To be or not to be an Architect!

Updated on January 4, 2022 in Debates, Ideas and Discussion

Image Source and Copyright : Andrews McMeel Publishing

Hello, I have been reading your blog for quite sometime now, and your recent entry- Architecture – A Glimpse Into My Past, described about some similarity in both of our situation. It is exactly what I have to face at this moment, kept crying wishing my mother understands me, but she would not; it’s a miracle if she will.

Anyway, after SPM (secondary school) my mother (my parents are both architects) asked me, what I want to do after school, and I told her I wanted to be an artist (art is my passion since I was a kid), I wanted to take up Art and Design, she said, Artists has no future, art is talent, and one need not spent years studying art, architecture on the other hand promise you a bright future. Well, architecture is part of art anyway; therefore I spend 4 years in Mara University, Malaysia.

Having obtained my part 2, I worked for my parents (obviously, that’s what they wanted all along). During that period, I told both my parents, Architecture is boring, I wanted to do graphic design all along, and again they told me off by justifying that by studying architecture, I can venture in to graphic design.

As a result of that argument, I’ve decided to avoid them by studying in Adelaide University, Australia. I am still pursuing architecture, (what choice do I have when they are the one paying for my school fees?). I’m going for 2008 intake, and I’ve decided to stay in Australia for good.

Yesterday night, I told my mother I don’t enjoy doing all these technical drawings, the colorful lines overlapping each other is so boring, such a headache. The conversation turns out ugly and it really pissed my mother off, she’s really mad with me, what hurts me the most is the heated conversation between us, she said if I hate doing all the technical drawings then why in the world did I take up architecture in the first place? What? Is it entirely my fault? What’s up with my parents anyway? This is what they wanted, and when things turned out badly, they decided to turn the table. WEIRD!

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Well, I understand what most parents want for their children, bright future and all, please understand what most children wants in the first place, forcing is not a good answer.

Sharing my opinion with my friends doesn’t smooth things up, they insist that I’m lucky to have parents as architects.

Calvin says:

Well, sometimes architecture can be fun, e.g. reading my blog. :) I can’t say for sure all parents think alike in that manner, probably it is the Asian mentality, get a good education and you are rich, either a doctor, architect, engineer, accountant or lawyer. Always the professional courses.

Education is never about knowledge, it is always about money money and money, which pretty much explain why Asians countries lack behind in the world of science and technology (Japan is an Innovative nation, not creative, most scientific break through and discovery are by the westerners, but they are catching up pretty fast). The Asian education system is horrible, it is all about memorizing, thinking aloud is illegal – reason? rude, disrespectful…. screw the Asian culture.

Participate in my latest poll – “To be or not to be!”

Assume that you are given this golden opportunity to start everything from scratch, for example, right after high school, would you take up architecture or some other course? If it is not architecture, what is secondary preference?

My answer to that question is – I’ll end up as a web designer, probably web programmer, then again graphic design sounds fun. No point regretting right? When the going gets tough, the tough gets going.

“I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.” -Bill Cosby

The author is not a CAD expert nor a web genius. Just another guy spending too much time online. The tutorials featured here are meant for basic level understanding.


  1. I would say in the first place, a child always has the choice in their hand. No one can force you to do anything you don’t like. And since you are the one who succumb to your parent’s pressure in taking architecture, please do not blame anyone but yourself for this choice taken.

    In regards to you regretting now, you can either quit and find your own way using your own means if you are determined enough.

    If not, I guess you just have to start to learn to appreciate and ultimately love architecture.

    It’s as simple as that.

  2. I would suggest the guest blogger to consider it carefully before enrolling in the architecture course again in 2008. If you really hate it, why do you want to do it again?

    You are an adult now who can think for yourself. Be an adult and discuss your future path in a mature manner with your parents. If they not willing to financially support you for any other course that you prefer, I guess you really have to be independent and start carving out your life path yourself, and not keep depending on your parents.

  3. your comment on asian culture grabs my attention. i very much agree that asian countries lack behind in creativity and coming up with anything new. though japan and korea may be surging ahead in the technological front, most everything is an imitation of truly new and innovation western ideas. i wonder why this is. i have had a theory for many years now that this is due to the nature of america. being an architecture student in america, i feel like the ideals of u.s. culture and “land of the free” kind of idealogy open its people up to think freely and ultimately more openly creative. i compare this to my homeland of korea where everything is so rigid and constrained that people don’t have the room to think openly, creatively, and in truly new ways. sure, the education system is always trailing in the u.s. and what not, but the truth is, some of the most innovative, smart, technologically savvy ideas come out of this country… and australia… =)

  4. Follow your dream. p.s. I studied architecture at Curtin, in Western Australia, worked as an architect in Austria, did an M Arch (res) at Adelaide U, then taught in Australia, Austria and UK, lectured in Gothenburg, Banff, now I’m training architecture teachers Mongolia – what will I do next?

  5. Well, I’ve been through all that parent stuff–did it like they wanted me to, but job security/status is never enough. Eventually you’ll decide what you really want to do, people change careers now at least three times in their life. I’m on my third (and final) career. One thing about architecture, or any of those other big-ticket items, is that you can often find a niche you really like that doesn’t have anything to do with drawing fiddly lines everyday. (What fiddly lines anyway? I thought this was an AutoCAD blog?) An instructor of mine is an architect but all he’s ever done from the day he graduated is make models. Another manages the huge AutoCAD corral, another is a free-lance redliner, another only deals with construction crews, and another has gone on to creating websites and photo shoots for architectural firms because she understands what they are and how they need to present themselves…. Others teach, consult, etc.

    When you have one degree under your belt, other people take you more seriously. Especially when you want to do more than one professional thing. Then they view you as someone who is energized and curious enough to pursue more than one thing in life. If you have no degree, they view you as a professional student who can’t make up his mind, can’t stick to something, and can’t finish anything.

    Of course, you could open your own office immediately, and hire others to take your hand-drawn concepts and put them into all those boring drawings for you. It’s just that you have to be able to read what they’ve done…. :-D

  6. “the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation”.

    I think that to stay studying/working on a subject you don’t like is like dying a slow death. Particularly if you have a long way to go. I could tell you that you are in charge of your own life, and that you could switch courses and perhaps be happier for it. But then again, you might say it’s easy for us to say because we’re not in the same situation.

    Well, I was in the same predicament. I graduated with a landscape degree and felt that I was not going to get ahead simply by being in that field. So I left. And went through many humiliating episodes of job hunting, although I succeeded in getting almost every job I applied for.

    Four years on, I’m still reinventing myself. I’m at the top of my field, and I’m looking forward to quitting what I built over the years and start all over again doing what I ultimately love: illustrations.

    I say this with conviction, because no matter how high your income is, or how tall your buildings will be, you’ll feel a sense of loss inside because you tossed aside your heart for a so-called filial piety that your parents won’t understand anyway.

    The point is, you are responsible for yourself. People usually fear of going into the darkness; the darkness itself is not one that strikes fear into the heart of men.

    What have you got to lose? A future? An office space? Your soul? Your happiness?

  7. The fact that you spent so many years studying architecture means that something pulled you in this domain, you just don’t know what is this element. If you wouldn’t like at all architecture, you would have quitted her years ago.

  8. Well, I’m from Portugal and I always wanted to choose architecture as my field of study. But as I was progressing in my studies I felt that this wasn’t enough. If I was in highschool again, I wouldn’t choose arch! It’s too much work, and with this recession the jobs are lacking and are underpaid. But then again, my 2nd passion would be civil engineering.. But I also like computer engineering, economics.. Which are fields that are always in demand! I guess I choose architecture because it is a broad subject and could involve all of these, or so I thought. What I mean is that I understand you, but I really wish I had architecture parents like you =)

  9. Hey, I totally understand you. I am in my 3rd year in architecture school. I think i have some talent, i had success in my studies…but I walk on the streets looking at buildings and asking myself: ” Am I really doing this?” It’s like it’s not my passion…I too went to architecture because I have talent in drawing and composition and stuff and I didn’t want to starve. So…these three years I have studied architecture with my parents money. ( who fortunately aren’t architects..I’m backing you up on this) And I really feel guilty that I spend all that money and now I’m thinking of giving up. And it’s hard after three years to start up again…choosing again a career. I would love psychology or painting or studying foreign languages. But…who knows.

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