June 28, 2013

Summer Connections: Why it`s important #DesignStudents

Image: A beach networking event I attended by Cool Connections
This week's post is a submission to Project GYST (Get Your Sh!t Together!) hosted by Raeallan. This week's topic focuses on Summer Connections. I felt this topic could be applicable with the focus of my blog. I was that individual in architecture school that wanted to meet people outside of my field and make connections:

Summer is finally here and you are finally OUTSIDE of the dreaded architecture studios for the year. Now, I understand if you were not able to attend professional workshops and events during the school year but summer break is no excuse. How are you going to make the most of your summer break?


Connect. Connect with people outside of architecture and design and meet people outside of the field. It is through the power of connection where you can gain and share insight, knowledge and ideas that can be of benefit to both you and the person you are networking. Ultimately connection can create friendships. There is a world outside of design and it is up to you to be informed and interested. It’s for these reasons why I have been attending a lot of networking events, classes, even bootcamp and comedy improv classes to learn and grow as an individual.

Take time to invest in your interests besides design. Whether it’s taking exercise classes to drawing classes or business talks, this is a chance to interact and meet with people and build connections. This is an opportunity to discover where your interests lie and who you are as an individual.

This past weekend I attended a few business workshops. In fact, since I graduated from architecture school I have been engaged in attending different networking events and workshops. I got to meet people from different fields who have provided me with knowledge and wisdom that I can take in my life. I have met designers and creative entrepreneurs who look for solutions in solving the challenges that generation X and generation Y face when it comes to career, business, design, and leadership.  I have made many friends outside of architecture that have opened my eyes to a world much more colourful and vibrant.  For sanity’s sake – make sure you make friends OUTSIDE of Architecture.

Reconnect. Reconnect with your friends and loved ones. I opt to do both connecting and reconnecting with friends. Spend quality time with the people you had less time to hang out with outside of school. The world is not just about architecture. And there are more things valuable and important in this life than your career. Take care of your personal life as it is important as a designer.  I have made numerous trips to NYC because I have made friendships and connections with my NYC peeps. When my friend is in town, I am always up for dining on those weekends. I take the summer as a valuable time to reconnect with friends that I have not seen when I was at school. Take this opportunity to rekindle the friendships that you have.

Designers and Design students have built a reputation of being seen as an isolated bunch that is known to segregate ourselves from the rest of campus because of the heavy workload that keeps us in the studio and this pattern continues outside of architecture school. When we talk to people outside of architecture we tend to fail to be relevant and clear. We use architecture jargon and brag about how much we know. We do a disservice to our profession to let the public know about the importance of design and the built environment because we fail to relate with the rest of the world. We need to rebrand our generation of designers and be interested and involved and engaged with the world around us, one connection at a time. Only then we will be able to gain the respect and relevance that our profession bemoans the lack of.

So this summer, here's to new connections and re-connections. Make the most of your summer by harnessing the power of connection.

RELATED POSTS:
Make the most out of your Summer #ARCHISTUDENTS
More to the world outside of Architecture.
Stay Profesh: The Value of Networking

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