From Academic Kids

Missing image
Architect at his drawing board, 1893

An architect is a person involved in the art of planning, designing and overseeing the construction of buildings, or more generally, the designer of a scheme or plan.

Architects and landscape architects are considered professionals on par with doctors, engineers, and lawyers, because they are often involved in the design and planning of projects that affect the safety and well being of the general public. Architects are required to obtain specialized education and documented work experience to obtain professional licensure, similar to the requirements for other professionals, with requirements for practice varying greatly from place to place (see below).

The most prestigious award a living architect can receive is the Pritzker Prize. It is considered the equivalent of the Nobel Prize for architecture. Other awards for excellence in architecture are given by the American Institute of Architects and Royal Institute of British Architects.

Although architect is a specific term referring to a licensed professional, the word is frequently used in a broader sense to define someone who brings order to the built or unbuilt environment through rational and irrational constructs using the tools of design. For example, naval architects, software architects etc., and graduates of schools of architecture not doing regulated project/construction documents are often called architects. However, non-licensed architects and designers working in the construction industry are prohibited from referring to themselves as architects in most countries.



In Canada, architects are required to belong to provincial architectural associations that require them to complete an accredited degree in architecture, finish a multi-year internship process, pass a series of exams, and pay an annual fee to acquire and maintain a license to practice.

The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada [1] ( aims to be "the voice of Architecture and its practice in Canada." Architects who are members of this organization are permitted to use the suffix MRAIC after their names. All members of the RAIC hold accredited degrees in architecture, but not all Canadian architects are members of the RAIC.


In the United States, people wishing to become licensed architects (interns) are required to pass a series of multiple exams (depending on specific criteria set forth by the State in which the testing is conducted), referred to as the Architectural Registration Examination (the ARE). In addition, interns must have multiple years of documented practical work experience (quantity depends on type of educational experience and type of educational degree earned) working under a licensed Architect before they may become eligible to take the ARE. Although the ARE is a national exam, each state issues their own licenses. Some states, such as California and Hawaii, require supplemental exams in addition to the ARE. Other states have reciprocity agreements, so licenses may be easily transferred between certain states.

There are three types of accredited ("professional") degrees in architecture in the United States; a Bachelor of Architecture, a Master of Architecture, or a Doctor of Architecture (abbreviated as B.Arch., M.Arch., and D.Arch., respectively). These are called professional degrees as they are required to enter the profession. A Bachelor of Arts in Architecture (BA), Bachelor of Fine Arts in Architecture (BFA Arch) or Bachelor of Environmental Design (B.Envd) typically takes four years - as opposed to five for a B. Arch degree - and is considered a pre-professional degree. However a professional degree is still required (to take the ARE and to practice) and the programs are often combined usually leading to an M.Arch degree. A pre-professional degree is not necessary to enter a professional degree program, but accelerates completion. Following graduation from a professional program, documented apprenticeship (typically 3 year internship) is required before the individual is eligible to take the ARE and become licensed.

The American Institute of Architects [2] ( is the professional organization dedicated to offering a network of services to architects in the United States. Architects who are members of this organization are permitted to use the suffix AIA after their names. Not all architects who are licensed by their respective states are members of the AIA, and the general public often confuses the AIA suffix with actual credentials rather than participation in a business organization.


Notable architects

The architects in the list of notable architects are in chronological order of when they did their most important work (or emerged), and alphabetized within each time period.

Notable schools which trained architects

See also

See also

External links


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