Part 1 by Ronald L.
On the first day at the architectural studio, just before class, I quickly devoured my meal-deal from Tesco in 3 minutes. Something came to my mind: was architecture the best choice among all the career paths I could have taken? Was it driven by passion, or was it about the fulfilment derived from the endless drawings, renders, and presentations that I would be producing?
As a Part II architectural assistant looking back, I wish I could have told my younger self not to panic every time before a submission or how to present in a better manner
So, here is a list of bits and pieces of advice that I have reflected on over the years and would love to share with you all – the basics of surviving the architectural degree and beyond.
Don’t Pull All-Nighters
Doing late nights not only exhausts you the day after for a presentation, but the amount of work you could have produced might not significantly impact your overall project delivery. Instead, practise better time management, focus on specific key tasks or deliverables that you can achieve, and ensure that the work you produce during the ‘late-night’ has the maximum impact on your presentation.
Go Out and Socialise!
Studying architecture sometimes makes me feel like a hermit, especially when I have to complete all the drawings and essays by myself, mostly at the library. Go interact with your fellow classmates and grab a bite or a drink! Many of them will become lifelong friends, providing valuable insights, peer reviews for your work, and potential future work experiences. Sharing architectural knowledge among your peers is crucial for developing skills you’ll be grateful for upon graduation.
Don’t Overdo It!
I know that often, when a major presentation approaches, the first instinct is to cram as much information as possible – sections, elevations, plans, renders, etc. However, too much information can create distractions from your original design intent, leading to unnecessary all-nighters (as mentioned in Point 1). Be clear and precise about what you want to present and how you plan to present it. Sometimes, one axonometric drawing can convey far more ideas than five floor plans. This approach not only saves you time in producing work but also trains you to be more critical about your message.
‘Rome Leads to All Roads’
A typical architectural office career isn’t the only option in life. The beauty of studying architecture lies in its connection to art, construction, technology, and various other professions. As you progress in your architecture degree, you might discover more interest and passion in construction or building materials development etc. Therefore, don’t limit yourself to just one choice; explore the diverse career paths an architecture degree can offer. A valuable book titled “Architects after Architecture” by Harriet Harriss, Rory Hyde, and Roberta Marcaccio offers insights into alternative pathways of architecture.
Hope that helps and have fun!