I am a Systems Architect, that is a designer of complex Computer & Software Systems. This profession started in the mid 60's, about a decade after the first commercial computers became available & about two decades after the very start of the computer age. I began to learn & practice Systems Architecture in 1970 when I joined Honeywell & shortly thereafter became the Chief Architect for Honeywell Information Systems (HIS). I learned the art from some of the best Systems Architects in the business who worked with me while we designed HIS Series 60 Computers & Operating Systems (OSs).
In the last few years, as result of my work with Harvard's Graduate School of Design, I have finally achieved a very concise and fundamental understanding of what is Architecture. As an additional bonus, this fundamental understanding proves that traditional & Systems Architecture have many intimate connections & in some fundamental ways are essentially the same type of activity or process. In fact, Architecture or architectural design is concerned or focused on the relationships of the parts to each other and to the whole. The Greeks & Romans had understood this 2500 years ago. Christopher Alexander had intuited this for building Architecture in the 70's. I & my students have been able to prove it for all genre of Architecture.
The note below has been written by me, & my GSD colleagues. It is a bit technical, but it illustrates these fundamental ideas.
It is indeed a great satisfaction to have arrived at a deep & fundamental understanding of what I have been doing in my professional life. Now I really know what I've been doing all along!