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Architect? A Candid Guide to the Profession revised edition Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0262621212
ISBN-10: 0262621215
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This is a terrific book for anyone thinking about a career in architecture. It's very useful and valuable." Richard Meier , Richard Meier & Partners"Required reading for would-be architects, it's also of value for those who teach them." Architectural Record

About the Author

Roger K. Lewis is a practicing architect and planner, Professor Emeritus of Architecture at the University of Maryland, and a columnist for the Washington Post.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press; revised edition edition (March 6, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262621215
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262621212
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #625,967 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Robert I. Hedges HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on August 1, 2004
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In this book Roger Lewis outlines the most important considerations in pursuing a career as an architect. I have always loved architecture, and have read extensively on the subject at the level of an interested amateur. When I was preparing for college in the 1980s, I wanted to pursue a five year professional architecture degree, but was dissuaded when I received a full scholarship in biology. That was an unfortunate decision in the long run, although I have been doing well professionally until recently, when my career field went into steep decline. I never forgot my interest in the subject, and while considering a mid-career occupation change, I have carefully considered returning to school and attempting to be admitted to a 3-4 year M.Arch. program.

I am very glad that I read this book (and several others) prior to embarking on a career in architecture. The book is very honest about the rigors of school and the relative lack of money to be obtained in the field, unless you are uncharacteristically brilliant in design (and in selling your services). People like Michael Graves are definitely the exception to the rule. I appreciated Lewis' candor, and honestly the book has made me reappraise my desire to pursue this particular career transition. He repeatedly emphasizes that you should become an architect because of a love of architecture. I also have to be practical in considering that between three or four very expensive years of school and at least three years as an underpaid intern, it is at least seven years to becoming a licensed architect for me, and at this stage of my career that is difficult. Not impossible, but very difficult.

I have not decided what professional avenues to pursue yet, but I will always appreciate the practical nature of this book in educating me about an architectural career. This is the most important book a prospective architect can read prior to committing to the arduous path leading to licensure.
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I have now been in the work force for 6 years having mostly worked in, now defunct, internet shops. Now I have a sterile job as a financial analyst working for a HUGE company. After being afraid to pursue my dreams again (after an earlier attempt in my mid-20's withered away...), I am seriously looking to get my masters in architecture although I have a liberal arts degree. I first read Cesar Pelli's "Observations" which inspired me. So I was afraid to get into this book knowing that many reviews here and in newsgroups claim it's harsh or may change your mind about architecture. Actually, it has strengthened my desire to pursue architecture. I won't be making as much money as I do now in my somewhat laid-back job, but there are other considerations far more important to me than working just for money. People who do not wish to be challenged to their fullest or work harder than they ever have worked before should not pursue such careers medicine, law, computer science, etc - architecture is no exception. I already knew architects are rarely rich, work very hard, go through a very tough education, and work in a very competitive environment. None of that came as a shock from reading this. Basically, I can conclude from this book that the field should only be pursued if one LOVES architecture despite all the difficulties. One can dislike medicine or law and not be as discouraged since the money can provide some comfort, but teh same is not true of architecture. Even if this book does talk many out of pursuing architecture, it's better that it tells it like it is. I'd rather know the good and the bad before making a decision. By the way, this book is not nearly as negative as some here have pointed out.
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By A Customer on November 26, 2001
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'Architect?' is a useful, practical guide to the field of architecture and the process of becoming an architect. It thoroughtly notes all the obstacles and difficulties involved in becoming an architect. It's a brisk dose of reality, and at times seems mired in these difficulties. The author fails to note that many of obstacles are common to many other professions and graduate education programs (including things like difficult professors, low pay, and the need to juggle many tasks outside of your original love - design).
It's a useful read for anyone with romanticized notions of architecture. But just keep one thing in mind - all life choices are hard, and there are very few creative professions that don't require the ability to stand out and overcome obstacles.
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By A Customer on October 29, 2001
I am an architect and a former student of Roger K. Lewis. This book was a suggested reading before my first year in studio. After reading this book and then taking the classes, I can truly say that it tells the truth about the field. If this book persuades you out of going into architecture, you would definitely not have been happy with it as a profession. If you are seriously thinking about architecture as a career choice, then buy this book.
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This book is right on the mark! I first read it as a junior in architecture school and in my youthful idealism pretty much dismissed most of the books observations. Now that I have been working as an architect for the last four years I have found this to be one of the most accurate looks at the profession of architecture available. Is it grim, yes at times, but it is much better to get a realistic perspective of what you are getting yourself into before devoting a lifetime working towards a goal that may not be right for you.
I highly, highly recommend this book!
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