Modern building against sky.

What makes a good architect or architecture?

Architecture is much more than just designing buildings and structures. It is an art that requires a unique set of skills to create timeless structures that inspire and leave a lasting impression. 

But what really separates good architects from great architects? The answer lies not in creativity but in some gift that they received from God or better equipment. It’s in their approach and attitude towards their work.

Good architects can come up with functional designs that meet the client’s requirements. However, great architects go above and beyond to create designs that are innovative, sustainable, and visually appealing. They possess a creative flair that enables them to think outside the box and incorporate elements that add value to the project.

These “great” architects are in high demand, and clients are searching for them for their own projects. Because a top-notch architect can transform your project. Therefore, advertising is only helpful if your customers are happy; not only will they buy from you again, but they will also bring in new customers.

Creativity and Innovation

Architects view challenges as opportunities to showcase their ingenuity. Showing off your creativity does not require massive finances and expensive materials. If anything, it’s the inverse: when resources are scarce, and you have to get creative with what you have, you really get to show off your innovative side.

Architects should start by searching for materials, discussing their properties with vendors, understanding the fundamentals, and then testing how the materials can enhance both the look and function of their designs. 

Sustainability and unique design are two critical aspects of modern architecture, making it environmentally friendly and energy-efficient. Every aspect of the design has to be practical; as architect Lou Kahn once famously said, “an artist can make a cart with square wheels, but an architect can’t.”

Refrain from being scared to view the constraints imposed by the budget and other factors as significant obstacles. Please take advantage of them by learning all you need to know to plan and carry out your project perfectly.

Execution might also face some deviations from the final design if you are incorporating the budget and labour technique limitations into perspective. It’s where an architect has to step ahead and show the way forward.

Attention to detail

A hands-on approach from the beginning stages of a project, relying on meticulous attention to detail to ensure the end result meets the highest standards of excellence. Architects should gain an innate ability to assess the finer nuances of a project, including technical specifications, design elements, and budget considerations. 

Harmony between aesthetics and practicality is the hallmark of a good architect. Designs should be visually appealing while serving their intended purpose efficiently. Striking this equilibrium requires a nuanced understanding of both artistic and functional elements.

Apart from meticulous planning and execution, building code compliance is another crucial aspect of an architect’s work. A thorough understanding of the legal requirements surrounding construction, including zoning laws and building codes, helps the flow of the project a lot.

Effective Communication

This is the most overlooked thing that architects overlook. It is the most important, if not the one, skill that helps architects get their vision across to the other side. As clients need to approve the project before they approve it, they need to understand what the architect has proposed, and if the architect cannot convince or help the client understand their vision, the project gets shelved.

Architect conveying his ideas to the client

Since we all know that not every building has the potential to be a masterpiece, it’s fair to say that not all of my work as an architect is particularly efficient in its design. Due to budget limits, we are unable to bring those vivid and pricey materials for some projects despite their practical function. Clients and stakeholders have been able to make better judgments because of my work.

Not merely concerned with aesthetics, architecture profoundly influences functionality, defining the character of a space. A skilled architect, therefore, must strike a delicate balance between form and function.

Indeed, good communication is essential for effective teamwork, collaboration, and project management.

Technical Proficiency

Knowledge of construction technology and tools helps architects take it up a notch. Theoretical brilliance must translate into practical solutions. Architects must balance creativity with pragmatism, ensuring that designs are viable and sustainable.

Apart from keeping up with the trends, a great architect boasts expertise in Building Information Modelling or BIM. BIM is the process of creating and managing digital representations of the physical and functional characteristics of a building. 

It enables architects to visualize the construction of a building before it is even built. This helps to identify and rectify construction errors, saving time and reducing costs.

The mark of a good architect lies in the details. Precision in design, both in the micro and macro aspects, distinguishes exceptional architecture.

Project and Time Management

Architects understand the importance of breaking down projects into manageable tasks and delegating responsibilities to the right team members. This ensures that everyone is on the same page and working towards the same objective, resulting in a cohesive and streamlined workflow.

Architects have to keep track of project milestones to ensure that everyone stays on track and any potential issues are addressed promptly. This enables them to anticipate possible roadblocks, making it easier to pivot if necessary while staying within budget and scope.

Architect talking to client about details

A project that is executed with changes to the design or finishes to bring it under budget is more critical than an incomplete project. 

A ‘good’ architect ensures not only excellent design and technical expertise but also practical project and time management.


The architectural realm has challenges. A detailed example related to this input would be a scenario where an architectural firm is working on a high-end residential project with a strict budget and timeline. The architects closely monitor the progress of each phase, identify potential cost overruns or delays early on, and make necessary adjustments to the design or materials used to stay within budget. By effectively managing the project milestones, they are able to successfully deliver a completed project that meets the client’s expectations while staying within the agreed-upon constraints.

In conclusion, striking a balance between client expectations and creative freedom, managing project timelines, and navigating budget constraints are common hurdles architects face.

The glass is always half empty for good or great architects. There is always the idea that one can do more, improve things, or learn new things. Investing your emotions into a project is as essential as receiving criticism, as it is through this process that you can see meaningful changes.

Architecture is one of the most competitive professions. Architects need to evolve alongside the changing architectural landscape by embracing new methodologies and enthusiastically welcoming change.

Food for thought for Architects

An architect should also ponder whether the university makes an architect. Is it your degree that makes you an architect? If yes, then there shouldn’t be the likes of Frank Lloyd Wright. In a humorous twist, the American Institute of Architects bestowed upon him the title of “the greatest American architect of all time” in 1991, despite his lack of a formal architecture degree.

Architects like Le Corbusier, Buckminster Fuller, and Tadao Ando are notable figures in the architectural world, all without a formal architectural degree. Tadao Ando, a Pritzker Prize-winning Japanese architect, couldn’t afford a university education and spent years immersed in self-education, studying by reading books, going to night classes, and travelling to see structures both in Japan and abroad.

The point is that once a professional earns a degree in any area, they are no longer required to stop learning. Some professions, like medicine, need it. In contrast, others allow people significant leeway to learn as much as they want, whenever they want.

Congratulations on reaching your goal of becoming an architect. Let’s collaborate to strive for excellence and aspire to be exceptional architects. Continuous self-improvement is key to aspiring to be among the great architects in the field.