Are you a good artist? Do you remember drawing the stuff around you as a kid? You probably had some great works that made the front of the refrigerator. Your siblings, dogs and cats, and rainbows were probably popular subjects.

Some kids also love to draw buildings. Did you ever draw a picture of your house? Buildings, from houses to skyscrapers, could be fun to draw — even if you weren't a great artist — because you could use a ruler to make sure all your lines were straight!

Did you realize that some people never stopped drawing buildings? They even get paid to do it. Who are we talking about? Those professionals who design all the buildings we live and work in: architects!

When you think of a house or office building being constructed, you might immediately think of the construction crews and heavy equipment required to build from the ground up. Before those construction workers and dump trucks ever show up, though, tons of work has already gone into the project.

A building — any building — starts with a plan for its design. The people who create those designs are known as architects. Their finished plans take the form of blueprints that other construction experts can use to create a plan for how to make the drawings into the reality of a brand new building.

So what is being an architect all about? Quite a bit, as a matter of fact! The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada describes architecture as “the art, the science and the business of building." When architects come up with the idea for a building and then plan its design, they must combine both art and science to create a functional, appealing building.

When you're an architect, you can be called upon to design any type of building. From small homes to huge mansions, architects design all kinds of homes. They even design large apartment buildings. Beyond homes, they also design skyscrapers and office buildings, hotels, university buildings, and hospitals.

Architects meet with building owners to determine what the purpose of the building will be. They must make sure it's functional and meets the needs for what it will be used for. They also determine the style the owner would like. Based upon these aspects of science and art, they then create plans that builders can follow to turn vision into reality.

If you want to be a famous architect, like Adolf Loos, Aldo Rossi, Frank Lloyd Wright, James Stirling, or James Roche, you'll need to make sure you have the proper training. Architects need specialized training in technical fields, including engineering and mathematics. Professional architects usually have either a bachelor's degree or a master's degree in architecture. These programs usually last five or more years.

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