Architecture school has given us more adventure than pressure but what we learned in those 5 years serves more meaning in later life. You gain a fresh pair of eyes with a different perspective of viewing life along with a new-born passion for design. A world open to imagination and creation. Architecture School taught us to think architecturally and then applying the thinking into a functioning design. The moment you realize as difficult as architecture school is, it is also one of the best and unforgettable times of our life. It’s a ride one should experience first-hand.
Though it’s a 5-year course, yet we call it architecture school for a reason. We start everything from the beginning. Literally with practicing alphabets. We are introduced to the basics like design principles, perspective drawings, scale, anthropometry, color theory, and so on. We start with sketches in sketchbooks to hand-drafting on A1 sheets to using software that could crash any moment. Case studies, market surveys, and presentations became an important part of the learning process. What never changed was the basic framework, yet the complexity increased each year. We started with the very mere design of the compound wall and reached a level of adding detailed construction drawings for the thesis within 5 years. That’s the kind of transformation one goes through in architecture school. Architecture School shaped us, students, into architects.
During the course, we were introduced to a varied range of topics that shaped our 5 years. There were subjects that we never thought could be related and so we realized architecture is so much more than meets the eye. It’s like learning about the soul of a building. You need to know every part and aspect of it because some help you build one while others help you build yourself along the way. Few subjects remained constant for years like Architectural Design, Building Technology & Materials, Theory of Structures, and Building Services while some technical ones were introduced in the later years such as Quantity Surveying & Estimation, Specification Writing, Professional Practice. Then there were a few unthinkable others like surveying leveling, humanities, climatology, research, and history. Creative skills like photography, sketching, and writing proves valuable if one decides to alter career options in near future.
This quote sits so well-
An architect knows something about everything.
That’s not all that architecture school taught us though. We learned so much more. Not just the skills required during the professional practice but also the skills which are essential and helpful in regular life. These skills we attained incidentally during the course but serve as strength in one’s life.
We learned these non-architectural skills which will help us beyond our professional lives. Even if some chose to not practice architecture, these skill sets gained serve a lifelong purpose.
- Time management
Who knew the deadlines that kept us engaged and awake for several nights during the 5-year course would make our time punctual? Initially, it was immense pressure to manage activities to meet the deadline but years of practice made us work smart. Architecture school managed to teach us the most important asset of time management.
- Group work
Be it a study tour presentation or small group projects, we have done a solid amount of group work for years. It was a major deliberate skill architecture school wanted us to adhere to as the importance of group work is reflected and essential after joining architecture firms. Big projects require systematic functioning and teamwork is necessary to achieve the desired results.
- Presentation skills
We know that audio-visual aid is the most effective way of communication. We have practiced our presentation skills on multiple occasions for all 5 years. It taught us the correct way to briefly present the ideas and strategies to an interested audience.
- Will power
No doubt there were harder times that made us want to call quits and take a break when the pressure got to us. This pressure tested our willpower during tough hectic times. Yet somehow, we managed to deliver on due timeline. The will power gives the strength to perform in the most adverse situations.
- Marketing skills
This is a superpower in the architecture world if you have mastered the gift of persuasion. It started at the earliest stage with convincing the external faculty which gave a little taste of dealing with clients. Architecture school made sure you learn to market your projects by explaining, defending, and convincing a stranger.
- Enduring criticism
An architect’s life is all about rejection.
Believe us when we say we have had our fair share of criticisms throughout the 5 years.
The coolest of all is the ability to read a map. It proves to be a great asset if you are an adventurer. Reading maps can come in handy and is claimed to be a necessary survival skill for the ones who thrive on adventures.
Architecture school taught us all these valuable skills and made us ready for the future ahead not just as architects but a bold individual who’s unafraid to express their artistic side to the world.