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My Studio Architecture Instructors Have Implicitly Forced Us To Pull All-Nighters. This Needs to Change.

116
Hostim

Hello People, 

I am currently 27 years old, I have an undergrad in Interior Design, worked in an interiors design office for about 4 years, and now I am back in architecture graduate school (M.Arch I). I really want to design and build from the ground up and eventually become licensed. I love architecture school, and for the record, I am not complaining about the amount of work required in Architecture school. I am complaining about the ineptitude of my studio instructors who have 0 regard for time. 

I am in my 3rd Semester and I am noticing a trend with my architecture instructors - they do NOT care nor do they understand nor do they respect student's mental and physical health, let alone understanding when to put the "pencils down" and just start producing finalized work. This incessant desire to keep on designing until the last minute, and forcing students to have design critiques 3 days before the deadline help no one understand the concept of time management and production. When I worked at an interiors office we took client demands seriously but we also understood when the time for designing stopped and the time for production started. Yet all I see in Architecture school, both in Undergrad and Grad are students compromising their sleep, physical health, and emotional health because instructors do not acknowledge the fact that the design process needs to end at a reasonable point in time to give students proper time to produce final work.  

I initially thought this was just my studio, but many studios are like this. I also TA for undergrad courses and I see my fellow B.Arch students suffering from the same inept time management dictated by their instructors. 

"Project Due Monday, but hey, let's have a pin-up on Wednesday and let's talk about where your design is so far." 

A lot of these instructors have zero regard that students are juggling other courses that require a completely different shift of thinking. Architecture school is different compared to other majors in that you have to use every facet of your brain and body - you need to build with your hands, you need to design on the computer, you need to think about colors, materials, and compositions, you need to think about scales, you need to think about a narrative and telling a story, if you compare that to a computer programmer for example, they're only using one or two tools, their computer - they don't need to worry about getting the 3d, CNC, or Laser cut files ready AND their Renderings finalized AND their graphics for their presentation board composed AND Build their physical model AND take 5 other classes. 

I am not complaining about the amount of work required in Architecture school, I love it. What I do NOT love are these studio instructors who have 0 regard to understanding that concepts need to have a stopping point so that you can give ample time to produce and convey the work as best as possible. And when you push back at these instructors and tell them that you believe you are at a stopping point and would like to prepare for final presentations, they threaten to fail you for your "unwillingness to improve your design", or will attack you during final reviews and try to make a mockery of you.  Yes - the process work should be beautiful, but let's all be real here - if you ONLY showed process work and nothing "finalized", your presentation will look  horrible. If you ONLY showed process work to a client and nothing "Finalized" the client will most likely find another designer because they cannot count on your sense of professionalism to finalize a concept and execute its communication. 

I am starting to realize why Architects have such a shitty work-life, It's all born from this studio culture of sacrifice with very little returns except for some type of self-gratification of being praised by your jurors with 0 sleep in tact. 

We need to wake up here folks. Things are not going to magically get better if this type of culture is perpetuated in the school system. 

 
Feb 2, 22 8:16 pm
Non Sequitur

yeah, we've all been there.  My average while in undergrad was 4 all-nighters per week during my last 2 semesters... but that was because I was hand-drafting, hand-rendering, and hand modeling.. no computer aids.  I learnt my lesson and did not do a single one during my M.Arch.

You need to learn how to manage your time AND produce good/competitive work.  But to your last point, while in school, process work is more important than the final product.  Save that shit. your future portfolio will thank you.

edit.  Those 4 all-nighters per week were in part because I also had a part time job in a arch office and maintained a healthy social life outside of school.

Feb 2, 22 8:29 pm  · 
3  ·  3
Non-ASD Jequitarchitectur

How's brag camp going?

Feb 2, 22 8:42 pm  · 
4  · 
Hostim

Process work is absolutely crucial. I actually helped my principal hire staff my last year working and I would review the portfolios before she (the principal) interviewed. The principal always looked for a "story" in their design work. 

I have no problem managing my time. But these instructors are non-stop, they just want to keep talking about design. I am always  diligent enough to create a very clear and thorough conceptual process, I go through multiple iterations, yet some of these instructors just simply do NOT care because they either want you to design under their dogmatic pursuit of design, or some obscure ulterior motive to show off to their peers during final reviews.

Feb 2, 22 8:44 pm  · 
2  · 
Non Sequitur

I am sure daer provided intelligent and coherent comments, as usual. Someone who does not have the poor wanker on ignore can probably confirm. Anyways, you’re in charge of your projects. Take your instructors criticism seriously but don’t become a slave to them. A good project with a good design intent will beat any project if it’s only there to appease a studio prof.

Feb 2, 22 9:01 pm  · 
1  ·  1
proto

Undergrad, I was an enthusiastic mess, so I also cut it way back in grad school. I walked out at midnight latest & I showed up at 8a. It’s pretty quiet at 8a. You can get a lot done then.

I always thought no one really worked any more hours in a day, especially away from a deadline week. The work day just gets rotated towards a late night.

Occasionally, the all-nighter is necessary. But not every deadline. And certainly not regularly during the semester.

Feb 3, 22 10:39 am  · 
7  · 
tintt

It's competitive. To weed out the weak. Sorry, it sucks. Have to have some way (several ways) to cull the herd though don't you think?

I only pulled maybe 2 all-nighters in school but I pulled 4 in the last month for clients. WOO HOO! 

Feb 2, 22 10:55 pm  · 
 ·  3
Non Sequitur

I have 2 this week for clients... and it's only Wednesday.

Feb 2, 22 11:36 pm  · 
1  ·  1
randomised

You need to learn how to manage your time AND produce good/competitive work.

Feb 3, 22 12:48 am  · 
6  · 
SneakyPete

NS, if you're pulling multiple all-nighters, you might have some challenges saying no or managing your time. Otherwise you enjoy it and that's a lot different from the concerns of the Op.

Feb 3, 22 12:57 am  · 
3  · 
Non Sequitur

SP, we most certainly do not ask our reg staff to do long hours. That’s for management to pick up. We are significantly short staff tho, so I’ve expressed my frustration clearly. Anyways, the siege has all of us on edge at the moment.

Feb 3, 22 7:22 am  · 
1  · 
tintt

NS usually brags about having supreme work/life balance. Are you getting paid for these overnights?

Feb 3, 22 9:19 am  · 
3  · 
Non Sequitur

^yes. Normally we have great balance, just not in the last 3 weeks and to be clear, no one is expected to work more than 37.5hr/week.  Management is different.  It's our job to pick-up the heavy-load instead or burning out the team since we handle the clients and their expectations directly.  We're also under a literal siege atm, so it's hard to stay on schedule with all the distractions. 

Feb 3, 22 9:28 am  · 
4  ·  1
Hostim

"It's competitive. To weed out the weak. Sorry, it sucks. Have to have some way (several ways) to cull the herd though don't you think??" 

I am sorry, but that is just absurd. This isn't the Hunger Games. Pulling all-nighters does not make you "strong" or "passionate." 

Pulling an all-nighter means either you are over-worked or you do not know how to manage your time. You are either being over-worked by a client or you're taking on work that you cannot handle because you don't know how to say "no," or are understaffed, or you literally do not know how to allot times to particular tasks. I have professional practice. 

My principal is an architect, but she strictly started an interiors practice because she could bill the clients at a higher rate with a better utilization rate for her staff. "Interior design" is also more accessible for clients comparted to an "architect" which has a more ominous aura. Interior designers are everywhere on TV. We do substantial interiors work that requires her stamp for permit. Not once have we needed to pull an all-nighter, not once did we need to work on weekends to meet a deadline. My principal of course came into the weekends for logistical / administrative work, but never to complete a project.

Feb 3, 22 12:05 pm  · 
4  · 

You should find a different job because it's not a matter of if, but when, it will impact your health. And guess what? Your employer nor your client will be there to assist you when your body gives out. I've never pulled an all nighter and been just fine.

Feb 3, 22 2:32 pm  · 
 · 
tintt

(I didn't actually pull any all-nighters, just some early mornings and long evenings. My kids are harder on me than that. And I was compensated enough to take the next month off if I want.) I agree with the original poster, all-nighters are BS and a show of ridiculousness. I do stand by my statement that it is to weed you out. The maybe 2 times I did all-nighters in school it was a terrible decision. You can def graduate and do good work without doing all-nighters. 

Feb 3, 22 3:22 pm  · 
2  ·  1
dominiond

Agree with OP- this BS has to stop. How can we say we are making the world a better place through design if we treat other like crap in school and in our workplaces because of the power trips and egos of a bunch of disgruntled profs and company principals/senior architects/designers.

I lead a studio in a firm- my studio tries its hardest to not pull all-nighters as no one makes good design decisions at 2 am. When I hear that a team stayed up all night for a deadline, I always think “what can I fix in our process so this never happens again?” We are constantly retooling and trying do less and better rather doing 10 versions to please the egos of the overlord senior architect/client so they can critique our work. Perfection is a myth and overintellectualizatuon of design sucks the soul and creativity out of any project.

Ultimately, only the client’s opinion matters because that is how we get to keep designing. We have won multiple design awards, get published, our clients keep returning and we are enjoying the work because our group values each other and respects each other’s time.

OP- keep standing up for what’s right- don’t let your program perpetuate oppression and exploitation by demanding all nighters. It just feeds into the industry’s idea of the need to “suffer for creativity” and profit based on overtime. 

Feb 2, 22 11:24 pm  · 
9  · 
midlander

sometimes you've just got to be willing to stand behind the work you got done and focus on finishing on your schedule while incorporating adjustments based on the feedback you received.

The feedback from crits isn't truth; they're often merely half baked ideas and inane diversions. Even insightful comments are not given with the goal of trying to help you get the work done. You need to develop your own filter to deal with comments and figure out what is actually worth the effort to address.

Feb 3, 22 12:27 am  · 
9  · 
reallynotmyname

Hostim, the 4 years of working in a design firm you have under your belt is probably more professional practice experience than most of your studio professors have.   Few of today's studio professors have ever seen, much less performed, the efficient production of professional architectural work.

Feb 3, 22 10:24 am  · 
12  · 
archanonymous

I recently applied for a bunch of teaching jobs with 10 years professional experience and a few part-time teaching gigs, and was generally told that I didn't have enough research and scholarship to support my application, if I got to talk with anyone at all.

Feb 3, 22 11:51 am  · 
7  · 
reallynotmyname

The prioritizing of "research and scholarship" over work experience is indicative of today's broken system. It is a barrier to entry that will eventually result in most decent-paying teaching jobs going to the emerging PhD crowd.

Feb 3, 22 12:04 pm  · 
3  · 
reallynotmyname

Unless you are rich or you manage to land some kind of funding, it's very difficult to find the time and money to produce research and scholarship while also practicing. Same goes for getting a PhD in architecture.

Feb 3, 22 3:22 pm  · 
3  · 
archanonymous

Yep. I really love teaching too but it seems the academy doesn't love me back. One of the places I applied was my alma-mater. I look at the instructor bio pages and most are 5-10 "almost architecture" projects, unbuilt, and often more installation/ exhibition/ gallery or totally unrealized competition work. I have 5 built works where I was the PA/ team lead, and have probably worked on 20+ built projects and that experience is seemingly worth nothing.

Feb 4, 22 2:27 pm  · 
5  · 
gibbost

The toxic studio culture that exists on University campuses inside architecture schools is an ongoing problem for the industry.  This mentality that many professors and studio crits hold that 'I went thru hell, therefore you shall go thru hell' is ridiculous.  It's a turnoff to students and contradictory to what the AIA has been trying to reinforce for years--that architects can have a proper work-life balance.  The pursuit of art in architecture is a slippery slope--one can argue that the design is never complete--always needs refinement.  But that is not a basis for reality in the profession.  Clients will only pay for so much design.  They need their building permit and eventually keys to the front door.  To the OP, I recommend you leverage your past office experience and have a candid conversation with your crits.  Explain to them that every project reaches a point where you must be satisfied with the design and move on to properly documenting it.  Otherwise, it's all just metal masturbation--a roll of sketches that will never be built.  At last check, getting things built is sort of the reason we do this.

Feb 3, 22 10:47 am  · 
8  · 
b3tadine[sutures]

Join the Architecture Lobby, if one doesn't exist at your school, start a chapter. Get your classmates to join, and then start the process of striking against your program.

Feb 3, 22 11:00 am  · 
2  · 
b3tadine[sutures]

I'm definitely Marxist Adjacent, capitalist, imperialist dog.

Apr 25, 22 8:47 pm  · 
 · 
RJ87

It's up to you to manage your time. In undergrad I usually tried to get out of studio by 2. Grad school was around 12-12:30. Like others mentioned I found out later on in school that if I left around 12:30, went home, slept & came back around 8:30-9 I was far more productive. Grad school, at least in my case, was significantly more civil.

Don't get me wrong, I did some all nighters in my day too. But looking back anyone who was there all night mismanaged their time. That goes for both school & real life practice.

Feb 3, 22 11:01 am  · 
1  · 
Hostim

As mentioned in my original post, I never said I had time management issues. The instructors have time management issues. I take my time very seriously and take advantage of both my studio time and my non-studio time. I don't need to sit and talk to my instructor every studio day, let alone a couple days before the project is due. 

Just because it went well at your school does not mean this culture is not prevalent at other schools. 

Architecture students are not naturally pulling all-nighters from day 1. It's a learned behavior. It's a culture that is perpetuated, and studio instructors are part of the problem.

Feb 3, 22 11:55 am  · 
1  · 
RJ87

"As mentioned in my original post, I never said I had time management issues. The instructors have time management issues ..... I don't need to sit and talk to my instructor every studio day, let alone a couple days before the project is due."

That's not how it works. You're there for them to critique & ask difficult questions so you learn from it. It's a condensed time schedule from actual practice, it doesn't have to be as perfect. That's ok.

Feb 3, 22 12:15 pm  · 
 ·  2
jas5150

"instructors have time management issues" you mean, they want to have desk crits at 3:00AM? If not, then YOU are the one with time management issues, not them.

Apr 25, 22 6:08 pm  · 
 · 
kjpn

"Project Due Monday, but hey, let's have a pin-up on Wednesday and let's talk about where your design is so far." 

What's wrong with that? Studio isn't a 9 - 5 M-F job. You should be working on your studio project almost every day and because most students benefit from frequent guidance your professor is staying engaged.

If you feel like there are certain expectations that are suffocating you I encourage you to simply ignore that feeling and do your own thing on your own schedule while still attending class with an engaged and positive attitude. You will graduate all the same for not having worked late on the weekends, I assure you.



Feb 3, 22 11:05 am  · 
1  ·  3
Hostim

I can easily tell you what's wrong with that. 

 First - Architecture Studio is MWF 1-6 PM for my school. Yes, Arch school is not a full time job, but graduate school as a whole, practically is a full time job. 

Second - I take my studio time seriously and I manage my time seriously. I do not need to sit down and talk to my instructors every single studio day. I do not need hand holding, especially a couple days before the project is due. 

Third - If your project is Due Monday and you still have desk crits about your design and updating your design on a Wednesday AND a Friday, that leaves you Thursday, Saturday and Sunday to produce work whilst juggling other classes that also have their deadlines. 

You say:

You should be working on your studio project almost every day

No you shouldn't. I am at graduate school and I want to take advantage of the academic resources offered by OTHER courses that I am paying for. Courses like Furniture design, literature and writing, figure drawing, parametric courses, graphic visualization courses, and rapid prototyping courses. Why do I have to sacrifice my learning experience in those elective courses (IN ADDITION to the required courses) just because I need to keep talking about my design with an instructor who in actuality just wants to push their own agenda. You don't become a good designer by working on your design every single day. You become a good designer by exposing yourself to life, to other facets of the world. Not everything is about architecture.

Feb 3, 22 11:50 am  · 
7  · 
sameolddoctor

"Final is due Monday, so let's du a pin-up on Wednesday" - this happens ALL THE TIME in the real world. Its about how to manage expectations with clients as well as your instructors. The instructors should be clearly told what they can expect a mere 3 days later.


Feb 3, 22 6:06 pm  · 
 · 
Hostim

"Final is due Monday, so let's du a pin-up on Wednesday"- this happens ALL THE TIME in the real world. 

YES. In the real world where that is your ONLY job. In the real world you are working 8 hours a day (hopefully maximum), 5 days a week dedicated to that line of work, ONLY. You're not taking 5 other jobs (courses) that have completely different deadlines and projects at the same time. I worked in the real world before going to grad school. I know what it takes to pivot and shift gears. And it's doable when that is your dedicated work. 

In Academia, many of these studio instructors believe your world (should) revolve around studio at the expense of all your other courses. I am beginning to see in this forum how some people, like yourself, are missing the big picture and disconnect. 

"The instructors should be clearly told what they can expect a mere 3 days later." 

My instructors simply do NOT care. I am all open for design critiques, questioning, exploration, and discussions. But there is a fine line where they cross-over and they believe they are bestowing their architectural wisdom to the masses and we should just "listen." I didn't go to architecture school to follow someone else Ideas. I came to architecture school to test MY ideas. And if I get torn apart in a review, that's my learning experience and I am OK with that. I am 27 years old, not 17. I am an adult. I know I can be naïve and have naïve design ideas. And I am always open to criticism. But at proper time and place. I don't need to sit there and be coddled by their ideas down to the last minute of a project before the deadline. Many architecture instructors actually do not have a discussion with their students, they "order" and "tell." "I am not asking for your opinion, I am telling you this idea is shit. THIS IS YOUR CONCEPT [Insert instructor's idea here]. DO THIS." - This has been repeated many times in many studios. So how do you expect instructors to be "empathetic" of your realistic expectations of deliverables.

Feb 3, 22 10:57 pm  · 
1  · 
kjpn

you might be 27, but you have some growing up to do.

Feb 4, 22 11:08 am  · 
 ·  2
sameolddoctor

"YES. In the real world where that is your ONLY job." Sorry to say, you do not know anything about the real world. Your only problem in college may be the crazy hours, but in the "real" world, there are tons of other responsibilities that pop up. Rent/Mortgage, Kids, Health Insurance, Car Insurance etc etc. If you think school is that bad, wait until you get out.

Feb 4, 22 11:52 am  · 
 ·  2
Hostim

You really do live be your moniker. Clearly you did not read my original post and are here to express your "tough-love" ideology that make no sense nor is it pertinent to the original post. 

I am not sure where you're getting this assumption that I have never worked a day in my life. I have professional experience, worked part-time in Highschool and under-grad, and full time for 4 years after graduating while balancing rent, loan payments, insurance. 

I am also not sure why you think paying rent/mortgage/insurance are exclusive from your career. How else are you going to pay for those services or expenses??? Hint, FROM YOUR CAREER. Since when does someone say, "Hold on boss, I have to pay for my mortgage, I can't meet this random deadline." ......??? Never. Unless you're working 5 different jobs to to pay for 5 different life expenses. Which is not realistic. But since you're an expert in reality, I do not need to remind you. 

Feb 4, 22 4:31 pm  · 
1  · 
b3tadine[sutures]

What I find interesting is this "suck it up mentality" I am thinking that this is the critical issue inside Architecture. The op use is right, it's informing everything we do in the profession, and we know it's wrong. Maybe if we wrestle with the issue in school, defeat the capitalist neo-liberalists early, we can take it into our practices.

Viva LA Revolución!!

Feb 3, 22 11:19 am  · 
5  · 
square.

def agree to some extent, but i also value not needing to have "fully resolved" projects during critique. i think op is putting a little too much pressure on a clean final product coming in with professional experience. perhaps there is a way to meet in the middle..

Feb 3, 22 11:30 am  · 
1  · 
Hostim

I think op is putting a little too much pressure on a clean final product . 

I clearly mentioned the importance of process work. But it's a plain fact that you need to have finalized work. Not everything needs to be 100%, but you do need a coherent, clear presentation. This requires time and effort that should not be expended or expensed for your sleep, health, or academic experience in other courses. When instructors want to keep on talking and pushing the design until the last week of presentation, that compromises your time. 

Also, what is wrong with a "clean final product." If you apply for  competition work or an RFP, you do not want to have sloppy work. That work requires a constant refinement of the final presentation piece. Not an all-nighter push.

Feb 3, 22 12:22 pm  · 
 · 
randomised

We’re made to believe architecture is not a 9 to 5 job but a calling…but that’s only because the compensation isn’t on par with the true workload of what it requires to go from concept to realisation.

Feb 3, 22 12:50 pm  · 
1  · 
tduds

When you spent the better part of your years in CA, it's more of a 7:30-4 job.

Feb 3, 22 10:41 pm  · 
1  · 
tintt

I find that getting up at 1 or 2 am and working those hours were far more productive than staying up late. There is something about the lack of distractions in the wee hours that is conducive to design work. Maybe try that.

Feb 3, 22 11:54 am  · 
 · 
zonker

Architecture is like Navy SEALS, finals week is like Hell week. Students either get with it or get out. My first job out of school, at SOM, we had at least 1 all nighter per week , and we always worked weekends too

Feb 3, 22 11:54 am  · 
 ·  3
b3tadine[sutures]

How many people have you killed in Architecture?

Feb 3, 22 11:55 am  · 
6  · 
Hostim

My first job out of school, at SOM, we had at least 1 all nighter per week , and we always worked weekends too

I wonder if SOM and Archinect would like to comment on this. Or if this can be substantially proven given the fact we are on a prominent architectural platform. Can anyone else share if they worked at SOM and pulled all-nighters?

Feb 3, 22 12:13 pm  · 
1  · 
randomised

It’s just so one person does the job of two people or more…so owners can rake in more profits or underbid the competition to get the commission. Has nothing to do with a Navy SEALS mentality, that’s just your Stockholm Syndrome talkin’, You don’t need praise or a pat on the back but a therapist to address your toxic relationship with architecture, seriously.

Feb 3, 22 12:57 pm  · 
5  · 
bowling_ball

That's so incredibly toxic and unhelpful. I don't even ask people to work overtime unless they've personally messed something up and won't meet the deadline otherwise (which has not happened under my watch, to date). It's architecture, not intercepting a drone strike.

Feb 3, 22 1:41 pm  · 
5  · 
tintt

I had a friend (he passed away) who had the job of detecting and intercepting missile strikes. There are no deadlines there. Kind of a slacker job really.

Feb 3, 22 1:52 pm  · 
 · 
rcz1001

BB, I agree. If an instructor is demanding that, I would be bringing the dean of instruction and the college provost/president or whatever as well as all of the upper institutional administration about the issue. It is one thing to expect and demand students to work diligently but the work load must be able to be performed by students who are LEARNING the subject matter to be able to perform in a 2-3 hours of homework time per credit hour a class a week. It is one thing for a professional who already knows the subject matter to be able to perform the work. The homework time must include the time it takes the student to learn and study the subject matter ESPECIALLY if the professor/instructor doesn't provide any sort of teaching students how to do something. If you aren't teaching them how to use the damn software, the students are going to have to learn them not assumed to already know how to use the software just because they are a millenial or generation Z. They may know how to use a web browser and some universally common software with every computer or most of them but CAD/BIM programs are not universally common computer software that is on every computer. It might be common for the profession but not on computers students graduating from high school would already have. Most won't have it or every used those software like Autocad or Revit. So, lets be realistic. If the professor/instructor n question frequents this forum, if you were at the university I went to when I was there, you would not have a job with that kind of excessive demand. If your students predominantly have to do all nighters to do the work along with all the work they have to do for other classes. YOU are NOT their only class. They on average have 3-5 classes every term or semester. Most in not ALL of them have homework demands. A full-time student is expected to spend about 30-40 hours a week on homework. 60 hours a week of homework for a 12-15 credits of classes is understandable. 100-120 (or more) hours a week on homework is not. There's only 168 hours a week and students do need to sleep and the drugs you might have taken to keep awake when you were a student for 5-7 days a week every week are illegal contrabands that can land you in Federal prison if you are caught in possession of. Medical doctors are not going to prescribe that to people so they can stay up. There's other drugs they can prescribe that might give them a little energy boost for a short amount of time as well as high caffeine consumption. So whoever you are, instructor/professor, make sure the students have ALL the information to do the work, including the preparation of the skills otherwise, you need to make changes in your course so it's able to be reasonably done by any student within a reasonable time frame. If your class is 4 credits, the homework should not demand ANY student to take more than 3 hours per credit hour to do for a passing grade. If that's a B, then it should be able to be done in 12 hours a week. All homework that you issue including required readings, should be able to be done in 12 hours by students. A professional might be able to do it in half that time. They are not professionals. They are STUDENTS.... LEARNING. This means, they have to learn before doing. This means, you have to actually TEACH. If not, time for you to take a hike, Mr. Instructor/Professor. This also goes to the rest of the Mr. & Ms./Mrs. Instructors/Professors like the instructor/professor in question.

Feb 3, 22 3:22 pm  · 
 · 
rcz1001

The other end of the spectrum is students should not at all procrastinate. Do homework before you go off playing whatever. Work before play. That is up to a point. Some students do procrastinate and then they have these all-nighters. However, if you have to do all-nighters even without any procrastination because of the workload demand is that much, then we have a problem where instructors/professors are putting too much demand on the students... setting them up to fail because what is being asked is literally impossible to be done by students who have to learn. Only students that can possibly do it would already be seasoned professionals and already know the stuff and how to do it.

Feb 3, 22 3:28 pm  · 
 · 
b3tadine[sutures]

Can you take a cue?

Feb 3, 22 3:31 pm  · 
2  · 
proto

how many years has it been going on now? i'd say no...

Feb 3, 22 5:37 pm  · 
2  · 
sameolddoctor

Seems like your school and your employer (SOM) are shit

Feb 3, 22 6:07 pm  · 
4  · 
SiameseDream

.

Feb 4, 22 10:18 pm  · 
 · 
gibbost

Let's please stop the rewarding of this behavior.  People want to wear it like a badge of honor.  'I used to stay up for 3 days straight.  My, aren't I dedicated to my craft?'  People in other areas of study or professions do not talk like that.  Why are architects so bent on living the caricature of the 'starving artist' married to our work & dying at the drafting table?

Comparisons to the military are not helpful.  We don't need to tear people down to 'build them back up.'  These broken students are the same ones coming out of school and devaluing themselves to the point of accepting unpaid internships and shitty working conditions.  The leap from an asshole studio crit to an asshole boss is a pretty short one.

This is a race to the bottom.  We can do better.  The University should be able to create a safe place for students to explore ideas and find their 'design voice' while also reinforcing the value of the human experience outside of the studio--you know, eating a balanced meal, getting a reasonable amount of sleep, engaging with the community, holding down a part-time job, exceling in other classes, etc.  That is what creates solid architects of the future.

Feb 3, 22 12:36 pm  · 
5  · 
natematt

A good bunch of the people who do this are doing it because their work can't actually stand on it's own. I remember in undergrad there were a lot of people pulling a lot of all nighters... very few of them were top students....


Constant all nighters tend to be a bad sign for time management which gets reflected in work. Except those couple days before finals. 

Feb 4, 22 12:08 am  · 
1  · 
zonker

Actually, that was 14 years ago - over the years, there has been more work life balance at many firms

Feb 3, 22 12:36 pm  · 
 · 

I would very clearly tell your professor that you don't respond well to deadlines that require all nighters to accomplish and are happy to have conversations about that between the two of you.  And that if he has an issue with it you are happy to request a meeting with the dean and him to discuss expectations and health of students.   Looking back on architecture school I realize how unimportant my studio professors - and their opinions - to my ultimate trajectory.  Their expectations often have nothing to do with meeting NAAB requirements for the course.  

Feb 3, 22 2:36 pm  · 
3  · 
reallynotmyname

Lack of teaching ability is pretty prevalent among studio instructors. Most are ineffective due to things like their various and sundry biases, inability to explain things, attitude problems, or a dogmatic approach to the subject. Only about 40% of my studio instructors were really effective teachers who made the course a useful experience.

Feb 3, 22 3:02 pm  · 
1  · 
msparchitect

"Looking back on architecture school I realize how unimportant my studio professors - and their opinions - to my ultimate trajectory."

It's crazy to me how much I agree with you. Ten years out of undergrad, all of those professors that I admired so much, that encouraged us to work "so hard" were actually total failures as actual architects. They were failed architects hiding in academia. Everything they thought they knew was just because of their own education, not what it takes in the real world to make good architecture. 

Feb 3, 22 10:36 pm  · 
2  · 
RJ87

A good number probably weren't even architects to begin with.

Feb 4, 22 9:49 am  · 
 · 
gibbost

^ That is correct. Several of my studio crits were recent grads who had interned somewhere, realized that actual practice is not just esoteric theory, and returned to academia to continue waxing poetic about architecture saving the world.

Feb 4, 22 9:56 am  · 
1  · 
archanonymous

@ msparchitect totally agree! Was just discussing this with my wife (also an architect.) It is kind of shocking to realize that I've professionally surpassed, many times over, nearly every professor I had in school. Depressing part is now that I want to teach I can't find a job in it.

Feb 4, 22 4:45 pm  · 
1  · 

What they are teaching is obedience and servitude. What you need to learn is independence and self-confidence. 


The only reason this persists is because people accept it. Rather than bitching on the internet, organize a student strike and put an end to this uneducational, unhealthy practice. 

Feb 3, 22 3:29 pm  · 
11  · 
Hostim

Rather than bitching on the internet, organize a student strike and put an end to this uneducational, unhealthy practice. 

Students are not going to go on strike. As you know, many students are programmed to think that pulling all-nighters is normal. They celebrate it. They want to be pinned up on the school exhibit or school publication (nothing wrong with that, but that shouldn't be your ONLY goal). They are pressured by their parents to be the "best." Many come from privilege and already have a job lined up after graduation. Some are on scholarships and do not want to sacrifice their marks to go on a student strike. Our own instructors / dean invite guest lecturers who have shitty work-place culture. If a strike were to happen, it would need to happen en masse and all at once. 3 Students going on strike is just that - 3 students going on strike.

Feb 3, 22 11:24 pm  · 
 · 

Since you already know everything and are not going to take responsibility or work proactively to change the shitty system, then either quit or bend over and take it like a man. Whatever you do stop your bloody whining.

Feb 4, 22 12:03 am  · 
3  ·  2
Hostim

Miles, this is a public forum to express ideas, concerns, and criticisms. Just as you have as much as a right to use such crude phrases like "bend over and take it like a man" (btw, I am not sure what makes a person look more out of touch, using such archaic phrases like "bend over and take it a like a man", or revivalist pop art aesthetic), I have as much as a right to "whine" and "complain." I am allowed to bring light and attention to a pertinent issue. 

Also, this argument of "Then just quit" is such a straw man. You sound like those disgruntled republicans on Fox News whose only response to unfair employer practices is "QUIT. FIND ANOTHER JOB IF YOU DONT WANT TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT" Miles, not everyone is going to quit and go into mediocre art. Not everyone is going to lead the charge. Some people will do what works best for them, but that doesn't negate the fact that one is allowed to express their ideas and concerns about an issue. Are we only allowed to talk about issues that we will act upon? If so, then why do we have forum to begin with? Why do we have debates. Maybe someone else who will read this might have better resources to enact change at a larger scale.  

Also, why are you here? Why are you commenting on my whiny post if it's just all "bitching"? Why are you an on architect forum if all you do are matchbooks, ironic paint tubes, and large pushpins? Is it because you practiced architecture for 5 years in the 80s? Is that why you think it's normal to tell people to "bend over and take it like a man?"-- because that was the norm 37 years ago? I am a woman btw.

Feb 4, 22 10:56 am  · 
3  · 
bowling_ball

Well said, Hostim. You've been polite and articulate and deserve a better response than that

Feb 4, 22 3:48 pm  · 
1  · 

If you want to discuss logical fallacies, let's talk about your ad hominen attacks. If you want to discuss the issue at hand, don't be wantanly dismissive of constructive ideas. Have you polled you fellow students on these matters, or attempted to organize a group response to a situation that negatively effects so many (and has been discussed in these forums at length - and which you were too lazy and self-centered to explore)? Of course not, you dismissed that because it would require actual effort on your part and you prefer to play the victim. That is most assuredly not the approach of a designer to a problem.

With that in mind you should indeed quit. That is not a straw man, it is a logical solution to your problem, or at least one of them. Stop acting like a spolied brat.

Feb 4, 22 8:10 pm  · 
 · 
Hostim

Hi Miles. 

You speak about "Ad Hominems" yet you're the one who initiated direct attacks and still use direct attacks. I see - it's an ad hominem when I criticize your line of work, yet when you use graphic expletives and condescending sexist remarks like "bitching" and "and bend over and take it like a man", or how I am "whiny" , a "spoiled brat", and "self-centered" - that's all fair game - very cute I must say. Show's how sometimes the most vulgar of people are the most sensitive when they are criticized. 

I am more concerned why an almost senior citizen like yourself, ~64 years old, would use such foul language, let alone debate with someone more than half their age. 

I never knew I am so self-centered to talk about prevalent issues and gather other people's ideas. I already explained to you why your measure will not work. Just read what happened with SHoP architects. What makes you think it will somehow work at the academic level if it will get shot down at the professional level. Students are even more "architecturally hungry" than professionals. I do think however, I will send a letter to the dean. 

I am in full right to discuss these ideas. I am in full right to post these ideas on a FORUM so that others can read and know they do not have to pull all-nighters to succeed. 

Can you please point out what topics have NOT been discussed at length on this forum? If so, then go ahead and make forum topics about that rather than debate with whiny spoiled brat who doesn't understand why it took you 37 years to re-create pop art. Hopefully those words don't sting, I just wanted to give you a taste of your own medicine and that if you bite with your words, some people will bite back.

Feb 4, 22 8:39 pm  · 
 · 

"Stop whining" is not an ad hominem attack, it is a stern recommendation to grow up, similar to other comments made to you in this thread. "Spoiled brat" is simply a description of your behavior, which you have now doubled- and tripled-down on.

You said, "the most vulgar of people are the most sensitive when they are criticized". Exactly! You lost your shit when I told you to stop whining.

It would be funny if it wasn't so pathetically sad.

Feb 4, 22 9:53 pm  · 
 · 
Hostim

An Ad Hominem is directed at the person, rather than the argument. "Stop Bitching" is directed at the person, not the argument. "Bend Over" is directed at the person, not the argument. Why do I need to clarify this to a person as old as you? This is basic debate and discussion methodology. Spoiled? Grow Up? Can you please point out who also said this? Do you mean your 2 other forum buddies who think pulling all-nighters is a normal weeding out process and that your studio instructors are infallible and MUST be listened to at all times? They must be so wise. Grow up? Miles - you are a 64 year old debating with a 27 year old over something you clearly do not care about. Don't you have more pop art to make rather than debate with a spoiled brat? I didn't lose my shit, Miles. If anyone is uncomfortable, it's someone like yourself who seems to be so "exhausted" by these threads yet still takes the time and effort to participate in the very discussions they don't like. What does that say about you? That's what's pathetically sad.

Feb 4, 22 10:51 pm  · 
 · 

You have no problem spending hours bitching on the internet about school work load. Maybe you should be spending that time doing the actual work instead? Just a thought.

For reference, kjpn posted "you might be 27, but you have some growing up to do."

Feb 5, 22 12:25 am  · 
 · 
Hostim

Miles, you clearly missed every single point in this thread (hint: I explicitly said - in bold - that I have no problem with the workload). You even missed your own point. For reference, kjpn also posted:

 "You should be working on your studio project almost every day"

Here you are quoting a person who also believes you should "work (almost) every day on your studio project" yet you're the one talking about breaking the "servitude" and "obedience." Priceless. So work everyday on a studio project while sidelining your other courses that require proper attention, not to mention the tremendous resources and benefit other courses offer. Not everything is about studio.

I would have expected a little more tact and wisdom from someone your age yet all I see here are contradictions, graphic references, and for some odd reason the overt usage of the word "bitching." I wonder where the stems from. If anyone here needs growing up to do, it's clearly (and ironically) you.

Feb 5, 22 4:35 pm  · 
 · 
rcz1001

To the original poster, I do agree with the essence of your points. While in some cases, students procrastinate. In other cases, it is the shear work load and demand, shitty instructions about what the student needs to do, inavailability of the professor/instructor to get clarity and sending an email doesn't work if they don't answer emails until after the due date of the assignment. What the fuck good is that? Maybe, if they provide all the information to sufficient clarity, it wouldn't be as much of a problem but sufficient clarity is different between what a student needs to understand what they need to do and what is expected (like what the fuck is the project program expecting.) You mentioned about computer programmers and two tools. Well... that's true to a point. Let me remind you that most architectural projects of independent architectural offices and small and I mean small firms of 1-2 architects and maybe 2-3 staff members.... they don't make physical models or CNC anything. No sense in doing that... especially for a house or a small 4-6 unit apartment or a small restaurant. You use the 3d modeling and rendering tools. This can be integrated in one tool or across multiple tools. 

Now, you mentioned programmers as a singular facet role. In reality, that can be a bit more complex depending on what sector of the software field you are dealing with. In the video game industry, the role may be divided up or it can be that you are doing multiple roles. In my history in the video game and software development industry, I did more than programming. I did graphic work and so forth. In the old days, I would also be dealing with getting PCBs made, elements of cartridge design within platform specs so they work and you can't just willy nilly that, but then I also have to consider labels for the cartridge, same for the data cassettes (regular audio cassettes used for storing computer data), disk labels, box art for the packaging box, as well as what is used for advertisements. That can be something you are doing all on your own or as part of a small group, about 3-5 individuals. As I said, it can be a bit more involved. 

In many software companies, a computer programmer beyond entry-level might be expected to do more than just programming and therefore, understand UI and UX (UX being User Experience). UI being the user interface. Every video game had a form of user interface not always graphical but many had some form of graphical aspect albeit not necessarily of the WIMP model. You have to think out how the game is going to look on screen. You also need to do that as a software developer and leading the project. Even for something like Microsoft's Multiplan and other spreadsheet programs of the day. I am just pointing out that professionally, it can be a bit more than you may realize. In some jobs, you'll learn it on the job with working with others. 

Learning doesn't stop with getting the degree diploma. It doesn't in the software field. It doesn't with the architectural field. You are relating a computer programmer to a plain old draftsman/CAD drafter. Yes, you can pigeonhole yourself into that or diversify you skillset. This is what architects/building designers and also for project leads of software or video game development projects will need to do to get to these roles. This is because you are moving up the ladder of role and thus responsibilities.


Feb 3, 22 4:49 pm  · 
 · 
Hostim

Let me remind you that most architectural projects of independent architectural offices and small and I mean small firms of 1-2 architects and maybe 2-3 staff members.... they don't make physical models or CNC anything. No sense in doing that... especially for a house or a small 4-6 unit apartment or a small restaurant. You use the 3d modeling and rendering tools. This can be integrated in one tool or across multiple tools. 

I don't need to be reminded. I worked at an interior's office which was run by an architect. 8 staff. We built a plethora of both large and small scale models for residential and commercial renovations. We used laser cutters. We charged the client for those models. The clients loved the models and it was a great presentation tool. 

I was simply using the programmer anecdote to compare the difference of multiple tasks that an architect is required to take on in an academic setting. And in an academic setting it is quite rigorous to balance the studio requirements with the other academic courses which can be as equally enriching. It is also a fact that it is easier for an architect to move laterally into other professions without extra schooling (except for professional degrees). For example, many of my colleagues both from undergrad and who graduated from grad before my self actually moved laterally into UI/UX VR/XR/AR. They took a 6 month bootcamp and landed a job with google, facebook, youtube, Disney, Nike, corporate offices, marketing, and consultancy, for 150-200% more pay than their pervious architectural practices. Many architects also design furniture and publications. But how many graphic designers move laterally into Architecture without schooling? Not that many (unless you want to count Pentagram or 2x4). How many furniture designers are also "architects"? You can't take a 6 month boot camp for architecture schooling.  

Feb 3, 22 11:13 pm  · 
1  · 
rcz1001

Most residential clients unless your client is one of those $10+ Million a year actor or something, they usually aren't going to pay someone to make a physical model. Sure, it can be done but most clients are too cheap and don't want to spend money on you.... they want the money in the project itself. Physical model making is a slow process and when you're billing the client what amounts to a billed hourly rate of $150+ an hour, that is a time consumption they are not up to paying for when you could be doing something more "productive". 

As a building designer, most clients don't want to spend that kind of money for the time when I can do the modeling in Sketchup for the same effect but with potentially less time involved. I've done physical models but that comes at not only a laborious cost impact but also the material expense. I also should note that a computer programmer's academic setting varies as there isn't just one kind of degree program for computer programmers. 

There are your classic "Computer Science" degrees but there are also degrees in more industry sector-focused education such as video game designer/programmer degrees. It isn't all programming. You might learn some C or C# and some scripting languages and so forth, but you also would learn to use the various tools like the game engines (Unity or Unreal for example). You may also need to learn to do graphic design, 3d modeling & animation. 

Besides building design, I have been in the video game design/development industry for the past 3 decades plus some years.

Feb 4, 22 3:49 pm  · 
 ·  1
rcz1001

Point being, your anecdote doesn't always hold in reality in the academia and in the professional field.

Feb 4, 22 3:51 pm  · 
 · 
thatsthat

I agree 100% with the OP. We actually had a student before my time die because they tried to drive home after an all-nighter and fell asleep at the wheel. We also had professors that would stop by the studio between midnight and 2 am just to see who was working and if you had a poor crit, it was “well I didn’t see you here last night...” As a professional, we get new grads who were so enamored by the all-nighters that they almost seem disappointed that they aren’t working themselves to the bone anymore.   


To the OP - no one cares what your grades are when you graduate. Build a portfolio that you are proud of, and don’t look back. It does not matter if you barely pass studio or if you’re an A student when you’re looking for a job. I tell my interns all the time to just get the paper and graduate. School isn’t what it used to be. It doesn’t teach people how to be architects anymore; it’s a checkbox for licensing at this point. 

Feb 3, 22 11:46 pm  · 
4  · 
Koww

just take a B or C and move on. it's not worth sacrificing your skin care regimen for architecture. you can always add dark circles under your eyes in photoshop. 

Feb 4, 22 2:23 am  · 
8  · 
zonker

It's architectural boot camp to train people for when you do have and you will be in a crunch mode situation numerous times in your career - also you must be in top physical shape to have the stamina to survive under adverse conditions of late nights, weekends and numerous revisions - 

Feb 4, 22 1:46 pm  · 
 ·  3
randomised

You make it sound like a good, essential and totally acceptable aspect of architectural training and practice…

Feb 4, 22 3:07 pm  · 
 · 
midlander

you've been fully brainwashed Z. Has it benefited you in any way?

Feb 5, 22 6:35 am  · 
 · 
whistler

F-u-u-u-c-c-c-k! Manage your client folks.  All nighters are for students, it's a right of passage, kinda fun / kinda social but it you really aren't producing quality work at 4 am.  More likely to cut your finger off building a model ( at least an old school model! ) We've had a number of major projects with hard deadlines IE Olympic Games Theatre Performances that had to have occupancy as that date was not flexible  haha! Work with your clients/ building officials  and explain how the project needs to roll out. Don't just throw it onto your staff to grind out over long hours/ nights.  In these times good staff are your best asset so burning them out isn't doing anyone any favours!


Feb 4, 22 2:14 pm  · 
5  · 
JawkneeMusic

Well here's the problem: it's the licensure requirements.  You can't just take the classes that you want & get out.
I took 23 semester credits one time-purely technical classes: physics, math, geology, welding.  The problem wasn't the time involved, it was the pedagogy.  When there's something to be gained from the work it gets done.  I failed a few of those classes but I got my electrician license.
My sympathy is with OP.  The only thing that I can offer you without pushing you is to ask yourself: "If I didn't have to do this to become an architect what would I be doing?"  Personally, I regret that I never got to do the studio culture.  I've really been wanting to do that sort of thing, just really grind.  I've been working on other stuff, but I think it's time.
I had to drop my geology class with a pure A.  Halfway through the semester we took a metamorphic/igneous rock i.d. quiz (Everyone is walking around silently answering questions about displayed rocks)  Someone doesn't put a rock back in the right spot "If someone does that again I'm dropping everyone's grade"-The professor.  Guess what, it happens again.  I turn in my quiz which I was really confident on & got the hell out

Feb 4, 22 3:27 pm  · 
 · 
JawkneeMusic

I want to share this: I was in an architectural engineering class @ the university, the teacher really wanted me to be able to get into the design classes, but the academia & architect department wouldn't let me. Idk if she actually pushed for it. I've actually developed some new ideas in structural engineering in the last couple of years.  I'd actually like to try cutting my teeth on some theoretical work.  I'm getting kind of sick of just doing isometric sketches

Feb 4, 22 3:40 pm  · 
 · 

read michael mcdonough's "ten things they never taught me in design school" - #4 sounds about right up your alley:

4. Don’t over-think a problem.
One time when I was in graduate school, the late, great Steven Izenour said to me, after only a week or so into a ten-week problem, “OK, you solved it. Now draw it up.” Every other critic I ever had always tried to complicate and prolong a problem when, in fact, it had already been solved. Designers are obsessive by nature. This was a revelation. Sometimes you just hit it. The thing is done. Move on.

https://designobserver.com/fea...

Feb 4, 22 3:28 pm  · 
2  · 
sillybilly

@ OP. Do not listen to the idiots here who think pulling all-nighters is a rite of passage or some filtering process to weed out the ones who are "truly passionate". It's not. They're literally idiots. They do not understand scheduling. These are the same people who think it's normal to pull all-nighters in a professional setting, these are the same people who do not know their worth or value in  a professional setting, these are the same people who will constantly be in mental and financial turmoil, and these are the same people who get an egotistical high by calling themselves an "architect" yet their only clientele are the affluent class.  Some people in here think as long as they're being paid over-time for their all-nighters, then it's all good. It isn't. It means you're an indentured servant who will bend-over backwards for anything as long as you're getting paid, even if it means risking your health.  You can 100% have a healthy life-style and have good design. You may not be one of those hot-shot starchitects, but WHO CARES. There are so many amazing designers out there that no one even knows about, yet they're living great lives, good design, good pay, good work-life balance.  

Also do not listen to the folks here who think you can simply go on some type of student strike. You can, but it will get you no where since many of your cohorts will not follow you. Half of architecture school is packed with students who come from privilege and they're not worried about their future or the "well-being of society." The other third care about being at the top of the class and will do whatever it takes to get to the top. The other ~20% are normal people like yourself who care about design, the profession, but also care about having a civilized life beyond the studio. What you can do at an activist level is send a formal letter to the dean. Explain to the dean the situation. Get signatures from students. Protest quietly. See what happens. Maybe you will get a response. 

This is my advice for you: You're in graduate school, you're a grown up. You do not have to listen to your instructors. You can stand your ground. If you have a concept that you believe in and you feel it's fully resolved, then just plow right ahead into production mode. Some of the instructors both in B.Arch and M.Arch barely have any built work if any at all. Some can be outright tyrannical. Some are inspirational. Some are just complete shit and you are wondering how the hell they got this job. Many of the instructors do not understand the rigor required to balance both design and reality and are stuck in some conceptual design esoteric world. B.Arch is more brutal since some instructors will threaten students if they do not listen to them, which sucks since some need the grades to get into grad school. But luckily, you're in grad school. If you're on a scholarship then yes, your grades matter. But if not, then just worry about having a nice portfolio, take advantage of the amazing courses offered in grad school, don't hide your self in studio - take as many non-architectural classes as you can. Take a robotics class or a free-writing class, take acting classes or art classes, take wheel-throwing, or a VR class. take furniture design or an industrial design coruse. These things will be very beneficial for you as a designer and will actually add to your portfolio. 

Feb 4, 22 3:45 pm  · 
1  · 
Thayer-D

All you can to is hang in there and do your best.  A couple of things.  1 - These people tend to be frustrated designers so they take liberties with a students time and project to play the great architect.  2 - They won't be there with you in the working world so forget about the 'A's' or being a teachers pet and keep your psychological and physical health intact.  You'll need to keep bitterness out of your mouth if you want to do the best work you can, wherever and whatever that ends up being. 3 -  They tend not to have an understanding of the practice of architecture as you've discovered. 4 - Lastly, go for the modest teachers and stay away from the starchitect types.  Best of luck and remember to have fun because that is what design is, frustrations and late nights et al, just not for the sake of fake martyrdom.   

Feb 4, 22 4:56 pm  · 
2  · 
z1111

A comparative thought: 


Take a look at the fretboard on one of Eric Clapton's guitars.


Draw your own conclusion.


My 2¢

Feb 4, 22 11:33 pm  · 
 · 
reminiscences82

Two cents: Invest the time you have in school (and in life) into yourself. That includes professional development, mental & physical well being and being in a good headspace. 

Sometimes you can't change the system no matter how talented you are - you got to choose the hill to die on. Make the most of the good things you find in school, work only as much as YOU want to and move on to environments that provide you happiness and reconcile with your value system. 

I remember almost failing a studio semester in grad school - that same project won second prize in a national competition with travel money for 3 months. I ignored busy-work assignments from the studio instructor and did what I instinctively thought was a more compelling solution with graphics and diagrams I wanted to do. When I started working - none of the awards or grades ever mattered but the work ethic, problem solving ability, technical/graphic skills and capacity to navigate tricky political environments certainly are all very relevant to this day. 

Being bitter about situations is easy. Standing up and trying to make a change is brave and admirable. Being able to navigate tricky situations and get exactly what YOU want out of it gets you a lot more happiness and success in my experience. There are far more interesting things to do in life (better hills to die on) than spend mental energy on irrelevant academicians/studio instructors that you will forget in 1 year IMO.

Feb 5, 22 2:11 am  · 
3  · 
zonker

"Adapt, Improvise, Overcome"

Feb 5, 22 10:12 pm  · 
 · 
z1111

OP, I believe that part of the problem is that you don't seem to understand that you are in a sense comparing apples to oranges.


The process of becoming an architect involves education, experience, and training.


You seem to be complaining that school is not like the working world. It isn't meant to be like the working world. 


School is where you are given the opportunity to design architecture.


You won't be given that opportunity in the working world.


When FG said 98% architecture was s*** he was 1/2 right. It is more true to say that 98% of architecture isn't architecture.


That is not to say that a well designed building has no value or that it isn't the best solution for a given problem.


Is it possible to get accepted to an architecture program, make good grades, have a social life, not pull overnighters, graduate, make a decent living, have a family, work reasonable hours, be a useful, productive citizen, and make a substantial, positive contribution to the built environment? Of course, many architects do that.


Is it possible to excell at architecture and do that? No, it isn't.


Your instructors are not explicitly telling you to work overnight. They are teaching to the students that want to excell at the profession.


If this isn't you, then don't do it. It is just that simple.





Feb 5, 22 11:27 pm  · 
1  ·  3
bowling_ball

You're defending a system because that's the way you were trained. Why do you care how the academic world operates? I know from doing the hiring that there are nearly zero graduates who can be productive in their first few months at a firm - so why are we pushing students to "work" all day and night, only to not really use those skills in the real world? IMO it's because most profs, and this is certainly true at Ivy League schools, have never worked at a firm and actually have no idea what it means to be a professional architect. I pulled exactly one all-nighter, still had a social life, and somehow managed to graduate with honours, awards, and scholarships. The difference was that I was a slightly mature student (entered My.Arch around 29) and simply refused to put up with that bullshit. I didn't announce it or make a big deal about it, I body left at 5 every day, with the occasional 8pm if I had a deadline the next day. It's not impossible, but it requires pretending to play the game, while doing your own thing. Not easy but can be done.

Feb 6, 22 12:05 am  · 
1  · 
bowling_ball

BTW if you're a student who pulls regular all-nighters and reading this, be honest. You're not working all those hours - you're anticipating that you'll have to stay all night so you're not very productive during the day. Nearly all of my colleagues pulled that crap and they had nobody to blame but themselves. Nobody can be productive working 24 hours a day,

Feb 6, 22 12:07 am  · 
3  · 
z1111

Actually my situation was different. I was following my own star. I am autistic and non verbal. Architecture allowed me to turn my disability into a gift. My fellow students hardly ever pulled over nighters. They also complained regularly about what they thought was the lack of relevancy of what they were learning. It is up to the individual student to set their own boundaries and goals. If one wants to learn to be a compliant toady working for a starchitect or corporate firm or small practice by all means craft your education to be one. Your education is what you make of it.

Feb 6, 22 9:40 am  · 
1  · 

I think FG was referring to his own work.

Feb 6, 22 11:44 am  · 
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bowling_ball

z1111, just because you shared, I'm also on the spectrum (though verbal) and I recognize in your post, similarities to my own often-inflexible thinking. Which is ironic given that I'm sure we'd both appreciate being respected for our neurodivergergence, rather than being dismissed. Try to give others that same respect if you can.

Feb 6, 22 4:07 pm  · 
1  · 
z1111

Thanks BB. It has been a life long struggle. I have only recently begun to try and express myself verbally. Rereading over my post I can see that it was unnecessarilly harsh. My apologies.

Feb 6, 22 5:28 pm  · 
1  · 
midlander

In the long run becoming a great architect requires hard work, as does anything. But in the short term most assignments most times do not. The key in school isn't filtering out people who don't like hard work (no smart people do) - it should be helping students to recognize what is valuable in the process and open them up to focusing on that. Anyone will work hard when they see it leading to rewarding results.

Feb 7, 22 12:06 am  · 
3  · 
midlander

it's possible and sadly common to see young staff putting enormous effort into unimportant tasks, then feeling frustrated over the lack of recognition for their efforts. school should focus on training students to recognize what is important and valuable versus what merely needs to be completed at an 80% level.

Feb 7, 22 12:08 am  · 
3  · 
monosierra

Some firms have a whimsical design approach that's only sustained by cheap/free labor. Think all the star Japanese practices with thousands of massing iterations - the Master has to see them all to figure out what he or she wants. Some firms on the other hand are more exact and precise in their design methods - Goals are set and iterations planned to avoid time and material waste.

Feb 10, 22 11:08 am  · 
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gual

In architecture school the insane profs are to be taken figuratively. If they ask for 5 iterations do 2 or 3 good ones. If they ask for you to pin up a new design three days before the final, change the facade a bit and stick to the plan. Most of these profs are either 1) fearmongering because they think it'll motivate the worst students, or, 2) sleep-deprived themselves and therefore won't remember what they asked for. I did a Masters at an insane school and I just ignored these types of profs. They end up respecting you by the final anyway because you "broke the rules."

Feb 10, 22 10:43 am  · 
2  · 
gibbost

I understand your intent here and, in fact, do not really disagree with this approach. That said, we should be requiring better of our Universities and NAAB programs--not finding workarounds. The archaic culture needs changed.

Feb 10, 22 11:50 am  · 
3  · 
Rattlenhum

Late to finally chime in, but at the risk of being jumped on and told to suck it up, here are my experiences in graduate school:

1) I got a C in Studio after a semester of working my ass off. I asked the professor (a young Ph. D barely older than me) why he gave me that grad after knowing how hard I worked. His shruggingly sheepish response was "but you didn't do what *I* wanted you to do". (Last I checked I was the one paying the student loans to finance my future career.)

2) My grandmother was terminally ill over Christmas and dying at the beginning of a Spring semester. I missed a few days of school to be home with her and family. I returned to Studio only to be asked how quickly I would be able to make up the work from the lost time.

3) Same semester, same professor, same relative time period: myself and all my classmates discarded all other coursework during a grueling bout of iterative model-making the first couple weeks of Studio. We had looming deadlines/exams/assignments in other classes. We were all grumbling about how much remedial catch up work we had to do, and dreading being given any more work for the next Studio class- I said I would speak up if that happened, if we were all on the same page. At the end of the Studio review, we were of course asked to produce more work for Monday’s class. I explained our predicament and that we didn’t have time for any further work and could use some respite. The professor said “well just do whatever you have time to get done”. I said “that’s just it, we have NO time, what will get done for Monday is NOTHING.” Crickets and blank stares all around.

Mar 4, 22 2:22 pm  · 
 · 
bowling_ball

You were asked to make up for lost time? THE HORROR!

Mar 4, 22 4:15 pm  · 
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Non Sequitur

There is always time, just learn to prioritise and manage accordingly. Protip: Meeting studio deliverables is a design exercise in of itself so treat it like it instead of a shopping list.

Mar 4, 22 4:18 pm  · 
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Yeah I figured sharing my story here would yield A) judgement and B) advice, so thanks for checking those boxes, I think we're all set here.

Mar 4, 22 5:47 pm  · 
 · 
rainonme

I have to drop some names (sorry)


Leslie Lok's studio from Cornell University 


Warning!!!!


Three days before final crit demanding heavy changes in design? -- check


"But you didn't do what I told you to do?" -- check


Threatening failing students' studio course if her demands not delivered on time? -- check


Experienced the worst studio all nighter culture at AAP Master program, so would not recommend




But to respond to a previous post, nobody would be able to call on a strike, it's a 20 people program. It takes hundreds of signatures at AA in order to move a non confident referendum forward. And GSD's MDes strike certainly doesn't have that luck. For a even smaller program like Cornell, people would only swallow and suffer it.



Mar 5, 22 9:49 pm  · 
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Archinect

Controversy at SCI-Arc over labor practices leads to faculty members placed on leave. Isolated incident or a wake up call for the industry at large?

https://archinect.com/news/article/150305088/controversy-at-sci-arc-over-labor-practices-leads-to-faculty-members-placed-on-leave-isolated-incident-or-a-wake-up-call-for-the-industry-at-large

Apr 2, 22 4:14 pm  · 
 · 
Archinect

How (not) to be in an Office

https://archinect.com/forum/thread/150304843/how-not-to-be-in-an-office

Apr 2, 22 4:15 pm  · 
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