Architecture majors enjoy faster-than-average job growth projections between 2012 and 2022, with an expected employment change of 107,400 new jobs appearing within this industry. Students exploring architectural studies can find work with public building contracts or by designing private establishments. Professional architects often work in conjunction with interior designers and civil engineers on construction projects. The following resource guide will help prospective students and current professionals network with others and gain exposure to authoritative resources within this industry.
Student and Professional Organizations
Honors societies can help architecture majors achieve new academic height by encouraging students to participate in scholarship competitions and award ceremonies. These gatherings also provide scholars with invaluable networking opportunities with future colleagues, mentors, and employers. Professional societies can help new and seasoned architects find employment opportunities and keep in touch with current field developments. Many professional organizations also provide members with continuing education courses, so that architects can stay on top of current industry needs.
- Tau Sigma Delta – This student honors society was founded in 1913 by faculty at the University of Michigan. Since then, over 80 chapters have opened across the United States. Every year, Tau Sigma Delta issues a gold medal to one distinguished professional within the field at the national Association of Collegiate Schools and Architecture meetings. Former gold medal winners include professionals like Martha Schwartz, Shigeru Ban, Patricia Patkau, and Teddy Cruz.
- American Institute of Architects – The American Institute of Architects (AIA) is made up of over 300 chapters within the United States. This organization offers several membership services to licensed architects, such as continued education, national networking conferences, and market research within the industry. News of award recipients is announced during annual conventions. Generally, these awards fall into the categories of urban design, architecture firm performance, education, and dedication to the field (over 25-years of industry experience). The AIA is also a major player in legislative advocacy, working with state and local governments to influence policy changes that benefit the architecture community as a whole.
- National Organization of Minority Architects –The National Organization of Minority Architects’ (NOMA) roots can be traced back to a collaboration between minority architects following a 1971 AIA convention. This organization has established chapters in 23 cities, including New Orleans, Houston, and Boston. NOMA strives to cultivate a strong minority architect network and address discriminatory policies and practices within the field of architecture. NOMA has extensive project, job, and educational resource listings online, which can help students and professionals connect with the right organizations and individuals. The Job Center portion of the website is sorted by employer, category, position title, and post date. The Educational Resources section includes a listing of over 30 different organizations that contribute financial aid, publish academic articles, and provide professional development opportunities.
- Society of American Registered Architects – Society of American Registered Architects’ (SARA) members have ample opportunities to meet other architecture professionals, since this organization hosts up to four board meetings a year in various locations within the U.S. Membership is open to students, international professionals, and associate architects. SARA has councils and chapters across six states, including California, New York, Minnesota, and Florida. Conferred awards are presented during annual SARA conferences, highlighting achievements such as extraordinary architecture service, dedication to SARA, significant contributions to the international architecture community, and distinguished building projects.
- Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture – This non-profit organization is the foremost accreditation agency for college-level architecture programs. The Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture uses strict guidelines to assess the quality and credibility of architecture curricula across the nation. Their program directory highlights accredited schools, serving as a great starting point for prospective students during their college search.
Open Architecture Courseware
The digital era is providing architecture students and professionals with free education and training opportunities from world-renowned colleges. Open online courses give architecture students access to high-quality curricula taught by industry experts, without the financial and location hurdles of traditional schooling.
- Early Renaissance Architecture in Italy: from Alberti to Bramante – Explore the nuances of the Renaissance masters by following along with this open Sapienza University of Rome class, hosted on Coursera. Class completion time is 8 weeks for students that dedicate 2-4 hours per week on coursework. The instructor is Francesco Paolo Fiore. Course materials include lecture videos and online quizzes.
- Experiencing Architecture Studio – This MIT OpenCourseWare class offers a comprehensive look at architectural modeling, materials, design, theory, and history. Syllabi, calendars, assignments, lectures, and projects can be downloaded for each course in several different languages. This undergraduate course is taught by Professor William Hubbard.
- Architectural Design Level 1: Perceptions and Process – This is a graduate level architecture course available online through MIT’s OpenCourseWare selection. Students are expected to participate in rigorous assignments revolving around concepts such as serial notations, site inventory, mapping instruments, and drift drawings. Students who decide to take this open course can expect to complete Architectural Design I after 40 lecture sessions. The instructor for this course is Professor Meejin Yoon.
- Sustainability in the Build Environment – The University of Hong Kong has uploaded lecture notes and resources for several undergraduate courses. This particular class spans a full semester, with students dedicating two hours a week to finish the curricula. The course content focuses on an interdisciplinary study of sustainability, construction management, and green building practices. In addition to Sustainability in the Built Environment materials, you can view lecture presentation slides for other HKU architecture courses, including Energy Efficiency in Buildings and Technologies for Energy Efficient Buildings. However, keep in mind that many of these learning materials are dated, pulled from courses taught between 1998 and 2003.
- Roman Architecture – Students can access free audio, video, textbook pages, and worksheets for Professor Diana Kleiner’s HSAR: 252 course on Roman architecture at Yale University. This course can give students a firm foundation of architectural history, which can help put modern-day theories into context. Students can access her recorded lectures through YouTube and iTunes. Consider checking out Professor Kleiner’s book, Roman Sculpture, for further insight into her mastery of period architecture and artwork.
Open Access Architecture Journals
While these periodicals tend to be scholarly in nature, they enable architects and students to keep track of the newest developments in structural design, construction, and sustainability. Readers can also gain exposure to up-and-coming architects by keeping tabs on open access journals.
- Buildings – This international open access journal accepts submissions on a wide-range of architectural topics, including the building of lighting systems, green buildings, and architectural design philosophy. Authors are welcome to submit articles online, which will be subject to an expert peer review process and editorial revisions.
- AR Architecture, Research – This journal contains a blend of articles from multiple disciplines, including urban semiotics, architecture, anthropology, and architectural archaeology. New issues come out twice a year, and can be found online at the ArchNet Digital Library Archives.
- Archnet International Journal of Architectural Research – These issues feature articles on current research developments, such as design pedagogy, cultural building concerns, and urban design. Readers can also find exclusive interviews with prolific architects and designers, such as Irina Solovyova, Ceridwen Owen, and Amos Rapoport.
The following books are considered to be some of the most pivotal texts within the field of architecture. This list caters to architects and students of differing levels, ranging from undergraduate topics through seasoned professionals.
- The Architecture of the City – After its release in 1966, this book of urban design theory placed a pivotal role in the rebuilding and construction efforts of post-WWII Berlin. Author Aldo Rossi critiques the modern architectural movement and issues a call for the inclusion of the human element in urban design.
- Theoretical Anxiety and Design Strategies – Architecture students seeking to gain a breadth of knowledge regarding several prolific designers should start with these critiques by Rafael Moneo. He analyzes the works of Peter Eisenman, Aldo Rossi, James Stirling, and five others.
- The Poetics of Space – Gaston Bachelard redefines how we think about our home spaces. This volume contains a blend of architectural philosophy and design analysis, with respect to home dwellings and all of their unique spaces, including kitchens, attics, living room, and basements.
- Visual Dictionary of Architecture – Sometimes you need to see something to understand it. Francis D.K. Ching has collected over 5,000 terms, accompanied by his own illustrations in this 320 page reference book. This is a must-have volume for any student of architecture.
- The Hidden Dimension – This book ushered in a new era in architectural theory, marking the moment that author Edward T. Hall founded the study of proxemics, which explores the influence of space on human interactions. In a blend of behavioral studies and design research, Hall’s observations have changed the way contemporary architects craft public spaces.
Online Architecture Magazines
Architecture magazines can serve as fresh sources of design and material inspiration. Students and current professionals can quickly get a feel for popular design trends by exploring structures featured in the following periodicals.
- Dezeen – This digital publication was founded in 2006, in an effort to highlight global architecture and interior design projects. In addition to current event coverage, Dezeen also showcases multimedia film projects that show just how interactive and fluid interior design and architecture can be.
- Architectural Digest – This is your one-stop digital resource for current architecture news, inspiration, exhibitions, and shopping resources. Architectural Digest is run by mass media giant Conde Nast. In addition to the online magazine, readers also have the option of subscribing to print issues of Architectural Digest.
- The Architectural Review – The first issue of Architectural Review (AR) appeared in Britain in 1896, with a vibrant yellow illustrated cover announcing AR’s dedication to painting, sculpture, and design. AR has been evolving for over a century, distilling the best in classical architecture critiques and modern building commentary. AR also hosts installation and educational presentations around the world, including the Battle of Ideas architectural theory debate.
- Architecture Lab – This magazine is full of high-resolution graphics depicting contemporary urban and sustainable design projects. Architecture Lab also provides a listing of upcoming and ongoing architecture competitions such as the Arte Laguna Prize and Audi’s Urban Future awards.
- Detail – This German and English language magazine serves to inform online audiences about the newest developments in global construction, material, regulations, and processes. Students and professionals can also explore Detail‘s small reference book shop for further inspiration.
- Dialogue – This online publication is released by Gensler as a stunning PDF download. Gensler, an architecture firm, explores the design and philosophy behind current workspaces and academic structures.
Blogs tend to provide information in a more casual format than a journal or magazine. Blog posts tend to be much shorter than traditional news articles, snagging your attention for a short period of time to drive an idea home. The following blog website can keep you up-to-date about new tech developments, awards, and designs from within the architecture industry.
- Build – This blog catalogs popular architectural designs found in the Pacific Northwest. Build showcases residential spaces, commercial offices, and remodeled homes to bring the most interesting and innovative designs to an online audience. Build’s website’s use of clean, attention grabbing graphics can be used as inspiration by up-and-coming architects and interior designers.
- Death by Architecture – This blog has an exhaustive competition listing page, which can be filtered by regions, academic contests, and grants. Death by Architecture’s articles are also dedicated to international competitions, highlighting winning projects with photographs and detailed write-ups.
- Energy Vanguard – This blog pulls the lens away from design elements and focuses instead on energy considerations in architecture, such as HVAC protocols and ENERGY STAR ratings. The bloggers at Energy Vanguard also explore sustainable energy infrastructures.
- Contemporist – This blog collects images from contemporary developments in architecture, interior design, home furnishings, and travel. Contemporist can be an excellent resource for professionals and students, to get an idea of the products and builds that are currently popular in residential design markets.
- Materialicious – This blog is a visual ode to residential architecture and consumer product design, showcasing the work of international architecture firms in home spaces. Featured companies include AIM Architecture in Shanghai, Aray Architecture in Japan, and Fougeron Architecture in California.
Who to Follow on Twitter
It’s astonishing to think about who you can connect with on Twitter. Prolific architectural leaders and educators interact with students and aspiring architects on a regular basis via Twitter. Don’t be shy! Use @ mentions, comments, and private messages to make sure that your voice is heard.
- @KDAPLLC – Kathy Dixon is a nationally-acclaimed leader in commercial and residential architecture. She serves as the current president of the National Organization of Minority Architects, and she is the founder of K. Dixon Architecture, PLLC. On Twitter, she keeps tabs on important industry developments, awards, and minority achievements.
- @architectmag – This is the official Twitter account of Architect Magazine by the American Institute of Architects. This publications posts commentary about new structures and current architecture events.
- @casinclair – Cameron Sinclair founded Architecture for Humanity in 1999, a charity dedicated to funding and building academic structures in Haiti and West Africa. Sinclair continues to be involved with architecture and humanitarian aid movements, reflected in his Twitter posts.
- @hughpearman – Hugh Pearman is a highly regarded architecture and design critic who currently writes for The Sunday Times. Most of his writing and Twitter commentary focuses on architectural developments in the UK.
- @aianational – This Twitter account can prove valuable for both students and professionals. The AIA regularly posts job opportunities for architecture firms around the United States, along with links to cutting edge industry news.
- @urbanverse – This is the Twitter account of architect Cindy Frewen Wuellner, who serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Houston Futures Studies Department. She often posts news regarding futurist technology and design.