Jury days are memorable to many. It is the time to showcase projects that many have worked on. It is the day the projects are presented in the most beautiful way at the expense of the architect. The penultimate of architectural jury days is often sleepless and messy. They are often associated with architects not separating their homes, their studios, and places they eat. These are also the days creativity increases with pressure leading to miracles or disasters. There are students that often avoid delaying work to the last days and those that harness the pressure of the penultimate day! 

Jury days

As a college student, taking architectural classes might be a tough one. Similar to exam days, jury days are the most stressful days for architectural classes. Oftentimes, architectural assignments are organized in forms of themes. Using the given themes, students come up with creative ideas that are represented by models and presented in front of jurors. These ideas have to be assembled often in very small amounts of time. All hopes of getting good grades to hang on jurors. Many crazy things happen during jury days from models unable to stand to no-shows. Every architecture student has humorous memories from the penultimate hours leading to jury days. Here is a funny story from one of these architectural jury days in a college student’s life.

The Magic Of The Last-Ditch Creativity - Sheet1
jury days_©NYIT/Architectural studio


A similar theme assignment was given to a team I was a part of a couple of years ago. The theme revolved around finding alternative materials for buildings. A teammate and I assured the other teammates we would handle the assignment of finding an alternative material and design of a building. Overwhelmed with many courses throughout the week and the day before jury day, my teammate and I decided to get in enough sleep hours, as we needed all the energy possible to come up with the best ideas. This theory equates to procrastination to some. You will be able to judge if this was a great idea or indeed procrastination at the end of the story. 

We went to our dormitory and slept through the majority of the night. Although much good can come from inspirations, reflection, and sometimes through sleep, this time we slept through the night and empty-headed. We woke up to find out that we just had about 3 hours before the jury. Extremely anxious about what we were going to do with the remaining hours, we left our dormitory and started looking around for some ideas. 

Making unconventional models

The Magic Of The Last-Ditch Creativity - Sheet2
sandbag model_©+3dexport.com

We saw some wasted plastic bags in the campus area that gave away one material we could use. The next best idea came from the ground, the sand. My teammate and I had an idea to gather sand from the university campus, cut up some plastic bags, and assemble a plastic sandbag model house. We pushed through and made two walls (1:20 scale). We were impressed with ourselves and took it to the exhibition hall. I will never forget the faces our teammates were making, showing disdain for us and our model, which they did not find convincing at all. My teammate and I were laughing at the fruit of our procrastination and their reaction. As the jurors started going through the exhibition, one of our professors noticed our model, picked it up, and started showing it around as an exemplary project. He acknowledged the very unconventional construction material we used and how we constructed our model. My teammate and I talk about this date to this day. We succeeded to convince our jurors. Looking around the exhibition, we saw very detailed and impressive projects with great models; the majority definitely had more than 3 hours on them. 

Value of architecture

architectural exhibition_©Firehiwot Kedir

The best thing about some architectural assignments is that creativity can be measured in many different ways. And it is for this exact reason everyone dreads jury days; they can be rewarding or heartbreaking. I have seen many cries on the day but elated at some point after jury day. I was happy this time that our group did not get hammered with just 3 hours of work. This shows the beauty of not just the penultimate hours but also the beauty of architecture. It is the visualization of our surroundings; it is our interpretation and creativity. It attested to the value of architecture. Rest assured, the idea to be translated into a real-life project will have to be realistic and would require more forethought. It might not even be possible. But we were praised for our eleventh-hour creativity. Architectural studios in college years are often the place to come up with the craziest and most creative ideas. This perhaps might not be well received in real-life architectural projects but the desire goes on.