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A technologist works on architectural projects. Their role generally consists in contributing to the design and planning of the project. They draw the plans, calculate the budget, make decisions about materials and oversee the work. They have to be good at drawing, have good calculating skills, as well as excellent organizational skills.
An architect elaborates and executes an architectural project. They can intervene on any type of building or structure. Their role can also include choosing the land, completing an economic evaluation and doing administrative procedures, among other things.
Since both job descriptions can seem quite similar, it is important to make a distinction between the two. In a nutshell, the technologist works as an assistant to the architect during the designing and building phases of the projects. They can also work in other types of companies, such as engineering firms or building companies.
The educational requirements for a technologist and an architect are very different. It is possible to get a technologist degree in college, after a 3-year program. You can subsequently gain the title of professional technologist by joining an order (if such a thing exists in your area).
An architect has to pursue university studies that last approximately 5 years. They start with a bachelor’s degree, with a program in architectural sciences. Following that, they go on to do a master’s degree in architecture.
We often think that architects only work on large projects. It is true that in most cases, their role is particularly important when the work is far-reaching. However, they can also work on smaller projects, such as the transformation of a bathroom or a basement.
Architects gain a lot of knowledge and experience over time. As a consequence, they will be better at seeing the big picture than most people are.
Moreover, an architecture project often implies a lot of paperwork. The architect will be able to delegate this task to their firm, which will help you avoid long hours filling out forms and trying to understand certain obligations that are extremely specific.
Lastly, the architect and his employees (including the technologists) will take care of supervising the worksite. They will be responsible for making sure that the results live up to the client’s expectations. If a problem occurs, they will have to find a solution.
Are you meeting architects for the first time? Here are a few aspects that you should prepare in advance so that the meeting will be more efficient and fruitful.
1. Questions to ask
During the first meeting, you will get the chance to ask a lot of questions to get to know the way the architect/technologist works. Prepare questions about their past experience, their skills and their vision of the project that you are presenting.
2. A preliminary plan
Starting with a basic plan can be very useful to illustrate and describe your expectations. You can do it using software, or on paper. It is not necessary for you to fill out the details but at least start out with the broad lines.
3. An idea of the budget
It is very difficult to evaluate the price of an architectural project by oneself, unless we have the required knowledge to do so. Nevertheless, you should be able to know how much money you have available to complete the project.
4. A few sources of inspiration
Do not hesitate to bring a small collection of images that inspire you, whether it be examples of architecture, textures or colours that you like.
5. Information about interesting materials
Would you like the architect to integrate certain materials in the projects (e.g. eco-friendly materials)? Talk about it to learn their view, as well as the project’s feasibility.
6. Necessary documents
In some situations, it will be useful to present documents to support your procedure. For example, if you bought a land, you could present the deed of sale.
7. An idea of the desired deadline
Once again, it is very difficult to evaluate the duration of a project without having access to all the information. However, it is possible that you have certain constraints that need to be followed. Be clear about these and try to see if the timeframe is realistic.
8. Specifications about the project
Is the architect going to work on the finishing touches? Will the project have more than one floor? Be as specific as possible.
Finally, it is strongly recommended that you meet at least 3 architectural firms to compare offers and see which one best suits you.
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