Architecture & Design

Profession | No more Architect

Since arriving in this beautiful icy country or since the plans to come here are no longer that great cloud of uncertainty, I have difficulty saying what I do /what is my profession. 

In context, for those who do not know, that potentially creative individual who studied 5+ years on architecture (and in my case, also urbanism), can not call himself as such, in Canadian lands. And that the diploma is not worth here! (first thing that goes through the head and is the pure truth). 

I must have explained here on the blog, but you can understand why things are as they are. You go there and study reinforced concrete structures, masonry closures and walls, slabs, foundations, ceramic tile roof and all common construction practices in this lovely tropical climate (or subtropical, right Rio Grande do Sul!).

Then you come through here and throw it all in a toolbox and hide it in the basement (or in the garage – which a lot of people here use as a deposit of everything but car -true story).

Residential architecture around here, for example, is made of wooden structure, plastic closure with thermal insulation, double glazed window (at least), foundation is basement, wooden roof with asphalt tiles and more. I don’t want to get into the question of whether it’s better or worse, just totally different.

So, in a way, until you can understand that a professional has to go through some kind of readaptation when he moves here. Now, whether or not the validation process is fair, it’s for another day… 

The beginning for me was challenging because in addition to losing the fear of ordering even a pizza over the phone (yes, even for this I was insecure – it seemed that I could not understand what these “gringos” talked on the phone – you can talk slower, please?!!).

I had to really strive to learn, without teacher >> only with boss, practices here, think in inches and not centimeters, leave there in the hidden corner what is to design something ultra-modern or minimalist (I’ve said that the people around here are conservative as hell?). Today, it is about 7 years that I do not deal with projects and construction in Brazil and to be honest, I feel much more comfortable in the systems and practices here.

And life right, what we don’t use, ends up forgetting. I am totally out of the building materials on the rise in Brazil, what the staff is doing or not doing, the current standards and everything. Even to talk about project details in Portuguese I have difficulty.

After 2 years of maternity leave, self-presented and very well used and appreciated, it is almost 6 months that I returned to active, working in the area of projects in a company of reforms and construction here in Ottawa. And

I was happy that I was back on the market in the area I chose as a profession. Today my title is architectural designer, one of the usual titles for those who work as an architect, without being, officially, one (in the company in which I work has no licensed architect, by the way.).

That’s why when i’m asked what I do, I rarely say I’m an architect. And if I say, I already add the fact that I studied and graduated in Brazil, and that there I was a licensed architect.

Let’s say that in addition to other things, you lose some of the glamour coming here lol. A lot of people have asked me if I intend to do the validation process and honestly, I don’t know.

I did the postgraduate studies in the area of sustainable architecture here, but this did not require any kind of validation, only, among other things, the presentation of the diploma (properly translated, of course) and did not directly facilitate my potential license.

For now this subject is quite that great cloud full of uncertainties and dollar signs.   This post goes in honor of the various requests for me to write about it through our page on FB and other means.

I hope I could have clarified it somehow. Keep the suggestions coming people!