Being an architect. What’s it like? | ‘A Choice to Make’ – Short Film

Being an architect. What’s it like? | ‘A Choice to Make’ – Short Film

As A child I knew I wanted to be an architect, but I didn’t just play with Legos and build Matchbox cities I was the kid who bought plan books with my lawn-mowing money, and I’d redesign the floor plans To my eight-year-old self this was being an architect drawing and cutting paper building models There were miniature versions of big things I could hold them in my hands. I was making Then I went to architecture school and realized there was so much more: history, theory, materials, engineering, and construction details, and I devoured all of it There was so much to learn to take in and I loved it school inspired and fed my interests but the reality of practice only diminished them as An intern I sat at a CAD workstation for 12 hours stretches drafting the most mundane elements of buildings All the things that led me to architecture they were missing in practice When I passed my licensing exams I convinced myself Professional life would be different For a time it was as I went to work for a small residential firm there were interesting clients and projects Beautiful locations and larger budgets to work with and importantly I was making I Was working on house plans as if I were eight again playing architect but soon these partners were forced by recession to focus on making ends meet and when I was making The credit for award-winning work went only to the namesakes on the door I was commuting 72 miles each day. I felt like a cog in someone else’s vision of an architecture practice This wasn’t my childhood vision of architecture of a creative life I’d always been trained that there was one way to practice architecture: a client equals a project and so you find clients and serve them Finish this job search for another client time worked is fee earned, but when I started out on my own I had this realization That time is a fixed asset The ultimate constraint which means that whatever we do that’s linked to time is limited in the same way When I was young I didn’t think about this as much But as I got older I started to feel this press of time And so I experimented with as many things as I could to subvert this relationship I wrote I designed on spec I developed products and accepted every project that came my way with each new experiment I was finding this awakened and rekindled creative drive. I Catalogued the results. What worked what didn’t and the catalogue became a sort of Handbook a field guide at first it was just for me, but the more I learned the more I wanted to share it and There were others in fact many others experiencing the same Dissatisfaction that I’d experienced in my early career they too had followed all the rules and were highly trained for a profession where the luxury and the rewards of creativity were only available to an elite view and the rest just Trading time for dollars. This field guide I was writing was for them and it became my first product I Packaged it up as a book and sold it online and then in print I Followed it up with the second volume describing my attempts some successful some not to reinvent the traditional practice of architecture Each new product became a small revenue stream and with each new stream I earned a little more freedom Soon I didn’t have to accept every commission. I could be more selective I had the freedom to pursue interests like filmmaking and video editing and to use these new skills To create more products I developed short courses and taught on my YouTube channel The videos began to earn ad revenue above all making became a part of my life again When I decided to build the studio it was simply a place for me to make and manage that was separate from Domestic life But like any creative work in the design process it became much more it became the avatar for the life I was designing the one I was trying to figure out I needed it to validate the choices I made to prove that I could support my family doing something creative Doing what I loved: making. So I set out to construct a simple monument to my design philosophies and aesthetics I envisioned the project as I had everything else a series of experiments new construction techniques the use of humble materials a place to test new details It had to be small so an experiment and changeable and multi-use space More than just a work of architecture I wanted it to serve as an educational tool for clients to understand and experience my work But also for students and viewers online it became a workshop for sharing the process behind the making drawing inspiration from simple farm buildings its form is an archetypal barn which historically served many functions and created a large sheltering space with little money in A barn everything has a purpose and its means of construction the way it’s put together the hand of the maker is present plain to see The materials were chosen for durability, but also to show how humble Inexpensive resources can feel tailored and precious the large glazed areas are for sketching on with chalkboard pens The wood storage area facing our home is the seasonal revolving calendar of Sorts filling up in the winter and emptying towards spring There’s a quote by the author Annie Dillard that stuck with me she says, “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” Every day I walk 17 paces to my studio and I make things In the morning, it’s writing, video scripting, recording, drawing, sketching. There’s no email no text no client meetings. That’s followed by an hour or two away from the studio where I get outside Usually a hike or a bike ride helps me to recalibrate This ritual is as much a part of my creative process as drawing or model making this time away from the studio helps incubate thoughts There’s a point where the ideas coalesce where the right wires find each other And there’s this clarity I never know when it will happen or even how this works But it does and I rely on I use this time as a transition to managing my afternoon is then given over to email Texts all the urgent demands of the business that can’t be ignored placing the making ahead of the managing was intentional And people ask me about the practicality the rigor of this like it’s impossible to ignore email but the funny thing is once I started this routine It didn’t take very long for the people I work with to Accept and respect the idea that this is a calculated part of my creative process Each day I return here each week a new experiment in making made me feel more alive and more purposeful What keeps me interested, is the idea that I don’t have it all figured out The studio is like a creative cage I keep myself in after a 17 pace commute each morning My schedule for making is designed to keep me focused on the work that makes me most happy The studio is a container for an ever evolving creative life One where I can decide what I work on each week Not the one thing I was told I should be doing but the many I choose to do

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  1. I can't wait to look back on this video in a few years to simply thank you and tell you that you were right about everything. love from Toronto, Canada

  2. I'm feeling nervous/ excitement entering architecture in my dream university in ph. Any tips for a freshmen? They said that when taking archi you must also be good in conversations not just arts. I feel confident in my drawings but i'm so bad in verbal or communicating with people especially people who are between in my age and i'm also bad doing class reports 🙁

  3. Eric Sir, i am 15 now and i like to sketch because i know i am good at it, and i want to be perfect one day. So, I am choosing to be an architect in my future. But, I need your guidance whether start our own firm, or work for somebody else, Which is more prefferable, considering that i can spare time for my family & friends away from the daily work? I Hope you reply to if possible. 🙂

  4. I watched the video through, went to subscribe and realized I already had. I get such a nice feeling when I see videos like this that reconfirm to me that I've finally found what I need and want my career to be. I used to make little models of homes myself as a kid and still sketch and create ideas that I hope will come to life one day soon. I absolutely love building stuff and being creative yet practical with little supplies/money, I've always contributed that into my life in all aspects. I didn't know I wanted to be an architect through highschool and a year or so after school, so I am grateful for that "lost" feeling that made me decide not to go to college right out of school, because I would be in debt for a career path that I didn't really want. It took me a while to discover I was meant to be an architect, I can't wait to get started on it all. Thank you for your quality content! 👌

  5. Well this is all cute but how about the poor little newly graduates who are stuck in metropoles and who has to sell their souls to low-paid CAD/BIM slavery jobs? You clearly had the means to build your own workshop and all looks super exciting but this is unfortunately not possible for every architecture graduate.

  6. There's a lot of truth to this, really great video, I made a video on my channel comparing the differences between Architecture and Engineering, check it out if anyone's interested!!

  7. I am 13 years old and I have wanted to be a architect for basically my whole life. I love to sketch and draw houses, but the dream always seemed to hard to achieve. This video told me that it’s not impossible, that I can do it.

  8. is pursuing architecture worth it for me, i am still in high school and very artistic and growing up everyone thought i was going to be an architect and i took a career test in school and got architect as well … i am scared i will fail as an architect and i'm so confused what to do.

  9. i will finish my architecture school next year ! my life stop actually in the first twi minutes ! i hope i can find the 6 other minute of your life in mine ! in the future ! thank you

  10. I'm a landscape designer and the videos you put up can and will go a long way to help me. thank you. I'm glad I found this channel

  11. Wonderful, inspirational and educational, all three describe the video. Thank you and congratulations.

  12. As an architect student. It inspire me to see this. I am also love to make video content to travel ang explore more and more while I'm studying Architecture. Thank you for this video. ❤

  13. I love this. You have no idea how much others can relate to this. I hope to get where you are. Freedom from 9-5, freedom to reap the benefits of the hard work you put in, freedom to enjoy life. Thank you.

  14. Thank you for making this video. I'm glad i followed you. I can relate to this. I'm an architecture student who also an intern in architect studio and i feel this mental breakdown. I feel hopeless, guilty, even depressed for nothing. After i watch this video, my smiles comes back and my courage is begin to rising a little bit.

    I really want to learn more. I want to built my own studio. I want to help people, animals and nature with my architecture.

    Once again, thank you for sharing ❤👏🏻

  15. Thank you very much for the insight. I'm having the same dilemmas as you did, pulling the 12-hours shifts.
    Hello from Moscow!

  16. There are some factors that I considered to be an architect, like i am a roboticist for 6 years now and i love art and seeing architectural designs, but still I'm having doubts whether it is the right career for me or not. This is a eye opener for me. Thank you so much
    I am a freshman next year and I hope I get to be a great architect someday 💛

  17. Even though I haven't graduated yet from architecture. This kind of feelinf is starting to arise within my whole being. That scary feeling of disatisfaction mainly to what I love to do. My fire is geting burnt our by stress and deadlines that we all need to meet. Watching this video made me realize and reflect on a lot of things. Seeing you having found your own creative freedom made me sentimental. I had been wantinf to be at peace even now.

  18. I always want to be an architect. But in my case it's very difficult because of my bachelor mark. All in all I will never slip up for my dream, I will be an architect one day.

  19. I find in your explanations just the definition of what it is for me to being an architech. Thank you so much for your guiding words and for your sincerity.

    My best regards!

  20. Anyone else feel intimidated by this because they didn't grow up building floor plans, but starting architecture school soon? now I'm stressed lol.

  21. I already watch your videos and all of this is very inspiring specially this video. I like the way how you make techniques about materials.
    I was also inspired the videos about model making, those tips was so amazing. I'll try to collect those tools to have my own and to make nice project and model.
    I am a new Architect students and I want to be an Architect because this is my dream and also I want to "go make things".
    This is GREAT, it is inspiring and it motivates me to pursue my dream.

  22. 30×40

    Actualy I started University at 30 yrs and I have just finished at 40 yrs with so many questions about how I am going to be as an architect.

    Thanks for sharing your job and work. This is ligth.

  23. My dad is an architect
    I also wanna be architect like him because i wanna design things and people will know and see my designs..
    I like drawing houses specially 2 perspective ones..

  24. Still studying my undergrad. Can I ask… do you get clients that are fans of your You Tube page? And if so, how successful are those projects as opposed to the others?

  25. Im 13 and i love your videos i like drawing modern buildings and houses in fact i started a youtube channel because of you. ] modern architectural designs, And i want to be just as good as you

  26. nice video , thanks bro that is why i want to be an architect , this year l will go to university , i believe that it will be amazing.

  27. You, sir, just blew my mind and change the perspective of how to study, live everyday and do architecture. Thanks for all the videos. Saludos!

  28. I am a huge fan of your works, presentation style, drawing methods. What would you do when your works/projects were rejected by studio teachers/mentors. Make an inspirational video for the students to motivate them. Thank you.

  29. Wow this was so interesting and inspiring. I’ve been thinking about architecture for a while but still not sure. I do like drawing, working with wood (eve tho I have no experience lol) and building things. Gotta do more research

  30. I am ten doing SketchUp I love your videos this one was really good had so good quality and it made me cry thank u so much!!!! Ps I love your channel and your studio

  31. This video is remarkable.. I am myself struggling with the issues presented earlier in the video. 2 years post Masters in Architecture degree and I am fighting for creative air. This was a breath of fresh air.

  32. I finally have the opportunity to go back to school for Cad Drafting so I can make the steps to creating my own architectural flare thanks for your time and teaching!!

  33. I'm a young Tanzanian who had ambition of being archtect but now I see that all my ambitions I made are worthless since at the moment I'm not the part of it, because, I did not study science subjects, although, I have skills and ability in drawing and creativity especially in fine art and architecture so what should I do to progress my knowledge and ambition in archtctr?

  34. thank you for this extremely inspiring video. i'm 16, from Korea. I recently had a dream of being an architect, but also i cannot say clearly why. I repeat doubting myself  about my ardentness and passion everyday. can you give me some advice, plz,,,?TT

  35. I really love this short film, i don't even know how many times I've watch it. every time that i want to be motivated i just watch this video and it really helps me

  36. I do email and sales outreach in the morning, followed up by a 2-4 hour lunch break at the beach, then creative design until about midnight. What I love is how much more creative and productive I am on my own schedule versus being someones corporate slave that is expected to work from 830-5pm

  37. I'm a senior student in architectural engineering and whenever I feel down I watch this because it gives me hope,
    Thank you so much for being a great content creator!

  38. I knew I wanted to be an architect since 5 yo, somehow, the legos in my room, seeing my mother's architectural books and a natural love for design made me want to express myself in that way

  39. I am very pleased to see how you inspire with your videos, the dedication with which you make them, I am currently an architecture student, since I was a child I always wanted this profession.
    Something that I enjoy a lot is the past while I design, while I am creating and imagining and how everything is forming in my mind I suppose that I would also feel totally unsatisfied if I only dedicated myself to drawing only what comes out of the minds of others.

  40. Very nice story telling and I glad you remind us it's OK to break and change the pace of your day. Often this cannot be achieved working for someone else, but is still so crucial, especially during the creative process I look forward to your vlog's, thanks for the dedication and hopefully to help demystify us Architect's to the world a little more with each video.

  41. I'm 15 and I'm looking into becoming an architect but I don't know where to begin. I grew up working with my dad in construction, as I started to age I noticed that i'm interested in architect. One thing I to do is scroll through Instagram and look at all the before and after projects.

  42. Hola soy de México, me considero un admirador de su canal y a usted como arquitecto, muchas gracias por traducir sus vídeos, saludos

  43. I'm still in 8th and I'm interested in designing houses.I just wanna know if it's a good job.Ive started making these sketches but still I'm not sure if it's a interesting job.

  44. I just watched your video and I just wanna say that it is very inspiring! Thank you for that! I'm 49 years old have lived in Texas all my life. I never could retain good math skills so when I had to repeat the 9th grade was when I had enough of the frustration and being very intimidated when it came to math that I just simply gave up. As a young child, my dad and grandfather where carpenter's and during my summer breaks away from school each year I would spend most of those summers going to work with them and by doing so gave me an oppertunity to see the structure aspects….. seeing the how's and why's of the way new home structures where designed, put together and its purpose for material placement. I always loved to draw plans to finished plans to building models. Even at an early age. To this day, I still love building my own drawn out planned models. I've always wanted to become an architect but as I said, I was and still am extremely intimidated with math mainly because everybody knows that there is alot to math in general that is a ton of information to grasp and retain! That is what intimated me all these years and kept me from doing what my first love in life is and always will be. I've always been creative, Ive always had a knack for figuring out the logics of how things work and I've always strived to look for alternative methods of something if one way didnt work. Also at a very early age, Ive had the ability to play the drums. I'm a self taught musician, I have owned a drum set since I was 8 years old. The drums was my alternative. At an early age, I developed a thought in my head that playing the drums was an easy way out because they didnt require any math skills at all. Now that I'm at the point in life where Im working a 9 to 5 everyday and struggling to make ends meet, I'm leaning more on the "find myself a good tutor and make myself learn what I've always shyed away from all these years. I would love to be an architect!!! Thank you for your inspiration!

  45. I was looking up good jobs for an INTJ (personality type) for some class and architect was on the list, so I do some research and was like “yeah this seems like a cool career”

    And now I’m just here
    Everyone in the comments is like “I’ve wanted to be an architect since I was a kid”
    And I’m like “oK now I don’t think I’m good enough to be an architect never mind”

  46. ar architecture school you have to make models and designs for your teachers so find out their favourite colour and stuff like that and youll be ok as you just have to pretend your teacher is your real life client

  47. The sims helped me with my creativity, when I graduate I want to be an architect. So for now I’m filling graph paper books with layouts and sketches of buildings that I would love to bring to life in the future

  48. I grew up drawing all the time winning awards, loved legos and robots, loved train, rail track and race loop toys so much. But I chose business then law for better careers. Now I start to realise something is wrong. I feel like I haven't been myself

  49. So happy for you, and so jealous. And so intimidated because i didn't have as clear a dream as you when you were younger.

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