Thinking about becoming an architectural designer? Love the idea of working with architects and construction teams to bring new buildings to life?
Or, maybe you already have some experience in design, but need additional technical skills to take your career to the next level. Whether you’re just starting out—or looking to upgrade your skills—quality architectural design training is the next logical step.
But what exactly can you expect in class? Which technical skills and computer software will you focus on, and how long will training take?
Toronto is home to several architectural design colleges. Most teach a similar set of skills, but there are some key differences in things like teaching style, learning environment, internship, and the overall length of the program.
What’s it like to study architectural design at Herzing? In this post, we’ll take you on a tour of the program. You’ll meet the instructor, see what recent graduates think of the training, and find out what makes Herzing’s design program so unique. Let’s get started.
Study with Jacob Allderdice: Licensed Architect & Respected Instructor
Jacob Allderdice has been teaching the Architectural Design program at Herzing since 2016. But, his experience as an instructor and architect go much farther back.
In fact, he’s been teaching design for over 12 years, as a teaching assistant at the University of Toronto and program coordinator at the International Academy of Design.
Jacob holds a Master in Architecture and a Master in Urban Design. He’s run his own design business, and worked with renowned New York architects, Steven Holl and Edward Larrabee Barnes.
Most importantly, Jacob is known as a talented instructor, who genuinely cares about the success of every student in his class.
We recently interviewed one of those students— Albino Jr Geanga—who graduated from the program last year. He was especially impressed with Jacob’s teaching style and expertise.
“Mr. Allderdice definitely has the knowledge and professional experience to teach the architectural design class. He shares his knowledge with all the students and is very supportive. He was always ready to help anyone who was having trouble in a particular topic or part of the program.”
Graduates of the program agree, you won't find a more skilled and dedicated architectural design instructor. Jacob is the ideal person to help you launch your design career.
Jacob Allderdice OAA Architect, Leed AP. Instructor for the Architectural Design program at Herzing College Toronto.
The Accelerated Design Program Attracts Students from All Over the World
The Architectural Design program at Herzing takes just 12 months to complete. It’s one of the most intensive, thorough architectural design programs in Toronto. This is why it attracts students from all over the world.
Instructor, Jacob Allderdice, says the accelerated training combined with the diversity of the students, is what makes this program so unique.
“In just 12 months, students learn Design Principles, Drafting, Building Construction, Building Codes, 3D Modeling, AutoCAD, Revit and SketchUp. But they also learn principles of manual drafting and design, and office management.
Plus, our classes are lively and diverse—and students often learn as much from each other as they do from the teacher, which is a great advantage. By the time they graduate, students are well-rounded designers—with a portfolio of designs and drawings they can use to show off their talents. “
Whether you're new to Canada, a recent high school graduate, or returning to school as a mature student...you'll fit right in at Herzing.
Hands-on projects that combine creativity with the latest design technology
This program is all about doing. Right from day one, students dive into the software tools, exploring all the options, and creating their own design projects.
There’s a lot to cover in 12 months—so a project-based approach makes the most sense. You get a lot of practice producing architectural drawings, plans, models, and blueprints—using both 2D and 3D tools and techniques.
Examples of design projects done for class at Herzing, by Architectural Design graduate, Albino Jr Geanga
Herzing graduate, Ikenna Okpara, said working on all the projects was his favourite part of training.
“My favorite aspect of the program was being allowed to express my own creativity in class. The instructor really encouraged us to explore and share unique ideas. Plus, we learned how to manage our time wisely. But this is what prepares you for a real job. Most design companies focus a lot on producing these types of drawings, so you need those time management skills from day one.”
Learn the design and drafting skills you need to get hired
For most design students, landing a job quickly after college is their top priority. They need a training program that teaches the skills employers actually want—so getting that first position is a little easier.
Ikenna told us that’s why he ended up choosing Herzing for design training.
“I did a lot of research, and found that Herzing’s curriculum was tailor-made to current employer requirements for architectural drafting designers. Herzing teaches the real skills you need to get hired.”
Ikenna completed the program last year, and was hired by Zaneen, an exclusive European lighting design company. He designs and edits products with CAD software applications, and uses his unique background in electronics to test new products, as well.
After Ikenna’s classmate Albino graduated, he was hired by a construction company to draft designs for building projects. He specializes in timber design and detailing, and has also worked in architectural steel detailing.
There are so many career paths in architectural design. You never know where your talents might take you!
Image courtesy of Zaneen where Ikenna works as a lighting designer/tester
Find your unique strengths as an architectural designer
If you’re just starting out, you probably don’t realize how many ways there are to specialize within the field of architectural design. People come to this industry from all different backgrounds.
Some students have some experience in construction. Others have talents in art and drawing. Jacob says he’s worked with people who have backgrounds in business management, writing and communications, fine arts, and computer software.
His goal as an instructor is to help each student build on their natural talents, so they can find a design career path that really fits their profile.
“Each student has strengths upon which to build. For example, a background in business management will be useful for students who wish to run their own design business. And a background in computers will help students who wish to focus on the technical aspects of a design office.
A talented artist will likely find employment in rendering and presentation, while a confident, verbal person could be employed on the sales and development side of the profession...
Through the coursework of the Architectural Design program, each student is encouraged to develop the skills they already have, while learning new skills that build on their strengths.”
Architectural design offers many different career paths, including specializations in:
- Residential design
- Commercial projects
- Industrial work
- Kitchen and mill-work
- Freelance, contract designing
- Start your own architectural design business
A good design program will help you define your career goals, and set you on track to achieve those goals—with confidence and the right skillset.
Is Architectural Design Training Right For You?
If you still have questions about architectural design training, or need help deciding if it’s right for you, there are several ways to get help.
Your next step is to fill out the Request Information form on this screen. Get fast, free program details delivered straight to your email. From there, you can connect directly with Admissions to set up your personal advising appointment and campus tour.
Or, you can click below to browse the Architectural Design Program, and use online chat to speak with an Admissions Advisor right now. Get your questions answered, and plan your next move. We’re here to help!