From comments I’ve had in the past I think a fair number of readers and passers-by here at no2self are either students currently at schools of architecture or people considering joining a course. Driving home this evening it struck me that today’s events gave a pretty good representation of what it’s like to practice. So if you’re considering a career in architecture I offer the following as a taste of things to come.

07:30 – Leave house.

08:30 – Meeting with Police Architectural Liaison Officer to discuss crime prevention performance of my scheme. Agree to re-think some parking and highway, think about Oscar Newman’s ‘Defensible Space’.

09:00 – Meet site manager and guy with digger. Find missing manhole under abandoned kayak. Acknowledge hill, think about retaining wall tanking detail.

09:30 – Stand around in rain with structural engineer, stare down a hole provided by aforementioned guy/digger combo, rub earth between fingers, think about geology.

11:00 – Arrive at office. Phone client and explain latest development regarding confusion over legal boundary of site, who ground is to be conveyed to and what the landscape design will need to accommodate. Talk about procurement. Think about thermal mass.

12:00 – Explore timber cladding detailing. Talk about cedar, larch, Thermowood, Accoya, oak. Think about UV and rain weathering.

13:00 – Lunch with fellow architect. Debate current state of our profession. Agree that suburbia is being attacked by modernists who think the word ‘vernacular’ is a pejorative term. Think about staying in bar.

14:00 – Back to office. Draw a house. Think about today’s IT problems.

15:00 – Get telephone call announcing we’ve won bid to design environmentally friendly refurbishment of Victorian terraces in Stoke on Trent. Think about blog entry to announce it.

16:00 – E-mail environmental design consultants to discuss timetable for collaboration on detailed design of passive solar spaces we recently won funding for. Think about 3 year post occupancy research.

17:00 – Visit home of resident group chairman to discuss anecdotal survey design and local resident training to monitor success of aforementioned solar spaces. Think about the fact that he’s known me since before my children were born.

18:00 – Visit home of resident objecting to my planning application. Apologise for things I could have done better, discuss complicated commercial realities, demolition techniques and future market value of property. Find a solution. Promise client you can solve it by the end of the week. Think about going home.

21:00 – Go home.

7 thoughts on “a day in the life

  1. just for reference, how long have you been practicing? (my day involves a whole lot more doing, and not near as much thinking)

  2. Graduated from my degree (part 1) in ’98, post-grad (part 2) in ’01, part 3 and final ARB registration in ’04.

    So, not long really. I was trying to show the breadth of situations that you often find yourself in and the number of topics/people you have to engage with.

    This was exactly the sort of day that I hoped my career would give me which is why I was inclined to record it here.

  3. I was just thinking about it at 15:00. I usually write in the evening when I get home. You’ll see from the time stamp that I finished this one at 12:16am.

  4. Regarding thinking about blog entries, it’s often hard not to. You slip into a frame of mind where something fantastic / infuriating / interesting happens, right away you find yourself thinking: this will make a great blog entry.

  5. I’m writing because I was thrilled to see that our product is being discussed (your blog turned up on my “Google alerts” which track the word Accoya). I’m a little biased, so won’t bore others by talking about it here. I hope it stimulates good discussions. I also enjoyed reading about your day. Well done on the refurb project, by the way!

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