Math is an essential tool and building block that make all buildings and architecture possible.
Without geometry, trigonometry, and algebra, no sketch or blueprint would ever measure up properly to create a real-life building.
Not many people choose math as their favorite subject in school, but for those select few who both understand and really enjoy mathematics, living the life of an architect might just be for you!
Here is an Example of Using Math in Architecture:
Geometric principles have been used in the design and construction of buildings since the early Greek and Egyptian civilizations. Architects must have a firm understanding of algebra, geometry, trigonometry, as well as the ability to calculate area, volume, length, width, and square footage.
Does Being an Architect Involve Math?
Architecture requires mathematical formulas in order to properly design and construct safe and beautiful buildings.
Architects will use algebra, trigonometry, and geometry to construct their designs, which will then be translated into ordering materials and constructing the actual building later on.
Understanding how much weight a floor needs to hold in an office building or the height and width of door frames in a home is only the beginning of what an architect needs to understand or calculate.
Furthermore, wall angles, roofs, room sizes, and how those structures fit together is necessary for keeping you and your family in a safe, warm environment.
Finally, architects may even need to understand both levels of calculus one and two, as well as probability and statistics, and even linear programming.
How do All Architects Use Math in their Careers?
Knowing what weight will be adding pressure to a floor of your office building or what angle the roof needs to be at in a home all comes down to mathematical planning and equations.
Architects use math to calculate square footage, plan the area of space, fill fountains and pools with water, expand doorframes, and many more little things that go into the planning of a building.
For example, if you were to design a bathroom, you would need to know the size, shape, and area of each item within it, such as a shower or sink.
Then you would have to calculate the size of the room, add space for water pipes and electrical wiring, make sure it is accessible by all sizes of people and abilities, and then create a final design that fits within the budget.
Without math, none of this could be done properly or safely, and an unsafe building is just asking for trouble.
Can You Become an Architect if You’re Bad at Math?
Being bad at math is something that many people struggle with, no matter how much education you received.
Some people just think it is boring, while others can’t actually wrap their minds around how math works. Knowing the steps to formulae and actually applying it to your daily life takes time and practice – and repetition.
If you’ve been out of school for a while but have decided you want to approach architecture as your career, it’s time to brush back up on your math.
Someone who can’t do math quickly in their head will really struggle with being an architect.
Furthermore, if you don’t enjoy math or think you aren’t very good at it, you might find the day-to-day job of being an architect both stressful and not fun at all.
You may even find that you hate it.
Either way, if you don’t like math, this isn’t the job for you.
What Level of Math do you Need to be an Architect?
To be an architect, you will need to get a college education, as well as pass exams, become licensed in your field, and even apprentice with a firm before you can be considered a fully-fledged architect.
Not only do architects need to be trained in:
- College-level Algebra
- Calculus I and II
- Probability and Statistics
- Linear Programming
but they also might need to understand new and improved design software that involves 3-D modeling and computer skills.
Architecture is becoming a modernized career. While it is possible to stick to a 2-D, sketching, and blueprint drawing system, new materials and programs are being created every day to help architects do their jobs quickly and efficiently.
What Kind of Math do you Need for Architecture?
Most architects will need to have trigonometry, geometry, and algebra at their disposal, with the rest (mentioned above) being required for certain or more specific areas of a design or build.
If you are familiar with those three and feel comfortable using them, you will have the basics of becoming an architect already at your disposal.
If not, consider brushing up on it or finding another career entirely.
Can Architecture be Done Without Math?
Architecture is a very detailed and important job that includes more than just designing a pretty building.
Little things that go awry come down to someone doing the math wrong; if you build a floor too weak to hold books in a library, for example, you could end up with a building that loses its structural integrity over the years.
Incidents like those could result in injuries, broken buildings, or even sink the building into the ground or break structural beams.
Can an Architect Focus Solely on the Design Aspects?
Whether or not you want to do the math as an architect doesn’t really matter.
In order to become one in the first place, an architect must pass their classes and exams – including their mathematical ones.
Once you become an architect, you will be asked to perform mathematical equations and fix any errors, triple check your results, and create final designs.
Furthermore, the design of a building on the outside requires math, too. Whether or not you want modern bay windows or gothic gargoyles on your sconces and beams is still going to be a mathematical question.
If you are more interested in what the interior of the building looks like or how space and furniture are used, consider becoming an interior designer or space designer.
Can Architects Leave all the Math to Engineers?
There can be many different people on a team in an architectural firm per project.
Designers, computer software gurus, engineers, construction foreman, financial advisors, client representatives, etc. all go into the building of a new home, office, theater, library, or any other building.
Because of that, there are a lot of different strengths and weaknesses to your team that can help make the project go over smoothly.
If you need help from an engineer, construction worker, financial accountant, or otherwise, you can get that help.
Just remember, you can’t skip out on learning math yourself, or you won’t become an architect in the first place.
Shelby Sullivan is our specialist when it comes to pontoon boats and recreational watercraft. She is often found sailing the freshwater lakes of Michigan. She is also a light-traveler who enjoys camping and traveling the world. Read more about Shelby here.