September 24, 2013

Things I learned in Architecture School


It's September and I know I should be coming up with more posts as many students begin Architecture School. For me, September is just a reminder of how many years I have been away from school and counting down the years left until I intend to go back to academia to pursue my M.Arch. Here are some points on things I learned, but can be actually new post ideas for the future!


Till then, I question what will this blog be? It is a bit difficult to recollect every vivid memory of architecture school and create some more posts on top of my full-time job, exercise classes, or non-architectural life quintessentially. (I might have big plans for this blog once in masters). Till then I can talk about things when inspired about certain issues and also talk about the links and disconnects between academia and the profession. 

Anyway, for those who begin school or have entered the first few weeks of studio, I think these are some of the points that I wish I knew before school, or at least was confronted with by the end of four years. Now there are some awesome books and articles from others about what they felt is important, I'm going to show you what an architecture student that failed studio learned in 6 years of undergrad:

1)    Don’t rely on your special technology/art courses in high school
2)    Screw perfectionism
3)    No one is going to teach you the software
4)    Be more self-disciplined and responsible
5)    Gradually build up your studio project every day.
6)    STUDIO is worth more and should be given more attention
7)    Choose your friends, companions, and workmates carefully.
8)    Understanding Precedents 
9)    Don’t skip your classes (especially studio)
10)   Don’t avoid the hardwork or gruntwork
11)   Be Strategic and Decisive
12)   Become process-oriented
13)   Fail often, learn often
14)   To hell with the starchitecture students
15)   There’s "no" "right" or "wrong" in design studio.
16)   All-nighters are not a solution
17)   Architecture School is not worth your sanity or tears
18)   More work you show, More to gain from desk crit
19)   You can never be prepared - embrace the unknown
20)   Build your portfolio early.
21)   Job applications begin a semester before your summer.
22)   Get involved and get engaged with architecture student groups
23)   Don't be afraid: ask!
24)   Stay healthy
25)   Get involved in Design-Build Studio Courses
26)   Be a responsible/professional team player.
27)   Think and Present your ideas visually and not all in words.
28)   Know your audience/client *cough* professor *cough* 
29)   Be articulate about your design intent
30)   Know when to shift from getting it right to getting it done. 
31)   work in studio, not in isolation
32)   Be compassionate and forgiving to yourself
33)   Renderings is not everything
34)   Listen to your body and mind
35)   Caffeine can only carry you so far.
36)   Compare yourself to yesterday
37)   To hell with being a teacher's pet
38)   Communication is better than Conflict
39)   Sometimes it's better to ignore the advice of your peers
40)   Beware of "Diagram-itis"
41)   Grades are subjective and mean nothing (unless for grad school)
42)   Architecture School is not everything

Then I realized upon this list, "Hey, I got 42 post ideas," so until I get into graduate school, I know I can elaborate about these 42 points, and more. 

So I hope this will help you, architecture students, as you embark on the next few years of late nights and all nights. Be mindful - take my advice with a grain of salt. 

Cheers and good luck this semester
- The Underdog Architecture Student

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1 comment:

  1. I can totally relate, especially with #13 "Fail often, learn often." I've been taking up Architecture since 2004. It took me this long because there was a time when I suddenly expired from all the hard work and decided to stop school for a while. And now I'm back and I'm planning to finish school as soon as possible.

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