Pablo Picasso once said, “action is the foundational key to all success”, and this quote represents the learning process in an Architecture College. Once the student starts higher education in architecture, most of his or her time is spent on exploring his or her passion. Architecture school covers infinite areas, such as creating arts, communication through design, construction methods, digital visualization, technological fabrication, and building technologies. All the academic preparation has a purpose for the students’ future profession and all the academics years are one big life lesson in the world where we live in. Architecture school could be four to five years long, most of the time it depends on the region and university where the person is being educated, the experience is acquired from the studios to the site visits and last presentations. The different learning scenarios also help undergraduates to develop public speaking, teamwork, and critical thinking skills. However, higher education in architecture is a constant problem-solving an adventure where determination and discipline are the keys to success.  Architecture school is the moment when curiosity and creativity come together to find ourselves while working on the future.

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Architecture’s Exhibits_ Dezeen.

Architecture College is gradually changing on difficulty from freshman to senior year, as well as the studio’s tasks change every semester. Freshman year in architecture is the melting pot of students, this is the moment when students start to understand what this discipline is about. The first semester is more about comprehending how to envision a project, the way architectural ideas could be materialized, memorizing technical vocabulary, comprehending metaphorical concepts, appreciating beauty from an aesthetic eye, and finally learning how to use drafting tools and materials. During this first stage, students assimilate the importance of criticism which is the best way to improve studio work. For that reason, critiques are the way instructors guide the direction on how students’ ideas could be developed. But one thing that architecture college makes clear is that is not only the professor’s responsibility to correct your work, by this it means to be self-conscious about your work and have a skeptical eye for details. Here is when research comes to place, architecture students do not need to reinvent the wheel, and this is why research is a useful tool to strengthen architectural ideas. Architecture college embraces ideas to be supported with strong fundaments, and this valid argument are going to defend your project.  Besides, part of the learning process is making mistakes while designing, but what is going to make the difference is to pay attention to instructions and details. All these experiences are the ones that will make you a successful student and future professional. 

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Research_University at Buffalo, University Libraries.

Another crucial aspect of the architectural school is the art of designing through perception.  The university years teach how architects understand what is around; by observing, students could find inspiration for future projects. One of the big moments in architectural design class is how to start a project, with experience undergraduates acquire the ability to find inspiration from simple things. Most of the time it starts by understanding and simplifying complexity; this process requires clear ideas and specific goals.  In the United States, professors use the acronym KISS, in other words, means Keep it simple Student; and this could be applied from finding inspiration to develop a project. An architect is the one who understands the sense of place with his or her five senses. Creating architecture is a process that involves a deeper understanding of the elements that creates the spaces, such as, visualizing how the light interacts with the interior space, how is the occupant circulates through the different spaces and it is even important what kind of texture could the building offer. Architecture students develop this sensibility through spaces, and education reinforces the techniques to communicate these ideas through drawings and models. Illustrating ideas on two-dimensional media requires undergraduates to define lines that create a narrative. The line could have several meanings in architecture school, it helps to illustrate its creator’s intentions from where it starts and the point of its finalization. The line represents the act of defining a form or delimiting a space on plans. A line helps to explain the continuity of thoughts and the best example is by showing process, this is the line that connects the evolution from the primary idea to the final project. Architecture’s education represents the idea of the line from drawings, the instructor guidelines, to the project’s deadline where students have the choice of persisting and crossing the finish line when the graduation has come. 

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The Power of the Line_SOCKS Studio.

Architecture College helps students to find themselves through design. By assigning projects, students improve time management skills, these abilities are applied to organize schoolwork, and tasks from their personal lives. As a result, prioritizing is essential for undergraduates and this also makes a great difference in meeting deadlines. Through continuous semesters, students understand the importance of determination and consistency for their passion. This process is not achievable on a single all-nighter, students instead understand that this process is one step at the time which requires efficiency and discipline. Being diligent is in the education’s every day and it means finishing the homework on time, having enough sleeping hours, and be involved in extracurricular activities. Part of the fundamental aspects of the educational experience is networking, this creative community is being worked from the studio’s environment to competitions. Also, developing communication skills helps students to improve their professional ethics.  All these skills are experienced from the first day of class to the architecture’s practice, it is an accumulative learning process. Architectural education covers an open range of topics, and it creates a discipline that could be applied in any profession. Finally, architecture college is a creative journey of self-discovery where we must challenge gravity and not even the sky is the limit.

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Teamwork in the Practice_Auburn University.
Author

Andreina Sojo comes from Caracas, Venezuela. Seeking for higher education, Andreina studied in Broward College, Florida, and Seville, Spain as a recipient of the William E. Green Scholarship. Andreina graduated with honors, and she transferred to the University of Florida to complete her Bachelor's in Architecture and Minor in Landscape Architecture.