Being a part of a predominantly visual profession, architects are encouraged to focus heavily on drawing, modeling, and designing. But that doesn’t mean that they are required to have these only skills at their disposal.
All too often writing, as a skill, is ignored by many architecture students and professionals, simply because they don’t understand the relevance of the skill in their profession.
But that’s where they are mistaken. Writing is an essential skill, and ensuring that someone has a good command of language could be an excellent perk in architecture. If used correctly, it can even be another tool in your arsenal to climb up the career ladder in the field.
Featured Image via Nathan Dumlao
It’s How You Document Your Projects
Putting aside the models, renders and graphics, writing is how an architect actually communicates the essential details of any project with their clients and colleagues.
This might sound like a weak argument, but there is a level of validation to it.
Writing clear and concise documentation not only makes it easier for clients and superiors to read through it, but also gives them the impression that you’re knowledgeable and thorough with your work.
Materials, design techniques, construction methods, tests to be done, and other details – all of these things are elements that cannot be shown, or rather represented visually. Empowering yourself with solid writing skills ensures that your designs are all the more successful and less prone to coming back for doubts or reworking.
Writing isn’t a superficial skill. It can help you make clear strides in your career as you move up the ladder.
Your Documentation Aids Your Designs
Although your designs are primarily visual in nature, there is some writing that you’ll have to do to ensure that your clients, customers, colleagues, and anyone else that looks at the design understands the other elements that they need to do.
There are details in design that cannot be represented visually. They require written words to be adequately explained, and that is where your writing skills will shine.
Without the necessary skills to explain them poignantly and in a concise manner, even the best of designs can fall short to clients. But when you explain these techniques and elements to clients using simple written language, it becomes a lot easier for them to understand you, and for you to put your point across.
Your Communication Skill Depends On Your Writing
Your clients, teammates, and superiors will be using emails and messages as a primary method of communication during a project.
Although it might seem trivial at first, having a proper command of the language when you’re sending out emails and messages can elevate your position amongst them.
Using internet slang and shorthand can be explained as a method to simplify communication. But it does have the unfortunate side effect of making you look as if you have lesser command of the language.
That’s why, whether you’re writing an essay or a text to someone, it is important to remember, to keep your writing uniform and grammatically sound.
I’ve been talking about the importance of communication skills here, but this isn’t just limited to paper and emails. By learning proper writing, you can also teach yourself how to speak more eloquently and fluently.
In meetings and presentations, that’s a tremendous skill to have in order to convince others of your point.
There Is A Written Aspect To Your Course Too
When you’re applying to a university for an advanced course, you should know that some will require a written test.
Although these tests may seem simple enough at times, the quality of your writing will make a big difference when the examiner is scoring your paper.
Between the interview, portfolio, and written test, there isn’t any priority for a specific part. All of them carry equal weightage when it comes to playing a role in your admission process. So, it does make sense to have your writing skills in order. It could also help you in getting into the university of your choice.
It Is Also How You Make A Good Design, Better
I think it’s safe to say that no one can make a successful design all alone. It often is a byproduct of dozens, if not hundreds of hours of collaboration and teamwork.
This is where communication factors into the process. Proper writing, thorough documentation, and detailed written instructions and guidelines can provide the whole team with a consistent vision on a project that cannot be obtained just by speaking to one another, or showing them a rough draft of a model that you’ve made.
Oftentimes, groundbreaking and revolutionary designs were never the product of a single person, even if the idea came from one of them. Those designs might have had the input of other architects, engineers, and team members so that it is visually and structurally sound.
If your dream is to design a building that will one day be the crowning jewel of your portfolio, then it makes sense to brush up on your writing skills and keep them top notch.
But then, one important question arises, how can you do that?
How Do You Improve Your Writing?
It’s easy to tell someone that they need to improve their writing instead of essay writing service help. But that’s about as helpful as throwing a child into a pool and telling them to swim.
To improve your proficiency in writing, there are quite a few steps that you’ll need to take. This isn’t just about a matter of practice, but learning the nuances and subtleties of the language that you’re expected to communicate in.
Read As Much As You Can
This isn’t limited to your textbooks and research papers. There is a whole world of reading material out there, and all of them are valuable resources to learn from.
The exercise of reading shows you how other people use the language to construct and deliver the ideas that are in their minds. With this, you start to learn how proper sentences are constructed, how voices can change, and how to effectively deliver an idea from your mind onto the paper.
If you’re not much of a reader, then it’s time you brush up on the habit. Find a friend who reads a lot, and ask them for a few suggestions based on what you like.
Once you finish that, try and find similar books and resources to read more.
Ideally, you would want to turn this into a constant habit. Learning to improve your writing isn’t an end goal. It’s a continuous process that will take time. But it’s worth the time and effort you put in.
Set Aside Some Quiet Time For Yourself
Another thing that you can do is to set some quiet time aside for you. A time where you aren’t at the drafting table, where you aren’t on the phone, or watching television, Instead, do something else entirely, like practicing to listen and speaking out your ideas to yourself.
See if you can find any flaws in your writing. Note them down and the next time you’re putting the pen on paper (or in the modern case, fingers to the keyboard), try and avoid those habits.
Setting aside some time for yourself might seem pointless, but it’s far from that. By doing this, you’re giving your brain some time to think about the ideas that you have to write, and that provides a clearer picture of what you’ll eventually put on paper.
Dedicate Time For Practice
This is where you’ll be writing. This is where you’ll need to commit, and produce something that you can genuinely quantify to yourself.
One idea for this is to start a blog. Even if it doesn’t amount to a good readership, that’s alright. Start something that forces you to keep producing content on a regular basis. This also gives you the space to practice your skills.
If you’re writing a blog on architecture, over time, you may even gain enough readership with it. And this could become a valuable addition to your resume. This way, you’re still helping your career directly.
Receive Feedback, And Listen To It
Share your blog with the people you know. Ask them for constructive feedback, and see where you can stand to improve.
Feedback is important for one primary reason. You’re asking for different perspectives on your writing. There are always some subconscious biases that will prevent you from seeing some of your shortcomings, and this helps to get other people involved and see if they can help you improve.
Keep It Simple
All too often, people make the mistake of believing that great writers are the ones that use sophisticated vocabulary and long sentences. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
Having an extensive vocabulary is good, but nothing comes of it when the reader doesn’t understand what you’re trying to convey.
Also, no one likes having to read extremely long sentences where a short one would do just fine.
When you’re writing, keep everything as simple as possible. Your language can still be excellent regardless of whether or not you’re using complex vocabulary or long sentences.
Focusing on writing isn’t just a way to make your emails look more professional, it’s a solid skill that can advance your career in architecture more than most people can realize. Command over language ensures that you’re seen as an authority, and not a follower or someone who doesn’t know what they’re talking about.
So, take the necessary steps to improve your writing, and you’ll find a lot of doors will open for you.