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I have a couple of questions for folks that I haven't been able to really find concrete answers for.
I have been admitted to begin a 3 year M. L. Arch at the University of Manitoba (Canada). I have a first masters from Oxford in an unrelated non-design discipline. My master's work was regarding individual negotiations with spatial change in rapidly evolving cultural space, which hopefully helps explains my interest in L. Arch.
My problems are as follows:
1) Practically, and I really hope this doesn't sound like I'm a first class snob, how bad does it look to be coming from an Ivy to taking my MLArch at a non top of the line school? Should I be aiming to do exceptionally well in my foundation year, and transfer out to complete? This is my hometown, I'm here for family reasons, and I know the quality of the teaching at this University to be excellent. It is a place I'm familiar with as my undergraduate institution, and so it seemed like a good place to start something completely unfamiliar to me (design) and get a really good handle on things. Was this a mistake though, prospects wise? Will my first master's count for anything on my job applications when I'm done?
2) I have an equal interest in landscape architecture and architecture, and would like to be employed at some point in my life. I really love landscape and plants, and really want a background in this, but I also very much want to know how to design buildings. I also think I can probably do a lot better for myself in architecture. Problem is, it seems like it'll take me a lot longer to complete an architecture masters coming from a non-design background, (the stream for this at Manitoba is 5 years, and this year is full, so I'd have to wait a year to get in) I'm too old (32, female, wouldn't mind having a family one day), and I have the feeling the the M.Arch is too competitive for me. I did up an ID portfolio but have very very little in it that is 'creative work' - my spreads are primarily photographs and conceptually arranged. My biggest strength is theory. I'm not sure that I'd make the cut. Should I do a year of L.Arch and switch into an Arch. pre-masters? Should I just apply to Arch master's with my non-design background and see how it goes? Should I even take a year of design, if that'll put me into 'design background' territory when I don't have the skill set to compete with B.Arch students with much more of a design background than me?
Your honest feedback is very much appreciated.
Have you ever thought of trying to get a job with one of the big engineering /architecture firms? They may be interested in hiring you with your masters and an interest in architecture. You do not have to to be an architect to work in these large firms.