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Emily Newton

Career research interview


Principles of engineering
11/28/16

Emily Newton
Mr. Sieg
Principles of Engineering

30 November 2016
A day in the life of an Architect
Few live without shelter, and many take it for granted, unknowing of the work put
into design, and build it. I was fortunate enough to communicate with someone who has
first hand experience with the process of bringing buildings and houses to life. Lawrence
Zeroth an architecture himself as well as a teacher of the field has provided answers to
the many questions people such as myself who are interested in architecture have.

EN- What is your specific degree?


LZ- Masters of Architecture, Columbia University
EN- What is your current place of employment?
LZ- Adjunct Associate Professor, Pratt Institute 3rd Year Design Coordinate. I
have my own practice Basecampzero Architects.
EN- Please describe your engineering field?
LZ- I am both a professor and a licensed architect. As an architect, I have
worked on all types of projects, including residential, religious, commercial, schools and
community centers.
EN- What is your current job title?
LZ- I am a principal in my own office
EN- Please describe your particular job and duties
LZ- It encompasses all aspects of running a practice. From business, including
going after work, maintaining a website, negotiating fees, invoicing, meeting with clients
to understand their goals, to name a few

Then there's the design end: coming up with a concept, drawing it in auto ad or Rhino
(3D), Making models, presenting to clients or community boards, turning these initial
ideas into a set of construction documents so a contractor can bid and construct the
project. Spending time on a construction site verifying compliance w my my drawings
and what is built, verifying payments to contractor by the owner.
EN- What is your average work schedule
LZ- I teach three days a week and work the rest of the time, often on weekends
and evenings. There are no set hours, just have to get the work done. Sometimes I am
very busy, others times not. It is a good balance of professional work and academia.
EN- Starting with highschool please describe your educational background
chronologically
LZ- High School: Milwaukee Trade and Technical H.S. Studied Mechanical
Drawing. Undergraduate: University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Bachelor of ScienceArchitectural Studies. Graduate: Columbia University Masters of Architecture
There is then a period of "internship" working in an office prior to one being able to take
the exams to become a licensed architect. This varies from state to state, but typically
3 years and another 2-3 years to study and pass the exams.
EN- If you had to do it over, related to your career or education, would you do
anything differently?
LZ- I wouldn't change anything regarding education. It was a great mix of both
technical and conceptual emphasis Professionally, I wouldn't change anything
I have worked for several great architectural Offices and now have my own practice.
Academically, I really enjoy as teach both in NY (fall semester) and abroad in Rome

(spring semester). So, probably wouldn't change much. I feel quite blessed in where I
am and the opportunities I have been given and created.
EN- What advice would you give to me as someone interested in pursuing a
career path similar to yours?
LZ- Architecture is a great profession. One has to be very driven and love it. It is
something one just doesn't "do". It takes a lot of time and commitment, one has to be
passionate about it. The great thing about the education process is that it prepares you
to "think", to problem solve that can thus allow you to enter into other fields: animation,
interior design. Furniture design. Industrial design, landscape, etc.
EN- What about your career makes you enjoy it?
LZ- Many aspects, from dealing with clients to sitting down and drawing, either
by hand or on the computer. I get to make models and sell ideas to clients. Then I get
to go teach and watch students grow. I get to listen and respond to their thoughts and
help them translate their ideas into drawings. I would say that it isn't work. I never wake
up and say "I have to go to work today" and that is a great way to live.
Do you think anyone could pursue this career?
LZ- It takes someone really dedicated. The education process is long and
arduous. I would say that it is the most time consuming degree. Students work around
the clock and regularly all night. Design just takes time. So it's not for everyone. To
make it, you have to love it. They notion about having to be good at math isn't really
true. Architecture, like other fields (medicine, law) Is becoming specialized. For
example, in almost any project, the architect would have a consultant structural
engineer to calculate and provide the structural system of the building. This applies to

many other aspects of a project; mechanical, Landscape, lighting, etc. Part of if Is due
to the complexity of trades, it also in regards to lawsuits.
EN- What attributes do you believe someone should possess to do this job well?
LZ- Attributes include being self motivated, organized, people oriented, ability to
solve problems, ability to sell yourself.
Architecture requires allot of education and training, all of which is necessary in
completing the job which has a range of duties. Architecture is a job for those who have
the passion and commitment for it, for their is no schedule but the work must be
completed. Talking to Lawrence Zeroth was extremely helpful in the search to see if the
profession of architecture is something I want to pursue.
Reflection questions
1. What surprised you most about the interview?
EN- I was very surprised on the amount of work an architect does. Although I knew an
architect I never really thought about the amount of differing jobs an archiect has.
2. What was the most important piece of information that you learned from the
interview?
EN- During the interview Mr. Zeroth talked about how many doors a degree in
architecture can open up for you, even if you do not decide to pursue the career. I was
very happy and calmed to know that if I decide to major in the Architect, the classes I
would take would introduce me to other majors, and hopefully I would find one for me.
3. How has this interview influenced your feelings about your future career?
This interview has influenced my future career greatly. Although I am still interested in
majoring in engineering I now know that architecture might not be the career for me. Mr.

Zeroth spoke about the passion he has for architecture, which I might not have. I would
like to investigate more if architecture is right for me but I now know to be successful in
it I must have a passion for it.