Architects Without Architectural Degrees
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Architects Without Architectural Degrees

Every country is concerned about creating a specific system that should be followed and strictly applied in order to create an architect. But do school of architecture create architects or do they merely prepare them to be architects. In fact, what we are doing in the various styles of education in the architecture schools is only preparing prospective young students to face the real life of building industry and that they are responsible about gaining experience and follow the rapid growing techniques of all aspects of the profession.

It is obvious that every country is concerned about creating a specific system that should be followed and strictly applied in order to create an architect. But do school of architecture create architects or do they merely prepare them to be architects. Yesterday I have attended a very insightful presentation about the history of education of architecture and the different education systems worldwide. One interesting point in the presentation was that we need about 22 years to educate the architect and feed him/her with all the necessary information.

However, this may refer to the fact that what we are doing in the various styles of education in the architecture schools is only preparing prospective young students to face the real life of building industry and that they are responsible about gaining experience and follow the rapid growing techniques of all aspects of the profession. This is not to say that, schools of architecture are useless or to diminish its educational role, but to consider it as the first step through which one can be introduced to the world of architecture. However, the second step in an architect career is to continually gain the necessary information and knowledge from executing real projects.

In fact, this assumption reminded me with the fact that many of the renowned pioneers of modern architecture did not gain any credited professional degree in architecture, such as Frank Lloyd Wright and Le Corbusier. They were very passionate to learn architecture, but in the meantime they may did not want to waste their time in a daily-basis attendance in a college. Their thoughts and ideas about creating buildings were the outcome of their gifted talent and that they preferred to work in architectural professional practices to gain experience and sharpen their talents. Their unprecedented enthusiasm towards architecture made them proactive in the search for information and building techniques.

Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) attended the Madison High School, which he left it in 1885 without finishing his degree. Although, Wright studied civil engineering in the University of Wisconsin's for two years, he also did not finish his degree and left to Chicago in 1887, where he worked for architect Joseph Lyman Silsbee. After one year, Wright worked in the office of the prominent architect, Louis Sullivan, where he gained experience, developed and elaborated his knowledge and views about theory and history of architecture. In 1893, Wright established his architectural practice in Chicago without any formal degree in architecture.

Like Wright, Le Corbusier, a Swiss / French architect, also left his primary school at the age of 13 in order to learn engraving and goldsmith at the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs at La Chaux-de-Fonds in Switzerland. There, he was also taught art history and drawing, and the naturalist aesthetics of Art Nouveau. In 1907, Le Corbusier traveled to Paris, where he worked in the office of the eminent architect Auguste Perret. In 1910 he practiced architecture in the office of the renowned German architect Peter Behrens. From 1911, Le Corbusier travelled extensively to many countries where he sketched numerous famous buildings. When he 30 years old, Le Corbusier settled down in Paris, where he developed his ideas and architectural theories, which he also published them in his book ‘Towards a New Architecture, 1923.

The previous discussion does not mean that, one should not join a school of architecture to become an architect, but it showed the importance of the practical side in formulating and shaping the identity of an architect. It also refers to the significance of having more talent, dedication and a passion towards learning architecture, than being in a school of architecture.

References:

1. http://www.biography.com/people/le-corbusier-9376609

2. http://www.corbusier-le.com/

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Comments (23)

Very insightful discussion.

Thanks Sir, your opinion is always of great importance for me.

Ranked #10 in Architecture

Very inspirational for me who used to be lazy going at school. Well presented sir.

Thanks Sir for your thoughtful and kind comments. thanks also for your continued support, much appreciate

Yes practical experience is very important.

It is amazing how talent, passion and persistence can drive a person to success in their field even without formal education. I gave your article a Goggle +1. (And thank you very much for buzzing up my San Diego article -- much appreciated!)

Ranked #4 in Architecture

Interesting article on how people can push themselyes to these limits without the scholarly achievements deemed to be a requirement to succeed.

excellent thank you

Thank you Ladies and Gentelmen for your, insightful, valued, and much appreciated comments.

Ranked #11 in Architecture

Natural talent are indeed exceptional, great article Sir.

Thanks Sir for your kind comment, appreciate

Ranked #1 in Architecture

An excellent insight into architects' education.

An interesting article that brings out the importance of being enthusiastic and passionate in one's profession.Thanks.

Thank you Gentelmen for your insightful comments. much appreciated

Great discussion here. I am out of votes today so I will share on Twitter instead.

Good points, some are naturally born into their profession and training might have stifled creativity.

Very interesting.

Thanks everyone for your valued comments. much appreciated

Interesting, informational, and very well-composed piece! Thanks for posting...voted

Thanks Donata for your appreciated comment.

I guess in some cases, degree is just for formality. Everyone can be good in whatever what they do as long as their heart is into it. Good information here sir. FB liked.

Thanks Phoenix for your insightful comment and yes you are true that when you have the passion towards anything, then you will excell

awesome article and points, well writen lines

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