At its simplest, architecture is the design of buildings, groups of buildings and often the space between buildings. But the scope of architecture goes well beyond just the drawing of plans.
Architecture takes imagination; the ability to order ideas and communicate them clearly; creativity (not necessarily artistic ability); a keen interest in human behaviour, our habitat and the natural environment; and problem solving skills.
Take a look at our City Heritage Architecture photo gallery depicting Johannesburg architecture.
As an architect you are unlikely to spend all your life designing at the drawing board or on the PC using computer -aided -design programmes. In addition to time spent in the office, the architect moves around between various building sites and is in constant contact with clients and the many disciplines involved in the building process. Skills such as computer literacy, site supervision and project management are essential.
Architecture can be practiced in a variety of professional capacities:
Registered Professional Architects design and manage projects with the assistance of technologists and draughtsperson.
Lecturers at universities are often registered architects and may also be in private practice.
Developers often include registered architects in their in-house professional teams.
Work ranges from massive complexes for public bodies to say, a meticulous restoration of an historic building. Architects often specialise in a particular field of expertise such as: hospitals, shopping centres, or residential buildings.
Architects in South Africa, through the SA Institute of Architects, benefit through relations with international bodies such as the International Union of Architects (UIA), the Commonwealth Association of Architects (CAA}, the Africa Union of Architects (AUA) and other international organisations. These associations organize their own conferences and seminars which are open to South African architects.