Architecture and urbanism: what it is, concept and where to study

The architecture accompanies the human being from the day he left the nomadic life to devote himself to agriculture and thus establish a definitive place to live.

Over the centuries, however, the concept of architecture has changed a great deal, from being something that only serves subsistence and human security to enter a territory, say, more artistic and aesthetic.

What is architecture?

What is architecture

No one knows for sure exactly where and when architecture began. What is known is that the first houses built with bricks date from 7000 BC in the region that today corresponds to Central Asia and the Middle East.

Brick, even, is to this day one of the main materials used for construction, alternating its use with other elements such as wood, steel and glass, for example.

The word architecture derives from the Greek "arche" - first or principal - and "tékton" - construction. That is, by changing into kids, the meaning of architecture would be something like main construction.

However, a more complete definition would say that architecture is the relationship established between man and the environment in which he lives, or the way he interferes in the environment in which he lives.

This interference, within the concept of architecture, is seen as something aesthetic and functional. There is no architecture without functionality, as there is no architecture without a stylistic standard. They are two closely related concepts, where one complements the other and, together, works for the same purpose: to offer comfortable, functional living spaces that provide a quality of life and are still aesthetically pleasing and surprising.

And urbanism?

The term urbanism always comes accompanied by architecture, including the undergraduate courses attended by the name of Architecture and Urbanism. But if architecture is the art of planning and designing public and private buildings, what is left for urbanism?

Urbanism can be defined as a technique of organization and rationalization of urban agglomerations. In other words, urbanism can be considered a way of planning cities, so that houses, buildings and public spaces dialogue in harmony.

Thus, the great mission of urbanism is to create cities that are more pleasant to live in, based on planning, ordering and organization.

And, yes, urbanism has everything to do with architecture, since it understands the organization of the projects created by it.

Architecture and urbanism course

Architecture college

The profession of architecture and urbanism in Brazil has been regulated since 1966, but to exercise it, it is mandatory to have a diploma in architecture and urbanism in an institution recognized by the Ministry of Education (MEC).

That is, there is no way. Those who wish to pursue the profession of architect need, necessarily, to study the faculty of "Architecture and Urbanism". They are in all five years - or ten semesters - of dedication and love the new profession. That's right, the course is demanding.

The curriculum is composed of practical and theoretical disciplines that require the student's commitment and passion to account for all that the course has to offer.

But do not be alarmed, if this is really the course you love and believe, rest assured, it will be more pleasurable than you can imagine.

Even without knowing how to draw? Even without knowing how to draw! This is because the course trains and empowers students for architectural design techniques; in addition, today's architects use various types of computer programs to create and design their works, which is also learned during college. So no crisis!

In addition to learning drawing techniques and mastering graphics software, the architecture student also has classes in integrated architecture, interdisciplinary architecture, urban planning and topography. Learn about environmental comfort, including acoustics, ventilation, and lighting issues.

The course also has several disciplines focused on the field of art and history, such as aesthetics, history of art, history of architecture, and architectural design. All this to ensure that the student creates an excellent artistic and cultural base that will be used indirectly in their future work.

And if today's slogan is sustainability, the course of architecture could not be left out. The student studies techniques and projects for a sustainable architecture, as well as disciplines such as environmental studies and urban sanitation.

Another very important part of the course of architecture and urbanism is the structural one. To create durable and durable works, the student counts on disciplines such as foundations, building installations (electrical and hydraulic), types of materials, soil mechanics and construction technology.

As you can see, the course of architecture and urbanism is a mix between exact and human disciplines, capable of making the future architect a professional that walks the sensitive field of arts and numerical and rational precision engineering.

Where to study architecture and urbanism

Architecture student

In Brazil there are about 400 universities, colleges and university centers that offer the course of Architecture and Urbanism. Most of it is private, but there are excellent public courses as well.

In addition, two Brazilian public universities, University of São Paulo (USP) and Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), which offer the course of architecture and urbanism, are on the list of the world's top 200 architectural colleges, reaching position 28º and 80th respectively.

Among the Brazilian colleges, USP leads the podium, according to the University Ranking of Folha (RUF), held annually by the newspaper Folha de São Paulo. The following positions are all occupied by public universities, as is the case of the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), in second place. The Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRG) and the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro are third and fourth respectively.

Among private colleges, the first to emerge in the ranking is the Mackenzie, occupying the seventh place. The Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul ranks 13th.

However, if you choose a private university, prepare the pocket. The average cost of the monthly fee for architecture and urbanism currently costs around R $ 2000 to R $ 3500.

What does a city planner do?

The architect is the professional formed by the course of Architecture and Urbanism. It is up to him to plan, design and execute public and private works . According to the Resolution nº 51 of the Architecture and Urbanism Council of Brazil, the architect has six functions of exclusive competence, they are:

  • Architecture and urbanism;
  • Interior architecture;
  • Landscape architecture;
  • Historical, cultural and artistic heritage;
  • Urban and regional planning;
  • Environmental comfort.

Among these skills, the architect can also develop some specific attributions such as designing and building homes, general renovations, urban projects on land use, designing projects to meet cities, materials and equipment management, interior design and landscape projects .

Another very interesting area for the architect to act is the conservation of historical heritages. The architect can direct, supervise, idealize and supervise restoration works aimed at the conservation and protection of historical, artistic and cultural heritage.

Check below some more activities that can be explored by the urbanist architect:

1. Building and construction

Design, execute and coordinate works, determining which materials will be used and managing deadlines, costs and work team.

2. Interior architecture

Design and planning of residential, commercial and business reforms. The architect is responsible for defining the finishing materials, such as floors and coatings, choosing the furniture and the arrangement of all these elements in the environment.

3. Urbanism

The architect can also perform urban planning of cities through the master plan.

4. Restoration and conservation

Another niche of the architect's performance is in the restoration and conservation of buildings, houses and other old buildings that need to be revitalized according to the original project, contributing to the maintenance of the historical value of the works.

5. Landscaping and environment

Creation and execution of outdoor environments, such as squares, gardens and terraces.

6. Lighting

Create lighting projects indoors and outdoors.

7. Visual communication

The architect can also work for the elaboration of residential and commercial façades, guaranteeing the brand of a company, institution or business.

Work market for the architect

Architect job market

The architect has a wide field of action in the labor market, being able to work in the public area, in offices and architecture studios or, also, autonomously, with an own office. Check out the list of the main work places for an architect:

Public service

A public career can be very promising for professionals who want a stable and secure job. There are two ways to enter the public service as an architect, the first of which is through a public tender, and the second possibility is to secure a position of trust with municipal, state or federal public agencies. Within the attributions of an architect in the public area are:

  • Monitoring and inspection of municipal works;
  • Carry out studies of accessibility and urban planning;
  • Studies and research on the environmental impact of urban constructions in the municipality;
  • Provide advice to area managers;

Private sector

But the architect who wants to work for offices, builders or developers, also finds a favorable market, since the branch of civil construction is heated. Check out the main fields of action for a private-sector architect:

  • Creation and execution of projects, if you work for an office;
  • Design and analysis of construction works;
  • Consultant of companies of different niches of action;

Freelance architect

As a liberal, autonomous professional, the architect can venture into more free and creative ways, letting his personal mark in each projected work appear. Another advantage of autonomous and authorial work is the freedom to design projects for the most different types of clients. See below how a freelance architect can demonstrate his work and talent:

  • Own office or in partnership with other professionals;
  • Elaborate projects for varied clients, ranging from residential to commercial, business and institutional;
  • Work with sustainable and ecological projects;
  • Teach classes;
  • Focus the work on interior design, especially decoration;
  • Provide consulting services to companies and public bodies;

How much does an architect earn?

How much does an architect earn?

The question that does not want to be silent is "after all, How much does an architect earn? ". And the answer, well, it varies greatly. That's because everything depends on the professional choices you make - public sector, private or autonomous - and the region of the country where you do the work.

Law No. 4,950-A / 66, of 1966, establishes that the salary of an architect must be linked to the current value of the national minimum wage. In this case, an architect with a six-hour day's work schedule has a minimum salary floor of six minimum salaries, or R $ 5724. For a 7-hour workday, the salary floor is seven minimum salaries, equivalent to R $ 6916, already for an eight-hour day, the most common, the architect must receive, according to the floor, eight minimum and one-half salaries, which corresponds to R $ 8109.

But in practice this is not quite what happens. Love Mondays, a digital platform that gathers business and salary data from around the country, indicates that the average compensation of an architect currently in Brazil is R $ 5479. The minimum value registered was R $ 840, while the largest salary practiced beats the house of R $ 22 thousand.

These figures are for a public or private sector professional. An autonomous architect presents a much more diverse income, which depends especially on the time of daily dedication to work. Another important variant is the type of customer. Data from the Architecture and Urban Planning Board (CAU) reveal that architects who work for individuals receive lower salaries than those who work autonomously for other companies. In general, these values ​​are between R $ 6 and R $ 20 thousand monthly.

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