I recently took another step in the direction of becoming a licensed architect in the province of Ontario as I currently hold the title of Intern Architect at Salter Pilon Architecture Inc. I challenged the ExAC (Examination for Architects in Canada) professional exams testing intern architects on their competency with respect to the standards of the architectural profession. These exams assess the level of skills one possesses in regards to the delivery of architectural services in Ontario and to ensuring public safety. Four exams were written in Toronto over the course of two days.
While at the exams, I was accompanied by fellow classmates of mine from Carleton University. It was rewarding to be there along with my classmates, to see they still have a belief in pursuing and receiving their professional licence. When we were in school it seemed like a long road ahead to get to the point where we would be challenging these exams and now that we have reached this point, we can reflect on the road each of us has taken to get to here. While in school, we worked on projects to expand our skills in design and creativity, while developing an important mind-set and work ethic to produce the best possible projects.
The projects we completed during school were extensions of our individuality. The idea of individuality is still present in the projects we work on in our firms today, but the element of a team’s vision is more predominant. The architectural design projects we work on in the profession differ from the school projects because of the reality of the changing circumstances specific to each project we work on. Projects during school progressed with a degree of fluidity, whereas professional projects introduce a level of constant adaptability, which shapes the project. Changing client needs, new building practices, the requirements of overseeing authorities and the physical delivery of a project are constant sources of influence, we didn’t deal with on a high level at school, but when handled appropriately, all contribute to creating the strongest project possible. These possibilities of change in a project are what we were thoroughly tested on during our exams. The ability to create unique solutions to specific problems and to know where to find the right information is the basis of being a well-developed architect. These are the skills that allow for you and your team to deliver the best project possible.
We returned from the exams to our collective offices as intern architects and we now await the results with high expectations. When the results are received, we all hope to be one step closer to gaining the recognition in our profession and receiving our architectural licenses.