What is Architecture
Architecture is the imaginative blend of art and science in the design of environments for people. Decision-making, team leadership, and creativity are key elements of making architecture, and there is tremendous excitement in seeing a design idea become a physical reality.
What do Architects do
People need places in which to live, work, play, learn, worship, meet, govern, shop, eat: private and public spaces, indoors and out; rooms, buildings, and complexes; neighborhoods and towns, suburbs and cities. Architects are professionals, trained in the art and science of building design and licensed to protect public health, safety and welfare. They transform these needs into concepts and then develop the concepts into building images that can be constructed by others. In doing so, architects communicate between and assist those who have needs ie clients, users, the public as a whole - and those who will make the spaces that satisfy those needs -builders and contractors, plumbers and painters, carpenters, and air conditioning mechanics. Whether the project is a room or a city, a new building or the renovation of an old one, architects provide the professional services- ideas and insights, design and technical knowledge, drawings and specifications, administration, coordination, and informed decision-making -that balance an extraordinary range of functional, aesthetic, technological economic, human, environmental, and safety factors, into a coherent and appropriate solution for the needs at hand.
Preparation to Become an Architect
If you are interested in a career as an architect, it is best to begin early. Your own environment - at home, in school, and in your community - is a good laboratory for study. By learning to see buildings, spaces, and their relationships, you will become sensitive to things that concern architects. Notice the effects of color, texture, light, and shape of the tools of architecture - and consider how spaces and places feel when you are in them. Analyze your positive and negative reactions and see if you can connect them to design elements. Look for rhythm and pattern, simplicity and ornament, old and new in your environment, and notice the variety in your community. Think about the values expressed in the design of your house, school, and city hall. When in secondary school, you should focus at becoming good in English, history, social studies, mathematics, physics, and foreign languages. If you can, add courses in business and computer science. It may surprise you to know that freehand drawing skills will be more useful to you than drafting ability. Students are encouraged to visit the design studios of a school of architecture, tour the offices of a local firm and read books and magazines on architecture to gain a broad understanding of the nature of an architectural work and the values of the profession.
Because most national architectural registration councils or boards require a professional degree, you should pursue the first professional degree accredited by a recognised University or its equivalent. The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi is the only training Institution in Ghana at the moment that offers this course.
The most common first-professional degree programmes are the four-year (undergraduate) Bachelor of Architecture followed by a 2-year (postgraduate) programme of either a Diploma or Masters. Outside Ghana and the Commonwealth, especially in some Universities in the United States, it is possible prepare for a career in architecture with a four-year (undergraduate) liberal arts first degree followed by a three- to four-year programme that leads to an award of a first professional Master of Architecture degree.
An architecture curriculum is intensive and demanding, often requiring many hours of late-night effort. Design studio s- individual work guided by frequent review with a professor - and lecture and laboratory courses in engineering, technology, history, planning, and the environment will be combined with studies outside the professional curriculum. Many training programmes has a final year that culminates with a design thesis project.
Professional Practice Examinations and Registration
In order to be called an architect and have the license to practice in Ghana, one must have a prerequisite of (i) an accredited first-professional degree in Architecture (ii) submit a logbook outlining professionally supervised practical training of a minimum period of two years with a registered architectural firm in Ghana and (iii) pass the professional practice examinations organised by the Architects Registration Council of Ghana. The Council issues Annual Practicing Certificates to its registered architects in Good Standing.