October 30, 2012

Tips in Avoiding Architecture School Freshman Workflow Errors




Simple reminder, but can be easily forgotten or when the stress of architecture school hits...you can easily lose some focus and attention to some crucial things. Some are fortunate to not follow these tips and remain unscathed, some students have bad experiences losing their work. Freshmen, here are some things to keep in the back of your head.

October 23, 2012

The Underdog Architecture Student's "10 Things" Response



A recent blog entry by Linda Bennett from Archi-Ninja.com, listing the top the 10 things architecture school does not teach you, was tweeted to me from our friends at the Designated Sketcher, along with their blog response to it. Likewise, I decided to add to this online discussion of studio culture through a blog post as well for the underdog architecture student that struggles.

October 15, 2012

If at first you don't charrette...




I want to tell you design students this, I remember almost year ago how scared, shy, and insecure I was when it came to joining design charettes and competitions. Maybe it was the overtly competitive nature of architecture school, I just felt insufficient at times joining in on the action (falling behind was quite a demoralizing blow for me to overcome). Professors and peers around me were willing to ask others if they wanted to join a competition or charrette and I would just feel insufficient in joining them.

October 11, 2012

Process! Process! Process!

Here are the process and final models from me and a friend's studio project.
A great project comes with process and thinking, and not a quick rush that is done at the last night before submission and review (a common mistake seen in some undergrad architecture students). It's a personal challenge, design students tend to be perfectionist, we want it “right” more than anything.  I found that from time to time, wanting and desiring for the “right” solution to come was wasting time and even affected the quality and quantity of the final product for review - Not enough work, not enough thought. You want to take advantage of the time given for a project and use it in probing and exploring your concept. I remember I struggled with this, and for my final studios I was just more process oriented, but lacked enough final work. I value process and I think it’s great, but make sure time is allotted to working for the end result, because that is what matters.

October 09, 2012

Going for a M.Arch - Dive in or wait a little? (PART II)


In our second installation, this is the continuation of our previous post on whether you should dive in to grad school or just give it some time. Note that this is based for students with a pre-professional undergraduate degree in architecture that do not hold an accredited Bachelors of Architecture degree. In Canada, all 11 architecture schools hold an accredited Masters of Architecture and some holding an undergrad degree to prepare it's students. The B.Arch programs of some Canadian Schools have been phased out in the 1990s, inflating the credentials required to become a licensed architect in Canada. This time, we're looking at the good and bad of waiting for Graduate Studies after your undergraduate degree in Architecture! I'm more geared to this scenario, cause falling back meant a few extra years of tuition and I am not sure what I want to do, and when I go to grad school, I want to be confident in my abilities as well as what I want to do with my career.

October 04, 2012

Going for a M.Arch - Dive in or wait a little? (PART I)

(Addendum: This blog entry is primarily based on the Canadian licensing for architecture students. There are no B.Arch programs offered in Canada, but there are pre-professional undergraduate programs in architecture. To be able to start your internship credits and becoming licensed, it's primarily through the M.Arch programs offered in Canada. The US has a different story, but the pattern is the 4years undergrad + 2years M.Arch formula)


This is an important topic, especially for those architecture students who are clearing away their pre-professional undergraduate architecture degree and would like to pursue their accredited Masters of Architecture degree (I'm focusing on the Canadian, and US streams to licensure). From my weekend getaway to New York City, I was able to talk to a lot of people inside and outside of architecture. At the Future Now Summit, we had a networking luncheon where we got to eat a table with an AIA Fellow who lead the conversation and gave their insights about the profession and advice for students and young professionals working towards licensure. I got to hear from friends and newly made connections about architecture and how to go about ones career. Additionally, in the past few years in university, I got to hear from professors, instructors, and peers their advice on if it is good to dive right into graduate school or just wait a while. Additionally, I was at a grad fair at the University of Toronto last night and was hearing from admissions counsellors their views on graduate school applications.

October 02, 2012

Attending the ACO Next Gen Design Charrette


If you have the chance to do a design charette or competition as a student, by all means, you should go for it. It's a great way to work with people and crank out ideas in a short time frame. It's a good way to build confidence - by designing and creatively thinking more and more. This weekend I was at the headquarters of the Ontario Heritage Trust to attend the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario (ACO) Next Gen Design Charrette. It was great experience, and added a bit of spice to life to meet people, network, and quickly come up with ideas and solutions to a current design issue that I did not really focus on in university with my electives. I wanted to open myself to issues of heritage conservation. 


This charette was focused on two historical early-20th century, Edwardian buildings in the city of Toronto. Two bank buildings with a parkette along Yonge Street, one of the main corridors of the downtown core. It was great day to see again some of my classmates and colleagues from school since graduation; actually one was heavily involved in helping out the organizing for this event.
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