Starting architecture in the fall? Tips to be successful?


And by successful I mean, able to get good grades in the class and not fall behind, (I hope to go to a very good graduate program.)

May 10, 23 10:40 am
Non Sequitur
  • Prioritize your time and plan ahead well before project deadlines.
  • Treat school like a full-time job and stick to a schedule.
  • Do good, well-thought out work.  Keep a good directory of exploratory sketches and progress work.  Carry a sketchpad and learn to quickly convey ideas to paper using physical mediums (ie. pens)
  • Don't rely on the computer (ie shiny renderings) as a crutch for design and/or excuses.
  • Bounce ideas off your peers and don't work isolated from your cohort.  
  • Don't rely on anonymous wankers from internet forums for advice on your projects.
May 10, 23 10:59 am  · 
5  · 

Understand that in USA schools, the faculty's relationship to, and understanding of, the real world of architects who work to earn money is tenuous at best. 

The fear of being perceived as "vocational training" drives a lot of the a typical architecture curriculum today to omit teaching useful skills in favor of politics and magical thinking.

Studying architecture in a US school can often be like trying to learn to horseback riding using bicycles instead of actual horses.

May 10, 23 1:54 pm  · 
4  · 

Spend as much time outside of the architecture school as you can while still being successful in the architecture school. Find activities, sports, groups with students from across the campus. Depending on your situation, most people I know end up hanging out with their college friends after college. When all your friends are other architects, it isn't always as fun. 

May 10, 23 3:19 pm  · 
2  · 

eat healthy, get sleep, exercise.  In retrospect,  It was really not necessary to risk my health pulling all nighters to add last minute details to a model that no one even looked that closely at.  Stay healthy.  Pace yourself.  Read the Tortoise and the Hare, it’s not a kids book.  

May 10, 23 6:03 pm  · 
1  · 

Try to make as many friends as possible. Also, learn to manage expectations of yourself and your profs.

May 11, 23 1:14 am  · 
1  · 

You'll probably figure out who the top performing students in your studio are pretty quickly. Measure your level of performance against theirs at all times and try to keep up. Keep them as your personal rivals in your head, you may even become theirs unknowingly. This should create a motivating positive feedback loop where poor performance will simply not be an option.

May 11, 23 2:07 am  · 
1  ·  1

This is stupid advice. All the "competition" in architecture school usually amounts to nothing, expect for a lot of extra hours

May 11, 23 12:01 pm  · 
2  · 

I'm sure it's also a joke ;-)

May 11, 23 1:31 pm  · 

It wasn't meant as a joke but I suppose that may have sounded like I meant "join the all nighter crew". By top performers I mean students who took all the courses outside studio seriously, had proper time management, and applied the knowledge from those courses into the studio. In general I the advice is "stay motivated" and that's just a mental trick I used. Being unmotivated will ensure you fall behind in everything in life. I speak from experience.

May 11, 23 8:30 pm  · 

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