T Nation

Switching Major to Architectural Design

Well…its been a while since I posted anything on T-Nation because of work and school…which is the reason for this thread…I’ve been studying Criminal Justice for a little bit…and after some “soul searching”…I have decided to switch to Computer Aided Design…and MAYBE specializing in Architectural Design.

I realize that I’m not getting any younger and going to school,family life, and working really pushes getting a Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice further out. I feel I am risking not being able to do what I intended with a criminal justice degree…considering the cutoff ages for most departments and agencies.

Then I had an “religious” epiphany of sorts…realizing the skills and talents that I was blessed with and why I do not use them. I am very artistic…creative. I’ve always excelled at drawing/sketching anything from abstract to aircraft carriers…since I was maybe 6 yrs old…even earlier from what is told by my parents.

God(not to offend anyones religious/scientific beliefs) gave me these artistic…technical gifts for a reason…and maybe I have struggled being satisfied in my career choices because I am fighting against myself. As in…I am not using what are potentially my biggest attributes and not living up to my potential.

I know some of you will ask…well “why are you just now realizing this shit?” I even ask myself the same question. The power of influence is a motherfucker when you’re young. When you’re told by the majority in your life that your talents are cool and all for a hobby…but you can’t make a career out of it…at some point you will believe them.

Therefore,having a career in art/drawing that I could support a family with…and maybe have fun doing seemed very unrealistic to me until now…I will begin my CAD classes this fall…I have most of my general basics done…save a few math classes specifically for surveying,engineering. But I will be a full time student now…working part-time(thanks to the wife making bank in her career).

As mentioned,I have a liking for Architecture…but also for Automotive design…damn,there are so many areas that I could potentially specialize in…anyways enough bullshit about me…Does anyone here study…or already have a career in CAD-related professions??

By all means, go for it - there is nothing worse than wasted talent, so follow your God-given gifts where they take you. No doubt you will do very well.

I have zero experience in this area - but I do like to see people fulfill their potential when they realize they have a wealth of ability they aren’t taking advantage of.

I’ve always admired architects as a profession - in many ways, equal parts artist and engineer. Have a blast.

[quote]thunderbolt23 wrote:
By all means, go for it - there is nothing worse than wasted talent, so follow your God-given gifts where they take you. No doubt you will do very well.

I have zero experience in this area - but I do like to see people fulfill their potential when they realize they have a wealth of ability they aren’t taking advantage of.

I’ve always admired architects as a profession - in many ways, equal parts artist and engineer. Have a blast.[/quote]

Appreciate that,Tbolt. I plan on having a blast…I’m enthusiastic about it…I’ve been sketching a little past few days…and was like “Damn,I still got it.” Just a little rusty…but I’ll be fine.

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Good luck with the change. Actually designing/building things is good for the soul. Much better than working with the dregs of society. You don’t get to kick as much ass though…

I was going to do the Architectural route once…

Go for it.

Realize it’s a tough road to be a recognized and busy Architect. Also, given a TOUGH housing economy and that new building is way down, you better hope for a turn around in a few years.

The same happened to me, bad market in the early 90’s for a few years so I set my sights on a Business degree as that gave me the most flexibility…I ended up in Information Technology Sales and Consulting.

But, sometimes I wish I’d have stayed in Architecture. I studied and worked in the field for a few years too.

Big, I’m a drafter (deal w/ arch., civil eng., and surveying) and do enjoy it. When I was taking classes, the 3D stuff we did was phenomenal. Though there’s some of that with the civil eng. and surveying, there are times I wish I was designing for the automotive industry. Some of the 3D renderings they do are mind boggling.

Anyways, I don’t think you’ll deal w/ 3D too much with the architectural designing. The downside to being “just a drafter” is that I’ll always need an architect or engineer’s stamp for plans to get approved. Not a big deal if you’re friends with one or have some kind of working relationship with one and throw a couple hundred his/her way.

Trust me, through repetition and with the software thats out there, I can pretty much do whatever any architect or engineer can do. One thing I should mention is that I recently developed floaters (spots, threadlike strands in one’s vision) and found in my case it is most likely due to sitting in front of a computer screen 8-10 hours a day.

Now, there “might” be some other mitigating circumstances in my case, but the info i’m gathering so far indicates it’s the computer screen. You DO NOT want to have these. They are very annoying and can be very depressing. A sunset or sunrise will never look as good as they used to for me. So, if these are the result of staring at a screen all day, i’m gonna have to find another line of work.

Anyways, if there’s anything else I could recommend, it would be to work in a small office / firm. The money won’t be as good, but like any big firm, you’ll get lost in the shuffle and the stress isn’t worth it.

My 2 cents.

Do it! not nearly as depressing as seeing someone walk because you couldnt find a certain piece of evidence.

I loved taking this in highschool, it was too easy for me though… Obviously I’m not an architectural genius, like the guys over in India, but it was easy enough

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
Good luck with the change. Actually designing/building things is good for the soul. Much better than working with the dregs of society. You don’t get to kick as much ass though…[/quote]

I agree…working with the dregs of society previously(prisons,etc.) I think has finally burnt me out…I think somehow I just “settled” for Criminal Justice because it was the easy thing to do considering my career at the time. But don’t think I won’t shove a compass up an architect’s ass if needed.

[quote]poophead wrote:
Big, I’m a drafter (deal w/ arch., civil eng., and surveying) and do enjoy it. When I was taking classes, the 3D stuff we did was phenomenal. Though there’s some of that with the civil eng. and surveying, there are times I wish I was designing for the automotive industry. Some of the 3D renderings they do are mind boggling.

Anyways, I don’t think you’ll deal w/ 3D too much with the architectural designing. The downside to being “just a drafter” is that I’ll always need an architect or engineer’s stamp for plans to get approved. Not a big deal if you’re friends with one or have some kind of working relationship with one and throw a couple hundred his/her way.

Trust me, through repetition and with the software thats out there, I can pretty much do whatever any architect or engineer can do. One thing I should mention is that I recently developed floaters (spots, threadlike strands in one’s vision) and found in my case it is most likely due to sitting in front of a computer screen 8-10 hours a day.

Now, there “might” be some other mitigating circumstances in my case, but the info i’m gathering so far indicates it’s the computer screen. You DO NOT want to have these. They are very annoying and can be very depressing. A sunset or sunrise will never look as good as they used to for me. So, if these are the result of staring at a screen all day, i’m gonna have to find another line of work.

Anyways, if there’s anything else I could recommend, it would be to work in a small office / firm. The money won’t be as good, but like any big firm, you’ll get lost in the shuffle and the stress isn’t worth it.

My 2 cents.
[/quote]

Yeah…i had taken notice of “role” of just being a drafter as compared to being the architect designer. I too have an liking to automotive/motorcycle design. Man,there is so much that CAD-related fields have to offer…thats enticing enough. As long as I can use more of my artistic,creative abilities…any one field of specialization will be awesome in my opinion.

Yeah, I realized after I posted that you were probably aiming higher than being just a drafter. That’s definitely the way to go. I just can’t fathom going to school for possibly another 4-6 years (I’m 37). And with the contacts and amount of side work I do, I don’t see the need. But good for you. Again, its an awesome field. Good luck to you.