Two Studio Technology Leaders Newly Licensed

Two Studio Technology Leaders Newly Licensed

We sat down with Jason Halaby and Brian Washburn, two of our studio’s technology leaders, to talk about their recent licensure. Tune in for study tips and their thoughts on becoming licensed.

Why did you decide to get licensed?

Brian: When I entered architecture school, it was clear from the onset that getting licensed was important to me. I also liked that the requirements to get licensed involve gaining knowledge in all of the facets of architecture. In the end, that was my real goal — to become a well-rounded architect.

Jason: I got through my ARE exams early in my career, but then the recession hit, and there was a period when I wasn’t sure about the profession. I considered leaving and doing computational work or consulting.  Then I started at WRNS, and I was re-inspired. Having kids delayed things a bit longer, and finally, I felt like it was time to finish the licensure process. I’ve been doing the work of an architect for a long time, and I wanted to be able to call myself one without any qualifiers.

What was the weirdest thing you learned?

Jason:  Although it a time-consuming and difficult process, I learned a lot that I wouldn’t have picked up otherwise. It’s not that weird, but one of the requirements for the test is to have an understanding of the Clean Water Act. One night I went down a legal rabbit hole, and I actually read some of the California Water Code. In the end you have a document that regulates all of the facets of water use — who gets it and how much they get, who pays for what they get, and more. Especially in the context of the drought, it was an interesting thing to study.

Brian: It was fascinating to see how some of these documents become law — that creating laws is a human endeavor. They become a good reflection of our society.

Do you have any study tips?

Brian: Life gets in the way, so get as much done as early as you can. It has to be something you really want, because that’s what will keep you going. Especially true if you start a family.

Jason:  For me, the motivation came from fear. I knew that I wouldn’t be sufficiently motivated to study until I picked a date for the exam, so I picked a date, giving me eight weeks to study. The looming date kept me on track. For me flashcards were the best thing — not just doing them but making them myself.

Brian: Take as many practice tests as possible. Once you get good at those, take a step back and identify what areas might be missing. And a long commute helps too.

Jason:  Yeah, I started taking the bus to lengthen my commute so I could study more.

Was there anything on Revit in the test? This is a huge shift in the industry, so has the test caught up?

Jason:  The law is non-specific about BIM. It talks about the instruments of service, but it doesn’t test you on BIM specifically.

Brian: As design technology evolves and integrates fabrication processes and we start encroaching on the contractor’s traditional contractual responsibilities for means and methods, it will be interesting to see if the test adapts to cover this shift.