Survival of the Fittest ...
In architecture school, my brutally honest Design III Professor would always say to us, "Many are called, but few will survive." As I found out years later, she was right.
Out of the 425 students that applied to my school's competitive program, only 40 students were accepted. Out of those 40 fresh-faces from the first day of architecture school, only 18 graduated "on time."
5 years later, only 12 were practicing in the field of architecture. Thanks to the economy picking up and good timing, I was one of them.
Due to this dwindling ratio of "survivors", I thought it would be good to share the tips I wish I knew while I was in architecture school--tips that could have helped me through my toughest times. **If you are an architecture student, know someone in architecture school, are thinking about going to architecture school, or a survivor and just want to re-live architecture school because you secretly and freakishly liked the pain...THIS is the post for you.
10 Tips Every Architecture Student Should Know:
1) Cut once, Measure Twice
This is the best advice that was given to me when I was first learning how to make models. After this, I wasted less paper, and my models started to look wayyyy more sexy. Way more.
2) Talk to Your Classmates
Some of the best skills I learned in architecture school weren't taught by the professors. Competition with yourself, others, and communication with your classmates is the best teacher. Be friendly, and others will match your vibe.
3) Change your blade often.
Not only will you get a cleaner cut on your model, but changing your blades often will help prevent you from cutting your finger off. Nobody likes a bloody mess. If you're one of the unlucky ones that happened to cut your finger during model-making, don't used superglue to close it up, don't show your classmates your battle wound, and especially don't forget to clean up your drops of blood scattered across the studio floor. That's just wrong.
Not just because you probably smell, but because you will come back to your work more refreshed and rejuvenated. This will also maximize your production power. You and your studio mates will be happier.
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5) A little bit of glue goes a long way.
A couple of drops is all you need. Smear it, let it dry a bit, connect with other piece, and voila! Oh, and don't use spray adhesive over your desk. You WILL regret it.
6) A Studio that parties together, Stays together.
There's nothing better than a group of intellectual students "de-stressing" together (aka The Architecture Party). Something unexpected always comes out of about a bunch of intellectual, sensitive, frustrated, sleep deprived, faux-extroverts drinking heavily in the same room....What happens at the party, stays at the party.
7) Take a nap! Even if the studio couch is scary.
If it's 3am in the morning, and you're having builders block. Take a nap! If you've been up for 2-3 days don't even think about driving. Trust me, the cops don't have sympathy for you when you tell them you closed your eyes for just four seconds.
8) Before you start to design, have a concept. A REAL one.
If you don't have a concept, that Professor you secretly can't tolerate will most likely call you out during your presentation/critique. A concept makes your project and design stronger. **Important: Don't be that person that comes up with a concept the day of your presentation...we can all tell you're lying!
9) Never cry...in public. Never.
Presentations and critiques can get tough. Keep it together! Take the criticism at face value. If you ever feel the need to let out an ugly cry, head to the nearest bathroom or your car, and then let it out. You may not have a nice project, but you'll have your dignity.
Architecture school can be tough so don't sweat the small stuff. Get up, walk away from your desk, grab a snack, and most importantly, BREATHE. Deep breathing has been clinically proven to lower blood pressure, and relax the body + mind. It will also help you focus a little better once you relax. So after all else fails, remember to breathe deeply and soon the frustration will vanish.
-Enjoy the wild ride
In case you missed it...
"Top 7 Backpacks for Designers and Architecture Students"
A Must Read for Current or Future Design Students...
Have a great school year, and be sure to check out our post for backpack selections that will help with your chances of survival!
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