What is an architect? What do they do? Believe it or not, few people truly know what an architect is other than a professional that designs buildings and "makes them pretty". Even fewer people, other than those closely associated with architects professionally or personally, understand the rigorous schedule and endless hours committed to creating something beautiful yet structurally sound, functional, and yes here comes the buzz word...sustainable. I won't delve too much into these words other than to say that all are integrally connected and are required to make a building not just good, but great! To combine form and function is the key process and aspect of architecture that few grasp except when you experience it. To be inside a building and to feel a sense of awe coupled with clarity is not on accident, it is completely intentional and is the handiwork of a professional that considers every detail down to the finish on the wall and the hardware on the cabinets.
Don't let me mislead you either as there are several additional Architecture and Engineering (A/E) professionals that form the team that support the architect during design and construction. Many props to Engineers (too many types to name), Interior Designers, Landscape Architects, Lighting Consultants, Acoustical Consultants, IT Consultants, Audio Video Consultants...etc. etc. Their role in form and function is equally important but it is the architect that pulls the team together and manages the team to insure all components are coordinated, on schedule, and within budget. And of course eventually constructed as intended per the design. A tall order for any project....big or small. Architects do so much more than just "make something pretty"....they dedicate their lives and sacrifice endless hours and often family time to embrace a concept initially in their imagination and make it reality.
Take a good look around...whether it be the renovation next door, the new residential tower around the corner, the new commercial building on your way to work, or the new high rise downtown...an architect is and always will be at work. Trying best they can to make our ever changing landscape....beautiful, functional, and sustainable. Have you hugged an architect lately?