October 02, 2013

Resourcefulness is key

What is the most precious trait you acquire in Architecture School? After a year of graduating you realize two things the moment you work in an architecture firm:

  1. An entry-level designer is 30% proficient when they start off in a firm after graduation
  2. Architecture school never really taught you the things you need for work.
However, there are certain traits to help you progress in the real world. If anything truly valuable from my years of stressing in the design studio, Architecture School gave me the backbone and foundation to prepare myself to becoming a better thinker and problem solver. Like any university degree, the goal is not necessarily to prepare you for work, but to be a better thinker and self learner. One of the most valuable things I learned from university is the importance about being resourceful.

This is easy to show examples. There are reasons why they won’t teach you design software. There is a rationale behind the technical studio books you bought but are not part of your readings (eg. The Architect’s Studio Companion, Building Construction Illustrated, the Building Code).

Even after 6 years of architecture school and a few months into my full time job, I find myself buying and reading books about residential wood frame construction because (1) i vaguely recollect perusing through the topic in first year and (2) the work I did in architecture school was not residential wood frame. I take seriously the importance of learning about what information I need to get and how to get it to help me do my job and be the best contributing design team player that I can be.

One of the tendencies for a lot of newbie Architecture Students is the grunting of their school’s inability to teach them the software. Consider yourself lucky if you have a professor or student group willing to teach you and provide you tutorials, but I had to learn the hard way to realize that the expectation of joining a profession or learning in university is that it is solely your responsibility to acquire the skills and the technical proficiency you need to do your work as a student.

In Architecture, you have to teach yourself. You are the captain of your ship and you have to be able to learn how to get the information when a problem arises at work. You have to push yourself to teach yourself and be informed of the things you need to know when accomplishing a task.

We all know researching in the library and journals, and knowing the websites and books for information is resourcefulness, but even willing to get help and talking to people and professors is another form of resourcefulness whether it is talking to a prof to seek out further advice, clarification, and information when doing your assignment or project. It is even taking advantage of your school’s services (counselling, career help, e.t.c.) to help you acquire the personal skills you need.

So for any tip I can give Architecture Students, which will take you far in architecture school and beyond:

1 comment:

  1. sure!!! in architecture school, you always have to "find a way".......it therefore requires one to be resourceful