday home. While preserving most of the original structure, Anu and her team faced the challenge of enhancing its appeal, ultimately delivering a satisfying result. “It was a chaos and making it a place where people could make memories was a real challenge. “It was like preparing Gracie Hart (Sandra Bullock), the tomboy agent in the movie Miss Congeniality, to win the beauty pageant” she said.

In another project, Anu collaborated closely with a detail-oriented builder, highlighting the importance of patience and persistence in design decisions. After numerous iterations, they achieved a design that met the client’s exacting standards. “We had to decorate a pantry space and had to work on it for about 3 weeks. To convince this builder, we had to do the same renderings, sometimes 6-7 times just with a tiny difference to the tile color. Whenever we applied brown, he said it looked like pink and he ended up choosing grey”. The most rewarding aspect of Anu’s career is when clients express their love for the spaces designed for them. Client satisfaction is the ultimate validation of an architect’s work.

As for the future of architecture, Anu sees technology, including AI tools, as opportunities for architects to enhance their skills. While technology streamlines certain tasks, it cannot replace the creative spark ignited by a hand-drawn sketch. “It’s just a matter of taking them under your control rather than them taking control of you and your design.” Hence, architects should embrace technology as a tool rather than a challenge.

Anu’s advice for aspiring architects is to invest time in both the office and the field. Practical exposure and industry experience are invaluable for understanding real-world challenges and becoming a skilled architect.

An architect’s life is a harmonious blend of creativity, precision, collaboration, and dedication. Through Anu’s insights, we’ve gained a deeper understanding of the multifaceted nature of this profession. Architecture is not just about designing structures; it’s about creating environments that inspire and serve the needs of communities. With a commitment to innovation and adaptability, architects like Anu will continue to shape the future of our built world.

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