The architecture field includes a constellation of jobs that go beyond the image of a person with a drafting table or a computer designing buildings. While actual architects are certainly at the center of the industry, there are many peripheral occupations without which the architect's vision would never see the light of day.
Architectural technicians do a lot of the hands-on work for architects. While the architects themselves are qualified to do these things, there are time constraints with large jobs, and many people are required to get the work done. Architectural technicians do much of the actual blueprint drawing, reading the sketches and designs made by the architect and converting them into technically precise images of exteriors, rooms and walls that meet the exacting standards required by engineers to construct a building properly. Technical drawings are also used by governments in the approval and permitting process, and by builders to determine pricing and material needs.
Landscape architects do similar work as other architects, but rather than focusing on buildings they focus on the grounds that surround the buildings. Landscape architects design everything from the transitions between a building's lot and its exterior up to entire city parks. Features and functions utilized by landscape architects include traffic flow, walks and paths; features such as fountains and public art, trees, shrubs, and gardens; and semiexterior areas such as porticos and pavilions.
Urban planners are responsible for the city contexts that architecture is a part of. While architects design buildings, city planners consider the interaction of the buildings with one another and with the cityscape. Urban planners are responsible for the planning and renovation of city streets, pedestrian walkways, bike paths and utility conduits. Urban planners try to arrange urban landscapes to provide for the needs of everyone in them. This is obviously a balancing act that doesn't always succeed totally, and urban planners are sometimes involved in conflicts between adjacent property owners or between property owners and local governments.
An interior designer works with a pre-existing building to make it function best for what its owners want it to do. Interior designers may work for individuals who are seeking a particular feel for the rooms in their homes or for a corporation that is trying to create a maximally efficient and pleasant workplace. Interior design involves a balance of aesthetic composition and consideration of practicalities such as traffic, energy efficiency, storage and mixed-use spaces.
- Photo Credit architecture image by Sandra Lambert from Fotolia.com
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