Architect?, 3e

A Candid Guide to the Profession

by Lewis

ISBN: 9780262316583 | Copyright 2013

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Since 1985, Architect? has been an essential text for aspiring architects, offering the best basic guide to the profession available. This third edition has been substantially revised and rewritten, with new material covering the latest developments in architectural and construction technologies, digital methodologies, new areas of focus in teaching and practice, evolving aesthetic philosophies, sustainability and green architecture, and alternatives to traditional practice.


Architect? tells the inside story of architectural education and practice; it is realistic, unvarnished, and insightful. Chapter 1 asks “Why Be an Architect?” and chapter 2 offers reasons “Why Not to Be an Architect.” After this provocative beginning, Architect? goes on to explain and critique architectural education, covering admission, degree and curriculum types, and workload as well as such post-degree options as internship, teaching, and work in related fields. It offers a detailed discussion of professors and practitioners and the “-isms” and “-ologies” most prevalent in teaching and practicing architecture. It explains how an architect works and gets work, and describes architectural services from initial client contact to construction oversight. The new edition also includes a generous selection of drawings and cartoons from the author’s Washington Post column, “Shaping the City,” offering teachable moments wittily in graphic form.


The author, Roger Lewis, has taught, practiced, and written extensively about architecture for many years. In Architect? he explains—for students, professors, practitioners, and even prospective clients—how architects think and work and what they care about as they strive to make the built environment more commodious, more beautiful, and more sustainable.

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Contents (pg. vii)
Preface (pg. xii)
Acknowledgments (pg. xv)
Introduction (pg. xvii)
I To Be or Not to Be . . .an Architect? (pg. 1)
1 Why Be an Architect? (pg. 2)
2 Why Not to Be an Architect (pg. 21)
II Becoming an Architect (pg. 40)
3 The Structure of Architectural Education (pg. 41)
4 Experiencing Architecture School (pg. 72)
5 What Professors—and Architects—Profess (pg. 101)
6 Architecture Schools: Choosing and Being Chosen (pg. 150)
7 After School, What? (pg. 171)
III Being an Architect (pg. 195)
8 The Building Process and the Architect’s Role (pg. 196)
9 How Architects Work (pg. 224)
10 How Architects Get Work (pg. 260)
11 Architects’ Clients (pg. 285)
12 We Who Are Architects (pg. 309)
Afterword (pg. 322)

Roger K. Lewis

Roger K. Lewis is a practicing architect and planner, Professor Emeritus of Architecture at the University of Maryland, and a columnist for the Washington Post.


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