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Department of Consumer Affairs California Architects Board
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Definition of Architect and Architecture

Definition of Architect

In California, an architect is a person who is licensed by the California Architects Board to practice architecture in this state.

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) defines an architect as follows: "An architect is a licensed professional with specialized skills who designs buildings and cityscapes, and helps make real the unique vision of their clients and communities."

Definition of Architecture

Architecture is the imaginative blend of art and science in the design of environments for people. People need places to live, work, eat and play. Architects transform these needs into concepts and then develop the concepts into building images that can be constructed by others. Their projects can be as small as an entrance way or as large as an entire college campus - and everything in between.

The architect serves in a leadership role, bringing together:

  • Multiple sources of inspiration (personal, civic),
  • Functionality and budgetary requirements set by the client,
  • Constraints of the building site,
  • Needs of the building’s users,
  • Community context of the building, and
  • Qualities (and limitations) of a variety of construction materials into a unique, balanced, and ultimately safe design solution.