Architecture as a Career
Architecture is mainly an art developed with a science wrap, which involves many talents and skills. Not surprising anyway!
Back to my long journey as a student, which expanded from 1989 to 1996 in the School of Architecture at the Lebanese University, I was struggling with the huge number of courses and materials handled during the different semesters until I reached the final stage of the Diploma.
Most of those courses were directly related to my major domain, while others indirectly pointed to the industry; Which makes the Architect an all-knowledge professional by far. Normally talking, the number of responsibilities that rest over the Architect during the construction process, put him in front of any potential problems that might occur;
|A person holding a gray pen sitting near a laptop: Architect at work, Photo by energepic.com from Pexels|
Starting with the structural studies, the interference of the architect is very important to avoid any possible mistakes, and consequently, any architectural-concept issues concerning the wellness of the project. The same goes for the electro-mechanical trades and later for the finishing works. This shows us the big reputation of the Architect’s role as the coordinator of all those main trades in construction management.
Therefore, an Architect is initially an individual who combines all the good qualities with his main characteristics as a leader. Among those qualities, we should not forget his ability to make hard decisions at the right time and the right place, without hesitation or compromise!
Some Fascinating Facts | Research records
An interesting study enrolled in 2009 by the leading manufacturer of construction toys (LEGO), revealed a surprising phenomenon: “Architects were the professionals the most likely to be influenced at an early stage through their preferred toys — the construction sets.” (Fig.1)
|Fig.1- Blue red yellow and green plastic blocks, typically known as LEGO, Photo by Polesie Toys from Pexels|
The research also showed that 54% of architects had decided on their future talent before reaching 16, compared to the British average of 15%. This has enormous impacts and consequences for people considering a career such as Architect or Architectural Designer... Read more about the study here.
2 Obligations to Guide you when Processing for a Registered Architect in Lebanon — Applies to all Engineering Trades Profession
Next in this article, it is a good idea to be guided through the process to follow to become a registered member of one of the two Architects and Civil Engineers’ Syndicates of Lebanon. Otherwise, you won't be allowed to practice your career in the Lebanese territories.
Anyway, when applying for a registered architect in Lebanon, i.e. a member of either the ORDER OF ENGINEERS & ARCHITECTS IN TRIPOLI or Beirut, you will need a Bachelor of High Architectural Studies (Diploma) or equivalent.
Moreover, those two obligations (link in Arabic) are to be considered:
- i) First— Obtain a license to practice the profession of engineering within the Lebanese territories. (EPPP) اذن مزاولة مهنة الهندسة
- ii) Second— Affiliation with the Syndicate of Engineers. الانتساب الى نقابة المهندسين
1. i) An application -form- for obtaining a license to practice the engineering profession over the Lebanese territories, should be submitted to the Ministry of Public Works (refer to it below), or the Ministry of Agriculture (if the degree is in Agricultural engineering).
|Fig.2- Designer at work, holding black pen, Photo by Lex Photography from Pexels|
- Download the License to Practice Engineering Form, as it is recommended in the Arabic language. Then you’ll have to print it, fill it with your personal information, and finally submit it. Below, is the English translation of the above Arabic initial document (Fig.3), followed by the documents needed that should be attached to the request:
|Fig.3- The English-translated version of the Career Permit Submission, document|
And attach the following documents needed for the Practice Engineering License submission:
- A certified copy of the ID entry, issued by the General Directorate of Personal Status, featuring a certified ID photo and the phrase "Lebanese for more than ten years."
- A summary of the Criminal Record that is no more than a month old.
- A copy of the baccalaureate certificate, high school, or its equivalent (recently certified by the Ministry of Education, with mentioning the date of ratification- 2 copies)
- 2 ID photos, certified by the local mayor.
- Attestation of the Engineering Certificate issued by universities in Lebanon by the Higher Education Council, except for the certificates of the Lebanese National University.
- The Number of years of study Statement showing the multiple grades, certified by the Higher Education Council and the Engineers’ Syndicate.
- A copy of the Passport and Visa for holders of certificates issued outside Lebanon.
- Diploma Certificates, Academic Graduations, and Study Years Certificate issued from abroad institutions and certified by:
- The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the country of origin.
- Lebanese Embassy in the country of origin.
- The Lebanese Foreign Ministry in Beirut. Attestation of the certificate by the Diwan (UNESCO)
7. The Engineering Certificate includes grades, and years of study for those issued from abroad, and certified by:
- The Lebanese Foreign Ministry in Beirut (showing the original)
8. A copy of the Passport and Visa for holders of certificates issued outside Lebanon. (with the original).
Next, I will be sharing with you my personal Practicing Engineering License, dated 1996, as an example of what to expect:
A nice document with your photo on the top, and traditional Arabic handwriting.
A good idea here is to install it inside an image frame (the regular A4 size will fit perfectly), and then to take its normal place on the wall or a piece of furniture proudly in the center of your office. (Fig.4)
5 Steps in Architecture Lebanese University for a Successful Profession in Lebanon
Congratulations! Your architecture Lebanese university courses were so struggling and hard.
But still, to succeed in an Architecture career in real life you need a strong pillar to rely on, plus a clear vision for your future, and what is required to keep it strengthful and productive along the way now that you graduate and accomplish the process of joining your selected syndicate. Not by choice anyway!
In fact, and by other means, your selection of one of the two syndicates presented in Lebanon, is obligatory subject to your ID’s pre-registered geographical location and not yours.
|Fig.5- Newly graduated people wearing black academy gowns throwing hats up in the air, Photo from Pexels|
Anyway, I recommend a selection of topics that might help you put your feet on the ground and guide you through the right railway:
1- Prepare your high school courses carefully.
While in high school and to complete the architecture qualifications, you will need a strong background in some courses, particularly geometry, trigonometry, algebra, and calculus, in addition to physics. You might also need to ameliorate your written and oral language skills if you don’t already have them. Be prepared to work hard during that period: it will be good practice for the long hours of stress and concentration required when working on projects to submit on strict and unchangeable deadlines.
2- Enlarge your brain with knowledge.
Arts, photography, graphic design, and freehand sketching will help you visualize and conceptualize. They are all important and indispensable skills for an architectural designer and spatial conceptual. Computer skills and business courses will also help to prepare you for your chosen degree. Computer Assisted Design and Drafting programs (CADD) have become increasingly essential: Online courses and e-book tutorials are good methods to ensure your new in-demand skills.
3- First, get experienced at work.
It is not a wrong idea to get started as a junior at first; You may be able to grow your work experience with senior architectural designers later. The bad news is that you may end up doing ordinary and routine office tasks such as making copies and organizing files or drafting a small plan. Still, the training will make you discover an inside look at what the job requires and will give you an idea if architecture is the right choice for you. Other useful traineeships could be gained working in designing, constructing, and assisting small projects.
4- Get informed and updated.
Discuss and get feedback and information from people recognized already in the professional world. It is only from those experts that you will be directed with the right amount of good knowledge; After that, it is up to you to consider if architecture is what you want to do…
5- Get realistic and determined: They are your best companions.
If Architecture is your passion from the beginning, you will surely know what is about along those lines; The feeling of walking through a building that previously only existed in your imagination will be incomparable. However, you will be paid for those long hours of intense stressed deadlines, dealing with many budgetary and time constraints, and making compromises between your vision and the limitations of the client..., all those facts make the architect deal with a constant amount of pressure related to the competitive nature of their profession and keeping up with an unstop-changing industry.
4 Helpful Tips for Finding a Reputable Architect
On the opposite side of what precedes, we could note those tips for finding the right Architect with the best qualifications to design your new home as a client, which might help you find and determine yours as an Architect.
Are you looking for an architect to redecorate your home?
If this is your case, you need to be cautious: Finding an experienced architect is not as easy as you might do searching through the Yellow Pages index for taxi drivers and choosing a name at random (…)
|Fig.6- Constructor drawing a plan on paper roll, Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels|
You need to make sure that the one you select for accomplishing the task is really qualified and experienced enough to handle the job correctly. And this is where you are likely to run into trouble. There are so many architects out there, showcasing their services and claiming to be the best, that it is quite easy to feel overwhelmed when choosing one out of the crowd. The following guidelines may help you out a bit here:
- Check the architect's qualification: The person you trust with the design of your home must be educated enough to get the job done without mistakes and errors. Make sure of this by asking for the professional's qualifications. Remember, you can involve your budget in such an expensive project only once in a lifetime; The designer should be as careful as you for every penny spent in the execution. At least a certified Diploma from a reputable college or university is required. Also, check for his/her experience level: At least 3-4 years in the field is enough, but anyone with less experience than that is not advisable to work for you.
|Fig.7- Technical plan drawn on paper located near tablet and laptop, Photo by ready-made from Pexels|
- View the professional's portfolio: Every successful architect has at least an online portfolio, either on a personally owned website, social media page, or profile. Be sure to check up on this before you consider hiring him/her for your project. See which kind of architecture the professional has to offer or use, and decide whether you would like to see similar designs in your home.
- Contact the professional and discuss the project: If you like the professional's previous works and feel that he is suitably educated and experienced, then it is time to give him (or her) a call. Discuss the total area of the parcel you own and ask which kind of house may look great on that. State any special requirements (or preferences) you may have and ask if those are convenient for him (or her).
- Do not forget to ask about the cost of the architect before going further with the contract: Building a new home is certainly a great feeling, but it should not make you break out all your budget. Remember, costly charges do not always mean good work! Only sign the contract agreement if you feel right about the payments the Architect is asking for…
|Fig.8- Set of paper rolls on the table, Photo by Dayvison de Oliveira Silva from Pexels|
- Are you looking for a reputable Architect with affordable prices to design your new home? Then look for the contact info of Nadim Maani, Architects right away.
- See samples of his project portfolio.
List of the Top Architecture Universities in Lebanon
In the end, and for this guide to be as complete as possible, and to help those who need it, especially students preparing for their new life careers, I am hereby sharing a list of the major colleges and institutes in Lebanon that are offering Architecture specialization in their program.
The table is sorted randomly— Some are provided with phone numbers:
- The American University in Beirut (AUB), is located in the Bliss area, Beirut, close to Corniche El Manara. Phone +961 1 350000 Ext. 2450-2455
- The Lebanese National University— Headquarters, The Campus of the National Institute, located in Hadath, Beirut. Phone +961 1 612830, +961 1 612831
- Académie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts (ALBA), located in Sin-el-Fil, Northern-suburb of Beirut. Phone +961 1 502 370
- Lebanese American University (LAU), location: Beirut and Byblos Campus. Phone for Beirut-Campus + 961-1-786456
- Beirut Arab University is located in Tarik El Jadida, Beirut. Phone +961 1 300110
- University Saint-Esprit - Kaslik (USEK), located in Kaslik, Kesrouan.
- Notre-Dame University, located in Louaize— Zouk Mosbeh, Kesrouan.
- The University of Balamand is located in Koura, north of Lebanon. Phone +961 6 930 250
- El-Azm University, located in Tripoli, North-Lebanon
Expand Your Knowledge!
Finally, and if you want to learn more about the topic discussed in this article, here is a good reference to stop by The Architecture Students Handbook of Professional Practice, previously reviewed in this blog. Or link to the post here and you are done!
Hope this article helped you plan your future in a better way! Keep up the good work and Good luck!