March 26, 2013

Post Grad Phase: Stay Informed. Stay Engaged.

I feel that this post is valuable if you are currently studying architecture, and even for those that are taking a break between undergrad and graduate architecture school. As I apply for work and wait, it is always good to stay engaged with the profession and the culture of architecture – networking and talking to professionals. You want to keep current with the trends, the fads, the movements and issues surrounding architecture and the profession. For the past few months (and until I get back to grad school) I have been attending Movie Night series provided by the Toronto Society of Architects, the Bulthup Lecture Series at Daniels School of Architecture Landscape & Design to keep engaged with the architecture community and the latest trends. I think this is valuable time after graduation to reflect and really look deeper into the things that interested you in school. I take this as an opportunity to figure out what I would like to do for thesis and what aspects in the discourse of architecture inspires me.

This was a Symposium on Social Architecture, part of an ongoing
Lecture Series by Architecture for Humanity Toronto.
Last week, I attended a Symposium on Community Architecture presented by Architecture for Humanity Toronto, part of an ongoing series of symposiums surrounding public interest design. It was a great evening to see the discussion of developers and architects talking about the challenge and process surrounding architecture in the public realm. These events get to provide another dimension of looking into design from a real-world perspective that is not easy to convey in the academia. You get to see the challenges that are brought up by practitioners and see beyond the formal aspects of design. This symposium gave a glimpse into the collaboration among stakeholders concerning the social, economic, cultural and political factors that come to play in a design of a building.

What is really great about these lectures is that they reveal how architecture impacts all of the individuals involved – whether it is the designers, clients, consultants, and even the ordinary passerby. Design has the power to bring positive change and it is about figuring out the critical balance that will provide the needed function, but to transform and do much more. The speakers addressed the challenges of designing buildings for public realm architecture and it comes down to the art of balance and restraint – figuring out the balance between defined program and flexible spaces, listening and summarizing the needs of stakeholders and the community, and taking a leadership role in ensuring progression from concept to built form. 

There is lots to gain from staying in touch with the architecture scene in my city. If you're an architecture student, it might be best to attend workshops, see installations, watch architecture films that might be showing. For those students that are in the "4+2" Architecture education track like me, make the most of your college break by staying in tune with the architecture scene and explore the topics that you might be interested in thesis. You definitely want to go above and beyond with your education. Stay engaged with architecture and keep informed.

Architecture for Humanity Toronto is an organization dedicated to architectural and design with social consciousness and public interest design. You can find out more about their organization through their website and more about the symposium on social architecture through their facebook fan page

Post-Grad Phase: Keep Busy & Persist!
Bite Back! The Post-Grad Phase

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