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advice regarding technical subjects

riemannsums

Hi yall!

I’m a first year arch student in Europe, in a country where the architecture studies are 5 years + 1 year master (licenciature). Here, an architect is basically also a building engineer. Now, my dilemma is - (I’m from a different country than where I’m studying)  I thought I would sign up for architecture - as in drawing, history etc., projects, little bits of math and physics here and there but that’s it. Turns out, here the technical part is just as important as the ”art” part and I find it boring and hard. I can’t find the motivation (after failing and trying to study for a re-examination at 3 am) to study equivalent to Calc II or Linear algebra when I can’t see way they’re applied to architecture - to building and mechanics yes sure, but not to architecture. However, then I start to think how good of an architect will I be if I decide to graduate and actually push through the hard courses ( I struggle quite a LOT with the math/physics stuff mostly because of my weak/nonexistent base as I did not do physics/math in High school on a higher level, however the cart/project/reading side comes easily and I get good grades). Idk, I guess my question is if it’s worth it to just push through and get the engineering knowledge on the side as dry and boring as it is, or change up programs to an easier one in different country without  getting so much engineering knowledge. Thanks to anyone who answers and sorry for the mistakes, It’s 3 am.

 
Jun 21, 21 8:25 pm
Non Sequitur

many want to be the broad stroke artist and few want to do the technical stuff. Those that succeed are the ones who can find a happy middle ground between both.  You’re in 1st year. Don’t beat yourself up too hard. 

Jun 21, 21 8:39 pm  · 
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midlander

i'd usually agree with that statement but in this situation i have to admit my very strong foundations in mathematics and physics have been completely irrelevant to my career in architecture. i know of no architects who depend on a good understanding of the theoretical foundation of modern engineering to do their work.

Jun 22, 21 12:46 am  · 
1  · 
midlander

afaik only architects working on single family residential are at all within their zone of competency to undertake engineering calculations. and even then only on the mass market kind of work - never for advanced design work.

Jun 22, 21 12:47 am  · 
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midlander

so to op my advice would be 1. i know of no countries that don't require these subjects in an architecture course 2. you can feel comfortable doing them just to check the box and forget it later 3. someday you'll be doing expense reports or filing documentation for a government review and wish it was as interesting and challenging as calculus homework.

Jun 22, 21 12:51 am  · 
2  · 
Non Sequitur

Mid, I likely misunderstood the depth of the subject required in the OP's comment. I agree, that one needs a decent understanding but beyond that, it's overkill. One needs to be comfortable with numbers and basic physics but this is not a hard science career.

Jun 22, 21 7:37 am  · 
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robhaw

@midlander, @Non Sequitur, From your experience, what type of mathematical knowledge is required to thoroughly understand acoustics?

Jun 22, 21 8:08 am  · 
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midlander

i know nothing about acoustics and have worked with specialist consultants when real expertise is necessary

Jun 22, 21 8:28 am  · 
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Non Sequitur

@rob, acoustics is a specialized field. I know the basics and covered some basic calcs while in school... but to have a good handle on it (not even close to thoroughly understand btw), you need more than maths.  Certainly there are entire engineering degrees on this.

Jun 22, 21 8:48 am  · 
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robhaw

@NS, I am aware of the complexity of the field. However, I am currently planning on taking an acoustics course at school to cover the basics and was curious as to what type of math would be required. The case is I haven't used Calculus for years, so I am planning to refresh my math knowledge in the summer. Therefore, I was wondering what math would be relevant for the basics, in case you know?

Jun 22, 21 10:31 am  · 
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randomised

go to bed, it’s 3am!

Jun 22, 21 2:49 am  · 
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What the hell are you doing up so early?!? Crazy Dutchman!

Jun 22, 21 10:21 am  · 
1  · 
randomised

I got up early to take a nap.

Jun 23, 21 3:22 pm  · 
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Is this really worth worrying all that much about? I agree with what midlander said and have found myself in a similar situation where I had a good grasp of mathematics and physics (chemistry too fwiw) and find myself rarely challenged to use that deeper knowledge on a regular basis. But we're not talking really high level calculus and physics here. What you don't use on a regular basis will naturally be forgotten and what you do retain might just help you be a better critical thinker and a better human. 

If you struggle with it ... all the better for you. You'll learn more than just the physics and math. You'll be able learn how to take better notes, focus on important concepts and recall those for the test, deduce the answer not from recollection but from context and inference, study a concept even if you don't have an affinity for it, manage and prioritize your time better, figure out the right balance between studying to get top grades and studying to pass a class ... and why you might need one or the other, etc.

Finally, I hear my wife complain about her students constantly asking her whether or not something she's teaching will be on the test. They view education not as the acquisition of knowledge that opens up new pathways for them in life (or something else that you might see on a motivational poster), but rather just a series of tidbits you have to remember for a test. Don't be like that. Learning a difficult to grasp concept in mathematics isn't going to kill you. It will help you see the world in a different way if you let it.

Jun 22, 21 11:50 am  · 
1  · 
square.

the most important math skills i ever learned were on the construction site: how to add fractions, quickly.

this is mostly anecdotal since it is specifically irrelevant in europe.. point being though that basic math skills are all you really need in the day to day work of an architect.

Jun 22, 21 12:20 pm  · 
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JawkneeMusic

i don't have a degree but if you're interested in any aspect of construction the concepts get more rational, though more complicated at a higher level

Jun 22, 21 1:28 pm  · 
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Non Sequitur

not only do you not have a degree, but you also don't have a fucking clue on anything architecture-related.

Jun 22, 21 1:44 pm  · 
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