Architecture school for all of us has been a full package of lots of redos, glass traces, model making, software crash, last-minute submission, and many more. But still, when we go back to the times we all had lived there it always puts a smile on our face and all the last time submission anxiety we used to have suddenly counted as a silly incident, isn’t it?
And all these make us open the memory box and make all of us realize how we all have shaped ourselves from a student to an Architect within five years. Architecture school has given a lot to all of us from teamwork to self-confidence, but most importantly it made us learn how to handle last-minute pressure because that is what we need to learn for the rest of our lives.
Remember the first day of college, we were all so silent, reserved, and terrified of seniors. Before school, we’ve always been told that we just have to draft a plan and make money off it, and life is going to be easy. But at a moment when we step into the school, we get to confront the reality that an Architect knows something about everyone from carpenter to engineer and the pencil we are holding is a wand that makes the world a better place.
The first-year has always made us learn how to communicate, how to present ourselves in front of people. It has always been all about the performer we are, all the activities were supposed to perform only to pull out the creative side of us because that’s what an Architect is “an Artist”. But from here, the series of redos starts and it makes us realize that what is good to us is not for everybody, it lets us build the essential skill to treat our work objectively and make us learn the fact that architects are not afraid of throwing even the good design sometimes.
With every semester we take our step closer to being an Architect and are meant to fill ourselves with all the technicalities. Each semester was intended to cover one aspect, such as climate response, vernacular architecture, structure, form, and so on. Apart from just building design, you also get to learn the relation of the landscape, sitting area, the pathway to the building which together brings liveliness to space. With every step, we learn the importance of the small element which we used to ignore earlier like windows, roofs, material, and a ton of them. But with all of these, you go through a lot of criticism from your batch mates as well as teachers, and there you learn to defend your design holding our opinion while listening to the reviews and feedback. Year by year you get a chance to build yourself for public speaking and communicate graphically from sketches, models, renderings, etc.
And on the other hand, when we see ourselves on the last day of college, it’s the moment when the coin flips. The last phrase in architecture, we’ve all studied the technicalities and we’re asked to put all of them in one Thesis project. The thesis project not only belongs to you but the hard work of a squad of juniors, seniors, and also your friends standing beside you. Finally, when you are complete with your last academic project, you realize the way you have built your knowledge in the architecture field that you are capable of sharing your ideas with a lot of confidence. Where we had a reason behind every single detail even a tree size, type, distance, and positions. The way we have learned to merge the interior atmosphere with the outside, how we have created a healthy living environment according to the user, climate, and context.
Besides just the technical stuff, architecture schools are meant to make us ready mentally to face the real world. Most importantly it makes us understand that it’s important to realize our mistakes and move to the more effective solution as quickly as possible. And of course the time management, the time you have got for the jury is sometimes less than what you need, but still by hook or by crook you make it happen from the first year and there you learn you learn the most important lesson. Faculties in school are always meant to make us realize that it’s good to share the thoughts, an Architect is a lifetime student spending major time learning from colleagues and sometimes juniors too.
The first year is meant to put our creative side out while other years are meant to make us learn the technical aspect and in the end, we finally learn to shape our creativity with the architectural visual based on clients and functional requirements. We start our graduation thinking that architecture is something about building and ends with the quote “Architecture is not just about building. It’s a means of improving people’s quality of life.” –Diébédo Francis Kéré