Adrian Vigil – EVstudio Architect / Denver – My daily life as an Architect has me doing different things each and every day. I start my day as everyone working in an office. I open my email and Teams to find out what my day will look like. As new items pop up on the screen, someone will come into the office and say, “good morning and how are you doing?” My response leads me to say, “I haven’t finished reading my email yet”, you see that email sets the tone for most of the day. Critical items come first, then I prioritize what items need attention after that so those items get completed during the day. Usually, the projects that are in construction get the most attention. There are answers and directions that a contractor needs from an Architect to proceed with the work in accordance with the construction documents. Most items take time and research into the drawing sets to find the problem and then the solution. There are instances when I must coordinate with the Engineers, which adds additional time to find the correct answer. Some answers are easy to respond to while others can take a day or two get the correct solution.
While doing these tasks, there are other responsibilities that I must also attend to before I can start my task list. As a Licensed Architect I must delegate work for my team members that rely on me to get them going for the day and week. At the beginning of the week, we have an internal Studio meeting in which we all share what project we are all working on and any due dates we have for the week. We also go through each team member’s schedule, to see what they are working on and to possible rearrange their time to focus on items that need attention. For example, a client needs additional information on a particular project, or someone is awaiting final renderings of a project that were promised. This meeting is vital to our studio so we can stay focused and make the team/ studio as efficient and productive as possible for the week.
As one of the senior Architects in the office with experience in many different project types, I have other team members that consult with me for questions that they might have for their particular project. From building code related questions, or additional directions for a project, I devote time to mentoring other less experienced Interns to teach and give them direction on how find a solution to their problems. I try to take each question that is presented to me and make a learning experience for the interns. While giving them the correct answer is the easy way out, it’s better to make them think about the problem and have them help find a solution.
I have found that making a person think about the problem and finding a solution is a great learning experience. The research that is sometimes required to find the solution is very beneficial to them. We follow a set of rules (building codes) that we must abide by to make environments safe for people. Each time an Intern looks into the codes they usually have to scroll through several sections of the code to find the correct section that they must abide by. Going through each section makes an Intern read the section and try to understand what that section says and how to interpret it. Exposure to this level of understanding of the code is what makes an Architect, or soon to be an Architect, good at being an Architect. The more you understand the building code, the better you can be at designing and understanding what you can do with a building. We not only create special places for people, but we are required to make every space accessible to every person visiting a building. We cannot design a space that people cannot access. Those are the rules we follow, and we do our best to find accessible solutions to each and every design that we come up with.
As my day gets started and I have fulfilled my duties to help my teammates, I still must find time to get my daily takes completed. I have learned that I must schedule my day into sections that I can get my work done. No phone calls in the morning, or afternoon, or schedule my day so that I am accessible to people in the mornings only. I have to think about my own time to make sure I get done what is expected from me. I can do as much multitasking as possible, but blocking out time to focus on my tasks, is the only way sometime to get any real work done. Sometimes that takes additional hours in a day to get done, but this the life of this Architect. I do enjoy what I do, and some days can be more stressful than others, being an Architect is the only way to go. I am proud of my work and my role on the team.