Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Pam. Pam Wonders, “what is the difference between an architect and an engineer” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Pam!
Do you live in a big city? If so, you're probably used to all the hustle and bustle and tall buildings. For all the people who live in smaller towns and cities, though, a trip to the big city can be eye-opening.
The sheer number of people and amount of traffic can be intimidating. It can also be hard to get used to being surrounded by tall skyscrapers. When you're used to small homes and two- or three-story buildings, the skyscrapers that fill big cities can blow your mind.
Some people don't give much thought to architecture or how buildings get built until they see something as impressive as a skyscraper up close. Exactly how would one go about building such an incredible structure?
While building a skyscraper requires the hard work of thousands of people, there are a couple of types of people who are particularly important, especially early in the process. Who are we talking about? Architects and engineers, of course!
Architects and engineers must work together closely to design and construct buildings. Although their duties overlap to an extent, they're separate professions with their own unique skills and responsibilities.
Architects usually stick to designing only buildings, whereas engineers might design and build buildings, machines, roads, bridges, or any of a wide variety of other things. Engineers can also specialize in a number of different areas, such as civil, electrical, mechanical, structural, industrial, sound, and chemical engineering.
While both architects and engineers might be involved in the design and construction of a building, they tend to focus on different aspects of the job. For example, an architect will usually focus on the aesthetics of the building, including its appearance and function. An engineer, on the other hand, will oversee the implementation of the architect's plans, determining what is physically possible, what materials will be used, and how issues of practicality and safety will be resolved.
This doesn't mean that they have only one focus, though. When designing a building artistically, architects will keep practical considerations in mind. Likewise, when making a particular decision during construction, an engineer will keep aesthetic considerations in mind.
Architects and engineers also take different paths in school. During college, architects will tend to take more art-related classes, whereas engineers will tend to take more science, technology, engineering, and math classes.
These different educational paths reflect the different focuses each professional brings to a construction project. While architects concentrate on the artistic creativity of designs, engineers instead focus on the scientific innovations that will bring those designs to life.