Architecture school is not a place or an institution, but an emotion that resonates with architects, all their lives. An emotion comprising last-minute submissions, working all night, and presenting your work half-asleep, is something that might give chills to an architect even years later!  

This is the story of Archie, an architect who has been asked by his daughter to narrate his life at architecture school. Amused and intrigued by her sudden demand, he takes a trip down the memory lane full of nostalgia and memories.  

“You never have nightmares, because you don’t sleep.”
-an exasperated architecture student 

It was the night before the final jury, a night when architects don’t sleep. While some give final touches to their work, others try to derive a “concept” to their design. The chirping of birds and sunlight illuminating the room was Archie’s natural morning alarm. Realizing that it was morning already, he rushes to the printing shop only to witness a huge queue of students with eyes half-open, waiting impatiently to get their sheets printed.  

The most interesting and whimsical conversations used to occur at the tea stall, stationery store, or printing shop, with at least one person dreaming of starting his own! Looking at how they mint money, and relish a good night’s sleep, even Archie thought of starting his stationery store back then. While his daughter chuckled at that thought, he sighed sheepishly and continued.  

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“Mastering the art of stress-sobbing, while continuing on the model.”
-an exhausted architecture student 

The clutter and chaos outside the jury hall can be compared to the parliament house on a busy day. Overflowing emotions, sobbing, and praying to God, students never stop adding last-minute touches to their sheets or models. Adding those extra trees and humans on the model somehow boosted confidence, only to be crushed some hours later. Having snacks near the drafting table is like drinking while driving, but the evolution of softwares is something that all architects are thankful for. 

Finding a spot in the corner of the room, Archie laid out his paraphernalia and began the most crucial process before the jury- deriving a concept to his design.  

Gazing at his sheet profusely, he wondered if his building looked more like a flower or a bird. Sweating with anxiety as the juries began; he finalized his concept and thanked his stars that he was not the first one to present. Looking around, he was sure that more than half of the students had not taken a bath, or had slept for even a minute; he dozed off only to be woken up by his name being screamed from across the room.  

Sensing that his daughter was giving him a judgmental look, Archie took a sip of his coffee and shrugged his shoulders. 

“Anxiety- the pain you feel when a professor sketches on your drawing.”
-an anxious architect  

Comparing the jurors to the monsters under her daughter’s bed, Archie ultimately concluded that the jurors were indeed scarier. While putting up the sheets on the soft board and laying down his model, he glanced over to the jurors to evaluate their expressions. He swears that he imagined the jurors with a fork and knife in their hands, ready to butcher him and his work. While one juror had his pen ready to destroy the sheets, the other had a sadistic smile and motivation to tear up one’s sheets.  

Trembling and murmuring, he somehow explained his design and “concept” but only remembers the scribbles on his sheets and the feeling of his heart getting ripped off, along with his sheet that took him hours to make. Making his way out to the exit in slow motion with models and dreams being crushed around the room, and exchanging an empathetic smile with his mate entering, the only thing that Archie looked forward to was a good sleep.  

“Being so consumed by an assignment that you forget to eat.”
-a hungry architect  

Undeniably the best moments of architecture life are immediately, post the jury! Hungry and tired faces, and relieved that the worst is behind them, every other friend circle looked forward to trying a new café or food joint. With some students already asleep on the table, discussions varied from friends thinking of a partnership to open a printing shop to cursing the professors, and Archie still wondering if his building looked more like a bird or flower. The genuine feeling of relief and happiness post a jury is something that every architect can relate to and are glad that it’s over until the jurors get replaced by real clients and case studies are replaced by site visits

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An architecture student’s life is incomplete if they have never complained about overpriced stationery yet bought them in abundance or relied on the topper for notes just one day before the exam or gave an amazing jury at least once. The minute calculations to check whether you had enough attendance were dreadful, but not more than when actual math popped up in assignments. Always being in the same boat, the friends that you make in architecture college are gems and the “adventures” that you experience, build your personality, and make you the person you are.  

Engrossed in his thoughts and memories, Archie is reminded by his clients, about his presentation the next day. Architects never sleep, do they?   

“Clients are not supposed to have ideas, they have problems.”
-an architect  


Aishwarya Khurana is an architect and creative writer, who likes to express herself through humor, words, and quirky ideas. A design enthusiast, butter chicken lover, and music junkie, she loves to read and write about art & architecture and believes that nobody can defeat her in a pop-culture quiz.