New architects rely on software; lack basic skills

Students of architecture and young architects may be too reliant on software, often ignoring non-technological concepts, say industry professionals.

Eng. Rashad Bukhash, director of the Architectural Heritage Department, Dubai Municipality said in an interview with Middle East Architect, that architects need to know basic information such as direction of the winds and the trajectory of the sun.

He pointed out that masons and architects from years ago used to memorise these patterns to use in their craft.

“This [knowledge] is very important. Nowadays if you ask architects, ‘Where is north?’ they don’t know,” he said.

Robert Reid, assistant professor, College of Architecture, Art and Design (CAAD), American University of Sharjah (AUS), said he agreed to a certain extent.

“Many students have become so reliant on software and digital tools, they lack the basic of sketching, scale and proportion, let alone having an innate awareness of their surrounds and context.”

Reid said architecture is very often more about the form of the building, than the use and the context.

“Unfortunately in this competitive global marketplace with high levels of unemployment, those students and professionals with the increasingly rare holistic skill- sets will be those who are sought-after and working,” he concluded.