Doug Patt: Teaching Design and Architecture on YouTube!

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This week the Young Architect Podcast chatted with Architect Youtube Sensation Mr. Doug Patt, from How To Architect!

Architect Doug Patt

As architects, we’re always growing. We learn from our own experiences as well as from others because honestly, no one can get there alone. We’re constantly in connection with each other from school and the job field to online.

This week, Doug Patt of the How to Architect website and YouTube channel shares his personal career experiences, what he’s learned from his mentors, his love for architecture, and his excitement for what’s next in his life.

Doug is also the creator of The Architect’s Academy which offers online classes to anyone who wishes to learn more about architecture. His teaching has been so successful and inspiring that people who weren’t even architects before have now gone on to begin their own careers in the field. If you want to have a good source on hand, Doug also wrote the book, How to Architect.

If you love social media, architecture, and history, then you must check out his Instagram account- @dougpatt. Each week, Doug puts together a short video of different images while sharing architectural history.

The internet and social media have been such amazing tools to help Doug reach out to so many people to teach them about architecture. So what’s next for Doug? Besides adding more YouTube videos, teaching classes via The Architect’s Academy, and continuing his career in the field of architecture, he hopes to publish a architectural history book using the Instagram posts he has posted.
What You’ll Hear on This Episode

  • Doug’s path towards becoming an architect: his education, life experiences, and the steps he took to begin this career.
  • How Doug decided to get his architect’s license and how the process was for him, who inspired him, and important life lessons that he learned along the way.
  • When and how Doug began sharing his design videos on YouTube with his very first video: How to Write Like an Architect.
  • Doug’s love for architectural history and why he’s shared it with the world on Instagram and YouTube.
  • Doug’s most influential architect mentors on how they helped him learn how to draw well and improve his interpersonal skills with clients.
  • How Doug uses ArchiCAD to help him create his digital drawings.
  • Why YouTube is Doug’s favorite use of media to share his work and creativity with his audience.
  • The inspiration for creating The Architect’s Academy which is a short course to teach anyone how they create something.
  • The difficult hurdles Doug has experienced as an architect. For Doug, the business can be very frustrating and he is constantly working on how he can be more organized to be good at his job.
  • Some clients can be very challenging, but Doug has always had good outcomes at the end of a project. He explains how difficult clients are just part of the job sometimes.
  • Why The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand was a very inspirational book for Doug.
  • Doug explains why we don’t have the opportunity to learn people skills in architecture school and the reason why it’s so important to acquire emotional intelligence skills.
  • Why we need to listen to what the clients want; not what we want as architects.

Key Takeaways From This Episode with Doug Patt

  • There are many different paths to becoming an architect. Even if someone tells you it’s not the right career for you, you can always find a way. When Doug took a test from the book Do What You Are (a method similar to the Myers Briggs personality test), it told him that he didn’t even fit into the architect category, but it did help him to recognize his weaknesses. With that knowledge, he was able to put in the effort to learn the necessary skills to become a good architect and Project Manager.
  • Don’t be afraid to seek out help when you’re stuck on an idea or want to expand your creative thinking. It’s good to have other people to turn to that can help your ideas grow or your projects become successful.
  • Be open to advice and guidance from mentors in your field. You might not like what you hear, but their advice is truly gold and it will help your career.

Doug Patt’s advice for aspiring architects:

You learn about design in school, but once you begin your career as an architect, design has very little to do with the entire job. As a student, try to get work in an office or participate in a work-study program to get a sense of what real-life work is like and what architecture school can teach you. Try to get as much varied experience as possible to help you decide what you really want to do with your life.

Some Favorite Quotes

“It’s important to incorporate other people and their work will become a part of what you’re doing. That’s when it becomes really important to others.” – Doug Patt on working in teams.

“It takes a village to make an architect.” – Michael Riscica

“Doug, you need to have broader shoulders.’ What he meant by that was ‘You can’t take advice very well. You’re not listening and we’re trying to help you and teach you. You’re not really doing a good job of helping yourself.’ So that was some of the best advice I ever received from somebody.” – Doug Patt on the best advice he ever received from one of his mentors, Bob Breslin.

“You’re mentoring a lot of people with YouTube, The Architect’s Academy, and it’s all through the internet. And thanks to the internet you’ve had a much larger reach and have been able to connect with so many more people to help them along the way. It’s something that’s really beautiful.” – Michael Riscica on how the internet and social media is bringing the architecture world closer together.

“As architects, we do grow up and we do realize that it does take a village to make a building, but you’re kind of at the epicenter. When you’re sitting at a meeting, if you ever get lucky enough to be sitting at a meeting with a client and they’re focused on you; you get to affect their lives and that’s really powerful stuff. So it takes all this knowledge and experience to get to this place and once you’ve got that, it’s quite a responsibility.” – Doug Patt on how The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand has inspired him as an architect.

Resources Mentioned in the Show

About the author

Michael Riscica

Michael Riscica is a Licensed Architect who lives in beautiful Portland, Oregon, with his Labrador Retriever. He is passionate about helping Young Architects change the world. In his free time, Michael likes to take very long bicycle rides across America. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Linked In. Also check out his new project Young Architect Gear, designing architecturally themed gifts and products.


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