Architecture is a Practice

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Architecture isn’t a job or a career.

For me, architecture is an obsession. But even worse, I view it as a practice. While feeding my obsession, looking at architecture as a practice means that there is no arriving. There is no end to it. Everything I do is practicing toward becoming a better Architect, without a destination to arrive at.

Practicing architecture doesn’t just mean designing, drawing, and building 3D models and cashing checks from new clients to start their projects.


Practicing architecture encompasses everything I do over the course of the day:

Every conversation I have, every construction meeting I attend, every boring submittal I review, every uncomfortable conversation I have, every cheesy blog post I write, everything I post on social media, how I react when something goes terribly wrong on a project, and anytime I open my mouth to say something about a project.

This is practicing architecture, and it is often not glamourous or directly involves a project.

Practicing architecture covers all the skills that I spend time learning, which have nothing to do with architecture. This includes learning how to write better, speak better publicly and how to teach yoga. It’s teaching architecture to 3rd graders, learning search engine optimization & social media, learning video editing, and networking. Lots of networking and meeting tons of people.  I spend the time to learn to do these things, so I can push my architecture practice further. All of this is helping to move me toward being the best Architect I can be.

This is practicing architecture because in time all this information will all come full circle to pushing my architecture practice further and harder.

Architects who draw all day long and have few skills, other that drawing and design, aren’t really Architects; they are Drafters.

I believe it takes years of experience before most Architects even start to be good at their craft.

When I think about architecture as a practice, the word work disappears. It’s not about the money or fame. It’s about being satisfied by doing the work.

Having a practice is showing up repeatedly to do the work, enjoying it no matter where you are, and most importantly, always trying to get better without a destination in sight.

Architecture isn’t a job or a career.

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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.

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