The 5-year course at architecture school teaches us what the world sees in architects, what they know about them, and what probably we too think is enough to be an architect. Initially, when you enter an architecture school, you have preconceived vague notions about architecture that is limited to designing buildings and producing plans. The vigor of making buildings in one’s mind is determined by developing good drawing skills and designing. Yes, that’s the core vocation of an architect, but it has many other things to offer and consider. The process of evolution from the first year to the end is quite delusional yet interesting. Let’s have a ride through the five-year ship of architecture!

Cognitions from an Architecture School
Photography Courtesy: https://lifeofanarchitecturestudent.net/

Architecture college has a very poignant and inducing impact on a student. Even a year spent there leaves quite an impact on an individual’s perception and broadens the perspective. The open-mindedness and flowing approach provides students a ride down to many fascinating prospects, but often with a feeling that architecture is built on quicksand rather than on solid earth. Architecture plays a prominent role in securing the human race and the environment. It is known as the mother of all arts. The first year is all about the foundation in developing new avenues of skills and consciousness towards the field. 

Being sensitive is the most important and valuable ability you develop during the course. Sensitivity towards your work, being aware of your immediate surroundings, maintaining a clean and precise desk, tools allows you to think mindfully. Architecture affects the way people feel. It has the power to create better places and better community by being sensitive towards understanding the human phenomenon of living. An environmentally responsive approach is necessary for its impact on climate change.

If architecture school attunes you to anything, it is comfort in being conspicuous. Whether it is drawing in public, measuring every inch of a crowded building or even a gutter, or carrying a large piece of cardboard across campus, the architecture student is sure to encounter more than their fair share of staring from those in less hands-on majors. It can force you to look more than a little ridiculous and weird at times, yet that helps you build greater confidence, better presentations, and less general awkwardness and anxiety.

“The Art of Seeing. It is essential to an architect to know how to see: I mean, to see in such a way that the vision is not overpowered by rational analysis.” -Luis Barragan

Keen observation is a must skill as an architect. Being observant not just virtually, but perceiving things using all five senses makes you clearly understand the tactics. An analytical vision is of great essence while traveling and understanding the makings. A creative mindset of designers has looked at things through the microscope of reasoning and admired those results, especially in built-environments.  

A rewarding habit of reading accumulates new knowledge efficiently while researching for that writing paper of history. Reading also helps you be aware of the things going on in the world and being relevant always. All these habits help you take the pressure and become a great problem solver because there are ample changes and changes and changes and changes. You learn not to get too attached to your designs. It thrives you to be an adaptive, critical thinker and quick decision-maker. The process of design is more important than a product because it is both fascinating and fraught.

Architecture school is full of opportunities for critiques and feedback, the sooner you get immune to criticism, the more you will be able to integrate constructive criticism into your work. A lot of discussions, teamwork, view of colleagues, and faculties gives you great insight if taken constructively. The importance of documentation is understood while preserving all the changes in idea, concept, model, and research for future reference. 

Meaningful architecture comes from a great design, but also its effect is reliable on the way it communicates. Be it a verbal or visual. It is essential to voice your opinions. Best ideas always work when presented with a valuable asset of communication that can either make or break things. A smart way of communication adds quality value to your work that one learns while forcefully putting out your work in front of different-sized groups of people during the jury. Architecture also allows you to meet different cultured people and explore various avenues related to the field.

“As an architect you design for the present, with an awareness of the past, for a future which is essentially unknown.” – Norman Foster.

Architecture is a platform where science and art merge, extensive hands-on and workshops on the meadow of architecture and design focus on critical thinking. School teaches you to become aware of art, science, history, philosophy, the psychology of people, and many more. A unique skill set for understanding and analyzing how one lives, functions, connects, and performs is important as you design for people. 

Education in architecture allows you to imagine beyond everything and become highly creative. It is a means of freezing time and culture in space. Inspiration can be found anywhere and everywhere, just while re-looking at everyday things and tweaking the necessary to make life simpler. The course of work makes you a strong person with the integrity and patience of a monk.

Architectural education provides obtrusive knowledge on design and life, leaving a great print in one’s mind during the journey. The nebulousness of architectural education is what makes it a finicky, onerous yet gratifying experience.

Author

Jinal is an architect whose goal is to create a vibrant time machine through her photography and writing for everyone to revisit some of the aspects of life. She is forever inspired by the nuances of nature and by the underpinning ideas of works of art.

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