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I suck at math & I want to be an architect.

dandenong

Hello,

Yes. I suck at math. More than any other ive known. and i want to be an architect, its the biggest goal in my life at the moment. I’ve been struggling with anything related with math since when i was in primary school. I liked to draw and create, so i applied to high school for art students. It ended up finding out the fact that what i really want is not fine-arts nor product design, but architecture. I dropped out of the school. At least I don’t have any noticeable doubt on drawing.

As i heard so far, architect does not have to be great at math but need to know basic math and physics.

And here’s the question; Is it possible to be an architect without studying high school mathematics? Is there any course for it? Is there ANY architecture school that I can apply to with my poor skill at math? (btw I live in S.Korea and I do not mind studying abroad.)

I know this might be the stupidest question on the planet, but i want to try everything I can. I want to avoid the situation of quitting this way to my dream job just because of math. Even if its not important when i really become an architect, I need to ENTER architecture school first. A lot of architects have reputation with their poor drawing skill but i haven’t seen anyone struggling with math.

Any kind of advice is much appreciated.

 
Nov 28, 17 7:34 am
Non Sequitur
Math is rather important as are physics and any accredited program will absuletly require minimum competence in both (and also high school completion).

Architecture is more than pretty pictures. One needs to factor in space areas, material / thickness, construction tolerances, deflections, thermal resistances and a whole boat load of basic code requirements. Understanding and using data is fundamental or else you’re just another dreamer competing in a well saturated field.

Best to take a hard look at night school if you want a fighting chance.
Nov 28, 17 7:43 am  · 
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randomised

If you're so sure you want to be an architect, and want to try everything, you could perhaps find the time and put in the effort to study a bit of math, come on...it's your dream isn't it? People often think they suck at math without knowing what it is that they are sucking at. Or you might have dyscalculia, in which case you can get diagnosed and can get professional help: https://www.understood.org/en/...

Nov 28, 17 8:04 am  · 
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tintt

Math is like most anything else where a little practice will pay off. There are online learning platforms like Khan Academy and Coursera where you can learn at your own pace for free and not worry about grades. You don’t have to be a math and physics ace, getting a B grade is fine.

Nov 28, 17 8:13 am  · 
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senjohnblutarsky

You need to know math, and anyone who tells you otherwise is fooling themselves and you. 

Nov 28, 17 8:15 am  · 
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justavisual

I suck at math and I am an architect...


...there you go.

Nov 28, 17 8:35 am  · 
1  · 
randomised

But then again, you produce "just visuals" :-P

 · 
justavisual

True true...

 
All of you want, that pretty picture
The perfection, that illusion has got your head
Strive, strive, strive, but the image eludes your reality
On your deathbed, empty handed, it might all sink in
And as you tune out
It hits you
It was just a visual
And then it hits you It was just a visual

 · 
randomised

Very poetic

 · 
Non Sequitur

This topic should be at the top of the forum page for ever.

Let's not forget that someone has to pay for the building and you time, you need to be comfortable estimating both time and materials costs.

btw, I nearly failed high-school math (due to laziness) but aced physics. I took math in summer / school to meet the minimum grade cut-off (still but not quite as lazy)... then once I got to university, it was aces all the way.  

Nov 28, 17 8:37 am  · 
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tintt

I took trig twice in college because I got a C the fist time and it wasn’t good enough to apply to the arch school. Managed to pull a B the second time. I am not great at math but good enough. I wish I was better too. Aced high school calculus though, not sure how that happened.... a very faint memory.

Nov 28, 17 8:44 am  · 
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tintt

Architects take statics too, which is the math and science of making objects stand still. 

Nov 28, 17 8:47 am  · 
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BulgarBlogger

I highly recommend you read a book called “Mastery” by Robert Greene. 


To answer your question about Math:


Math is essential to architecture, not because you are required to necessarily use complicated formulas on an everyday basis, but because mathematics is about finding the relationships between different things in a scientific and quantifiable way. The logic hou develope by solving mathematical problems and equations is directly applicable to many aspects of architectural design. You dont have to be a mathematician to be an architect, and you dont have to remember calculus 10 years into your career. You just have to be profcient enough in math so when you see something that either requires mathematical skill, or requires some critical and logical thinking, you’ll be able to firguere it out.


Here’s a simple word problem: an accessible ramp has a maximim slope of 1:12; the max code-prescribed length of ramp is 30 feet. What is the maximum allowable rise in inches?


Oh and btw - there’s no such thing as not being good at math. You can however, be so disinterested or lazy, that you dont put in the effort to practice. Anyone can be good at math if they practice, so just bite the bullet and become proficient! You’ll be better off in the end! 

Nov 28, 17 8:54 am  · 
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randomised

"Anyone can be good at math if they practice, so just bite the bullet and become proficient! You’ll be better off in the end! "

That's like saying anyone can learn to read by simply practicing just like you and me, never heard of dyslexia?

 · 
tintt

I’ve never heard of a dyslexic who never learned to read. They all do it eventually.

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randomised

Yes but it is not simply practice like for the rest of us and bam, suddenly you can read. It is extremely difficult and hard work, and even when you can read eventually, it doesn't mean that what you read makes any sense.

 · 
tintt

I've seen a dyslexic kid go from 0th percentile to 95th in about a year. My husband is one of the best dyslexia teachers in the US :)

 · 
BulgarBlogger

There's a reason for why certain jobs are not meant for certain people.

 · 
BulgarBlogger

There's a reason for why certain jobs are not meant for certain people.

In any case - Tinbeary - how have your husband's students scored on national exams compared to other "normal" students?

 · 
tintt

"I've seen a dyslexic kid go from 0th percentile to 95th in about a year."

 · 
randomised

Wow, that's impressive.

 · 
tintt

Indeed, thanks. That's probably our best stat, but there are plenty of other kids who went from failing to thriving as well. I had a student who was to fail a grade and after working with me got accepted into an exclusive private school instead. I worked with her 6 hours a week for about 9 weeks.Teaching (outside of public school) is amazing!

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dandenong
Thanks for opinions. It doesnt mean that i gave up on putting effort on math. Never. & Did a tiny bit of research, I don’t know how american colleges work but it seems like some of their art schools -Pratt, Syracuse, SCAD, etc.- have different requirements. Is there anyone who’s graduated the faculty of architecture in those art schools?
Nov 28, 17 8:55 am  · 
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waw

At Syracuse, you'll need to take one math class if you don't have AP credit from High School, and then 2 structures courses that are fairly math intensive. But really, once you get through them, in practice you just need basic math and problem solving.

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justavisual

If you pass the requirements to go to the university in the first place you will manage to pass the maths courses required. Also, what kind of math are you bad at? For me geometry and calc were a horror. Physics and statistics was okay.

Passed Ivy League level calc class bc luckily the rest of freshman architects and the whole hockey team ended up in my class...hockey team pulled the curve down so far all the architects passed (most of us were shit at math who were taking this low level course). Do your homework, go to study hours and fail your exams you still pass.

As long as you can understand structures you'll be okay...maths helps you do things faster/quicker, but its not a make it or break it thing.

Nov 28, 17 9:05 am  · 
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dandenong

“What kind of math are you bad at?”

 · 
dandenong

Every part of it. tbh im studying back again from middle school courses.

 · 
BulgarBlogger

not to mention to efficiency aspect of being an employee... if you cant figure out the above problem in five seconds or less, you shouldnt consider architecture... nit because you suck at math, but because it is an indicator of how efficiently you think... and efficiency is king when you are trying to make money.

Nov 28, 17 9:07 am  · 
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hellion

The curriculum of my BSc Architecture program had math all the way until my fourth year. Advanced Algebra, Advanced Trigonometry, Advanced Physics, Advanced Calculus (all which I already had in high school for crying out loud) which were prerequisites for the higher subjects we were also required to take which are Engineering Sciences and Architectural Sciences (which dealt mainly with computing structural design, building technology and construction).  It greatly helped especially with understanding structural aspects of building design. More importantly, architects should at least know how his/her building will stand and last. 

Also, having or owning what you want the most in life doesn't nor shouldn't come easy. You have to work hard for it. And there's no growth on your part if you choose to walk the easier path. At some point, you need to tackle your fears or weakness/es. Go and take math courses not just for the engineering aspect, but for the business aspect of architecture as well. Also, computational design in architecture is also becoming relevant and it will eventually be at the forefront of many (big firms) practices. So there's no reason for you to avoid math if you want to become an architect because there will be a lot of it throughout your eventual academic and professional life. 

Nov 28, 17 9:07 am  · 
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tintt

If you can draw, you are good at math. Draw your math. I have tutored high school math so I know what I'm talking about. Build fluency with the basics, multiplication facts should be on the tip of your tongue, practice with ratios, fractions, percents, decimals, estimating. Practice holding numbers in your head and adding a bunch numbers together, these basic skills are the most useful in day to day work anyways AND it will also help you to build number sense and a foundation for algebra, calc, etc. 

Nov 28, 17 10:17 am  · 
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JLC-1

The only piece of advice I would give you besides all that's been said here is Go to Architectural school in the system you know best; trying to study arch in an imperial system country if you had all your education in metric would be a nightmare. At some point in history we will all work in metric system.

Nov 28, 17 11:06 am  · 
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Non Sequitur

Most already work in the real world (metric). 8-)

 · 
tintt

We use plenty of metric in the US, you have to know both.

 · 
JLC-1

I know, I work in the US, but grew up in the real world .

 · 
Non Sequitur

nothing ruins my day / week more than having to work on an imperial drawing. Worst thing is, since the drafting staff normally functions in metric (again, real world), when they draw using imperial units, I get nonsensical things like 8' - 3 17/32" to outside face of walls. Sure... that 17/32 is crucial... eye-roll

 · 
archinine
Going to an art school with 'lower' entry requirements is not a viable solution to skirt math. For an accredited degree, including at those places you mentioned, one is required to pass both calculus and physics at a colloege level. If you can't wrap your head around basic geometry, fractions, proportions and physics you're not going to be much of an architect. Deeper mathematics - think matrices, linear algebra, topology are an excellent base for hybrid BIM roles. These last skill sets are becoming more in demand as are basic finance / management skills. If you want to do more than pretty pictures you need math. If you only want to make pretty pictures of buildings, major in studio art or cinema studies, plenty of render artists are employed by architects. That said if it's extremely difficult despite lots of practice perhaps you ought to focus on some ancillary role that isn't becoming an architect. The most successful architect may not be able to write out a long hand formula but they have a 'rational' mind that understands geometry and space very easily.

Math is much broader than formulas. It's quite possible you have mathematics strengths you're not aware of that are influencing you toward architecture in the first place. Get good at topology, geometry, fractions and human scale proportions. That's all you really need.
Nov 28, 17 11:55 am  · 
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code

The key to "getting it" it to draw elements - in Trig, Analytic Geom. and Calc, draw figures and diagrams - same with algebra - turn it into a sketchbook exercise, that's what I did to learn Trig and Analytic Geom. if its just number, it doesn't make sense - I have to be good at math as most of may co-workers are from China and India and can do math in their heads and I cant be standing there in a design meeting looking like a doofus


Nov 28, 17 12:18 pm  · 
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LightMyFire66

What we do with employees who suck at math.... we find out and become angry to the point where our skin develops rashes then one day we take a walk with the boy deep into the woods behind our office.  Then we pull out one of a wide variety of handguns and blow his brains out.  Leaving his corpse to decay and be eaten by our forest friends.  We then hunt his family down and kill them as well for not having enough sense to tell this math-skills-lacking douchebag not to enter the field of architecture.  So save a lot of lives and pick another field.

Nov 28, 17 1:55 pm  · 
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code

learn to do math in your head - don't make a fool out of yourself by doing it with the calculator on your iphone

Nov 28, 17 2:13 pm  · 
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randomised

That's not math, that's only calculus.

 · 
AdrianFGA

This is why you need to learn math

Nov 28, 17 3:11 pm  · 
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I feel like knowing basic high school level math is important for a hell of a lot of things, not just architecture.

Nov 28, 17 3:24 pm  · 
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shellarchitect

normally I encourage all to follow their dreams, but if you are struggling with primary school math... addition, subtraction, fractions, multiplication, etc.  you will struggle with any complex task.

Nov 28, 17 3:58 pm  · 
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Non Sequitur
To the OP, ignore the above rants by Ricky. He’s not an architect, nor has he ever designed anything. He also has, surprise surprise, not attended architecture school.
Nov 28, 17 5:26 pm  · 
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hellion

So that explains the ^ naiveté and nuisance. Also @ "Geometry, elementary math & algebra, I do fine with is literally what I find most common to be needed for solving structural design." (eye roll) I won't be surprised if he gets beaten up if he says that to a structural designer / civil engineer. Bitch clearly doesn't know what he's talking about.

 · 
Non Sequitur

Ricky, every ignorant rant you post further confirms the number of projects at zero. Granted your too ill to recognize this.

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hellion

Last I checked, trigonometry, physics and calculus are the prerequisite knowledge for structural design, especially for the computation of loads. NOT just geometry, elementary math & algebra (yeah, you'll need to know the basics but only limiting or relying on that is not enough). Also, most of the architecture curriculum in Asia is based on western standards (particularly more from the US), so our licensure examinations are also based on that. I know for one there's a substantial portion of structural design in the the US licensure exam (a friend of mine recently took one and passed the licensure in NY, and he is also educated from the same school I was here in Asia). So there's not much difference whether I'm from the US or not, but the fact is that universally in this profession, if the OP really wants to become an architect and a licensed one at that, he must at least know or reach a collegiate level (or entry-level engineering) of math It may not be used as much in the design process, but to know that mathematical / engineering logic that goes into designing your building is just as vital as everything else. I assume you would know all of these things since you are well-experienced enough to be licensed at this point. Unless what everyone else here is saying is true that you're not. Also, why don't you solve that sample problem you posted. This is about you proving that your method and experience is ideal and the one OP should follow. If you can solve it with just geometry and algebra, then show us.

 · 
AlinaF

Well better learn math and get a proper education because in 4-5 years time you will be posting 'I suck at architecture & want to be a (enter other profession).

Nov 28, 17 6:25 pm  · 
 · 
( o Y o )

how are those math skills payin off for you Ricky?

Nov 28, 17 11:45 pm  · 
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archinine
I'm with you NS. How do I get the ignore button on mobile? Also is it just me or does it seem RB and Bulgar are the same person? Caught that on another thread. Not that I care who's who but it makes me feel better that there's only one rambling incoherent jerk on here rather than two.
Nov 29, 17 1:07 pm  · 
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I see Rick went back to creating dumpster fires.

Nov 29, 17 1:27 pm  · 
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tintt

Imagine what the built world would look like without math. 

Nov 29, 17 7:44 pm  · 
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tintt

Thesis: Mathless Architecture, the way forward.

 · 
Non Sequitur
I didn’t most of yesterday on a site plan submission. Hurray for zoning math!
Nov 29, 17 7:51 pm  · 
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Le Courvoisier

Don't you make excuses and give up every time you suck at something? I mean shit, man - you make excuses about everything. 

Nov 30, 17 11:32 am  · 
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sameolddoctor

BULLSHIT. Most architects I know of suck at math. The suckage at math will help you immensely when you have to count your paycheck.

Nov 30, 17 1:33 pm  · 
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Thayer-D

Are you good at geometry?  In my opinion, it's more important than was is traditionally understood as math.

Nov 30, 17 2:56 pm  · 
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Bench

There you go. Having a deep understanding of the relationships between and effects of specific geometry, especially in the areas of rationality and logic, are something I use way more than any kind of linear algebra/calculus/etc.

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tintt

Having to be good at geometry is a given. the other stuff not so obvious.

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tintt

Gotta know geometry for measuring and drawing existing buildings. A 2 foot error in an 80 foot building is not tolerable (true story). When all the measurements work out, you know to measure.

Dec 1, 17 8:59 am  · 
 · 

Have you ever consider reviewing some tutorials some KhanAcademy? If you need to understand the breakdown of each topic in math, its a great source to get you started. As a person who drafts constantly, there some mathematics equations that will speed up your process in drafting that will maximize your productivity. 

Dec 3, 17 10:36 pm  · 
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arditarifi

can i be architect without math


Dec 1, 20 8:03 am  · 
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Non Sequitur

can you even be an adult without math?

1  ·  1
arditarifi

answer the question

 · 
arditarifi

with yes and no

 · 
Non Sequitur

I did.

1  ·  1
tduds

Define "math." I'm leaning towards no.

1  · 
arditarifi

JUST WITH YES OR NO


Dec 1, 20 9:57 am  · 
 ·  1
arditarifi

im in architecture school but idk the math and im asking should i stop or move on


Dec 1, 20 11:32 am  · 
1  · 
Non Sequitur

what do you think? It's not difficult math at all but it is an important part. Not just with basic design & proportions but also helps with understanding consultants, codes, building assemblies, zoning, etc. It's not more than grade 9 physics so if you can't figure it out by yourself, this might not be the best option. Also important, don't seek real-life advice from anonymous wankers online. Speak with your professors.

 · 
SneakyPete

Learn to use a calculator. That will suffice for much of the real work. Talk to the structures professor about your concerns. While you'll still need to pass (which is frequently difficult for students who are not math savvy) they might be able to explain concepts in a way that won't get you into trouble during the part of design that happens before the structural engineer hops on board.


Dec 1, 20 12:11 pm  · 
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code

As I've said before, many Asian students can do math in their heads and are very adroit t it. Don't put yourself at a disadvantage as another "dumb American" learn math. It's not that hard - I became good at Trig and analytic geometry through practice. set up problems in cad or Revit, this way you can visualize math

Dec 1, 20 1:24 pm  · 
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arditarifi

thnx everyone


Dec 1, 20 3:03 pm  · 
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