Architecture and coffee cannot be separated. They are inseparable. And so are the studio memories, where we spend maximum hours with those ‘future architects’ and which we all call it our second home. The students of architecture have workload in abundance that they rarely find time to look at themselves in the mirror. Sometimes, for the student of architecture, the only entertainment is to see architecture memes that take away the tiredness of long working hours and sleepless nights.
But the solution for sleepless-night lies right in the studio – in the structures’ classes. Keeping eyes wide open in the structures’ class is not everyone’s cup of tea (or coffee!). We keep the studio hours specifically to socialize with classmates and listen to songs. The number of times a particular song repeated is countless. You have tears of joy when you get to know that you are not the only one who hasn’t drafted the sheet. Despite numerous deadlines, the most creative designs come in mind a day before the jury.
Giving your classmate a sheet from your sketchbook is heartbreaking. The pain is equal to that moment when faculty enters the studio with a slogan of ‘pin-up your work’ and all you exhibit is the same process sheets and models that you’ve been showing to the faculty for four to five weeks. A complete contrast to your classmate, who gets a two-table long laser-cut-contour, detailed model, and a countless number of sheets.
Getting these models and sheets to college requires great skill. Especially if you are using public transport, where the people around can do nothing but just admire your efforts in amusement. One needs to master these skills of keeping it safe, and still reaching college on time and manage to get a redo. Despite having a long-term relationship with the software and plotter, both will never be at your side during the time of submissions.
The best way to show the juror that you’ve made the model all by yourself is to put numerous bandages on the hands. Having said that, we have “actually worked hard on the model” few hours before the jury outside the jury room, by collecting small pieces of materials lying on the floor or get it from friends with a great deal and struggle to stick it with the glue having the tag of ‘quick-dry and sticks X times stronger’, which neither dries quick nor sticks stronger. The not-to-be-trusted classmate then appears with several study models and countless drawings and sheets neatly rendered. This is the same person who messaged you at 3:00 am in the night saying- ‘I don’t have any work’; and you suddenly feel that you have nothing to show, except for boring design and a ridiculous model.
If this wasn’t enough, then after you put up your work, your classmates surround you and tell you what’s missing on your sheets. A big list though! The ‘master’s in structures’ among them will say how the structural system of this design doesn’t work out. And if even that wasn’t enough, then there is a surprise inside the room waiting for you – your jurors as well as the next-panel jurors – all at your panel, searching for sustainable and barrier-free elements in your design, leaving the beautifully rendered fully-completed drawings with a maximum scribble.
The hard-worked model remains unnoticed. This magnificent model tries all possible ways to tell the juror that “look at me, I do exist”. The juror then looks at it and exclaims in surprise saying ‘oh, a model!’ Right after you come out of the jury room, you are treated like a celebrity by your classmates and professors. They come running to you and surround you demanding a detailed account of your jury.
In the 48-hour clock, how the extra-curricular classmate finds out time to do various activities like photography, sculpture art, painting, origami, etc., remains a mystery.
Which also accounts for a large section under the heading ‘Interests’ in the resume for internship. Where, these skills including seven-eight architectural software names are highlighted which altogether hides the MS Excel- knowledge skill. Despite having these skills, you keep doing toilet details and renderings, which counts as an ‘experience’ and a good reason for the architect to not give you a stipend. Apart from that, even the clients try to teach you to design in their way, leaving no opportunity for you to experiment with anything.
Architecture students can adjust anywhere in the world. They carry their supplies wherever they go and can also sleep on any surface. Whether it’s during site visits or study tours, the supplies can be used for various tasks. Cutters can be used to cut fruits and cakes, t-scales can act as a support stand for your hands or can be used as selfie-sticks, rough sheets to wrap anything, drafting boards can be used as a dining table for five-six people, and glue and tape can be used to fix anything in the world – even torn footwear!
We develop a specific “architectural style” and tend to incorporate it in day-to-day lives. We observe things from a different perspective. And still, manage to handle the situation wherein your family member calls you ‘architecture’ (and not an ‘architect’) and always ask you to design their house/interiors (which is probably on Mars) but never really give you to design anything.
Even though architecture has changed me as a person and developed skills in me, my struggle to convert meters into feet and inches continues!