Surviving Architecture School
Going through architecture school can be both a stressful and rewarding experience. Here are three things every architecture student should know before embarking on that very first project!
1. Understanding Time Management.
Many people going through architecture school may be lead to believe that pulling all-nighters on a daily basis is the price you pay for enrolling into such a rigorous program. This couldn't be further from the truth. It's actually good practice while in school to understand that when you practice architecture in the "real world" clients won't have exorbitant budgets for you to spend endless hours working on a single project. So, when you're given an assignment instead of immediately sketching ideas and coming up with concepts, get into Project Management mode!
First, know your deadline; plan on finishing your work before that date, this leaves time for contingencies. Second, to avoid becoming overwhelmed take time to fully understand what needs to be accomplished for that deadline. Lastly, write a simple 'to do' list to help organize your thoughts, then begin to prioritize, and estimate how much time you think it will take to complete each task. This is a sure-fire way not to show up burnt out in your pajamas come presentation day!
2. Start Conceptualizing!
Now comes the fun part. Designing! Once you have gotten an idea of deadlines and timelines, start sketching! Always be original - remember this is architecture school so no idea is too zany! If you're having trouble getting started the best thing to do is start pulling together precedents to help give you ideas and inspiration.
3. sell, Sell, SELL!
I've witnessed first hand how students can become so enthralled in their ideas, the architecture, and the design that they never set enough time away for presentation, marketing, and selling their idea to the jurors. This last piece of information is of the utmost importance because even if you have a strong solid concept and design if jurors can't see that in the presentation - it won't matter. Take graphic design courses and become extremely proficient in graphic programs such as Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign (Having knowledge of these programs also comes in handy when seeking design internships because for most firms knowing these programs is a necessity!). Make sure you set aside an appropriate amount of time to pull together your presentation. Think about it! Everything in your presentation from images, to fonts, to the color palette should support your concept. This will make your idea easier to sell if you don't have the gift of gab!