Category Archives: Blog Info – Q&A

“Is It Too Late to Start Pursuing Architecture Again?” (Q&A #7)

Got an email last night from Erika, a young, driven former schoolmate who had to put her architecture dreams on hold due to migration to a different country. Now she has a number of questions that I’d gladly shed some light on.  Let’s check out what she had to say.  

Hey Aldo! :)

I came across your website just recently. It's really refreshing to know that a Filipino site like this exists!

As a fresh graduate and someone already exposed to the working environment in the corporate world of Architecture, I thought you might be able to give me a lot of perspective on things. If you have the time to go through this, it would help me significantly! I'm sorry this popped in so randomly. Any kind of insight would be great.

This might be long and a little confusing; I apologize in advance, huhu.

Hey there Erika! 🙂 So nice to know that you appreciate the site. It’s really been my goal to put some Philippine context in the myriad of architectural learning sites for students. I’d be glad to help; go on and tell me your story.   Continue reading “Is It Too Late to Start Pursuing Architecture Again?” (Q&A #7)

“What’s the Difference?” Design PHILOSOPHIES, Design CONCEPTS, and Design CONSIDERATIONS (Q&A #6)

Let’s face it, we all tend to get confused with the different architectural jargon that comes with the territory. And the earlier we make clear sense of it all, the earlier we’ll be producing guided, cohesive work.

I was browsing through a local Architecture Board Exam review group on Facebook the other day, when I noticed a post by Allan, a young and hungry architecture freshman.

He was asking for assistance in clarifying a few terms that he needed to integrate in his current project’s process – namely Design PROCESS, Design CONCEPTS, and Design CONSIDERATIONS.

True enough, it’s easy to understand his dilemma. Chances are, your professors will have you include your take on these three little devils as to how they relate to your project. And understanding the difference as a new designer can be confusing. Heck, I used to mix them up a lot for a good amount of my freshman life.

As you might already have inferred, I gave him my two cents and decided to make a more comprehensive post, for the benefit of many others that might have the same questions.

Without further ado, let’s dissect each of these 3 important terms, and then see how we can understand them better with an easily digestible example.  Continue reading “What’s the Difference?” Design PHILOSOPHIES, Design CONCEPTS, and Design CONSIDERATIONS (Q&A #6)

Don’t Be Discouraged: Why Having A Flawed First Design Project is NORMAL. (Q&A #4)

Q: "How do you feel about the early designs you did as a freshman or sophomore in architecture school? How did they look like?"

It’s a question I’ve been getting often as of late, so I thought I’d semi-formally answer it on the blog.

I chuckle a little bit whenever I’m asked this, because it involves me looking at my own motivations and process at the time, and comparing them to what I know now. 

And there is a really big disparity between the two.

Quite simply, I can say now that my approaches back then were flawed, unrestrained, form-centric more than they were occupant-centric, and paradoxically incohesive. They were messy and didn’t consider a lot of things properly.

But that’s fine. Because that’s how a lot of our early works really do end up.

It’s a rite of passage of sorts, especially for this generation of contemporary designers that are giddy to produce iconic forms. (This ain’t all bad. At least it means you aren’t settling for boring architecture.)

It’s normal, and in some ways, needed in order for you to discover how to develop as a budding architect.

Besides, if I were designing the same way today as I was when I was a freshman, then it either means I didn’t need architecture school (yeah, sure), or I didn’t grow at all.

Today I’m going to discuss a few of my earlier design projects, how I worked on them at the time, and what I amusingly saw when I looked back at them. The three are my first two houses, and an archaeological studies center for within the university.  Continue reading Don’t Be Discouraged: Why Having A Flawed First Design Project is NORMAL. (Q&A #4)

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

10 ESSENTIAL Tips for Drafting Like a Pro (Q&A #3)

Got an email from Sheena, a fresh applicant in my beloved college org. She has a concern that I’m sure many freshmen in architecture school have: how to combat the woes of manual drafting. Go on girl, take the floor. 

Good day Kuya Aldo! I'm Sheena, an ASA-APP who got your autograph last Hiyas :) But who I am doesn't matter (I'm a freshie who never took manual drafting and art classes before entering UP arki tho).
My problem is, my class for Arch 1 was either free cut, an off-topic discussion, or a lecture of a lesson for the nth time, so I still suck at drafting (especially lettering) and I still don't know how to construct floor plans and elevations and sections. I have only 7 Arch 1 meetings left.
I don't know what to do. I've considered reading books but I don't know what book to start with. P.S. I was so happy when I found about this website! I immediately saved all the articles to my Pocket and I make it a point to read at least one article everyday :D

Continue reading 10 ESSENTIAL Tips for Drafting Like a Pro (Q&A #3)

9 Meaningful Points on Becoming Happier, Today. (Q&A #2)

A recurring question I’ve been getting is “What is your most valuable advice for someone beginning or already in Architecture School?”, or something along those lines. So I thought I’d address it in this 2nd parcel of Q&A.

Getting right down to it, my own personal take on this has nothing to do with software or taking a special class. I think that a raging focus on skills training can only take you so far.

Surprise surprise, my most valuable piece of advice for anyone that wants a meaningful time in architecture school is a principle, an attitude that can actually be applied to all aspects of life.

In a nutshell, you could say that it’s become a sort of life philosophy in working towards my life-plan.

It took me over 20 years to really commit to it, but once I did – I never found more fulfillment in all my endeavors.

Related Post: As Promised – My Personal Life Plan at Age 23

Continue reading 9 Meaningful Points on Becoming Happier, Today. (Q&A #2)