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Abuse in Architecture Schools?

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HootienBlowfish

Hey Archinect, 

I'm working on a research project and am seeking input and ideas about the culture of abuse in Architecture Schools.

There's a lot of talk now about culture in Architecture schools. With MeToo and TimesUp, stories are starting to flood to the surface, of sexual harassment, gender/racial discrimination, abuse, etc. 

I'm trying to lower a plumb line at various Architecture schools to see just how deep and wide abuse runs in Architecture Schools. I walked the walk (did my M.Arch at an elite Architecture School) so I speak from direct experience. 

-Is there abuse at Arch schools, whether done to you or observed being done to others? 

-Architecture School is : __________________ << Fill in the blank! 

-If you could change 1 thing about Arch School, what would it be?

-Is the crit culture of assailing student with negative feedback useful or ineffective?

-How long did it take you to recover, mentally, psychologically, socially etc, after graduating from Arch School? 

=-Could one go as far as to say that some people have PTSD as a result of Arch School? 

Thanks for your feedback and thoughts everyone! Looking forward.

 
Jul 3, 18 10:31 am
Non Sequitur
  • Architecture school is: Not as difficult as it's made out to be if you're moderately mature and can manage your time
  • If you could change 1 thing about Arch School, what would it be?: Decrease the design fluff and increase times 10 the professional practice / legal classes.  You gain nothing by rendering models 14hrs/day.  
  • Is the crit culture of assailing student with negative feedback useful or ineffective?: Learn to present your ideas and deflect criticism with thoughtful answers.  If your project is shit and lazy, expect shitty comments.
  • How long did it take you to recover, mentally, psychologically, socially etc, after graduating from Arch School? : Zero time. I'm not some fragile special snowflake.  Millennials, amiright?
  • Could one go as far as to say that some people have PTSD as a result of Arch School? : No, that's an insult to people who have real PTSD from real events.  Art school is not that hard.

Have these pedestrian questions passed your school's ethics board yet?

Jul 3, 18 10:47 am
HootienBlowfish

Totally agree w you about reduce the fluff and stop the rendering 14hrs/day.

HootienBlowfish

Not in school so don't have to answer to no ethics board thank god.

s=r*(theta)

As a black guy in arch school, obviously some instructors and students have their stereotypes and hang ups about african americans. But for me that is their problem and not mine. I notice how some students would put 6hours into a project and end up with an A or B and I would put in like 40 and get the same grade. and be like wtf!!! even had a student copy my project and had other students defend me and say I design it first yet I was threaten with expulsion! but in the end I just focused on getting that paper and moving on with my life

-Is there abuse at Arch schools, whether done to you or observed being done to others? only saw verbal and emotional abuse

-Architecture School is :  A joke at times!, clients are the test of your talent

-If you could change 1 thing about Arch School, what would it be? make it more real world like (ie. putting a construction document set together)

-Is the crit culture of assailing student with negative feedback useful or ineffective? useful, everything you make is not always well thought out

-How long did it take you to recover, mentally, psychologically, socially etc, after graduating from Arch School? hahahaha, Im a competitor so I dont recall a point were I had to recover. I understand its a dog eat dog world

=-Could one go as far as to say that some people have PTSD as a result of Arch School? are you kidding me!!!!!!!! I grew up in the inner city and have had actual gunfire go off right beside me, have been caught in crossfire of rival gangs several time, been in neighborhoods were even grown men risk getting raped, and had a sister murdered in my old neighborhood and you are comparing architecture school to the previous or a war zone?!?! get real. you've had to be pampered, spoiled horribly and told you are great all your life if you think you've developed ptsd from arch school!! who is this trump son donal jr?


Jul 3, 18 10:52 am
Non Sequitur

Excellent answers.

HootienBlowfish

Thank you! Really interesting perspective.

HootienBlowfish

LOL s=r*(theta) assumption is I'm binary cis-male.

HootienBlowfish

Thanks again for the feedback. Totally, and the reason I ask is not to trump anyone else's experience of suffering, but rather to ask since PTSD can form as a result of trauma, thus IF and ONLY IF arch school is traumatic to some folks, then it's also possible that there would be PTSD in a fraction. Ok, case in point: a person who graduated 10 years ago from Sci-Arc told me they thought arch school had taken a few years off their life. What? Why? How?!

RickB-Astoria

I don't think you should be asking if someone has PTSD without proof. On an anonymous forum, anyone can say anything. You might want to reworks some of the questions.

Sir Apple Chrissy

Did i miss something or where did s=r*theta make an assumption? Like NS says ans theta don't diminish the i importance and power of real PTSD with fluff shit....best foreman i ever worked with and honest as hell was a navy seal on one of those teams that did some shit...at some point i heard -"you hear what happened to such and such- he lost his shit and supposedly had an episode" Lost his job etc...hope he is back at work. He could run the crews and was honest (rare in construction)

RickB-Astoria

I was replying to the question by the OP in-line with s=r*theta's post.

HootienBlowfish

Oh he implied I was donny trump jr. sort of but i think he meant a general "you", not me literally. (Look at that grimy grip he has around new girl's waist.)

HootienBlowfish

I don't need to re-work questions. People are responding to this prompt fine. Most people dismiss PTSD. People have told me that toxic environments and sustained trauma lead to PTSD. So it's a question, not a statement.

Beepbeep

After going to architecture graduate school after being in the military, and coming home from an actual war, PTSD from arch school? what a joke! Too many people don't know how shit things get out there.

Jul 3, 18 11:00 am
HootienBlowfish

Right, good point! It sounds like you were either really resilient or you navigated through actual war, then arch school seemed like a cake-walk-- is that right?

Xenakis

abuse is the perception of the incompetent who won't do what it takes - "Jesus H Christ - what a bunch of babies" 

Jul 3, 18 11:03 am
HootienBlowfish

Are you named after Le Corb's collaborator Xenakis?

A book recommendation:

Design juries on trial 

by Anthony.

As for the questions: 

The abuse exist and it is not just limited to situations between student and teacher but can be from fellow students as well. there are more hours of the day interacting with fellow students than faculty in a typical architecture program. Students harassing each other with inappropriate touching was actually the only form of abuse I witnessed.

Architecture school is: hard.

1 thing to change to change about architecture school: Only licensed architects with built work get to teach studio.

The design jury if it is just architecture faculty is not helpful but throw in some people who could represent the client for the studio project and then you learn to communicate architectural ideas and concepts to people who will need to understand them.  For example if your studio project is a library someone on the jury should be a librarian (not in the architecture department) or a faculty from a library and information science program. This is not difficult to do and can help prepare students to better communicate with a wider spectrum of professionals.

Recovery from mental stress and abuse was not an issue and any problems were more immediate and short term. Having due dates and set end points was a relief. 

People have PTSD as a result of many things, this can be failing academically, insecurity over their job prospects, injury, or other events.This seems worse for people who go to elite schools as they may have unrealistic expectations and seemingly insurmountable pressure.

Most of my experiences in architecture school, both undergraduate and graduate were at large universities, I took advantage of the diversity of programs and activities to have part of each day not doing architecture. Too much time spent obsessing over architecture can make you more susceptible to stress and mental health problems. Also architecture programs are small so you see the same people every day can lead to problems. I think the extra curricular courses I took and the activities I did gave me a circle for friends and colleagues that had no overlap with architecture and I gave me some perspective over what I was doing in architecture studio. Also this wide range of classes included things like digital video editing and photography which taught me how to quickly make decisions helped speed up my studio design process. Often the procrastination in studio is the result of pondering or avoiding a decision that has to be made in order to move forward. If all you do every day is worry about architecture and the opinions of the small group of folks you are surrounded by you can become paralyzed in your decision making, or you end up doing too many variations in search of validation which is not necessary and can erode your self esteem.  A well rounded educational curriculum and  diverse experience is an asset.

Over and OUT

Peter N

Jul 3, 18 11:18 am
HootienBlowfish

Thank you Peter, these are very thoughtful replies. I agree--my best critics were those who were first and foremost architects with built work. It's true that insular architecture school culture can lead to mental health issues such as stewing over one's architecture projects or seeing the same people, all the time. It's great you were able to find outlets. At my school, we were in a City, and part of a wider university, yet taking classes outside of the school, let alone program, seemed impossible. First, we didn't have any electives for the first two years. Second, any extracurricular was seen as being pointless next to studio. Looking back, I think some of my classmates had more experience with making decisions, working diligently and keeping outside interests--those were the folks who were able to insulate themselves from the 24/7 charrette stress grind pull all night rigor that many held.

JLC-1

-Is there abuse at Arch schools, whether done to you or observed being done to others?  NO

-Architecture School is : THE PLACE TO MAKE MISTAKES

-If you could change 1 thing about Arch School, what would it be? ASSUMING YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT SCHOOLS IN THE U.S., I WOULD MAKE A PROFESSIONAL CLASS MANDATORY THROUGHOUT 5 YEARS OF SCHOOL - OFFICE, FIELD, SHOP, LEGAL, MEP SYSTEMS, STRUCTURAL SYSTEMS, MATERIALS, ETC AND YOU WOULD EXIT THE SCHOOL READY TO TAKE THE "BAR EXAM" AS THEY LIKE IT.

-Is the crit culture of assailing student with negative feedback useful or ineffective? IF YOU THINK CRITS ARE TOUGH, TRY DEVELOPERS.

-How long did it take you to recover, mentally, psychologically, socially etc, after graduating from Arch School? GRADUATING WAS THE MOST LIBERATING ACT, IT TOOK 3 MARGARITAS TO BE READY FOR WORK NEXT DAY.

=-Could one go as far as to say that some people have PTSD as a result of Arch School? NO

Jul 3, 18 11:19 am
jla-x

+++JLC-1

thatsthat

+++ love these answers especially the "bar exam" idea.

JLC-1

you know, people in this forum keep saying we are not close to be compared to medical doctors, but they get their license in 12-15 years since high school, I would bet good money architects in this country take more than that. All the while underpaid in intern jobs. That's abuse!

thatsthat

True, JLC-1. I was thinking of it more as an insurance that people that graduate actually have a base of knowledge in both building materials/systems and the business side. Employers (hopefully) would be less responsible for teaching every. tiny. little. thing to new graduates. I'm all for architects teaching architects, but I should not have to teach a new grad what a french drain is or that the water table varies from site to site or why it matters that they include in notes on drawings.

JLC-1

yes, that's my point as well, but also for the sake of education - how is it possible that after 4 or 5 years of college, putting your parents or yourself on the line for a lot of money, all you can show is a nice rendering of an impossible to build idea? some may say, "that's why you little people exist, to make my designs buildable"

HootienBlowfish

....AND YOU WOULD EXIT THE SCHOOL READY TO TAKE THE "BAR EXAM" AS THEY LIKE IT.  <<< yes please! Why don't they already have this? I'll help you raise a fund to lobby to ncarb that they do this. actually renee chang from umn is developing a program where you graduate licensed, which is awesome.  http://www.architectmagazine.c...

HootienBlowfish

lol at least developers are direct and have an object.

JLC-1

because arch education took a stupid turn in the 80's and now it's all smoke and mirrors, and everyone attending thinks they'll be the next rockstar of the universe as soon as daddy stops paying the rent. The answer is not lobbying ncarb, they will resist this idea with all their might (it would be a lot less money and control, besides they would have the support of all the companies milking interns like honey), the charge is in academia and changing this useless mindset that an architect is somehow "a special being that is capable of creating beauty", we are not, we are here to build, if you're playing with colored glasses, VR, rhino, blender, etc, and don't build - call yourself architectural dreamer, not architect.

HootienBlowfish

But thatsthat don't you find yourself having to teach these fresh grads about the french drain, the rcps, the vapor barrier? I would rather them just admit they don't know rather than posture.

eastcoast

Not quite the same but they do have a new program, IPAL where you intern throughout college before taking a year off to become licensed. In the end you are licensed before graduation.

JLC-1

these, right, but still under the omnipotence of ncarb, and most only after MArch, which is just a way to squeeze more money out of you. There is definitely a disconnect between schools, governing boards and professional practice.

https://www.ncarb.org/become-a...

eastcoast

I agree. Yes totally, I don't personally think its that beneficial, but just that it exists. I think that ncarb and aia should be changed. That whole system should be reevaluated and taken out of this for-profit business.

thatsthat

Hootie, yes I would rather they tell me. I'm fine with teaching, but some basic knowledge coming in would be ideal. I had to teach a new grad what an RCP is - she didn't know that existed or any clue as to what I was talking about! Isn't the idea that you go to school and come out with a base of knowledge needed to do a job? I thought it was ridiculous when I graduated!

RickB-Astoria

Unless we change architecture into a 4 year Pre-architecture school undergraduate (akin to Pre-Med undergraduate degree) followed by a 4-5 years Masters of Architecture or would it be a Doctorates. Whatever. It might give them a more thorough education. 4+5 or 9 years then 2-3 years of experience program. Might be if you want them to learn the art, the terms, and basic drafting before they go into the PROFESSIONAL POST-GRADUATE DEGREE like a doctor, lawyer, etc. Then you have the long 5 year graduate-level study. People don't come out of high school knowing the terms, they just don't because architectural drafting and vocabulary isn't universally taught in high school.


HootienBlowfish

U of Minnesota is trying to streamline so kids are nearly there w being licensed upon graduation. This is being responsible. Oh and what’s this now w Prometric testing centers where they don’t let you even have hair scrunchie or fidget spinner since some folks have been caught with cameras embedded in their watches? PffffT.

Sir Apple Chrissy

+++ on all for JLC .

jla-x

damn...these millennial are soft.  Arch school is like Disney land compared to real life.  

Jul 3, 18 11:34 am
HootienBlowfish

it's funny how touchy this subject gets people. what would it mean if people suffered during architecture school?

jla-x

Not touchy. Just afraid for our future as a nation of the youth is this soft. My grandfather had already fled a dictatorship and killed a bunch of nazis by your age. Didn’t bat an eye. Came home maimed and poor. Built a life. Raised a family. These millennials cry because a teacher doesn’t think that their auto-spa dog-spa combo is a good thesis project. Life is hard. I’m annoyed because I’m genuinely sad for this generation as they get into the real world. Life is hard.

eastcoast

Well they might or might not be soft but there's a whole lot of people above them teaching them to be that way...and i'm assuming they're apart of your own generation.

s=r*(theta)

jla-x , I feel were you are coming from. I think its from all the participation trophy's and ribbons, and they were never taught in life there is this thing called "paying your dues"

jla-x

Yup, they were never taught how to lose. Losing with good “sportsmanship” used to be a laudable quality.

jla-x

life is full of loss, disappointments, struggles, shady people...can’t control that. The idea used to be...that’s life, harden yourself so that you can deal with it...Now the idea is...create safe spaces to accommodate poorly developed character traits.

HootienBlowfish

NO let's get rid of the loser critics. Where would they go? Would they be employable anywhere else?

Sir Apple Chrissy

I will give an college kid $20 for everytime they film themselves on youtube invading other students safe spaces and making the other feel extremely uncomfortable. I will then bill these pathetic kids parents $200 for teaching them a lesson on real life. Then the profit would go towards kids who prank safe spaces,a scholarship for Realists.

flatroof

If some UMC White Kid is being berated by a UMC Narcissistic Man Child dressed in all black and it's the worst thing they've gone through, Arch school must be heaven on earth.

Jul 3, 18 11:41 am
HootienBlowfish

lol United Methodist Church? you millennials, can't keep up with you!

thatsthat

The only negative experience I had was one studio where the prof clearly had a racial bias towards some of the students.  They were allowed to show up late to class, not come to crits, not do the assignments, and that was ok because "they're from a different culture."  But if any of the other students pulled this, he would yell that we weren't being respectful and would threaten to fail us. 

  • Architecture school is: What you make it... most of the time.  If you put in the time and work, generally, you get a successful result.
  • If you could change 1 thing about Arch School, what would it be?: Require Professional Practice during undergrad then expand on it during grad level.  Have at least 1 required internship period.  Focus on the realization that not everyone has the desire to be the next Frank Gehry and that's not a bad thing!  Students need to know how to work with a client, draw something that makes sense, stick to a timeline, and detail it out - not render pretty pictures and make up some story about how it will the best cat sanctuary because of how you used a diagram of a cat licking its paw to create the floor plan or some other BS.
  • Is the crit culture of assailing student with negative feedback useful or ineffective?: As long as the negative feedback is project-based, then yes.  You learn from others' observations.
  • How long did it take you to recover, mentally, psychologically, socially etc, after graduating from Arch School? : I'm still catching up on the tv shows I missed during school - does that count?
  • Could one go as far as to say that some people have PTSD as a result of Arch School? : No.
Jul 3, 18 11:45 am
HootienBlowfish

Great, thank you thatsthat.  "Students need to know how to work with a client, draw something that makes sense, stick to a timeline, and detail it out"  -- Yes very true. Goes back to comment above that we should have people from OTHER professions on our reviews, just like when you're at the client meeting and you need to explain to the client what's going on. 

CAT SANCTUARY -- lol. Be careful what you wish for -- custom dog houses (heated and cooled too) are definitely a thing now.

HootienBlowfish

wow do you mean that suburban white guys were able to show up late, not finish their work, etc etc?

thatsthat

It was actually a group of Mexican students (men and women) and the prof was Mexican as well. The rest of us were mostly white, black, and Spanish if I remember correctly.

Agreed about people of other professions.  In grad school, we had a full school design competition where the city manager would talk to us about a design problem they were struggling with. (How to redesign the zoning laws to encourage development along the river? How to redesign a popular bridge to include pedestrian traffic? etc.,) Other members of the community would come in and give their perspective.  At the end of the competition, each team would show their solution to the city manager and members of the community and get feedback.  It was really awesome to get that real feedback and see how this could actually make someone's life better.

s=r*(theta)

I wouldn't call it negative experience, but like I said, I noticed multiple instructors who had racial bias; if I asked a question they were vague and short answer's but any of my counterparts (male or female) ask a question and the instructors would go above and beyond. I also was aware certain instructor's I never had for studio or every year we were assigned an instructor as an advisor and I was reassign per the instructor when he found out I was on his list.

HootienBlowfish

Gawd why s=r theta why would that loser critic do that? You’re gonna be designing a museum one day and they’ll be psychologically deficient (l
ol I can’t believe someone said that here)

jla-x

-Is there abuse at Arch schools, whether done to you or observed being done to others?  NO


-Architecture School is : FUN


-If you could change 1 thing about Arch School, what would it be? More pro-practice info.  


-Is the crit culture of assailing student with negative feedback useful or ineffective? Most of what you do sucks.  If no one tells you they aren’t doing you any favors.  


-How long did it take you to recover, mentally, psychologically, socially etc, after graduating from Arch School?  I drank quite a bit afterwards, so just the following morning.  


=-Could one go as far as to say that some people have PTSD as a result of Arch School? NO.  If you do, you have deeper psychological issues and deficiencies.  Pstd is an appropriate response to war, not school.  School is a privilege.

Jul 3, 18 11:46 am
quondam...

fondest memories of architecture school: all those times when a select group of students abused the faculty via public parody and satire (often within design presentations themselves).

"I hate this house."

"And he thought he was married to a blonde!!!"

etc. etc. etc.

Jul 3, 18 12:07 pm
HootienBlowfish

Lol what does that even mean, blonde? You mean it’s a joke like, “how many architects does it take to shove an hvac duct

HootienBlowfish

*duct up a stud wall?

Pelase create a proper survey tool through your school.

Jul 3, 18 12:22 pm
HootienBlowfish

Oh good to hear do you have a survey tool you could send info in? I don’t
here it’s a qualitative

HootienBlowfish

Shit apparently I don’t know how to add comments. Ok so— here Marc Miller it’s less a wanting to do survey (they’ve got those) but more to collect qualitative data through stories. There’s now a back and forth, dynamic feedback loop. But I know what you mean— formal surveys are key too.

You’d need to prepare a survey with the help of who ever orversees surveys that use human subjects. If you intend on using any of these comments if becomes a formal instrument- you need to properly cite the site, leading to anonymity issues. If you prepare a prope r instrument, you could redirect anyone to a site that would allow you to maintain anonymity. Also note that surveys can be both quantitative and qualitative.

HootienBlowfish

I don’t see how folks as subjects. You guys aren’t being lead down a path unwillingly. People can choose to post or not. My birth name is Hootie middle name n last name blowfish. My parents were hippies.

HootienBlowfish

Also btw with anonymous people it doesn’t incriminate anyone. Have you heard of this Shitty Arch list? Format allows, encourages even, anonymous

HootienBlowfish

*anonymous accusers to name accused. This could be hijacked and turned into a weapon to ruin someone’s reputation. Or become a “my loss your gain!” Did you hear about the Ivy League prof who had some of the most allegations leveled against him on Shitty Arch Men list? 99% chance this person has mistreated generations of students. Just so happens this elite school most likely off-loaded him, only to have him picked up by a state school over the summer and made leader of Department. Really irresponsible unless the institutions thoroughly checked out each allegation. It’s opening Institution to liability as these guys are often repeat offenders— they prob can’t help themselves from putting their hand in honey jar again. Then, maybe this target of loser behavior will be better equipped to sue the school’s sorry ass. For sexual harassment, it’s the school who’s responsible, not loser offender. Of course if target decides to go for criminal charges, Dbag is also then in trouble. So it’s just a matter of corroborating stories— which is the job of journalists and institutions. Cover up and cover your ass isn’t going to cut it anymore, which is bad news for loser offenders, good news for good eggs. I think there are so many good eggs in Architecture. Not just softie boiled eggs or hard boiled eggs or scrambled eggs. Just good eggs. We’ve gotta allow good eggs a fair shot to thrive in our
profession.

Volunteer

You are paying upwards of $50,000 a year to be abused? Let's get real, If you are in this year's special snowflake category you only have to have a pulse to graduate.

Jul 3, 18 12:28 pm
HootienBlowfish

To be quite honest, volunteer, no longer is that the case. Some faculty are actively tossing students to the curb if they're not up to snuff. Clearly, as criteria is subjective, this is seriously concerning. A low pass doesn't mean LP anymore. It's your one-way ticket out of the 50K a year prison.

Xenakis

I remember one mid term crit after 3 days of all nighters, when a certain well known local architect dressed in black like some priest at a funeral was the visiting professor - he proceeded to dress us all down USMC style -" you people are idiots, you look stupid, my 8 year old can do better than all of you idiots put together"

Jul 3, 18 1:28 pm
HootienBlowfish

wow xenakis, i wouldn't know whether to laugh or cry...what did you do?

RickB-Astoria

Personally, I would have given the f--- the middle finger. Considering, I already dress in a more professional style than a good contingent of students do. I do try not to be too over the top in dressing in relation to the student base.

HootienBlowfish

Are you haberdashery excellent R
ickB?

eastcoast

I've got some pretty long answers if you care to read them all...

Is there abuse at Arch schools, whether done to you or observed being done to others?  

Abuse in the formal terms, no. I would say that in terms of injustices there are a lot of obviously bias professors in the arch education realm. Whether that sexist towards women, or the few students that are bffs with the professors get major slack on everything and have to do zero work. Sexism was major in my school and there was literally nothing you could do to prove or fix it because everything gets relayed back to 'conceptual ideas'. It gets encouraged even more based on the fact that grading is basically non-existent and means absolutely nothing in architecture school. 

There was once a reviewer that left to get coffee, chat with people or use the restroom,  in the middle of EVERY female students' presentation and came back in the middle with no clue as to what was happening and then proceeded to criticize every aspect that he didnt understand or like. With the male students he was engaged, talking, and gave actual feedback. Stuff like this even in the most minimal way shouldn't be okay. 

-Architecture School is : Fun most of the time!

-If you could change 1 thing about Arch School, what would it be?

Put some useful classes and knowledge into the curriculum. Prepare me even just the slightest, for real world architecture so people can decide early on if they want to be an artist or an architect. 

Going back to the first question, i would change the negative tendencies of the culture in school. I think people get this competitive nature early on, and rightfully so, based on needing/wanting the best grades and it's really a toxic mindset when it comes to the professional world. You have to learn how to be collaborative and I think this idea of the individual architect gets glamorized into something it shouldn't and has been this way for years. All the great 'starchitechs' are simply, one person even though its a whole firm of people that put together the ideas and thoughts behind the buildings. 

Okay so grades are not important when it comes to being a designer but, There should be a better way of creating a grading system for architecture school. Anybody can get any grade for any or no reason at all. In the long term, grades don't matter, but when you are trying to go to graduate school or if you are a dual major they do even with the best portfolio. Its obvious when students don't have a well thought out project but when there isn't even the slightest criteria to grade off of, anything goes. You could have the best project and then get your grade back and have the worst. It doesn't add up. 

I also think that the professors should be required to have worked or be working in a firm with knowledge of the real world. If you eliminate all the bullshit classes that were required of me in university, (like music appreciation, freshmen seminar, etc) and let me take real world construction/software/structural classes that will actually benefit me then newly graduated students wouldn't be so impractical in the field. 

Lastly, I think that the professors should be educators. Not all architects working in a firm are meant to teach. I want to be encouraged to strengthen myself as a designer and potential architect not put down and criticized as a person. There was a professor that was working for a firm (an international firm with himself and one other guy. They didn't have any built projects but were oh so successful because it was international.) He came in to teach and had no idea how. He couldn't give good feedback. He only could tell the students how lazy they were when they didn't stay up all night or something went wrong. He would tear your paper off the wall, tell you you were shit and somehow this weird dominance thing worked in his favor and everyone started contributing him with success and good architecture. If he walked by and liked your project then it must be really good because he liked it. 

-Is the crit culture of assailing student with negative feedback useful or ineffective?

I think that negative feedback is usually useful and helpful when making comments about student work. I personally like critical feedback and find that this makes me better.  I think that there is also a fine line  when you cross over from being helpful and still giving negative feedback to just being negative. There are a handful of professors and reviewers that ive had in the past that will literally turn their chair in the opposite direction and say 'this is shit' 'im not even gonna look at it'. This doesn't help anyone it only makes people angry whether rightfully or not. 

-How long did it take you to recover, mentally, psychologically, socially etc, after graduating from Arch School? 

I haven't totally graduated fully yet but I can say that there are isn't much of any of that ^. Honestly, when I leave studios or take breaks I miss it. When I get frustrated its mostly because of some sort of bias that happened whether its to me or not such as one individual not having to do the same work or requirements for no reason. 

=-Could one go as far as to say that some people have PTSD as a result of Arch School? 

Short answer no, but there are people that I was in school with that literally went off the deep end (like to the point of suicide) but I think it has more to do with life as a whole during arch school (growing up, moving out, working long hours, not sleeping, figuring out your life) and not arch school independently. 


Jul 3, 18 4:21 pm
RickB-Astoria

If we stop the 3.0+ GPA (B or higher grade emphasis) we tone down some of the "competitiveness" and then when it comes to grading and assignments that group projects take considerable focus on group, explanations of how each person in the group worked and grading on the basis of working as a team. 

Half the grade weight for each assignment being team work (early on), then half of it is the work itself including presentation of the work while presentation as a group is graded in the part regarding grading. Communication about each person's role, their contribution, etc. Each team member's also rating or communicating how they feel the other team members' involvement. Were they just barking orders and doing nothing? Were they invested throughout in terms of delivery. These are ideas. Say a team of 3 work together for a whole term's course. 3 assignment. Each member works as project team leader once for the three team projects. In which case, each member experience project team leadership and each member working together and not always as project team. So in a sense, practical project management skills are learned. These are the kinds of things I would particularly emphasize in the first two years and still throughout the whole curriculum. Sure, some percentage of work being independent assignments. 

Ultimately, the key is to emphasize team skills. Team work and skills would play a part in grading. In effect, solo high ego student that doesn't work as a team would get graded poorly because they don't fulfill requirements of working with other students. It would be important for instructors to form an arrangement where every student in in teams of 2 or 3 or something. 1 person "team" is not a team. 

The instructor/professor would need to make sure everyone is working in a team form for team projects even when there is an number of students that don't fit a clean divisible of the base team size. There are ways to come up with a team structure to assignments and also have members of each team be team leader at least once.

HootienBlowfish

God I wish I had read these words of wisdom while in A-School.

On the fence

-How long did it take you to recover, mentally, psychologically, socially etc, after graduating from Arch School?

I couldn't leave school fast enough to start my career.  Never looked back.

Jul 3, 18 4:31 pm

Data: '02 state school B.Arch, '07 Ivy School M. Arch, '10-13 taught nice private school NYC, '15+/- full firm owner kind of thing


OP's Question:

-Is there abuse at Arch schools, whether done to you or observed being done to others? Absolutely No. Is it possibly mental or passive aggressive, maybe..  I am not a woman, but I can tell from being married to one who works in like a 90% woman and like 9% gay man industry and also having daughters, what sensitive persons  could call abuse is mainly what I call "mind-fucking".  If you're too dumb like me to even realize someone is doing it and too insensitive to care, there Absolutely is no abuse.  Elementary school proverb - Sticks and stones may break my bones and words will never hurt me.

-Architecture School is : a fucking drug or a good philosophy book << Fill in the blank!

-If you could change 1 thing about Arch School, what would it be? Get rid of all the professors who teach studio who haven't built at least a dozen or equivalent projects.  Avoid design taste and focus on building technology and work, work, work, work...

-Is the crit culture of assailing student with negative feedback useful or ineffective?

For the most part with regard to design highly ineffective, as it all boils down to opinions.  If it points out the students laziness or lack of skills or lack of talent, criticism is very useful.  In school you can screw-up and fix it without much more than a bad grade.  The sooner you are brought down to earth the sooner you will perform at a better level.  The crits should clearly outline a students failure with regard to technical skills, presentation skills, technical aptitude, spatial reasoning, etc...the design opinion should matter less.

-How long did it take you to recover, mentally, psychologically, socially etc, after graduating from Arch School?  Never gave a fuck in school and always knew most my professors were failures or sucked enough cock to get to where they were to not be taken seriously enough. Have a handful of professors I respect as they challenged me and understood their body of work they were teaching.  I kept a blog on Archinect in Grad school and was in trouble a lot since I didn't think anyone would read it and constantly made negative comments (often correct).  

=-Could one go as far as to say that some people have PTSD as a result of Arch School? Fuck you and die.  Seriously!  the pussification of this country, specifically academia is embarassing.  You need a safe space, go ahead and call it quits, society doesn't need your spineless existence.   You know what the problem is, the problem is ALWAYS YOU (the individual).  You are the cause of your own failures regardless of how hard your world is, if you managed to get to Architecture School, you should really just go fuck yourself if you think you can claim a mental diagnosis that applies to real TRAUMA, not "mind-fucking".  The fact this question is being considered only further displays the weakness of academia.  We are preparing youth that will fail in their late 40's when all their social nets finally collapse, to only learn that what their studio crit said was 100% true.

Thanks for your feedback and thoughts everyone! Looking forward. Your welcome. (and I don't mean like you go fuck yourself and die, I mean anyone that considers that as a real option to go fuck themselves).

Jul 3, 18 6:33 pm
HootienBlowfish

Speaking as a woman, the words hurt much much more. And what the f- is with all these betas being so passive aggressive in architecture?!? I commented on that GSD plagiarism forum (super sleuthing Sir Apple) that instead of being normal, professional in response, GSD higher-ups rip down the student’s work. No head’s up is given to students or general faculty. This keeping things in the shadows is so toxic—and if they think they’re keeping it under wraps, we all know the whisper networks in a-school is strong. If they were showing concern for the student’s wellbeing and reputation and 4x50,000 per year to be there, wouldn’t it be minimum professional behavior to corroborate, discuss?

Sir Apple Chrissy

Among real alphas (navy seal types) i am more of a beta (cerebral) but among architect betas still an alpha and my advise is keep doing what you are doing in the world of "mind-fucking"until the toxins boil to the top and the cowards are exposed. At 4x50k you should get straight answers. My wife is NJ born and bread where i think proper use of the f-bomb is a pre-requisite for kindergarten,when she feels like it she tells me exactly how ahe thinks and i appreciate versus me trying to decipher complex women signals...In academia with all this beauracracy it sounds like the smell of toxic behavior is just permeating. A good call out may be in order...and all for stirring it up (the pot)

eastcoast

It's so easy for you to say that if you are always on the top and given what you deserved. If you have a great project and worked hard and thought out all the details and got an A because you deserved an A, great! but think about if you fit all these things and then received a C with zero explanation while other seemingly less then great projects got As. You would be mad! Then does it come down to you being the cause of your own failures? I thinks it's super naive, narcissistic, and self-referential, to think that all failures result at the fault of the individual. I don't still think I would go anywhere close to ptsd in arch school but I can't speak for everyone bc people go through the same experiences differently and you still don't know the other half of their lives or what came before arch school.

Sir Apple Chrissy

I received a C first semester. Met the prof and stepped it up thereafter. The explanation why wasnt great but whatever...Yes its up to you to figure out what you did wrong and if you figure out its just opinion of some superior- ignore it and
move on.

eastcoast

You miss the point though. Yes it is up to you to figure out what you did wrong but if you did everything right and still get the C whose fault is it then? You said yourself that the explanation wasn't great, so how would it be 100% your fault that you got a C if you don't even know why? I don't think letting 'superiors' get away with acting that way helps at all. I think everyone should be held accountable for their work quality and feedback. Ignoring the inconsistencies doesn't solve it and certainly doesn't equal good architecture.

Sir Apple Chrissy

I think you are missing the point. I stepped up my game, did you not read that part of the sentence. If i told you who the prof was you'd probably tell me i was a jerk,there is a certain architect that graces archinect quite often he helped greatly as an academic. I also recieved a C- from world famous profs fornthe blog i kept on archinect....i graded kids with better talent down than kids who probably would not do all that great. Maybe your rough grade was a prof telling you,you could do much better. The point is - stop being such little entitled bitches. If indeed there is a huge unethical practice going on - call them out. Otherwise step it up and adapt.

eastcoast

I rest my own case that i pointed out earlier ("It's so easy for you to say that if you are always on the top and given what you deserved.) It goes for a lot of things in this world today. It doesn't matter who the prof is or how famous they are either. Have there have been times when I received grades lower than what I would have liked. Absolutely. Did I deserve them? Probably. There's always things you do better in a project. And then I busted my ass to work harder and strive for the best and it made me better too. That's not what I'm talking about though. If I got a C but someone with a project that was clearly worse than mine on all levels and got an A it's not being entitled to want an A as well. It's wanting what i rightfully deserved. Whether that's an A, a B, or a C or even just an explanation as to what could be made better (bc profs at my school don't feel like they have to give an explanation of why you got said grade) it doesn't matter. There have been group projects with 1male and 1female student who submit exactly the same project yet the male student receives an A while the female student receives a B. No explantation. Profs won't even speak with you and explain why you got a grade vs why someone else got a higher grade. You best bet I call them out. If I deserve a lower than perfect grade and thats what I get then so be it. Students are actually pretty level-headed when it comes to arch school in knowing what they deserve. Its when i don't receive what I deserve that makes it ridiculously unjust.

Sir Apple Chrissy

The only item you listed that is questionable is receiving a non equal grade based on your opinion without explanation. Whats not fair is not having an explanation, since after explanation you may find out why you sid not do as well.Everything is standard schooling.

eastcoast

But's that's the thing they can't give an explanation. If I genuinely don't have a good project I'd certainly want to know and I'm fine with that. I'm in school for a reason. If I got an explanation as to how I could be better or make the work better then yeah I want to know. But they don't give explanations because they don't have one. There isn't a way to justify it at all. It's not standard schooling only in the arch school at my university.

HootienBlowfish

Love it Jersey. Love bitches who know what’s what and fucking step it up. It takes having a velvet hammer. I learned it by taking shit for so long that I started improv and acting to learn to tune my voice. Then with that I learned to not react to betas/- they try to coax a meltdown from you with their wily under the radar ways and then they pfff you when you show emotion or anger. They are tar babies if you know that reference. My father was born in the 30s and he is fucking tough as nails. He went crashing into pavement recently and said it didn’t hurt. He also told me to not go to arch school because architects is placing where the light switches go. So I was going into GSD clear eyed that it was going to suck big time (it did and didnt, as I found my peoples— the Loeb fellows who were there for 1 year so weren’t marinating in toxicity. So I think i went in with 0 expectations, then I was skeptical about the loser critics. Siggghh. Sir Chrissy how did you navigate thru financial crisis? Did many of your friends get fired never

HootienBlowfish

*never to return? I wonder about those folks.

Sir Apple Chrissy

30s were my grandparents ages and yes they don't GAF, old boss had a box truck roll over him, back at work after rehab...anyway, I owe lots and lots of money, but I pay little attention to that. most my friends in architecture left architecture for greener pastures and those that stayed never lost work. most I know are owners of firms or partners or pretty high up (i've been out for nearly 16 years).

Sir Apple Chrissy

Dont know refefence and good choice on improv classes. Comedians were my only friends at one point in my life.

HootienBlowfish

That's awesome! Was that during A-school? Yes, acting and improv are useful for architecture. good to tune your voice for client presentations. gotta keep your cool as unexpected things come up all the time in architecture and on construction sites. And comedy is a great tool for diffusing tensions.

tintt

I thought arch school was great, fantastic actually. For the first two years. Then the last three years were completely unnecessary and I wish I could have used that time to learn how to be an architect. I didn't need 5 whole years of conditioning so, yeah, that part was awkward. Ot abusive but not smart either, rather selfish and silly. They were ready to see me go too. sigh-o-nar-uh

Jul 3, 18 6:37 pm
HootienBlowfish

Did you make a ruckus tintt?

tintt

My last semester they told me they weren't going to let me graduate. Then gave me an A, one of the only two in the class. I still don't know what happened. They did change the program quite a bit after our class, it wasn't just me, we pretty much destroyed them.

rutaba

-Architecture School is: not as hard as people will tell you. it's something beyond you would have ever expected. that you would find in school.  

-If you could change 1 thing about Arch School, what would it be? actually, I have a lot to change like< teachers with the broader mindset. the timing of a project. every student is not same. our teachers need to understand this.

-Is the crit culture of assailing student with negative feedback useful or ineffective? it totally depends on the student how you take it because those negative feedback does haunt us for a while.

-How long did it take you to recover, mentally, psychologically, socially etc, after graduating from Arch School?  I have made myself understood that everyone would not like your work because everyone has a different mindset and different perspective of work. so I don't really sleep over on there feedback.

=-Could one go as far as to say that some people have PTSD as a result of Arch School? I really want to finish my last year and never want to look back at this phase of my life. it was horrible yet I learned a lot but I don't want to have it again in my life.

Jul 3, 18 7:39 pm
HootienBlowfish

Some themes I’m seeing: Let’s expel the riff-raf from Arch school (unqualified “educators” who don’t know how to build, fluff). Some do, some don’t suffer from A-School, but seems the consensus it that the horrible experience isn’t worth being horrible if some of these programs aren’t even showing students what it’s like to be an architect. Many of these comments above have great ideas

HootienBlowfish

*great ideas about how to improve architecture schools.

tintt

I have a picture of myself at my final review before graduation and I def. look really thin. Hmmm, archi-diet.

Jul 3, 18 7:43 pm
geezertect

No PTSD that I recall, but there were a few "nervous breakdowns" and a couple of attempted suicides resulting in mental hospital stays.  I think that had more to do with the times (late 60s, early 70s).  Flunking out or even changing majors for an able bodied male could mean losing your student draft deferment and getting an all expense paid trip to Indochina courtesy of the US government.  As sucky as architecture school might have been, it was generally regarded as preferable to being shot at in the elephant grass by the Viet Cong.  Now, that was a real stresser.

Also, isn't it interesting that the overwhelming consensus for change is in the direction of less design theory and more real world emphasis?  Is anyone in the architecture academy listening???????

Jul 3, 18 9:31 pm
tintt

I think they've heard, but don't care. It's not their agenda.

HootienBlowfish

Thanks geezertect. Interesting—I think the emphasis is towards soft skills too: empathy, collaboration, participation in lieu of being “the expert” “the authority”. The Architecture academy had been likened to being stuck in the medieval period as one person said. I think any one-ism verges on this. For example parametricism. Modernism. We seek multitudes now. Inclusion. Also maybe the increasing mistrust of design theory is also about jargon. Who’s sick & tired of the bloated talk of critics? Or theories that oversimplify and thus never lead to action, design, personalization? Sounds too like PTSD is less observed in schools. That makes sense, however, since 1/Showing any smidgeon of vulnerability or uncertainty in A school is generally frowned upon and/or ridiculed. 2/ PTSD would be exhibited probably after architecture school / after trauma- not sure if there would be tremors of PTSD DURING sustained trauma? Finally, just remembered something someone in the same era as Geezarchitect is— he went to GSD in the 70s and said, “People were simply nasty.” It does seem arch school b
rings out the worst in people.....

HootienBlowfish

I agree w you, but why wouldn’t it be their agenda? What’s in it for them to not heed change and adapt?

geezertect

Humans (and institutions) are resistant to change. It's painful. And let's face it, many of the current faculty couldn't possibly teach "reality" since they don't live there. They went in to teaching precisely to avoid what they suspected would be the drudgery of actual practice. Spouting gibberish and checking out the dollies on campus is a lot more fun than screaming clients and all that reality crap.

tintt

Clients, now THEY are abusive.

randomised

-Is there abuse at Arch schools, whether done to you or observed being done to others? 


Nope, never seen it, never heard about it. School has at least 50% female students.


-If you could change 1 thing about Arch School, what would it be?


Longer opening hours, more debates instead of lectures and better food in the cafeteria.



-Is the crit culture of assailing student with negative feedback useful or ineffective?


That's assuming there is a crit culture with negative feedback. We had crits and discussed our work but in a general constructive manner, or at least that's how I experienced it.



-How long did it take you to recover, mentally, psychologically, socially etc, after graduating from Arch School? 


I don't think I ever recovered from Arch School.



-Could one go as far as to say that some people have PTSD as a result of Arch School? 


I don't know anyone who did, but I'm not going to claim it couldn't happen. Mental health issues are a serious thing and different people respond differently in similar circumstances.

Jul 4, 18 3:46 am
Non Sequitur

You mean your school was not open 24/7? Weird.

randomised

No they closed at 10 in the evening, at 7 on Fridays and totally closed during weekends.

HootienBlowfish

So now we can narrow down randomised's school to about 3 academies.... Just kidding!

HootienBlowfish

Actually in the NL I was shocked that the students have a similar clock. they must squirrel away and work at home? ugh lugging chipboard models in dead of winter to school!

Non Sequitur

Rando, I remember something similar with some of my European exchange colleagues. They were amazed that we all had access to studios and labs around the clock. Only the wood shop & welding rooms were closed after 5pm. I never worked at home unless it was thesis editing.

randomised

It's because the university worker's rights prevail over the students' needs, civil servants are a privileged bunch in the Netherlands...hoping to become one myself one day, fingers crossed :)

randomised

Blowfish, no need to narrow it down any further, since it was TU Delft.

Non Sequitur

Oh, outside of campus security, there was zero faculty inside my arch building after business hours... except for one crazy kook who prefered 1am desk crits.

HootienBlowfish

Ok rando, TU Delft is a great school!

RickB-Astoria

Lets give some feedback: LONG REPLY..... use Page Down and Page Up key on a real keyboard to rapidly move up or down past this reply if you want to skip reading it.

-Is there abuse at Arch schools, whether done to you or observed being done to others? 

Abuse is a subjective word is varying interpretations of the word. I have not been aware of intentional abusive conduct at the architecture school at the University I attended. It is also against university policy for instructors to do this. They just don't do that.

-Architecture School is : __________________ << Fill in the blank! 

Architecture school is demanding. Yes, it isn't for students who just wants to slack and wait for the last minute. It demands students to not procrastinate and play games. It's a professional education (supposedly) so put away the toys and be a professional adult. Students need to be methodical and decisive after spending time to ideate for a decisive time frame. You need to manage your time. Successful students that works well and efficient pays attention to the requirements of the assignment, are methodical, decisive, and don't goof off. They work efficient and manage their time efficiently. They plan their project schedule. They work hard but they also provide time to rest properly and sleep.... minimize all-nighters to few. They are NOT whiners. 

-If you could change 1 thing about Arch School, what would it be?

Restructure education to better prepare the programs to the profession the students are entering into. Architecture school is like going to med school. It should be professional and profession oriented like med school is for doctors or law school for lawyers. It should prepare them. In addition, it should encourage team work and discourage inappropriate & detrimental competitive behavior. I'm not saying competition doesn't have its place. Discouraging the Howard Roarke image of architects and promote professional architects that works well in teams AND works well independently without the Howard Roarke ego. Don't get me wrong, it's a fun read and fun movie but leave it there. Students need to learn to be LISTENERS, first and foremost, and PROBLEM SOLVER second because PROBLEM-SOLVING begins with LISTENING and OBSERVING the problems. LISTENING to the client and conducting site visits to observe and understand (RESEARCH) the nature of the problem before coming up with ideas for solving the "design problem". 

-Is the crit culture of assailing student with negative feedback useful or ineffective?

Failing or mistakes are the biggest teachers we learn from. The critics should be straight forward and point out the bonehead mistakes students often makes. Yes, a good critique would be criticizing a design solution yet forgetting to include bathrooms. The idea or hope would be that students learn and take care in thinking about how spaces are used, how things work in the real world. Here, constructive criticism is good because its another set of eyes by those with experience pointing out where you gone wrong, mistakes you made, weaknesses in your proposed solutions, ways it can be better or improved upon. Now, non-constructive criticism and calling students 'stupid' or other bullshit isn't that constructive other than to prepare students to abusive language clients or others in public may say so that you don't go balling up crying just because some dipshit calls you a stupid shit and your work a total piece of shit. In other words, to grow a thick skin to insults because you can't control other people's words they use. You can only control how you react. Do you let it bother you or do you condition yourself so that when some jackass calls you a petty insult that you shrug it as nothing because you don't let words break you. In some cases

-How long did it take you to recover, mentally, psychologically, socially etc, after graduating from Arch School? 

After I stopped attending the University, I think it wasn't particularly long but really it wasn't for the reasons you maybe implying. Other than a little financial matter but working through 7+ full-time years worth of college studies, academia is a little tiring and boring. It's a time to take a break away from it and move on with life. 

As I see it, the words used are more slanting a negative thing. Architecture school as I have observed isn't some evil or necessarily abusive place. The crits weren't really abusive. I haven't saw the kind of abusive language like badmouthing students like saying they all look like a bunch of stupid shit or anything like that. However, most critics critiques the work and criticism is targetted at work not the person. Some people take it too personally. That is something students have to learn to emotionally detach themselves from the work or be less emotionally attached. To not ball up crying when someone doesn't like it. If you can't control your emotional reaction, you'll not make it well in this profession. I've had in Art classes, Royal Nebeker who will pick at the work and tough critic of the work. The goal in his teaching art is to prepare students for real life even in art critiques which can be quite critical. Some people will call the work, shit. So when I see an architecture crit session, it's similar. 

=-Could one go as far as to say that some people have PTSD as a result of Arch School?

In general, not really. You aren't generally exposed to the kinds of conditions that caused people that really has PTSD would have. Unless you wake up in the middle of the night of most nights in cold sweats and all because of serious traumatic events like having to defend yourself from someone trying to kill you, rape you or something bad to that level of severity, I don't think you get PTSD for merely going to architecture school. Nervous breakdown (burn out) and PTSD are not the same. However, you might get jitters about going back into something you had a nervous breakdown over but that is not truly PTSD. Merely having unpleasant experiences does not mean you have PTSD. PTSD is a medical diagnoses when you reach a debilitating level of disorder following a severely bad experience. PTSD is a disability medical/psychological diagnosis. Having a critic calling your work shit maybe depressing but depression and PTSD is not the same thing. 

There's a difference. If we could legally claim PTSD just because we had a unpleasant experience with an asshole critic, then we all can claim disability. If we could claim disability because of PTSD just because someone called you a pussy or a some derogatory word, we would all have that disability claim. Sorry, it doesn't work that way because most adult should be able to shrug such petty nonsense like verbal derogatory words like a water on a duck's back. Too much pandering to the mentally fragile candy-asses is a problem itself. We should not be pampering students in college as if they are kindergarten kids. Come on. We can't be leading students on a primrose path to failure by sugar coating and propping up them when they need a dose of reality that their 1/4" thick wall can't support the 3 story building. I've seen unbuildable garbage by students. I'm not just talking non-code compliant design. I'm talking unbuildable because it would collapse. When they aren't told the inconvenient truth, they'll continue to go on their merry way with their fantasy. 

In my opinion, there is a place for cold fact reality check in the form of constructive criticism. There are ways to deliver the message respectfully and I believe that should be encouraged and strived for but you can't expect it because we live in a very dynamic multi-cultural world with varying degrees of what is linguistically acceptable or not. So what might be acceptable to say in some places might get your ass kicked in some other places. We can often get too thin skinned.



Jul 4, 18 6:15 am
quietartist

Many women have been harassed at the GSAPP, the GSD and Yale in particular. That in itself leads to PTSD. I don't believe the critic responses lead to PTSD--it is the prolonged treatment. And to be clear the critics offer "destructive" criticism. I was an engineer before coming to architecture school. Engineering is positively regarded as being demanding and rigorous as well and professors fortunately did not act like architecture professors. I believe primarily it's because the engineering professors were fully aware of their intelligence whereas it seemed the architecture professors were trying to convince themselves of their intellectual ability. This led to a lack of humility. I have met people who have designed things we use everyday and founders of companies we all know --these successful individuals are no where near as arrogant as the average architecture lecturer. When an engineering professor doesn't understand something he refers you to someone else or an academic paper, when an architecture professor doesn't understand something, he dismisses your work.

HootienBlowfish

Thank you, yes. Few

HootienBlowfish

* few white males were abused. Hmmm the impaired guy was a bit. How awful is that?!? Oh and — quietartist : yes yes yes: the engineer responds to facts and can evaluate objectively. Archi-critics can be insecure, don’t know their stuff or the range of practice so they can be snarky negative people, and then use that subjectivity to stamp their approval on foreheads of the Chosen Ones.

HootienBlowfish

So a few more questions come to mind from these responses...

1/Why isn't anyone berating my profile name? Are there HnB fans out there or did I just fly under the radar? 

2/It seems abuse isn't observed in A-school as much as unfairness or simple incompetence.

Extending the logic--of fair/not fair leads to topic of meritocracy. Someone mentioned to me that wherever subjectivity is involved, then preferential treatment, unfairness and maybe even unjust or biased treatment can flourish. For example, who hasn't been annoyed with the sexploytocracy that some students deploy to stack the deck in their favor? Is that fair or not fair? 

Here's an interesting thought-chain on the topic for anyone interested in further reading: https://thoughtcatalog.com/meg...


Jul 4, 18 8:42 am
Dangermouse

whats wrong with hnb. perfectly acceptable mainstream 90's american rock

HootienBlowfish

Love them and it is my biological name anyhow, so gotta live w it.

HootienBlowfish

Back to the subject of fair/not fair (sorry got distracted reading about folks using sex to get ahead): So I was chatting with an international student who had done Psychology undergrad, then went on to do her M.Arch in the Midwest. She said she hadn't experienced or observed much sexual harassment or fraternization between Profs and students back home. She speculated because Professors are held in a much higher light and prestige in her country. To compare: lots of architecture critics are treated like shit -- many are, not all: Tenure track dilly dallying anyone?) Also, she speculates that Psychology has more objective means to evaluate students. They got x out of 100 on the test. They published y papers per year. They did z studies with w results, etc. Whereas Architecture school has been fashioned into a more subjective world. Structures class is quite objective (I did great in it btw), Studio is quite subjective, as s=r*(theta) also points out. He felt that professor gave benefit doubt to others and burden of proof to him. Another poster had the brilliant idea that studio shouldn't critique design much at all (this design is GOOD, that design is BAD....it does sound ridiculous! As RickBAstoria puts it, architecture activity is composed of listening, observing, understanding and researching the nature of the problem before coming up with ideas to solve the design problem.--to draw an analogy, I see the process like a slow, beautiful, drawn-out foreplay and scintillation. The burst at the end is short and sweet, maybe even amazing but instantaneous, right?) So: Some is there objective criteria in studio culture? If the tenets of studio were to come up with ideas to solve a design problem, then maybe we could objectively evaluate projects on the extent to which they solve problems. Or, to what extent the student's design supports the student's thesis/objective. However architecture studio briefs sometimes don't even HAVE a problem to solve. Finally, we spoke about the Art World--which has arguably even MORE subjectivity involved than in architecture. We concluded  that when criteria is more subjective, then each pupil does and should do anything in their powers to gain subjective favor and be in the good graces of the tutor. Some tactics include: working a shit-ton, feigning or embodying utter dedication to critic's studio or job, even making critic in love with you, and thus in love with your smudgy chipboard, or your dodecahedron 3D printed fun house. It's the difference between languishing at the back, or surging ahead to win awards, win travel grants, land that unpaid but prestigious internship, or get choice appointments in the Academy post-graduation. At least in the real world of architecture, there ARE objective criteria. Clients WILL fire you if you dilly-dally on their dime. Anyways...I could go on. Happy 4th everyone! 

Jul 4, 18 9:13 am
randomised

1. Nobody cares about your username.

2. Abuse in general is difficult to observe, so also abuse at Arch School. Have you ever observed abuse? And if so, did you take action?

HootienBlowfish

Thanks Rando for your feedback. I have experienced abuse--not the tie up and whip kind of abuse, but you know to abuse falls along a spectrum: 

a·buse verb

əˈbyo͞oz/

  1. 1. use (something) to bad effect or for a bad purpose; misuse. "the judge abused his power by imposing the fines" synonyms: misuse, misapply, misemploy; More
  2. 2. treat (a person or an animal) with cruelty or violence, especially regularly or repeatedly.






Jul 4, 18 12:15 pm
HootienBlowfish

aaron betsky delivers a strong statement too that part of the game for studio culture is toughening you up for the profession which isn’t easy - you have to love it. Let’s not throw out baby w bath water. 


Obviously all this houldn’t be a gendered thing - But rather the fact that let’s face it, some are more capable of handling a-school. Anyone would thrive if given support, a pat on the back, affirmed that their voice matters. Or if you do (and all of us do) get a metaphorical kick in the shins, that’s part of the process —  that this is everyone’s experience and thus there’s solidarity.


If all critics acknowledged this that would in some way either at the start or midstream, that might make their behavior easier to swallow. It’s all what’s good for us, it’s tough love.


So here’s some vignettes, qualitative data, not negative or positive— tho I admit my questions above are leading and make it sound negative. You’ll see that there’s a navigation, reaction or response from me to different degrees of success. Warning dear reader—Please stop reading if you’re not wanting to take all day. It’s longwinded and granular because I want to give the sense of action and impact . If you do read on, would be great if you ranked it, from positive to negative (1-10:)


1: tough love/affectionate, meant to propel you to try harder and achieve more


2: some could interpret as rude or insulting but those folks would be too sensitive.  


3: it’s not nice, but not personal either. Thin skinned millennial, thicken up and grow some calluses. 


4: it’s dismissive but not disrespectful.


5:  neutral, or standard behavior for a-school. You got what you signed up for. 


6: mildly disrespectful 


7: mean and personal 


8: rude and insulting. Critic: Aren’t we all adults here? Are you really that insecure that you target a a sleep deprived underling?


9: spiteful or hostile behavior- you need help critic. 


10: Abusive, no place for this in an educational setting. 


Ok here are some stories: 


A: Action: When I was told by my critic that I talked too much during my final review. Response: I was armed w my iPhone anticipating this feedback. I had timed my presentation. I had spoken a reasonable 5 mins to introduce my project. Others in studio had certainly spoken longer.


B: action: When a critic told me after my final, during studio celebration that they’re just sorry I didn’t achieve more in studio, because they’ll  look back years later and say “you could’ve been great.” Reaction: I narrowed my eyes slightly and said, “I will be great.” When critic LPed me later on (I didn’t receive any warning, and it was unexpected -my final review had critics praising my work even tho they weren’t architects, they were rich as fuck politicians and developers...they mattered more in terms of giving me paid gigs eventually than that dude) I challenged the grade, got the opportunity to do more work and thus they changed my grade to a Pass.


C: When a critic told me in a review that it seems I don’t care about my work — to explain, I was simply a newbie who didn’t even know gasp how to put a vector mask in photoshop — look it up if you don’t know how to do it, it’ll save your PS  life — I summoned them to a meeting and told them that their  personalizing feedback in a review in front of my peers was completely inappropriate. Their jaw dropped and they apologized profusely, they didn’t intend to do that at all. There’s more. Anyone else want to tell?


—-


So I don’t say to you check your bias. Per Sir Apple Chrissy— it’s always about you. It’s the only thing you can actually control — I look first to what I can do. I do have externally recognized identities ie 99.99999999% would identify me as a woman— thus to some I am a target of certain behavior. When i want to check my or other’s biases, I ask: would you have said that to a man? How about a woman? How might your saying that to a black female be taken in a certain way? Is that the impact or impression you want to have on them? 


Ok now I’m really heading to my friend’s 4th of July pool party!

Jul 4, 18 1:40 pm
randomised

"Anyone would thrive if given support, a pat on the back, affirmed that their voice matters."


Thriving according to who(m?)?

Jul 4, 18 1:55 pm
HootienBlowfish

Hmm. I guess external signs of success, ie prizes. and lots of the indecision and procrastination referred to above is due to fear, lack of confidence. Why are some students so petrified! but of course it's not cool to seem like a nervous wreck.

HootienBlowfish

one poor tyke at our school would cower in the single-stall restroom and fashion elaborate sculptures out of toilet paper. It gotten so noticeable that a student (or students) found it news-worthy enough to blast the all-student-listserve with hourly updates when the Nest Man had struck again. Their identity not sure was ever found out. siiigghhhh....why the nervous breakdowns? are they more than in law school, med, etc etc? I think those are more demanding content-wise than A-school. B-school less so. But I'll probably get skewered for saying that.

Sir Apple Chrissy

That person should quit architecture. If you cant handle school pressure quit. School is nothing compared to work with regard to responsibility and accountability. At some point these people need to realize they do not have what it takes.

HootienBlowfish

Yeah, I agree school is nothing compared to work with regard to TRUE responsibility and TRUE accountability. Unfort A-school has little of that. So chicken or egg? Nest man or out? Not sure.

eastcoast

One thing i noticed as I progressed through the program of undergraduate studies, I became more and more aware that  sexism and fraternization with the professors were just as much factors of doing well (in school) as simply being a naturally good designer. This awareness stemmed mostly from realizing when I myself was treated unfairly. On the other hand, The more people worked those into their favors the less obvious it become for them. For example, when the women in studios were blatantly disregarded in an obviously sexist way, any discussion about the injustice was put down and made up to be just an 'excuse' to not being good enough (in design) by the males of the class. Pointing out the biases to those in charge become frowned upon. Anyone who tries to one-up the professors, falls lower on the pecking order for things unrelated to school at all. They want you to just accept that you are powerless and move on because "it doesn't really matter". I think in any other major at university this would be easy to make aware but in arch school because of just how subjective it really is they can continually get away with it. You can't deny getting all the grades correct on an exam but not getting an A in a studio class while the guy who sits next to you who never even finishes a project does? It never adds up and it just continues to breed students that are egotistical, brownnosers that probably are not that great at designing anyways. 

Jul 4, 18 2:16 pm
Non Sequitur

Sounds like you're just in an overall shitty school. My undergrad program saw faculty & guests (and in one case, a semi-famous session studio prof) expelled for sexist remarks with the entirety of the class in favour of the bans.

eastcoast

Pretty much. for Undergrad. Because it was generally the most well received professors in the school (high-up, tenure track) there was nothing that could be done. I think people learned early on in year 1 that bringing it up only added fuel to the fire. (a fire that ironically became your own fault) Most People just learned to accept the unpredictability and move on so at my school people would not band together to point things out that were wrong in that manner generally to protect their own reputations in the school.

HootienBlowfish

Yeah, it's turn the other cheek to misbehavior, ignore it, wish it away, blame yourself, work harder....anything to avoid some new outburst. Oh and if you do work up the courage to report, you learn to never do THAT again. For really deep nasty stuff, the admins don't know how to handle it. Institution could be threatened. but for the surface stuff--bias, etc, if done by a low-level instructor, then they'll summon them in, box their ears. The tenured folks have been basically immune. Gaslighting is real, and effective form of torture: "A more psychological definition of gaslighting is 'an increasing frequency of systematically withholding factual information from, and/or providing false information to, the victim - having the gradual effect of making them anxious, confused, and less able to trust their own memory and perception.'" Fuckkk that's calculated.

HootienBlowfish

Is anyone else irked by GSD's handling of recent plagiarism allegation? It's like the Shitty Arch Men thingy -- due to uncorroborated hearsay (they couldn't have done a real and professional investigation of the case in 24 hours) they strip student of top thesis prize, keep students in the dark, and to what end? The aftermath: One more pissed off student who won't ever donate to the school. Possible libel case? It just doesn't make sense. To see post: 

https://archinect.com/news/art...

HootienBlowfish

Exactly. Just as I experienced it EastCoast. Sorry non seq, I Thought you were saying that I went to a shitty school because of my stories (which are sort of tame) But actually what EastCoast said is exactly as I noticed it at GSD. Or COURSE not across the board--there certainly were good eggs -- but the few (well, many) rotten apples that set the tone and actually made the nice guys also fearful to challenge them. Actually, I think the Good Eggs could've done more. They could stand up, and maybe now it IS safer to stand up and say "stop this now. This is not professional nor helpful and has no place in a learning environment." Of course you need a critical mass of Good Eggs to do that. I actually think the tides are a changin'. The hush-hush attitude around misbehavior is wearing thin. By the way: I don't think we can blame these rotten apples at the core. They aren't aware that it COULD be different, as they were brought up by insecure, egotistical, underpaid, overworked critics, thus they simply behave as they were once treated.

eastcoast

Wow, you're the first person to understand that its an actual thing as most of my classmates think im literally crazy for ever wanting what's deserved (no matter how small and even if that means not the absolute best) in arch school. Mostly because they deemed me powerless to the big guys that run the school. I decided in my final years that I was not gonna turn my head and just sit back and accept the "life isn't fair" motto that everyone else seems to believe, even if it does nothing in the run I was gonna point out the misbehaviors of those that are attempting to educate me, not because I really cared that much about little things but because its how things should be. If you want college students to learn how to be professionals then you need to treat them as professionals.

eastcoast

While i don't agree with a lot of the rules that my University has in place as a whole, they do have a lot of information regarding student rights, like for ex. professors are required to inform students of a failing status and are required to update grades at least once a month to give students an idea of where you stand in the class. Yet the arch school just doesn't have to abide by any of these rules as there hasn't been a single arch class i've taken where I knew of a grade before the overall grade was posted on my transcript which at that point cannot be changed without going through a long grievance process. ( at which point they question you if its 'just a couple points" ) There was even a student that was failed totally out of the blue from studio even though he had all the work and even had decent work but was frequently sleeping in class. If you never received a grade all semester and then suddenly were failed out and you genuinely had no idea, how crazy would it be! and this student accepted that it wasn't for him and changed majors where had it been me you best believed I would have raised hell to everyone and anyone.

HootienBlowfish

Yes! Well thank you @eastcoast. you know-- i bet that many students felt the same as you did deep down, however weren't brave enough to say anything. Member: it's really not cool to admit any displeasure with the shit being served at a-school. That's the beauty of the structure: get people to think it HAS to be this way, and if you don't like it, it's your fault/you're not strong enough/not good enough.

HootienBlowfish

You're so spot on about grading! so basically in STUDIO it's subjective. I mean, the black student @fas=r*(theta) in this thread said *As a black guy in arch school, obviously some instructors and students have their stereotypes and hang ups about african americans. But for me that is their problem and not mine. I notice how some students would put 6hours into a project and end up with an A or B and I would put in like 40 and get the same grade. and be like wtf!!! even had a student copy my project and had other students defend me and say I design it first yet I was threaten with expulsion!

Dangermouse

what does a public discussion of plagiarism accomplish, exactly. afaik every institution handles it privately, and the dude was graduating. if he is dumb enough to sue, he will lose, or at best settle for some paltry sum---pretty apparent copy+paste of earlier work.

HootienBlowfish

Oh! what does public discussion of anything accomplish DM?

HootienBlowfish

Thanks Non Seq. I went to GodSgifttoDesign.

Jul 4, 18 6:04 pm
Non Sequitur

What?

HootienBlowfish

Went to GSD. Lol I thought God'S gift to Design was sort of cute

Non Sequitur

I see your response to Eastcoast above... makes more sense now and no, I've never heard that term.

... perfectly explains the attitude of the grads.

HootienBlowfish

Yep right? GodSgifttoDesign #wheresmycorneroffice

Sir Apple Chrissy

You could pay less for school and find out sooner why you will fail in life. Is GSD a high priced day care? Actually, hootie and eastcoast can you look at the students with good grades and tell me how many of them may have parents who contribute money to the school, this is a huge factor in grading. Know a prof who had to rescind a C because the students parents asked for it because they give a lot of money.

eastcoast

No I go to a state school where I can pretty much say with 99% confidence not a single student has parents paying money to the school. They only extra they get from parents is hiking up the costs of study abroad trips to get extra payouts to live in a foreign country and parade a group of students around a new city for a while. Literally been to europe 12+ times and it would never cost $4000 for a plane ticket alone. But that's a different story.

HootienBlowfish

GSD is a high-priced SM chamber without the perks. LOL. kidding. 

Jul 5, 18 8:50 am
HootienBlowfish

So cool Miles Jaffe btw-Love your work! 

Jul 5, 18 8:53 am
HootienBlowfish

Fun! Very cool. See, Gds-Gft-Dsgn should let there students at least have fun. Then it would be an appropriate justification of the money spent!  

Jul 5, 18 8:55 am
Dangermouse

most of us have fun, if you aren't you should look in the mirror, not blame others.

HootienBlowfish

Totally agree! Just as @sirapplechrissy says -- you can't control others. And why do architecture unless you love it? But dangermouse, who are the "us"? do you mean humans? us humans mostly have fun? Or architects mostly have fun? Most of you or most of the time, or all?

joseffischer

I got stiffed by a few professors, even when I had signed contracts and sent out invoices, who didn't pay me for side-work.  

I also put in way more work in the attempt to get a GRA than I should have.  

The hours everyone were expected to put in was pretty abusive.  I agree with a lot of sentiments above that if "you're mature and manage your time" you didn't have to put in crazy hours.  I was not "mature" enough to deflect the professor and peer pressure to "excel".  All the "mature" people who never pulled all nighters got Bs in studio.  Thinking back, that should have been acceptable, but at the time I was trying to prove some things and get paid, so I went above and beyond.

I also share a lot of sentiment that we should have been trained more for the real world.  What people don't seem to be remembering is that we had the classes, 2-3 structures courses, 2 construction courses, 2 architectural history courses, 2 MEP systems courses, etc... I'm sure it slightly varies at each school.  The problem is that whenever possible, schools seem to take opportunity to subvert these courses and wrap them back into studio time.  I think the BIGGEST change that would address this is that at least 2 of the studio semesters should be devoted to taking a previous studio penultimate project, calling that your "approved SD package" and going into DDs and CDs during studio without any major programming design changes.  

There were definitely a couple abusive (verbally) professors and/or critiques, and I'll admit that there were a couple times that I "broke" and became non-communicative after a couple all nighters and a poignant comment from a reviewer.  Sometimes in that state your mind just goes blank and you can't get back on track.  Then you get to listen to an adult roughly a decade your senior berate you for 10 minutes.  Luckily for me those were not typical, though for others it was more often.  Even if it isn't abuse, I'd definitely call it non-productive.  

In graduate school and for a few years post-grad, I got multiple opportunities to be that older reviewer.  When there were students who clearly did not put in the time on their projects, and were not showing presentation worthy material, I treated the conversation more like a desk crit, focused on a part of the project that I thought needed to be addressed, or was critical, pointed out projects in the room that had addressed the issue, and asked the student how they could go in that direction.  Also, I tried to spend less time on those students... as they clearly spent less time thinking about the task at hand, and there's no sense beating a dead horse.  

Jul 5, 18 10:44 am
s=r*(theta)

"The problem is that whenever possible, schools seem to take opportunity to subvert these courses and wrap them back into studio time" - agreed

thatsthat

Agreed about your comments about not being mature enough. That was me too. If all you've ever done is be a student, it's really hard to realize that making an A is not as important as profs make it out to be, and no one should be killing themselves just to get ahead.

HootienBlowfish

So true @joseffischer truth truth

Dangermouse

-Architecture School is : fun

-If you could change 1 thing about Arch School, what would it be?

focus more on how a building comes together, focus less on bad theory based upon poor readings of french deconstructionist pop-philosophers

-Is the crit culture of assailing student with negative feedback useful or ineffective?

it is useful.  how are you going to improve if the flaws in your approach/end product are not discussed?  i'm not putting in the time for you to tell me i'm good--i already know that ;)

-How long did it take you to recover, mentally, psychologically, socially etc, after graduating from Arch School? 

i am having fun, so the recovery is just physical.  a week if i ate well and exercised regularly, a month if i didn't

=-Could one go as far as to say that some people have PTSD as a result of Arch School? 

maybe.  if so, talk to a psychiatrist and consider changing professions.  


Jul 5, 18 11:17 am
quietartist

I think your responses are dismissive. Architecture schools, especially the GSD, foster a very unwelcoming culture for women and people of color traditionally. You could argue "design" in general does. I think it is fair to say you fall into neither of these categories (if you do forgive me). And if you don't fall into these categories this is not to say that you are a bad person, this is to say your experiences do not mirror people who don't share your physical identity. To tell someone to change professions is missing the mark. There is a shortage of doctors and engineers, and yes women and people of color have to fight prejudices everyday to be in those professions as...so when the going gets tough should they just not bother? There are so many initiatives to get diverse people in STEM and tech-related fields and it does help--architecture does not have the same push. The director of design at Instagram is actually a black male. The reality is prejudice exists in architecture schools (architecture is an elitist profession by nature)---if you don't receive any that's fine and you shouldn't be blamed for this--but don't cover the mouths of people who do and judge how they cope.

HootienBlowfish

Yes but unfortunately as a white woman I never showed I was suffering. It was all behind this plastered

HootienBlowfish

*plastered smile, hiding the fact that I was super stressed out. So maybe that's why guys thought everyone was having fun?

Dangermouse

allow me to change my response: what design school needs more of is critical thinking. after that we can talk about how buildings come together.

Dangermouse

case one: this thread. i am one person with an opinion. i was asked to provide it. i did. don't pretend to think i am trying to speak for other people--that is your presumption which is not reflected in the argument i actually made. a good liberal arts education (critical thinking) would teach you to unpack this. i am a white man. these are my experiences. i am not going to speak for my PoC friends or my female colleagues--they can do that for themselves. we don't need another dude saying "Well the women I KNOW don't TELL ME about their problems in the profession therefore things are GREAT FOR THE WOMENS!", which is why i speak only for myself--again, this is quite clear in the format of the "survey" posited by OP, and in my response.

Dangermouse

and if you have PTSD--not "man I feel unsafe here"--but psychological abuse that causes neurological damage (which is what PTSD is), you probably should change professions. I will die on this hill. I'm not covering anyones mouths or judging their coping mechanisms, but if you really are so unsafe that it is damaging your neural structure, maybe extricate yourself from that situation. this is not to say that we cannot change the culture which causes those harms. these things are not mutually exclusive--again, critical thinking!!

HootienBlowfish

We all have critical thinking, but it's a matter of defining your criteria. Also--yes, you're right, we are being critical of A-school. I love that you gave your feedback dangermouse, I'm sorry if it seemed otherwise. So, what you're doing is just right to shrug your shoulders, acknowledge the limit of an individual's understanding of another human being, offer your experience. And we need good strong men to help us expel these abusive people from a-school. You get the legs, I'll get the arms. 

I do wonder though, all this saying of "Go away. Find another profession," as if being critical is threatening to architecture's very core. No one wants to censor anyone--instead I see your comments as being meant to challenge other's points of views. That's very good. 

HootienBlowfish

Re: "why don't you leave architecture if you have PTSD": So let's untangle this: 1/ I don't think anyone make such an exaggerated statement to a Vet who had PTSD from days in the field clinic, and was minding their own business, being a RN post-service. Let's say they were triggered by hearing the noise of the suction apparatus or anesthetic monitors during stomach bypass surgery. Would you tell them to switch professions? Where would they go with all that training? Ok. So alternatively, maybe the ward manager could tell them to switch to another ward in the hospital where they wouldn't be exposed to unnecessary noise.
What we are all talking a bout is a question of inclusion. And I put together this survey not because I had never noticed abuse, but because there is rude, ineffective and increasingly unpopular behavior of certain loser critics in a-school doing loser behavior. And it's just tired, old, defensive, fusty and not helpful. Institutions are simply a reflection/extension/structured entity from its constituents. If enough ppl are fed up with the way things are because they've always been that way in architecture, then that majority will shift the climate in architecture.
Jury's not out yet. 

Dangermouse

i want people to take care of themselves and be happy. i'd love nothing more than to expel the toxic abusers that have infested themselves within the institutional apparatus of the discipline (people who commit abuse, and those who cover for them). smoke those fuckers out. but i am not interested in martyrs.

joseffischer

War is not for everyone (or anyone?) and PTSD happens. If something in you workplace or school surrounding "making drawings and specifications that communicate how to build a building, or making presentations to convince the clients to build the building", is causing PTSD in people, the answer isn't "they need to find a different profession" What we do isn't supposed to be that high-stress or important. For must of us, we provide technically competent, but overall average plans for basic buildings that no one will be talking about in 50 years. Let's just get them built and get paid people. The profession needs to relax and take way better care of it's employees.

HootienBlowfish

Holllla @Joseffischer. This whole mystery and mythology of Architecture and what we do is old news. Yes @DM, let's get em out! What should we do, go after them with protractors?

quietartist

To be fair I don't think true martyrs are interested in you either--you seem like the type of person who understands intellectually things are unfair yet won't do anything to change them. This is the problem with educated elitist white Liberals and the Democratic Party currently. Marginalized groups they have historically tried to use for votes are turning on them, because their quality of life has not changed under Democrat leadership. Gandhi, Jesus Martin Luther King Jr were martyrs and most social progressives are martyrs so I don't think the term has as much of a negative connotation as you would like it to. What can you really do when the entire system is rigged against you? Rugged individualism doesn't work. But then again, if you wanted to go into a profession that would actually help other people, you probably wouldn't pursue architecture--at this rate pretty much every other profession actually helps other people: from graphic design, to lawyers to chemists to janitorial staff. 

HootienBlowfish

Interesting! We have some consensus forming on the one hand: Architecture school is FUN. 

For some, no recovery is needed. Maybe one needs to eat, sleep or recover from celebratory drinking. It's only physical recovery, not psychological. 

If someone ever did say that they experienced trauma and then developed post-traumatic stress disorder, then this is a by-product of them arriving in school with pre-existing psychological condition. A psychiatrist and psychologist could be helpful. They also might be psychologically deficient. They should change professions to other professions such as: 

 Managers


Jul 5, 18 11:57 am
Dangermouse

i am sorry that there is no critical consensus around your opinions being formed on this anonymous internet board.

HootienBlowfish

Oh, but it's insightful isn't it DM?

joseffischer

Well, to elaborate, and push a bit on the other side of the scale "consensus: fun...." pshhh...

After grad school I spent 4 years flipping houses and doing property condition assessments and doing construction administration due diligence for banks before I felt ready to go back to a design firm.  I definitely knew that my next "design" job I didn't want to be low enough on the totem poll to be the grunt or to be the one 'blamed' if things went wrong.  I say 'blamed' because I do believe that in most instances, if a project goes south the responsibility is correctly directed to the project manager, but that doesn't stop some PMs from trying to blame their team, and who wants to work for an inept PM.  

In the years between the recession 2009-2015 while I was getting my grad degree and doing non-traditional work, I did notice a significant change.  When I left, many firms still used autocad and many projects still had large teams.  A small project typically still had 2-3 people assigned to it.  Now, it seems to be all revit all the time, and except for the biggest projects in-house, you're assigned a lot of jobs that you do solo.  I guess the entire industry is running more lean now and there are less higher-up but non-managerial staff that don't know the projects.  I haven't seen a true sheet of redlines besides my own scribbles since I got back into the office and when I've been caught redlining stuff for interns, I've gotten some odd looks.  

Jul 5, 18 1:28 pm
HootienBlowfish

@jose totes. And then there’s a hollowing out of the middle guy who actually can do redlines. The revit technician and revit honcho in office couldn’t see the value of having an efficient way of printing out to scale 11-17 which makes me think it never gets out of computer until the phased submissions. Physical Models are seldom made, and the chip or balsa wood models of quainter days are placed on pedestals as a relic. I don’t think  physical models are necessarily needed all the time however there’s a danger that scale and dimensions are not understood.


And god the “job captain” guy, who also claims to be Revit Honcho in office; this guy proliferates inefficiencies in the way to set up revit project throughout office. Upper management has no clue with how long it takes revit honcho’s team to make things, this the prisoners hold the hidden authority over the prison guards, so to speak. 


I don’t get the impatience of higher ups with teaching and showing the youngsters how to do things. Why is there a shame in not knowing and a snobbery with helping and giving clear direction?


I totally agree that somewhat clueless PMs then blame the other team members despite claiming in some contexts to not have hierarchies. Oh, hierarchies are alive and well.


The shirking, shafting professor is real: these folks are the powerholders in the schools and hire students for choice summer and winter internships. They pay or not—who cares because you get invaluable experience and unspoken leg up over your classmates. 


I should have slept with my professors then blackmail them for school favors. Except my dignity would be sullied and I would be seen as that woman.


There was a beautiful woman in my grad program who was dating a powerful guy. Paradoxically the critics sucked up to the guy and dismissed the girl — it’s a strange dynamic— you would think they’d try to suck up to the girlfriend who might then get them favors. It makes me realize how little I understand about the hidden structures of power, patronage, patriarchy. PPP? Why don’t we switch this conversation to abuse in the ARE 4.0 to 5.0 transition? 

Jul 5, 18 2:22 pm
thatsthat

" I don’t get the impatience of higher ups with teaching and showing the youngsters how to do things. Why is there a shame in not knowing and a snobbery with helping and giving clear direction?"

thatsthat

Ugh my answer didn't submit. I was trying to say that it's not impatience per se. It's the more time I spend at someone else's desk doing their work for them is less time I have to do my own work. I don't mind answering questions. I do mind answering questions about things a newbie staff should've learned in their first year of architecture school, like how to draw a section or what's an RCP. When you hire someone with multiple internships on their resume but they start asking you questions like this, it makes me curious as to what they've been doing these past 4 years in college.

eastcoast

I can imagine that would be frustrating, that's why I generally try to do everything I can in regards to figuring things out on my own and using Google to my benefit before asking others for help. But I will say you can't blame students for not knowing what they should know if they've never been told they need to know it. You can only learn so much in 2 months at a firm. I have friends that graduated never having worked an internship and still thought plans and sections were drawn for construction on Illustrator. I think that goes back to what a majority of the comments refer to. Restructuring the education of young architects.

thatsthat

True. It's more that when a young staff member with a few internships under their belt start working full-time, but they don't know even the most basic things, I feel like I got the wool pulled over my eyes. If I wanted someone with no experience and no knowledge, I would've hired someone with no internship experience at all who showed more interest in the firm's work. It really means you're teaching them from the ground up instead of being able to get them integrated into a project team on Day 1. It's not all bad; some newbies we get have been great and are able to hit the ground running. I'm not asking them to be super experienced, but know the different between a section and an elevation, use some of the proper terminology, and communicate their questions clearly enough that I am able to understand what they're asking me. 

We are in definite agreement about restructuring education.

HootienBlowfish

Yes!! Totally. And not impatience I think more say, be forewarned: I’ve sat in on interviews w my friend who’s started her own practice. Kids put revit on their software skillset menu when in fact they don’t know how to properly use it. So just don’t be disappointed learn to “expect they don’t know anything.” That’s a direct quote from my mentor. She is FAIA.

HootienBlowfish

Yes!! Totally. And not impatience I think more say, be forewarned: I’ve sat in on interviews w my friend who’s started her own practice. Kids put revit on their software skillset menu when in fact they don’t know how to properly use it. So just don’t be disappointed learn to “expect they don’t know anything.” That’s a direct quote from my mentor. She is FAIA.

HootienBlowfish

RCP? Gotta be kidding me I never drew one of these at GSD. Get this: never even drew an interior elevation! Sections don’t capture interior elevation stuff expect

HootienBlowfish

*except doors and windows but know trim or details. It’s really sad that they don’t teach you stuff you need to know. Maybe because these guys don’t know how to do it either? Or maybe it’s, sniffle sniffle, that we focus on the exterior appearances and not what’s going on INside. :-/. Sad face inside. On outside: Happy let’s dance on desks and have a pillow fight fun a-school.

RickB-Astoria

What's an RCP was stated not necessarily draw one. RCP may mean Reinforced Concrete Pipe or it may mean Reinforced Concrete Panel. I suppose it depends on listing to the context of the discussion... you know. As for reinforced concrete rebar detailing, that depends on your engineering knowledge, doesn't it? Either you do it right and it works or you don't and it fails badly.

Non Sequitur

No, RCP means neither of those Ricky.

RickB-Astoria

Some informal bullshit? Registered Cock Plasticizer? Okay, reflected ceiling plan is the other thing coming to mind.

Never here is called using the letters R,C,P.


RickB-Astoria

Another thing, don't use acronyms unless you define it because it can mean a lot of things. COMMUNICATE what you mean if you use acronyms because the acronym RCP isn't always used by instructors to mean reflected ceiling plan (for example) even in architecture school. Some just use the words reflected ceiling plan.

RickB-Astoria

All the instructors I've had or listened to their lectures just call it ceiling plan or reflected ceiling plan. So if you use spit an acronym that your fellow instructors aren't using in class in the pre-requisite classes to the class you are teaching, students are going to get confused by it. It is because of the lack of cognitive connection (association) of the acronym and word. It isn't always used. You have to introduce them to that association until it is imprinted.

thatsthat

Rick, I’m not teaching a student. I’m teaching a young professional with a degree. When someone comes to me claiming a base of knowledge (AKA: the degree) I assume they have a base of knowledge. I used an industry standard acronym and my young employee did not know what it was. The context was she was working on a floor plan, and I told her to draw the RCP so that we could start working on layouts for light fixture, sprinkler head, smoke detector, and grille locations.

thatsthat

Not to be an old fogie about this, but my program required us to learn what all of the different types of drawings were by reproducing CD sets of guest architects that came and lectured to us. They frequently came to talk about their experience in CA, and how contractors/clients can really eff you over if you don’t keep control your projects. For studio, we didn’t do full CD sets but def construction details along with plans, sections, elevations, renderings, and physical models were most certainly required.

Non Sequitur

Ricky, a decent drawing set will have a standard legend for all acronyms and other abbreviation terms. Ever look at an M&E set? Probably not now that I think about it. Anyways, RCP is common enough not to need further explanation within an office when discussing drawing layouts but I've never seen in used as an official label/title on a drawing set. That's just lazy. RCP = Rocket Cock Purifier

thatsthat

Agreed on both points.

joseffischer

Yeah, they don't do that anymore thatsthat. Most profs liked to say we spent most of our time in schematic design, but honestly, I'd argue we never really got past programming and concepts. Also, can anyone name a school that teaches revit as the primary tool of choice? Not all of us can get, or want, a job at starchitect X, and we need to know revit. Regarding seeing revit on resumes, EVERYONE I knew put revit on their resume, whether they knew it or not. I started looking other people's resumes and portfolios up from school and I was very surprised in how many people exaggerated and how many people outright lied. One guy I knew, who was honestly a very good designer and well liked by school staff, put either 1st or 2nd of X studio on all his projects. We only had one year where it was actually a competition (he got second).

thatsthat

joseffischer, that's ridiculous to me. In at least 1 studio, we had to build a physical model of the wall section from basement to roof, showing an understanding in 3d how all of the intersections worked. We were required to take a semester-long revit course, but it wasn't the primary software by any means. Most people didn't understand it well enough to do any studio work in it. I didn't even put it on my resume when I started applying because I knew I would be slow at it and not really be an asset to a firm using Revit.

RickB-Astoria

"Rick, I’m not teaching a student. I’m teaching a young professional with a degree. When someone comes to me claiming a base of knowledge (AKA: the degree) I assume they have a base of knowledge. I used an industry standard acronym and my young employee did not know what it was. The context was she was working on a floor plan, and I told her to draw the RCP so that we could start working on layouts for light fixture, sprinkler head, smoke detector, and grille locations. " 

It isn't so industry standard if it isn't taught and used by 95+% of every architect, architectural drafter, architectural professors/instructors, etc. We have what is really a quasi-standard. We don't even have consistently agreed upon terms. We actually have to have an organization to define that we all follow like we follow laws not a bunch of office standards of each individual firms. 

People more commonly here and read in text books (like those used to teach about how to do architectural drafting) reflected ceiling plans as "reflected ceiling plans" or simply "ceiling plans". If they still don't know what is a ceiling plan and how to do one, then there is a legitimate problem. The problem with three-letter acronyms is it can many things when we produce construction documents. I'm with N.S. about having a legend on a set of plans. I wouldn't criticize someone not knowing for sure what an "RCP" is but would if they didn't know what a reflected ceiling plan (or ceiling plan) is or how to do one.

RickB-Astoria

"Ricky, a decent drawing set will have a standard legend for all acronyms and other abbreviation terms. Ever look at an M&E set? Probably not now that I think about it. Anyways, RCP is common enough not to need further explanation within an office when discussing drawing layouts but I've never seen in used as an official label/title on a drawing set. That's just lazy. RCP = Rocket Cock Purifier" 

 I agree with you there. I have seen M&E sets before. I agree with you that if an office uses the term RCP enough when discussing drawing layouts, it should be understood after a short time by anyone. It really didn't take me all that long to figure it out but that is outside the context of discussing drawing layouts as I really don't have those 'office discussions". Students aren't going to necessarily be familiar with customary and semi-customary office 'lingo' because they are not in an office setting. Studio just isn't an office setting. It doesn't really quite look or feel like one. I'm not talking about computers/tables/etc. I'm talking about the overall feel. 

It would be awesome if more of that lingo in introduced to students like when law school has mock court rooms sessions. Have a mock architectural firm where the students "work for". Not a real project but as real as possible with qualified plan reviewers/building officials reviewing them in a simulation of a permit process. In some cases, an actual project could be produced in the appropriate setting. At least an reasonably authentic simulation of how work is done in an actual architecture firm. 

Just an idea being thrown out. Not sure its a new idea and maybe they been attempted but hopefully a good implementations be made if not already.

Non Sequitur

Ricky, my undergrad had such set up in one of our prof practice courses and in one urban design elective. Actually had to make CDs, budgets, ROI calcs, and present to externals as if they were real clients... not some sky-hook filled studio design charrette.

RickB-Astoria

That's good. I bet it was a good experience. Honestly, I would enjoy that kind of course. Lot of work but not really boring if you think about it. Informative stuff. More real.

Non Sequitur

Yeah, much better than running 12hr-long renderings

RickB-Astoria

LOL.... yeah. I've seen students taking up 3-4 macs to render their project and spent like 2+ DAYS doing that just to have it printed. REALLY?????? It isn't going to help if the printing quality doesn't improve noticeably because things like ink bleed in the paper. It might be minute these days but there is still a rate of diminishing return. Yeah.... ridiculous but I've seen it.

Non Sequitur

Correct although most schools have a print shop with staff that know how to plot... but then again, the student needs to know what they are doing. I remember in undergrad, we would be charged by % of ink so having white space (paper white... not printed white) would make a helluva big difference.

RickB-Astoria

It wasn't the print shop but the students wasting time over-rendering for a print out. At some point, it makes no discernable difference in the print between a medium level rendering and say the absolutely highest level rendering setting in a cluster rendering using multiple computers. The difference is how much time is spent rendering but when it is printed, it didn't make a compelling enough difference in quality of print. That was the biggest issue I saw and it basically was a dick move because it was tying up computers from students that could be using it. Luckily, I already was working at a computer station. Shit happens but it was dickish inefficiencies that I have noticed.... albeit kept my cool about it although it was a little annoying but I recall it.

HootienBlowfish

Totally @RickB: Some architects toss out the following terms to assert their dominance over others and to confound, and to leave Underlings thinking that this they MUST be the expert.):

  • RCP 
  • Gasket
  • ________ is to Code
  • ________ is not to Code
  • Check the specs 
  • They would use the term "Vapor Barrier" however they don't want to have to explain it if they were called out.
  • Check the IRC
  • Check the IBC

And the list goes on.. 

hp-new

"The shirking, shafting professor is real: these folks are the powerholders in the schools and hire students for choice summer and winter internships. They pay or not—who cares because you get invaluable experience and unspoken leg up over your classmates." 

So true. The work these students do is very rarely actual work that would be done in a real firm. So most of these talented students come out not knowing any idea about real-life architecture and are ready to head right back in (as professors). 

Jul 5, 18 2:35 pm
Dangermouse

+++++ a culture of privilege is how choice internships are doled out. the criteria appears to be as follows:

-are you sexy, interesting, or otherwise exotic?

-does your appearance fit within the brand of luxury and elite sophistication the professor is trying to build around himself/herself?

-does your pedigree fit within existing narrative structures?  are you easy to explain to people?

-do you have an elegant minority story which will be paraded around as a token of that individual/firms enlightenment?  

-have you sucked up sufficiently to that professors design ethos?

-are you a white dude with zero institutional barriers?  

HootienBlowfish

right and they don’t invite me back to be on their reviews since I want to be helpful as @jose up above in thread describes. And I sort of ridicule loser critics who are picking on vulnerable targets. Lame.

Jul 5, 18 5:46 pm
HootienBlowfish

+++++ a culture of privilege is how choice internships are doled out. the criteria appears to be as follows:

1/are you sexy, interesting, or otherwise exotic? YES SEXY. not really interesting or exotic.

2/does your appearance fit within the brand of luxury and elite sophistication the professor is trying to build around himself/herself?  Does pasty skin count? 

3/does your pedigree fit within existing narrative structures?  are you easy to explain to people? Can't say I am. 

4/Do you have an elegant minority story which will be paraded around as a token of that individual/firms enlightenment?   There was this elegant minority who went back to own nation and started their own practice and is doing great work, having impact, bringing the invaluable skills she obtained while at a US a-school. It's a privilege and gift to have attended Ivy League. 

5/have you sucked up sufficiently to that professors design ethos?

Do these critics actually want brown-nosers or do they want people who will challenge their ism? I tell professors how wonderful they are for welcoming diverse feedback. 

6/are you a white dude with zero institutional barriers?  

Naw: White dude has to fit ALL of the above criteria:
1/Be sexy and interesting: sport pencil-thin 3% spandex American Apparel acid-washed jeans to show the full package.  

2/Yes, this is best achieved through slightly gelled hair, sunglasses, and access for glittery onesie halloween costumes at the drop of a hat. 

3/Yes, father and mother kept you in a Glass House for all the neighbors to see. You ate architecture for breakfast and given complex LEGO assemblies to complete.

4/Yes there's one somewhere around here- will get back to you. 

5/You don't suck up to professors because you BREATHE their design ethos. 

Jul 5, 18 11:06 pm

The real abuse in architecture school is  the absurd cost to not learn anything relevant to the practice and dumping people out into a job market with a crippling paucity of skills to become cheap labor for established firms, often with a huge "educational" debt. 

Jul 5, 18 11:57 pm
HootienBlowfish

Absolutely! @MilesJaffe

Non Sequitur

Featured comment of the year.

thatsthat

This needs to be "pinned" somewhere as one of the best comments.

HootienBlowfish

Can I flag the comment or would that have the opposite effect? how about we tweet/broadcast? Who wants to write an op-ed under a ghost writer?

Non Sequitur

^Flaging a comment will have the opposite effect. That's reserved for spam and abusive comments... not gold & diamond encrusted gems such as Sir Miles'.

HootienBlowfish

LOL Non Seq, love the sense of humor. Totally true. Who's tweeting for god's sake.

HootienBlowfish

I hope Archinect is watching, because this Forum has got legs.

Jul 6, 18 1:17 pm
tintt

How about we not call it abuse though if what we are talking about is unsatisfactory performance. Then we can actually start to address the deficiencies instead of causing a stir. Actual abusive behaviors, starting with swearing, fool's errands, mockery, and name-calling, is a separate matter. 

Jul 6, 18 2:54 pm
Arch_grad2.0

I think there is an equivalent in architecture schools to “little man syndrome”.

Arch_grad2.0

Too many times I’ve seen professors project their short personal short comings (pun?) on to students

Arch_grad2.0

No edit feature?

AdrianFGA

“little man syndrome” -> more like "I'm surrounded by inferior idiots" syndrome

HootienBlowfish

Could we have both? A little man, who is surrounded by inferior idiots. The rest of us are looking on with a mix of awe, pity and skepticism, shrug our shoulders and return to the construction site.

HootienBlowfish

Also emerging from recent discussion are key concepts for the workplace or school, and then when it's sent through the Architectural Meat Grinder this is how Architects frame it, define it, say It's a wrap or make a verdict on concept. 

Concept 1: Explain to peer or underling how to do something that they don't know how to do or shouldn't be expected to know.
Architects' Frame: That's condescending. You're telling the underling something they should know. I can't believe they don't know this. They should crawl under their desk, and I want to barf in my mouth. 

Concept 2: Collaborate and compromise.

Architects' verdict: Hung Jury. If the team is homogenous enough, then they can get along quite well in the sandbox--that's the power team. Go team, go. If team is rag-tag, riff raff, or a mixed bag, the the weakest link (we all know who THAT is) should be buying the supplies, cutting the plex, assembling the materials and summoning the troops to come to studio (all the communication is quite fucking exhausting. Who knew that Dana's class schedule, Michael's make-up psychiatrist appointment or Justin(e)'s structures homework group would leave only midnight as a time when everyone can come. Leave it to the All-stars to make the design decisions. The all-stars might not show up to model-building session, as they've already designed the damn thing and done all the hard work. It's only fair if the weaker ones carry out the vision. If  woman, POC, or POC woman leaves studio at 2 am when work's not done for personal reasons, discount and dismiss them: they're not pulling their weight. Consider reporting to TA or critic so you don't look bad at the final review when things go South. CYA - cover your ass.

Concept 3: Express a contrary point of view as there are more than one way to do things and maybe you've come across a better way to do them. 

Architect's Verdict: Who the fuck does so and so think they are? Blast them with a long explanation of how wall assemblies with 1/2" GWB (gyp) have different thicknesses than those with 5/8" GWB (gyp?) Oh and don't forget the backer board! 

Concept 4: Cooperate with the Project Team: you're all in this together. See something, say something on-site. You don't want the Contractor to screw-up and have to pay for it later.

Architect "It's a Wrap": Scribble down in your notebook, take copious pictures of it like at scene of crime (the more pictures, the more it puts Contractors in their place), send it to the client. Telling directions to contractor: not your job. 

Concept 5: Take your time to submit a water-tight drawing set. Confusion and harried sets make for unhappy contractors

Architect's frame it: Bury key information about one aspect of construction is another place of the Construction Documents where no contractor will find it until the "Oh Shit" moment when mistakes are made because you didn't have time to pack the page efficiently with drawings. Point them to the sheet with buried information. GOTCHA Supervisor! --OR-- Have contradictory information in Specifications and Drawing set. Example: Specifications for siding says WRC Cedar, clear vertical grain,  Drawings say: WRC Cedar rustic, plain bevel. When contractor buys wrong materials, Architect points out that the Specifications rule out the drawings. 

I want to understand why we scramble and make things more complicated when, as RickBAstoria says, it really isn't that complex what we do. It's 5% design/inspiration, 95% systematic, logical, list-making.... 


Jul 7, 18 7:29 pm
mightyaa

@Miles "The real abuse in architecture school is  the absurd cost to not learn anything relevant to the practice and dumping people out into a job market with a crippling paucity of skills to become cheap labor for established firms, often with a huge "educational" debt."

I’ll play.  I was like this until my brother-in-law (arch professor) sort of explained his take on it.  What that educational system creates and will  focus on is your brain and how to think.  The technical skill stuff is just the basics.  It is totally about that abstract thinking and getting you to solve complex problems very rapidly using a complex set of rules.

So, as an architect… think of just a nominal sized brick.  Probably, without any prodding, you can think of a variety of ways to stack it, group it, articulate three-dimensionally, know it’s rules (like 3 high =8”, air voids, felts, etc.).  You can also picture how that fits into an overall building façade. And that is just a simple brick. 

Now multiply that by a thousand other materials with their own rules you need to balance against a budget, program, codes, installation requirements, etc. 

The technical knowhow (the rules & tools you'll use) come from working experience beyond just the basic principles.  Being able to juggle all those things in your head, twisting and morphing into several options, then making a choice on the direction by being able to forsee how it fits in on something is part of a very large mental exercise that must be done rapidly.  And that isn't even getting into just the programming/scoping part where you need to be forsee the user needs, define your own rules like how much space things will need and configuration options and be able to ask those questions of things they didn't think about. So, schools teach you to think like that and refine your ability to process quickly.  Experience tells you how to apply your ability.

I'd take a high functioning thinker over a technical wiz anyday.  It is much harder to train someone to "think it through" than it is to teach them to draw.   

Jul 9, 18 3:31 pm
joseffischer

I don't buy it. If we're taught to think so well, why can't we transition into engineering positions? They pay more, electrical and plumbing are quite easy. I've worked with them enough to know all the parts. And yet, I don't have the degree. The architecture degree is considered inferior by all our consultant trades. Builders and engineers all over believe that we don't do much beyond push emails and "coordinate" and pick colors in the end. I can prove to them time and again that I actually can do their work as well, but since our degrees don't hold value in other fields, we either go the traditional architecture route of bow out of the profession and typically go into sales. I shudder at the idea of being the mook in front of the 'class' on lunch 'n' learn day. What a shill job.

joseffischer

I know how to think about a brick! See, I can rotate it and even have fancy names for how I set it, and I can push it in and out of the wall, and I can even make load-bearing walls out of it, though that's mostly out of fashion, and when it gets VE'd I can choose a fake version of it! Wow, I'm so valuable. Nevermind all the bricklayers on the job actually know these things, can actually do the work, and get paid more than me!

As an architect you are assumed to have in-depth knowledge of these 'technical' matters. Which you eventually may after being schooled by contractors for a couple of decades.

JLC-1

too late, you should have been taught to think before high school.

HootienBlowfish

Being able to juggle all those things in your head, twisting and morphing into several options, then making a choice on the direction by being able to forsee how it fits in on something is part of a very large mental exercise that must be done rapidly.
And that isn't even getting into just the programming/scoping part where you need to be forsee the user needs, define your own rules like how much space things will need and configuration options and be able to ask those questions of things they didn't think about. So, schools teach you to think like that and refine your ability to process quickly. Experience tells you how to apply your ability.

HootienBlowfish

Ok so the excerpt above: I disagree. We learn to proces

@mightyaa 

The profession is so broadly demanding of such a diversity of skills that it is all but impossible for one person to successfully manage all of the various aspects of even a modest project from start to finish.

In a small practice, add up the time spent "designing" - if it's over 5% you're incompetent and should be doing something else. The larger portion of the practice of architecture requires technical competence in building systems, properties of materials, dynamic environments, human factors, administration from codes and contracts to client management, etc.

Students should be exposed to all aspects of the profession instead of focused on the most glamorous one at the expense of all the others.  Instead we get a bunch of no-experience "designers" without any technical competence who are all set to be the next Pritzker winner.

The "basics" as you call them are the foundation of the profession. Ignoring them creates the situation I described.

Jul 9, 18 6:35 pm
thatsthat

Exactly. What I don't get is how can you be expected to design something that looks good AND functions well if you don't have a proper handle on systems and detailing. Anyone can render a cool shape... but tell me how the structural system works, where the mechanical systems are routed. If you can't incorporate your systems in an elegant way that maintains the integrity of your design, it is worse than that McMansion down the street.

Similarly, if you can't manage your team, contractor, or client, you're going to end up with a pile of crap no matter how amazing and publishable your rendering was.

randomised

Instead we get a bunch of no-experience "designers" without any technical competence who are all set to be the next Pritzker winner.


Yet, almost everybody here was trained to be the next Pritzker winner but somehow managed to make the transition into the day-to-day profession. So, apparently those skills can easily be obtained while working...

Jul 10, 18 12:46 pm
Sir Apple Chrissy

And yet the pay sucks when you graduate and you spend long hours learning shit you should have been taught, like how to draw and read construction drawings.

joseffischer

Some of us were more trained than others before the tragedy they call architecture school, and some of us went back into construction after school as well. Everyone at my office who seems anywhere close to decent has years spent on either the construction or facility management (mostly public school systems) side of things

randomised

And now you have your own busy practice before 40...seems like it worked out great Chris.

Sir Apple Chrissy

if I hadn't spent 3 semester in Germany learning detailing and construction drawings I would have been worse off for sure...you probably learned in Netherlands so I'm sure you were more prepared than American students....with that said to give you an idea I quadrupled by starting salary after 6 years in and that took a lot of extra time learning stuff nights and weekends. I think I make less now that I'm runny a practice than at the peak of pseudo consultant employee status, ha...

randomised

But there is stuff you can pick up at night or during the weekend by yourself, all it takes is a little time...the conceptual and theoretical fluff you're immersed in during your studies is impossible to replicate in a working environment. What office let's you read theory, write essays or have long discussions about pointless concepts? If you learn too much of how to do things "the right way", you'll just become an engineer repeating past solutions that have proven themselves but not an architect. A certain lack of standard knowledge and naiveté is crucial in my opinion.  

''A certain lack of standard knowledge and naiveté' is the
cause of a lot of bad architecture.

randomised

Sure, that knowledge needs to be brought into the project by someone, but not necessarily all by the architect.

joseffischer

I dream of the days that architects are like engineers. Here's our bucket of solutions. You want the cheap one that lasts 5 years or the expensive one for 20 years... Oh you want the cheaper one that lasts less than 5 years? Sorry, we don't sell that model, go down the street.

tintt

This needs repeating... architecture school is fun, enlightening, educational... but 5 years of this type of educational conditioning outside of the real and technical aspects of our profession is too much. It's like the guy at the gym who only works out his upper body and has chicken legs. This is a conclusion I drew during architecture school because of the emphasis on critical thinking, btw. If I just followed directions and did what I was told I wouldn't even be able to think such thoughts.

Jul 11, 18 9:53 am
randomised

Or work in the gym on your upper body but use your bike to get to there.

tintt

why that, rando?

mightyaa

Glad you are getting it tintt. I also think it has to do with where you go to school. Based on when I used to hire folks about ten years ago (so my info may be dated), I'd noticed the mid-western colleges tend to push a lot more technical emphasis. Eastcoast seems to be more theoretical and cultural impact, and west coast more design form and statements.

randomised

Well, you don't need to get all your exercise in the same place. Sometimes it is best to focus on one aspect and use other ways to get your other training, just like with architecture :)

tintt

I'm getting it? Gee thanks. I got 'it' after two years. Should have asked for my diploma instead of doing another 3 years. I went to school in the Midwest and we had 2 actual architects on the faculty, but most of them were east coast black turtleneck wearers. I guess it may have been more technical I don't
know.

tintt

I tried to get experience outside of school by working for an engineer but he never shut up about how much he hated architects.

tintt

Except me of course.

You should work construction. Architects are routinely viewed as ignorant egotistical assholes who will throw you under the train at the first opportunity.

The drawings I saw today in my friend's cabinet shop for a residential project in East Hampton were beyond pathetic.

tintt

I worked for a general contractor, a forensic/civil engineer, a window manufacturer, and painting apartments and refinishing floors during college because I took that exact advice. But what I didn't do was work for an architecture firm until after graduating - big mistake because I had no idea what architects actually did until then.

auninja91

-Is there abuse at Arch schools, whether done to you or observed being done to others? Nope

-Architecture School is : When you learn what you like and don't like about architecture. What kind of architecture you want to lean towards. Make connections. Practice. Learn. Listen.<< Fill in the blank! 

-If you could change 1 thing about Arch School, what would it be? More exposure to real world situations and work flow. what it's like to work with other related fields (contractors,engineers, int. designers..) more encouragement on getting licensed.

-Is the crit culture of assailing student with negative feedback useful or ineffective? useful. why would other points of view on your work not be useful. as long as it's constructive. take it as a learning op.

-How long did it take you to recover, mentally, psychologically, socially etc, after graduating from Arch School?  recover from what... it's school, you chose to be there. no ones forcing you....

=-Could one go as far as to say that some people have PTSD as a result of Arch School? nope..more like they don't manage time well and get anxiety because of it. normal stresses of school not ptsd.

Jul 11, 18 11:45 am

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