There are perhaps more than a hundred gains in architecture school. While these achievements may vary to the individual, also those create a common language that connects us all over the world as architecture students and architects. Architecture schools, where we are gaining the architectural way of thinking, constantly catching innovations, and acquiring ethical and theoretical ideas such as our modeling and drawing skills, have precepts that change and improve not only architectural thinking but also our perspective on life.

Gaining an Architectural Way of Thinking

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Learning Measurements  _©

Perhaps the first skill an architecture student acquires is the ability to establish the relationship between measures and scales. The ability to distinguish small millimeter differences and estimate the volumetric dimensions of space without using a ruler quickly is one of the penetrations that architecture students learn in their first year. This process, which starts with learning the measurement of a finger and a hand span, is the first step to establish the relationship between body and space by putting these measurements into the drawing. 

Although it is difficult to adapt to the design and space production process at the very first stage, the most important perception of architectural education is the ability to establish the relationship between space and the user. In the design phase of the space, it is very important to be able to put oneself in the place of the user and to design the space in this way. Although it may seem challenging in the first years in architecture school and it is difficult to understand, it appears as a perspective that improves the person as the years progresses. While gaining this point of view and way of thinking, every place visited will look much different than before, and the design process of that space will start passing through your eyes. Columns and beams, openings in the building, circulation axes of the place begin to be analyzed with the architectural perspective.

Showing the Space is Alive on the Cross-Section and Plan

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making cross sections  _©

When presenting ideas and designs, we always express them with the methods learned at school. These methods are technical drawings, plans, and sections that may increase in numbers as required. However, while preparing these presentations, showing the life of the spaces creates a stronger perception style. This form of representation can sometimes be expressed by color diagrams, or sometimes by adding interior furnishings, site trees, and human figures. 

In the first year, one of our architectural design professors said that he always added flying birds to every section he drew, thus making space feel more lively and active. Using these forms of expression makes it easier to understand the scale when looking at the drawings, while at the same time revealing the story behind the architectural space, its relationship with the users of the space, and the program. Creating presentations in this way that even people without architectural knowledge can perceive quickly, will look pleasant in final sheets and after graduation, this type of drawings will increase the ability to communicate with customers.

Keeping Up to Date

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famous buildings and designs  _©

Of course, it will not be possible to know everything exactly in today’s continuously evolving world. However, constantly reading and researching are the best things to do without forgetting how much information you are starving. Instead of memorizing art movements, famous architects, and their works, it would be perhaps best to examine designs, learn design ways, and try to see the underlying reasons. 

There are various ways to do this, of course: reading lots of books, perhaps filling the entire bookshelves with architecture books, but not forgetting to read, become a member of architecture magazines. It should be noted that browsing through the articles certainly improves the perspective. By attending seminars and workshops can be beneficial as there is always someone who can teach something more and it is necessary to take advantage of various experiences to benefit. 

Remember: the Form Follows the Function

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famous buildings and designs  _©

While there may be amorphous forms in the projects, it is also observed that there are certain orientations and formations. If these configurations do not come from certain reference points, it can be understood that there is a problem somewhere. Because the work should be designed to address a purpose, as well as the demands and requests of the user and the area where it is located. Forms that look like they came from space and feel not belonging to the place will always be subject to lots of criticism that shows there is a mistake.

When forming a shape or using a particular angle, it is always necessary to determine the source of that shape and form, the angle, the underlying cause, and then insist on this form if necessary. It should not be forgotten that every method and path applied should have a background, remembering that a structure created just not because it is so desired but serves a purpose as a design. For this reason, the function should be considered while designing the form, and the form elements should be considered while analyzing the functions within the field.

The Importance of Modeling Skills

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sketchup model _©

Sometimes ideas may look good in sketches and scripts. However, when these ideas cannot be expressed, they begin to float in space. Ideas, which are well described as models and sketches, suddenly start to falter when it comes to modeling and rendering. Light and permeable forms can suddenly turn into solid stable forms, and big differences begin to emerge between the idea imagined and the model produced on the computer. 

At this point, being a master in modeling programs actually makes a difference. Because the modeling programs, which are half-known and tried to be learned while tampering, become an element that restricts your creativity rather than being a tool that reflects your creativity. The ability to use the program turns into a limiter that shapes the design. To prevent this from happening, of course, it can be said that learning modeling and rendering programs in the early stages of architectural schools will provide an advantage for the person.

Combining Ethical and Theoretical Thinking

rethinking the design _©

When architecture is mentioned, people always think of the built environment and buildings made for people. Maybe most of us thought the same way before this training process, however, after gaining some perspective by researching, reading, traveling, and thinking constantly advise that architecture is not always about a building or a built environment. Sometimes not making a structure will be much more efficient and better than it is made. 

Considering its biological environment, natural factors, and topography, sometimes it is necessary to do nothing. Sometimes it is necessary to protect an important area or structure, without touching or destroying it. Sometimes the analysis shows the environment where the building will be located in such an area that the recovery of the area will be similar to the process of healing a cancer patient; to eliminate the diseased cell means learn to demolish where it needs to be. Of course, making these decisions is even more important and urgent than any other decision. 

To make these decisions, knowledge accumulation, strong analysis, and synthesis related to the area where the project will be designed will be required. However, it is a condition that each student who is preparing to graduate must have the necessary ethical, sociological, and theoretical knowledge to learn and integrate this information and make correct decisions.


Eylul Evyapan, studies architecture that was her childhood dream. She is passionate about illustration, resilient design, future solutions and new challenges in architecture. Writing has been her favorite hobby and she wants to combine her passion for architecture and writing to make people think about various subjects.