What Does an Architectural Designer Do?

Mark Wollacott

Architects who design buildings and urban landscapes, such as parks, are called architectural designers. They mix technical knowledge with the imagination and creativity required to hew new designs from blank sheets of paper. Many work within a niche and as part of a design studio, though a few are able to work independently.

Architectural designers develop the blueprints used by construction crews.
Architectural designers develop the blueprints used by construction crews.

In order to become an architectural designer, an individual must have studied an architectural design program at college or university. Many architecture programs also teach architectural design, but not all qualified architects become architectural designers. There are also individuals who perform similar design duties but do not hold the relevant qualifications. These individuals are not allowed to refer to themselves as architectural designers.

Architecture designers are involved in all stages of the design and building processes.
Architecture designers are involved in all stages of the design and building processes.

Once an architectural student has graduated from a degree program, he or she is expected to gain some professional experience. This experience will allow for eventual registration for the Architect Registration Examination (ARE). The job outlook for architectural designers is linked to the construction industry and the need for new buildings, ranging from small houses to grand public designs.

Architectural designers are involved in all stages of the design and building processes. They are linked to the project as long as the warranty is in effect, and may be called upon to advise after design is completed. The process begins with consultations and may involve negotiations.

The architectural designer or design team will consult with the client concerning their preferences and budget. This leads to preliminary concept design. The designer then consults with a landscape consultant to fully understand the locale where the new construction will be built. The designer then makes a series of design concepts and presents them to the client.

The architect will incorporate any client feedback into a basic design concept. The designer will work with engineers to develop a building that fits the image required while also carrying out its desired functions. Project costs must also be determined and agreed upon.

During construction the architectural designer is required to provide working drawings, schematics and input to the construction team. They also inspect the on-site construction. An architect is expected to ensure that construction teams are keeping to their designs. Once finished, the architect inspects the building regularly during its warranty.

An architectural designer may survey the site of a planned project during the design process.
An architectural designer may survey the site of a planned project during the design process.

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