An architectural technologist is the practical executor of the architect's conceptual designs. The architectural technologist spends most of the time at the drawing board, but he is also expected to assist the architect in the following areas:
- Site surveying, which includes preparing measured drawings of existing buildings and collection of practical information relating to the proposed project
- Preparation of presentation drawings and models of the design for submission to the client for whom the building is being designed
- Detail and landscape design
- Preparation of working drawings that will serve as legal instructions to the building contractor
- Supervision of the building process to ensure that the building is built according to the working drawings and other legal documents
Architectural technologists are therefore expected to do research, assist architects in the collecting of information and to integrate this information into the design. They are required to do some designing and to be able to translate the architect's conceptual design into a workable building.
Freehand drawing must be learnt to be able to prepare presentation drawings of the building in its environment. A good and broadly based knowledge of building construction and building services is necessary, so that the architectural technologist can ensure that the building is workable. He must be able to communicate the information to the building contractor.
- the variety of the work
- working with people
- solving problems
- the opportunity to use one's creativity and artistic ability
- working long hours
- having to change plans to please clients
- frustration with building contractors who might not follow instructions
- meeting deadlines
An architectural technologist should:
- have a strong three-dimensional aptitude;
- be interested in construction techniques and details, design and human habitats;
- be able to work accurately;
- be able to communicate ideas through drawing;
- haveability to work independently and with others
- have aptitude for solving problems
- be creative and artistic, but practical
- have mathematical ability
- be proficient in speech and writing, to give instructions clearly
- have scientific and technical knowledge
- be able to visualize
National Senior Certificate meeting diploma requirements for a diploma course
Each institution will have its own minimum entry requirements.
Compulsory Subjects: Mathematics, English and at least one science subject.
Recommended Subjects: Visual Arts, Physical Sciences
The technical training in Architectural Technology is based on communicating with drawings. It includes a theoretical knowledge of building construction technology and the design of buildings, building science, history of architecture, building services, and specification of building products.
The training at a university of technology is just as rigorous as that at university, but the emphasis is different. The university education is primarily academic and design orientated. The university of technology emphasises the technology of buildings, as well as skills training through a system of "co-operative education". Students study full-time for the first year, work in an architect's office for the second year and return for full-time studies during the third year. This system gives students the opportunity to gain practical experience and a small salary while being educated.
Universities of technology offer a basic three-year course leading to a N.Dip. Architectural Technology. Students may select to continue to a fourth year or B. Tech. Architectural Technology degree specializing in either Applied Design, Technology or Architectural Management.
Architectural technologists have their own professional association, called the South African Institute of Architectural Technologists (SAIAT).
Diploma: Architecture and Architectural Technology - UJ, CPUT, DUT, TUT, NMMU
- architectural companies
- real estate firms
- building contractors
- construction companies
- such organizations as: Eskom, Iscor, CSIR
- universities and universities of technology
- government and local government departments
- self-employment, some architectural technologists are able to set up on their own
South African Institute of Architectural Technologists
P O Box 8021
South African Council for the Architectural Profession
P O Box 408
Tel: (011)417-0900 Fax: (011) 615-4819