Category Archives: Attitude

ARCHI NOTE #1: You are a COMMUNICATOR.

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"Architecture is a visual art, and the buildings speak for themselves". ~ Julia Morgan

At the core of it all, an architect is a communicator. You my friend, are a creator of meaning.

Spaces are not merely enclosures with no face and no expression. They are a canvas for which the artist (which is you) distills a multitude of contexts and considerations – to provide response that can say a resounding something.  Continue reading ARCHI NOTE #1: You are a COMMUNICATOR.

Why Wealth Is Not Evil, And Why You Should Get Rich.

In the previous post entitled On Smaller Firms: Low Pay, But High Value? (Q&A#5), I first mentioned the issue of money in the architectural profession. In line with this, today, I thought I’d do a short, principle-based post on my position on wealth and getting rich.

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I used to think money was evil.

Growing up, I developed into a bit of a societal-conscious little kid. I gravitated towards the spectrum of geek-dom; I’d watch news whilst my peers watched Gossip Girl; i’d read about human trafficking and geopolitics while my best friends read about cars and airsoft guns. Due to these habits, I ended up having a large soft spot for the less-fortunate and voiceless.

On the other end, I was enrolled in a top private school in the country’s capital. I was also personally exposed to the highly exuberant lifestyles of some of the Filipino Super-Elite. While I had many rich acquaintances who lived with societal consciousness, there were a number who really just lived large, spoiled, and insensitive to the plight of the poor.

Witnessing personally this enormous dichotomy, for a large part of my life, I was repulsed by the thought of being very wealthy.  Continue reading Why Wealth Is Not Evil, And Why You Should Get Rich.

On Smaller Firms: Low Pay, But High Value? (Q&A#5)

Got an email last night from Millie, in response to The Internship Guide 1: What Are the 2 Major Kinds of Design Firms?. She has been in the design workforce for well more than the year, and gave some insights I thought would be great to share with everyone. Take the floor, Millie!  

Hello Aldo! :D

I think that as a business model, the Design Studio is only as good as its team. A small team can only be as well-oiled as the assembly line if everyone is hardworking, willing to step up, and takes responsibility. Apprentices should be fast learners and mentors should be generous with time. 

Unfortunately, most small studios don't compensate as well as big companies. Small, young companies are still growing, and all extra money gets invested towards the firm (new software, comfier chairs, etc). The salaries and benefits may be the same, but the perks are limited. Office parties and bonuses are rare, and you are expected to work a lot (even during typhoons, huhuhu). 

Although working in a small design studio is rewarding, I understand it is not for everyone. Cheers! :)

Continue reading On Smaller Firms: Low Pay, But High Value? (Q&A#5)

22 Simple Guidelines for the Successful Architecture Student

"Victory is the child of preparation and determination". ~ Sean Hampton

Today, I thought I’d give a bit of a token piece for the new readers, for them to get an easy overview of all the topics Archi Student Help has covered in its first 50 pages or so. 

From me to you, here’s a 22 point summary of the blog’s take-home points for young designers thus far, geared at helping you become your best self yet. If you find them helpful, please – feel free to share them with your friends. 

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1. Discover early on what it really means to design. And in-grain it into your thinking.

2. Understand that the best take-home from every project isn’t a pretty rendering, but a more-informed design process.

3. Prioritize your health. Consider that life is a marathon and not a sprint.

4. Invest in your brain power. Integrate life-hacks into a comprehensive program to keep you revved like a well-tuned car.

5. Become process-oriented. It will make you happier, more consistent, and will give you solid self-worth. Continue reading 22 Simple Guidelines for the Successful Architecture Student

The Start of Something New: A Short Story

Adam was a tortured freshman in Archi-torture school.

The first semester of his 5-year long bachelor’s degree had just concluded, and as he slumped down in a dazed stupor on his dorm’s dusty couch, he couldn’t quite imagine himself surviving the next few terms.

It’s not as if he hadn’t expected that it would be difficult- it’s just that no one is really truly prepared for the new kind of work and endless projects that come in design school. He thought it would be hard – he didn’t know it would be hell.

“But don’t you guys just draw?”, his high school classmates would ask him when he showed up zombified during their first reunion. He wanted to flip the table – they didn’t understand. Heck, no one outside the circle of the design profession seemed to understand.

“Come on Adam, it’s just a night of drinks. Won’t it like, take you an hour to finish your drawing?”
“You’re just going to make a building pretty. Sounds easy enough”.
“Ooh, architecture. Is that…. like engineering?”
“How hard can it be?”
Continue reading The Start of Something New: A Short Story

The BIG 4: Aspects of Architectural Education You Just HAVE to Focus On.

Today is a short lesson in efficiency – getting the most bang for your buck with regards to your time invested.

Time and effort is precious in architecture school – so knowing where to focus your energy will be valuable in establishing a solid foundation.

And out of all the different skills and courses you’ll be dipping your toes into, there are 4 that I feel you should pay special attention to.

Naturally this meanders into the subjective realm, but these four are the intersection in a cosmic Venn Diagram of all my learning from my mentors’ – which is essentially centuries worth of experience. In other words, by age old wisdom, these are the four aspects that are largely responsible for driving your trajectory forward – both school-wise and career-wise.  Continue reading The BIG 4: Aspects of Architectural Education You Just HAVE to Focus On.

You Have Hope: Why It’s OKAY to be A Clueless Architecture Freshman

You enter the halls of your Architecture School. This is it. This is what you’ve chosen for the next five or so years of your life. And you admittedly aren’t sure if you made the right decision.

Maybe you’ve never taken a single drafting course in your life. Or you aren’t versed in the architectural scene at all -You have no idea what Zahaha did, or how much did I.M. pay, or what kind of music comes out of a Renzo piano. Or you may have come from a long line of lawyers, bankers, or doctors in your family.

The bottom line is, your personal background hasn’t been the most conducive one in pursuing a design course. And for the most part, you don’t know what to expect – from the course, and from yourself.

Related: What Can You Expect to Learn in Architecture School? – Part 1

The first few weeks of plates and exercises hits, and you feel as incompetent as ever. You don’t know where to begin in drafting a sheet, you always get the feeling that you’re not understanding things enough, and you have no idea if you’re even designing properly.

This is helplessness. This is incompetence. This is cluelessness.

If this describes you, I’m here to pat your back and tell you why you shouldn’t dwell on it, and that with a bit of passion, you’ll get over the wall.  Continue reading You Have Hope: Why It’s OKAY to be A Clueless Architecture Freshman