Joe Cianciotto on Studying Architecture

Hello! I’m Joe Cianciotto, a Bay Area-based architect. I’ve been fascinated by the artistry of spaces for as long as I can remember and was inspired to take on an architectural career after seeing the works of Frank Lloyd Wright. I especially love doing architectural features. Being an architect myself, I tend to view things a bit differently. I love showing the beauty in ordinary spaces and places. There can be so much to appreciate if we put a different eye to it. As much as I’m drawn to the modern aesthetic, I still appreciate the classics every now and then. Nothing beats a well-made building over the flimsy, modern ones that are being constructed today.

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Part of the reason that I studied architecture is because of the way I can use it as my self-expression. Each architectural piece is a creative representation of the thoughts and hopes of the designer. Of course, it’s important to meet the needs and expectations of your clients but the overall look, design, and feel of your work is generally a result of your own creativity—ensuring that this career path is exceptionally satisfying.

There’s also the off-chance that you can affect the world with your architectural practice. Tourists travel across cities, countries and even continents seeking famous pieces of architecture every day. The Great Pyramid of Giza, Big Ben, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the Taj Mahal are just a few world-renowned structures that the world can not only recognize, but more than likely can name the city in which they were built. Even if you don’t ultimately create the next Eiffel Tower or Empire State Building, your works are generally going to be outside, meaning that they will be seen by passers-by up to 365 days a year and recognized by countless people you will never meet—isn’t that amazing?

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Finally, nothing beats hands-on experience as the greatest of teachers. Though technology innovates the way architecture is done, it is still a job that demands attention to detail and focused work. It is not a data-entry job and generally isn’t a 9-5er either. It takes long hours and expertise to create masterpieces and earn the commission that comes along with it. Always remember that architecture is more than science and much more than a two-dimensional piece of art. It is the harmonious combination of both art and science that will make each structure you create truly special.

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