The course of Architecture is an evolution. You begin in your late teens and by your early twenties, it has made itself such an essential part of your journey that you can’t imagine it any other way. It shapes the way you look at yourself and your surroundings. It humbles you without clipping your wings and you learn that growth isn’t unidirectional. 

Architecture is appreciated in perspectives and it also changes perspectives. The journey so far has been quite revolutionary- from a one-point perspective to a multidimensional universe yet to be explored.

One Point Perspective…First.Y. B.Arch

The beginning of the story. You join architecture with a certain sense of the unknown. This has been your goal for a few years now, or something you recently discovered and wanted to explore. Either way, the unknown is liberating. This year is about exploring while getting your basics right. Your ideas and thoughts, while unpolished, are still raw and refreshing. You are open to ideas and concepts and different dimensions that come with the profession.

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The newness of this chapter of your life is contagious and reflects in your design approach. You are forced to explore things you don’t yet know and implement the things you do. This is your first experience with exploring soft skills and hard skills. You don’t have to study from books and papers but from what you see and experience around you. Examinations are not theoretical and you begin to understand the practicality that accompanies architecture.

Two Point Perspective…Second.Y. B.Arch

This is a step up from the first year of architecture. You are in a position where you know just enough to keep moving forward but the vastness of the subject at times gets overwhelming. You are encouraged to look beyond academics for the first time and explore avenues that add to your personal and professional development. You enroll in workshops and participate in competitions and that enables you to see where you stand among your peers and what you need to do to get ahead. 

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Your permanent state of confusion and at times lack of information reflects in your design approach and it compels you to analyze the direction you are taking. A second perspective is added to your thought process. One that is in permanent conflict with the original perspective. Constantly being put in a position to choose, you are prompted to redirect and change your approach.

Three Point Perspective…Third.Y. B.Arch

Your views are more rounded now. Your ideas and way of thinking are starting to bear a footing. Your thought process has a new perspective that brings together the learning of the previous two years. This is reflected in your design process and you have a mature approach to a problem. 

Academically, you are exposed to fields allied with architecture and you nurture special interest in some of them. You start setting new goals for your future. Your interests are crystallizing and the more you explore a certain avenue, you get a certain degree of clarity of your way forward. Your outlook towards architecture is more holistic and you no more view it as an individual entity.

Four Point Perspective…Fourth.Y. B.Arch

Just when you are getting a grip of the situation, you are challenged with a curveball. The scale of projects you are asked to deal with is much larger. Much more realistic. While you don’t have the same exploratory attitude as your initial years, because of these same years, you’ve gained a practical and realistic outlook on designing. 

Your design approach is now integrated and a homogenous and functional composition of everything you have learned so far. The challenges put forth are eye-openers to new opportunities that either further fuel the confusion of your potential interests or deeply engraves the identification of your likes and dislikes.

Five Point Perspective…Fifth.Y. B.Arch

For the first time, you are pushed out into the world, unsheltered. You explore and enjoy the practicality that comes with the profession by working with an architect. It’s a bittersweet realization of how little you know and how much more there is to learn. You stumble and fall, and yet you find people around you willing to guide you to your goals. This is a small glimpse of your life as a practicing architect and you finally get the much-awaited clarity of what the future could hold for you. You are pushed to learn things you didn’t know you needed to be an independent professional. 

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Finally, to end your journey, you are asked to work on something that defines architecture for you. A representation of your journey so far. That’s when you realize that you’ve come a full circle- because your topic for your thesis is based on the reason you decided to do architecture in the first place.

While your academic journey ends, the next chapter in your life is just starting. It holds unexpected turns, highs, and lows, confusion, and realization. But deterring as it sounds, your academic years have created a multiverse with various perspectives for you to build and evolve on; perspectives that bring your ideas to reality.

Author

Shatha Abushaikha is an environmental design student in Houston, TX with a passion for writing and research. Aside from being captured by architecture and its endless possibilities, she also enjoys watching anime and painting. Shatha hopes to spread inspiration and believes that people are what drive design.