Arrgh, yet again I have been drawn into the "what is an architect" discussion! I knew it was a mistake to give a definition of architecture.
Anyway I have been thinking about how to make this clearer because it seems to be such an area of confusion. There are multiple levels of architects who think about different problem spaces in different ways, the thing that they all have in common is the ability to think in terms of models (or structural designs) rather than real things.
So writing down a taxonomy of architects I came up with the following:
Clearly there is not a clear demarcation between these levels but a shading from one level to the next. Also you need to have a good understanding of the level or two below where you are working in order to be able to do your job, so for example designers need to be pretty good at programming and architects need to be good at project management.
Interestingly the knowledge areas map onto the MCA Criteria quite well, the area that is missing is communication which is needed at all levels but grows in scope as you go up the levels. Also interestingly the MCA is really targeting level 4 although they do look for some of the higher level aspects.
So what level do you think you are?