Breaking the Box: Explode out of Architecture School to a Successful Career as an Architect
This is part 4 of the chapter: In Architecture School you will learn ________. If you missed part 3 click here.
In Architecture School you will learn _________. Part 4
In Part 3 I introduced you to the most important thing that you will learn in Architecture School: The Design Process. Part 4 dives deeper into the Design Process and describes the mechanics of how you will be taught design in Architecture School. Some of the items covered in Part 4 include: an introduction to the studio and energy drinks, the types of fake projects you will design and your new best friend: deadlines.
In architecture school, you will be introduced to the Studio.
In architecture school you will learn to design in your Architecture Studio Class, commonly referred to as ‘Studio.’ ‘The Studio’ also represents the physical space where architecture students create their work. Architecture students get their own little personal studio space that in my case looked very similar to a standard office cubicle.
The Studio is where all the magic happens. This is where you will burn through trace paper, swig energy drinks, spend all-nighters and develop life-long friendships. Architecture School is all about the Studio.
In architecture school, you will design FAKE projects.
I like to point out that the projects are fake because you will become extremely invested in these fake projects as if they were going to be financed and built tomorrow. These fake projects are also very different than the projects you will work on as a real Architect.
You will work day and night in an effort to improve the designs on your fake projects. You will make a furious final push leading up to your studio review in an effort to make your fake project as real as it can be. The day of the final review, you will pour your heart out and exclaim the brilliance of your design!
Congratulations! You designed a fake project!
The next day your teacher will give you a handout describing the details of your new fake project. Thus, the cycle begins.
Common projects for a student in Architecture School include:
• The ‘Cube Project’
• Civic Structures: Museums, Town Halls, Theatres, Monuments
• Projects involving Urban Farming
• Art Installations
• Modern Interventions
• Mater Planning entire portions of Cities
And all of your projects will be sustainable!
In architecture school, you will learn about deadlines and how to balance your time.
All of those fake projects will have real deadlines. Most studio classes will involve critiques with your professor 3 times a week. Each project will conclude with a hard deadline before your final presentation.
The deadline culture will continue into your professional life as an architect. Architect’s meet with their colleagues and clients throughout the week and every project will have milestone deadlines such as: Schematic Design, Design Development and Construction Documents.
Learning to balance your time will prove vital to you success as an Architect and the preservation of your sanity!
In architecture school, you will learn to present your work.
You will present your work to your peers and professors on a weekly basis. Most projects will end with a final presentation to a group of architects and teachers referred to as the ‘Design Jury,’ or ‘Jury.’
Learning how to discuss your work and present with confidence is a critical skill that will serve you well in the profession.
In architecture school, you will learn to accept critique.
An Architect must have ‘thick skin.’ Those presentations you will be giving have consequences. Your teachers and those design jury’s will be criticizing your work. There will also be praise but most of it will be criticism. Some of those criticisms may upset you. You may even go home and cry.
It is important for you to understand that criticism is how you learn in Architecture School. These small failures will one day add up to big success. You will one day thank those professors.
In architecture school, you will learn to give critique.
Hey! You get to join in on the criticism parade as well!
Studio class will commonly involve other students in critique. In addition, you may have the option to be a teaching assistant in which your job could involve critiquing your students work.
The ability to give meaningful constructive criticism is another skill that will serve you well as an Architect. In fact, I believe that the ability to make others around you better could be the most important trait for an architect.
What do you think?
In architecture school, you will learn to work with others.
Although many architecture school projects are independent endeavors, at some point your professors will require you to work in small teams. This is when it gets fun.
This group work will be a challenge for you at first. Within any studio, there will be students at various skill levels. There will also be students that are very dedicated and will do whatever it takes and then there will be students that will do the least. Having those different types of students work together is sure to stir the pot. I remember hating the group work. “Why couldn’t I just do my own thing?” I thought.
Welcome to the Real World!
It turns out that you will work with other humans in the real world for your entire career as an Architect. Even if you are a small firm Architect, there will always be someone else.
The ability to work with others is a major theme of this book, as I believe it is one of the key ingredients to your success as an Architect.
Closing thoughts on Architecture School
This chapter provided a broad overview of what you will learn in Architecture School. Just like Architecture School is an overview of your career as an Architect as it is by no means comprehensive. I have focused on the key items that I feel are most important to your development.
I have put a lot of weight on the importance of design in Architecture School as I believe that it is the most important part of your training.
I don’t pretend to believe that all Architects Students will become Design Architects nor do I think that the Design Architect is the cream of the crop. What I do believe is that your ability to become a Design Architect blossoms in Architecture School.
Other components of Architecture School such as learning architectural history or learning to use the computer are things that anyone could learn outside of an accredited university.
One Chapter in the Bag!
Thank you for reading Chapter 1 of my first book: Breaking the Box. I am pumped to finish 1 chapter! Only 29 more! I hope you will leave a comment and hope that it will be criticism. I have thick skin and I am sharing this draft in hopes that you will help me make it better. Thank you in advance.
Chapter 1 by the Numbers
- 3,133 words
- 11 – Translates into approximately 11 pages in book form.
- 4 – 4 Separate blog posts.
- 7 – Written and posted on blog in approximately 7 hours.
- 6 – Stretched over 6 calendar days.
- 1.83 – Average book pages written per day.
The Book by the Numbers
- 200 – Goal for final page count.
- 1.83 – Average book pages written per day.
- 103 – Estimated days to completion. (200-11) / 1.83) = 103
- 1 - Chapter down.
- 29 - Chapters to go.
- 19 - New subscribers to the breaking the Box Email Newsletter
- 19 - Total subscribers to the Breaking the Box Email Newsletter