If you’ve always had a deep admiration for beautiful buildings, designed places and how the lines in your home kitchen make beautiful shapes with the walls then you might just be an architect at heart. If you feel that this could be your calling then you won’t find anyone more passionate or more real than Malak Rashad to tell answer the questions buzzing around in your head right now.

What Do You Need to Study to Become an Architect?

You’ll need to attend college to study Architecture. However, you learn just as much working at an architecture office, so make sure that after graduating you set time for that. Onsite learning is extremely beneficial and needed if you want to be an excellent architect.

What Makes a Good Portfolio, and How Do You Form It?

You need to understand that as much as your portfolio needs to be diverse, it also needs to have character. I don’t believe it’s right to add a bit of every style of architecture on your portfolio just so you’re diverse. You need to show your client your own style, your niche and what you’re most amazing at creating. That way people will go to you for that specific niche.
The second thing your portfolio needs is to have real images of work you’ve actually done. Yeah, 3D visualizations are great but your client needs to see what you’ll actually be able to make for them not what you could make. So, the majority of your portfolio needs to be real images, no matter how small you think it is, it will benefit you and your client’s decision.

What Do You Need to Know When Working On-Site?

The first thing you need to know is the layers of work and what needs to be executed before what. When constructing a house for instance you need to know when do you place the flooring so you don’t get the people responsible for that job only to find that they can’t do it as a previous job needs to be done first (like the foundation for instance). So you need to know quite well, the right sequence of what gets done before what.
The second thing you need to be aware of is the capabilities of the contractor you’re delegating the work to. Some clients want to work with a specific contractor they feel comfortable with. It’s your job to make sure your drawing is easily understood by the contractor you’re working with so he can do the job just as you need it.

How Do You Develop Your Own Aesthetic and Style?

You can’t develop your aesthetic or style, it comes out from within you whether you like it or not. That’s why the thing you need to know is where your talent lies. Hard work will get you places but working hard on something that you’re talented in will get you even further. So make sure whatever you choose to work on it’s something that you’re talented in.
Another thing I’d like to point out is that most of us are interested in the things we’re talented in, so you should pursue the things that you truly are interested in. Don’t pursue something just because you feel like it looks good when someone else is doing it, choose the things that look good on you, that make you feel good. That’s how your inner style and aesthetic will emerge from within you with no actual effort on your part.