Dear Future Architects

This month's Architalks theme is "Dear Future Architects." 

Dear Future Architects,

May I begin this letter by saying that I am not yet a licensed Architect when I write you this letter. What in the world...? That's right, the process of becoming an Architect is torture. At the time that I write this, the average time it takes an architecture school graduate to get their license is... ridiculously long. Like just as long, if not longer than how long it takes people graduating high school to become a doctor. Even after one graduates from an accredited architecture program, you still need 3 years of internships and take 7 (previously 9, soon to be 5) exams. In California, you need to take a state exam after that! Sorry for the old man speak, I know this process is evolving for the better, but I needed to get that out of my system.

Let's try again...

Dear Future Architects,

This letter is to those will be Architects in the future. The younger crowd who might have interest in going to architecture school or those are currently in school. Maybe some that are beginning to have to look at their options as it gets close to graduation. 

Even in current day, whenever I meet an architecture student, I hope to inspire them and give them positive energy to pursue greatness. Optimism is imperative in order to become a successful Architect. Thinking back on my short career and life, if I have one piece of advice, it's to EXPLORE the world around you! I would imagine most Bachelor of Architecture programs are structured similarly, but Cal Poly's program focuses 4th year around studying abroad or doing internship programs. I happened to be in a financial pickle and chose to stick in the same country or state for that matter, and had an amazing experience going through the San Francisco Urban Design Internship Program. We had typical design studio, but we also were partnered up with a San Francisco firm, and we also had night classes at the Planning Department. While for me it wasn't, for many, it was our first experience in a professional work setting, getting to work on projects that would not die at the end of the quarter, but instead, actually get physically built!

Upon graduation, I had the opportunity to return to SF to work for another firm, but ultimately decided to EXPLORE my home country of Korea. Having grown up in the states, I was very curious to know what the state of the profession was like in my mother country. It was a pretty bold move then, that actually worked out in my favor on many levels, also considering the economy gave out in the states. It didn't trickle down into Korea until by the time I knew I had to come back to the U.S. of A. 

Of course, just about that time, I was enjoying my travels so much that I began to regret not being able to have gone to study abroad in Europe or the East Coast while in school. I asked around my networks and found out I had a friend in Paris whose firm needed some extra help putting together a huge exhibition model. 

After Paris, a bunch of other events in my life allowed me to live in Seoul once more, before going to New York, before circling back around to my hometown of Palo Alto. I treasure my travels so much and looking back, wish I could have traveled even more. 

So go explore! Travel! Make use of the skills you've learned in school – sketch, photograph, make, touch, ARCHITECT.

Be SURE to check out the other blogs and blog posts on this very same topic below:

Enoch Sears - Business of Architecture (@businessofarch)
Dear Future Architects: A Confession

Bob Borson - Life of An Architect (@bobborson)

Marica McKeel - Studio MM (@ArchitectMM)
Dear Future Architects: 4 Perspectives

Lee Calisti, AIA - Think Architect (@LeeCalisti)
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Evan Troxel - Archispeak Podcast / TRXL (@etroxel)
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Lora Teagarden - L² Design, LLC (@L2DesignLLC)
Dear Future Architects: 3 letters

Cormac Phalen - Cormac Phalen (@archy_type)
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Jeremiah Russell, AIA - ROGUE Architecture (@rogue_architect)
future architects: #architalks

Jes Stafford - MODwelling (@modarchitect)
Dear Future Architect, Listen Here

Eric T. Faulkner - Rock Talk (@wishingrockhome)
Dear Future Architect -- Remember Then

Michele Grace Hottel - Michele Grace Hottel, Architect (@mghottel)
"Dear Future Architects,"

Meghana Joshi - IRA Consultants, LLC (@MeghanaIRA)
Dear Future Architects..

Amy Kalar - ArchiMom (@AmyKalar)
Dear Future Young Architects... Please Quit Screwing Around!?!!

Stephen Ramos - BUILDINGS ARE COOL (@sramos_BAC)
Dear Future Architects: Don't makes these 4 Mistakes

brady ernst - Soapbox Architect (@bradyernstAIA)
Dear Boy in the Plastic Bubble,

Brian Paletz - The Emerging Architect (@bpaletz)
Dear Future Architects

Michael LaValley - Evolving Architect (@archivalley)
Dear Future Architects, Be Authentic

Emily Grandstaff-Rice - Emily Grandstaff-Rice FAIA (@egrfaia)
Dear Future Architects...

Anthony Richardson - That Architecture Student (@anth_rich)
Dear Future Anthony

Drew Paul Bell - Drew Paul Bell (@DrewPaulBell)
Dear Future Architects, Do Your Thing

Greg Croft - Sage Leaf Group (@croft_gregory)
Dear Future Architect,

Jeffrey A Pelletier - Board & Vellum (@boardandvellum)
Dear Future Architects, Don't Forget to Treat Your Clients with Respect

Kyu Young Kim - Palo Alto Design Studio (@sokokyu)
Dear Future Architects...

Jared W. Smith - Architect OWL (@ArchitectOWL)
Dear Future Architects...

Rusty Long - Rusty Long, Architect (@rustylong)
Dear future architects, never lose your optimism

Keith Palma - Architect's Trace (@cogitatedesign)
Dear future architects, are you credible?

Keith Palma - Architect's Trace (@cogitatedesign)
Dear future architects, are you credible?

Adam Denais - Defragging Architecture (@DefragArch)
Dear Future Architect, a Letter to My Younger Self

Jim Mehaffey - Yeoman Architect (@jamesmehaffey)
Dear Future Architects...

Ken Saginario - Twelfth Street Studio ()
Dear Future Architects...