If you haven't quite committed to studying architecture yet, you might also want to think about why you might study architecture, what architectural graduates do (hint: not just architecture!) and what the other career outcomes are.
Geting the information to make your choice
Having decided what to study, the next difficult task is figuring out where to study it - with a range of related but slightly different courses on offer, each with their own special locations, teaching methods, and possible outcomes.
So if you're in a position of knowing little or nothing about architecture, the university system, or how the two fit together, how do you make a selection? There is so much to think about, and that's great, because getting information is the best way to get on the path to making a great decision.
FOCUS YOUR THOUGHTS ON THESE 4 KEY aREAS
When you start finding out about architecture schools, the amount of information and things to weigh up can be overwhelming. My advice? Focus your thinking into these four key areas:
Your circumstances, your values and goals, and your skills. These are the most important things to think about, because they will change how you evaluate the other three areas.
- PROGRAMME & UNIVERSITY.
What the school offers, how it delivers it, and the people you will befriend, learn from and be mentored by are all important here. Looking at University websites is a great place to start.
It will cost to study - and the more upfront you are about it, the easier to plan your way through. It's not just the Course Fees either - you'll need to live somewhere, eat, buy books and other project supplies. Figuring out ways to fund this, including scholarships or part-time work, can open doors for you and your choices.
Opportunities are the things that go above and beyond the day-to-day of study. What can you while at university, what overlaps might become available, and what doors will open once you leave?
In this article, I will look at what programme is, and how you can use, test, and have fun with it in design. I will also explain some basic ways of thinking about programme on your project, and different techniques architects often use to explore and explain programme.
While there's an element of luck* involved in the architecture crit scenario, I truly believe that having 'a good crit', like many things in life, is all in the preparation.
In this post I'm going to cover the age old question that prospective architecture students, parents, and friends-of-architecture-students want to know: What is a 'crit', or a 'jury' at architecture school, and how do they work?
Mental health issues and the plight of stressed-out architecture students are fairly well-discussed. But how can we begin to change things? And, whether you're at, or perhaps thinking about going to architecture school, how can you support and look after yourself, so you can live your dreams to your full potential?
There are quite a few things you don't get taught at architecture school. You can't, and shouldn't expect to learn everything there ever was to know about architecture in a period of about 5 years.
This week, we're starting things off with: 5 things you won't get taught at architecture school: the work edition.
It's a simple question, but it's also the one I am asked most often, both by readers of Portico and by anyone who happens to know I studied architecture: friends in different fields, family members, and people I've just met. It sometimes seems like everyone is interested in architecture, but no one knows quite what it is or exactly how you go about doing it.
Atelier Bow Wow is a Tokyo-based Architecture firm founded by Yoshiharu Tsukamoto and Momoyo Kajima in 1992. They are one of the most innovative, original and productive architecture firms of the present day.
Hhow do you feel about group work?
In my experience - both as a student and as a teacher - there are two kinds of people at architecture school, those who love group projects, and those who begin trembling with anxiety at any mention of working with others.
Unfortunately, all it takes is one bad group project experience to tip those in the first group into the latter group. And going back the other way isn't such an easy slope to climb.
If your architectural drawings have glaring inadequacies in the construction or structural department, your tutors, critics, peers and clients will be distracted from the really rich, well-considered and revolutionary aspects of your work. To avoid this, u need to make your architectural concept believable.
The ‘gap’ between university and practice is a hot topic of discussion in the architectural community worldwide. A large part of this discussion focuses on scrutinising everything that Architecture School doesn't teach you - but practice does. The phrase I've heard architects and graduates use time and time again when talking to students is that:
"You'll learn more in your first year of practice than you ever did in architecture school."
It's true there’s things you won’t learn at Architecture School. But let me ask - did you really plan on studying for 5 years, and then learning nothing more and just going through the motions day in and day out for the next 45 years? Probably not. I certainly plan on - and revel in - learning something new every single day. On the flipside, that doesn't mean I don't value my time at architecture school immensely.
It's interesting to me how much my perspective on learning about architecture, and about what is important, changes over time. After a few years in practice now, I feel like I'm fairly well positioned to assess, from my own experience, not just what but also how I learnt at university, versus the what and how of learning in practice.
And to me - the idea that you'll learn more in 1 year of practice in an architecture firm than you will do in 5 years of study just isn't true. It's a myth.
THE MYTH OF LEARNING ABOUT ARCHITECTURE
This post isn't about content - the quantifiable 'stuff' you learn - in either situation, or about how well architecture school 'prepares' you for practice. Instead, I'm going to unpack for you:
- why I think it is a myth that you learn more in practice;
- the conditions that perpetuate this myth; and
- why it's a dangerous way to think - not matter what stage you're at in your journey.
I hope that in doing so, you'll understand that it's just a myth, and doesn't have to be your reality!
Instead of falling prey to the myth, you can choose to be strategic in your education, and take the driving seat in your architectural journey.