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Is it possible to translate the brilliant thoughts of an architect into words? Image Source: CRD Adirondacks

Ah, architects. No one can know how these creative, sometimes-eccentric minds envision their next great design, but there are some basic truths that make a good architect — and typically these truths require a certain mode of thought. Let’s take a look at the mind of an architect. What traits do the best ones share?

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A good architect thinks outside the box and doesn’t conform to the rules. Image Source: Dynia

They Possess the Art of Skill

There are a lot of generalizations in terms of what makes a good architect, with mathematical intelligence and creative thinking topping the list. Indeed, the mind of an architect needs to be logical, mathematical, intelligent and creative — yet the sum of their work is the art of skill.

It is truly an art form to jump through all the logical (and sometimes boring) hurdles of building codes and laws in order to create something that seems to defy the laws of gravity and rules of building. Herein lies the true art of the skills required to be a successful architect.

This requires a mind that not only thinks outside the box, but also is eccentric, doesn’t conform to the rules and notes the most minuscule details while still envisioning the big picture.

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Architects are competitive and ambitious; they have a mind like a machine. Image Source: Dunn and Tighe

They Are Type A’s

Type A personalities can have a bad rap, but they are the ones who make sure no detail goes unnoticed. Typically, nothing will go wrong under the watchful eye of a Type A personality; but if something does, this person already has a backup plan in place.

Typical Type A’s are competitive and ambitious, and they have a strong awareness of time urgency. The job of an architect requires these skills (or perhaps it’s the chicken or the egg theory: is the job creating the personality, or is the personality just suited to the job?).

Architects have many demands and time constraints; therefore, it follows that an ambitious person with an innate urgency would make a great architect. It requires a mind that is like a machine; all the cogs are well-greased, grinding away day and night, working out every detail on the macro and micro levels.

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Nearly a third of the architects who took a Myers-Briggs test had the attributes of an ENTJ. Image Source: Design Unity

They Like to Lead

Architect Magazine quoted an interesting study in which the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator was administered to 100 architects. Despite the small study, there was an astounding result: 31 percent of the architects tested were ENTJ personality types.

Why is this so notable? Because within the general population only 1.8 percent of people have the ENTJ personality; it is a rare breed. The attributes of this type:

  • Extraversion (action-oriented)
  • Intuition (trusting abstract ideas and instinct)
  • Thinking (decide based on objective logic)
  • Judging (like to have matters settled)

Sound like any architects you know?

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Architects cannot afford to be shy; they must let their thoughts and ideas be known. Image Source: Modern Rugs

They Are Great Communicators

Many have a vision of the introverted architect hunched over his desk or computer, hiding inside his secret mind. We say that this is only a small part of who they really are. Architects cannot afford to be meek or shy; they must be excellent communicators who let their thoughts and ideas be known.

Just think what a disaster it would be if an architect could not adequately communicate his plans to the engineers, the builders or the designers of a project. Indeed, architects must be strong individuals who are able to get their ideas across, allowing others to envision the plans they have designed.

This requires a mind that is open to others; a mind that is intuitive and reads people well; a mind that has the ability to devise quick comebacks when others disagree with their vision.

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Architects seem to be wired in a certain way; it’s what makes them great at what they do. Image Source: Studio-ARD

As we’ve seen, the mind of an architect is indeed complex. We don’t mean to generalize — these certainly aren’t the traits of every architect. But given that there is some science behind this, it seems that the mind of an architect is wired in a certain way — and that’s what makes them great at what they do.