If there's one complaint I hear again and again from contractors, tradespeople and anyone else involved in the practical end of building, it's this: "Why don't architects have to serve an apprenticeship in construction?" My usual two-word answer is, "Good question." It seems self-evident that a person entrusted with designing an entire building should have at least a passing knowledge of how that building will be put together. Alas, this is far from the case. Unless they're motivated enough to train themselves, architects come away from their professional educations with practically no understanding of field construction. Typically, after four to five years of academic training, they have to serve several years' apprenticeship under a licensed architect, and must pass an exhaustive series of examinations before being licensed -- a process which, necessary as it is, nevertheless contributes little to an architect's practical knowledge of building. The American system of ar...
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