“As long as I remember back into my childhood, I drew floor plans, maps and such. I've always drawn, and made things with my hands,” says Grant Scott, Architect at Lang Architecture, “when I was old enough to know more broadly what an architect was, I decided that's what I wanted to do.”
Grant started out working in New Zealand nearly 20 years ago but his path to following a passion and becoming a licensed architect was not direct one. “I took a rather circuitous path, says Grant, “it was not so much an initial inspiration to become an architect as a situation I enjoyed finding myself in. Then it was a matter of stepping one foot in front of the other along a path of discovery, and I don't intend to stop expanding my interests, and learning.”
There is a certain excitement to starting a project. Synthesizing the site, the program, the client’s expectations, and your own ideas about the project is exhilarating
Grant started working in an architect's office without any formal training beyond high school drafting classes and learned on the job. “But I realized that I needed to formalize my education to progress in the field,” Grant said. After working for several years Grant pursued a professional undergraduate degree in architecture while working in a firm, then finished with a more rigorous post professional masters degree in architecture.
Grant noted that “licensure is extremely important to the profession, in terms of attempting to make sure that we are competent in what we do. It acts as a barrier to entry, intended to protect not just the profession, but the public, both in a public safety aspect, but also with the hope that we build appropriately, as good stewards of the urban environment.”
“I can't say that it's the perfect mechanism for this, nor the exams the perfect way of assessing whether someone should be permitted to practice, but in digging back into everything I've learned in practice, to study for the exams, was both helpful, and a little humbling. Realizing just how much we as architects must understand, use, synthesize and act upon and the responsibility which comes along with that,” says Grant.
“There is a certain excitement to starting a project. Synthesizing the site, the program, the client’s expectations, and your own ideas about the project is exhilarating,” says Grant. “The process of developing ideas and opening your imagination to how these aspects inform each other is truly gratifying. You have to allow the different and sometimes competing requirements of the program to inform each other, as you iterate through a design process.”