Business North October 2022

58 | Seven reasons why architecture is a dream career Julie-Ann Ross: “There is huge support from starting out in your career to running a business.” ARCHITECTURE Architectural Designers New Zealand • It’s flexible When I started in the 90’s the industry was more regimented. You either went to a polytechnic and did a drafting course to be a draughtsperson or went to architecture school at university to obtain a degree then masters before being registered as an architect. Now it’s a lot more fluid with many polytechnics offering Bachelor of Architectural Studies degrees, which can be used to gain entry into a master’s course at university if you decide to go down that path. Alternatively, after obtaining their university degree many graduates head out into the workforce as an architectural designer. Both architectural designers and architects are highly regarded within the architectural industry and are sought after by clients. If you are more interested in the technical side, an architectural technician is a good option. In this role you’d work for an architectural office and do the documentation side of the building process. Flexibility also extends to how you do the job. It’s great if you want to have a family as you can work the hours that suit you. You can work from home or anywhere in the world. If you start a practice, your staff can also be based anywhere. • There are lots of different pathways and career choices If you wish to be an architect, there are several different registration pathways. The most relevant are Pathway 1 & 2. Pathway 1 is for architectural graduates who have both a recognised architectural degree and the required work experience. Pathway 2 is for New Zealand architectural designers and technicians who do not have a recognised architectural degree and/ or the required work experience as required for Pathway 1 and overseas architects, architectural designers and technicians who are not covered by other registration pathways. Other pathways cover offshore architects with New Zealand experience, former New Zealand registered architects, Australian registered and USA licensed architects. The best place to start to learn about becoming a Registered Architect is NZRAB, which administers the registration and regulation governing architects in New Zealand. You can also pursue a career as an architectural designer, which still provides the opportunity to work on technically challenging design projects, both residential and commercial. The MBIE Licensed Building Practitioners (LBPs) framework supports this and the level of complexity of work that can be undertaken. “The sky’s the limit when it comes to the types of projects you can work on. Commercial, residential, renovation, greenfield, large and small projects, overseas and local. No project is ever the same” As an architectural designer or architect you can choose to specialise in whatever area interests you like: BIM modelling, or working on certified design projects i.e. living building challenge, passive or Homestar projects etc. • Diverse Projects The sky’s the limit when it comes to the types of projects you can work on. Commercial, residential, renovation, greenfield, large and small projects, overseas and local. No project is ever the same. For example I have just worked on a crematorium and had to learn about how people operate in the space and how the cremation process works. • Meeting Different People Being an architectural designer or architect involves relationship building and finding out how people will use or live in a space. This is a part of the job I always find fascinating. Sometimes we even get called marriage counsellors as a couple designing a house might not always agree on everything so there is a lot of negotiation involved and working towards collaborative thought. • Lots of Support Initially Architectural Designers New Zealand (ADNZ) was for architectural designers, but its membership is now quite diverse and, along with architectural designers, it includes interns, technicians, students and architects. I honestly wouldn’t be where I am today without ADNZ. There is huge support from starting out in your career to running a business. We have retirees who are members and still share their knowledge with the younger designers. There are heaps of opportunities to collaborate and share information, which is especially helpful when starting out your career. It’s quite unique like that. We have a website forum for members to ask questions and talk to other members across the country so you can get help and advice. Our prestigious ADNZ Resene Architectural Design Awards receives a huge amount of recognition in the media and is great for building your business. Our sponsor partners provide a lot of information and support to members. We hold a range of events, both national and regionally, on topics such as legislative changes, business skills, products, and technical talk webinars. There is also a find a designer tool on our website that helps designers to promote their businesses and secure projects from clients. • Opportunities to Learn Architectural Designers New Zealand (ADNZ) also provides high quality learning opportunities because our industry is always changing. Twenty years ago, I would do one sheet of drawings for a project now I might do 150! We have a student membership, which gives people access to industry education, functions and events so it’s also great for networking and provides an opportunity to begin to engage with the industry. Student members have profiles on our website that are viewable to members so company owners can watch their journey and can offer them positions when they complete their studies. Professional Members of ADNZ, our highest standard of membership, are assessed and must meet strict criteria before being granted membership. They must adhere to a code of ethics, set of rules and maintain mandatory professional development standards. For a client looking for a designer, choosing a Professional Member of ADNZ to work with gives them the reassurance of working with designers that operate at a very high standard, which is what you ultimately want when embarking on a design project. • Start a Business Being an architectural designer or architect is a good pathway to start your own business if you want to. Architectural Designers New Zealand (ADNZ) provides support for this including business templates and business education. About ADNZ ADNZ is the professional body for architectural designers and architects in New Zealand. It represents a community of over 700 design professionals who share a passion for architecture and creating a better-built environment for all New Zealanders. ADNZ members demonstrate a commitment to professional excellence. For more information The building industry is busy and there is a recognised skills shortage in many areas including architecture. Julie-Ann Ross is an architectural designer and owner of design arc Limited, a Dunedin architectural firm and is the Board Chair of Architectural Designers New Zealand (ADNZ). Julie-Ann shares her top reasons why people should consider entering the industry.