Did i enroll into a bad architecture school?


Hello Archinect,

My current school seems to be rather lacklustre and "lagging" behind other architectural schools. B.Arch y1 and y2 students from other schools have beautiful renders and detailed axos that are "portfolio material" and amazing boards, laser cut models, parametric stuff etc.

Meanwhile, my school makes us do basic model making, collaging, basic autoCAD, sketching, and playing with pasta as "structural lessons". Submissions from other students are usually incomplete, and the overall level of work is rather poor. Detailing, laser cutting, and 3D stuff comes in y2 and y3. It feels like a school where you go to have fun, and not feel challenged by your peers.

Did i really enroll in a bad school? should I transfer to another school?

Current school is recognised by the local architecture association.

Oct 18, 21 11:18 pm

The point of architecture school (especially the 5-year B.Arch programs) is to learn to *design*. Model-making, collaging, hand-sketching, and "playing" with pasta are pretty good fundamental tools to learn how to design. Your academic portfolio will be much stronger if you can demonstrate that you have a good foundation in design thinking. Portfolios that show photorealistic renders and colorful axonometric designs show that you're a good software tech (not necessarily a bad thing).

If you feel like there's a gap in your software knowledge, then fill it. Plenty of YouTube videos around to teach you. But I'd focus heavily on things like architecture history, completing projects on time with a good design rationale, because those are invaluable skills. You can always learn software at any time after graduation, but you'll find that when you enter the workforce, you'll have little time to learn design thinking when your clients want their work done next week.

Oct 19, 21 7:42 am  · 
2  · 
Non Sequitur

knowing how to make pretty renderings is the easiest thing ever. Knowing how to design and work with the fundamentals is not. You can learn which button to press on the tender machine any time. 

Oct 19, 21 7:53 am  · 
4  · 

i didn't know you felt so strongly about the machine. I wept at the tenderness

Oct 19, 21 3:57 pm  · 
4  · 

Even though I only do renderings for hobby. I find the statement very offensive. The actual render itself is indeed a button press. But the set up in camera scene, material editing, lighting, 3D model, etc. Is what makes a rendering good. And it is a career of it's own. Not far apart from 3D animation and stuff.

 It is like saying architecture is just drafting floor plans. Just draw some lines on paper and voila you got your building.

But architecture design is indeed easy in a way. You can crumble a piece of paper and flip it upside down. Then you have your master piece.

Oct 19, 21 4:22 pm  · 
1  · 

Gotta agree with Jay somewhat - it's not that rendering is *easy*, but that being a great render artist is not the same as being a great architect. If you want to be an Architect, don't become the best at rendering. If you get a job at a firm with that reputation, you'll spend your life visualizing other peoples' designs.

Oct 19, 21 4:34 pm  · 
2  · 
Non Sequitur

You find my observation offensive Jay? Damn, did not know the bar was that low. Yes, there is craft involved in material choice, lighting and camera angles... but that's not hard at all compared to designing the object itself (ie. building). I can take any software and pump out quality renderings within a few hours because I know the basics. It's easy peasy stuff and definitively not worth the emphasis current students give it when listing off their "skills".

Oct 19, 21 5:31 pm  · 
1  · 

Rendering is a art form, but it takes away from the process imo…in the same way hype realistic 3-D sonograms take away from the birth process…or maybe I’m just getting old.

Oct 19, 21 7:13 pm  · 
2  · 
Non Sequitur

Jla, you are getting old but you're also not wrong (in this context). Give me a scrap of canary yellow trace and some conté and print out of a hidden line SU model any day over a photorealistic model. That's something that takes skill to make good presentation/design material. Pushing the teapot icon does not.

Oct 19, 21 7:36 pm  · 
2  · 

I guess you're right. It i'm putting in the hours and time to create decent looking models, semestrial portfolio(s), increasing my proficieny with programs on my own accord (cad,skp) while the other students rarely turn up and submit incomplete projects/assignments.

Oct 21, 21 1:17 am  · 

Although I do agree that having design philosophies and design principles are important later on when you are the lead designer or open your own firm. You do not learn those things in practice. 

But for recent grads looking to join nice firms. Especially design heavy firms. The top thing they look at is your portfolio and graphical strength. I can guaranteed you that. Also, Portfolio quality have nothing to do with which school you go to. You just have to spend extra time and do the work. Detailed diagrams, detailed presentation drawings, renderings, Axon details, etc.

Or be over 100K in debt with another Master degree. Extra years for portfolio, extra degree for resume shine. And earn minimum wages upon graduation working over time for starchitects.

Oct 19, 21 5:21 pm  · 

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