Category Archives: Principles

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

26 Things About Design Process That You Should Know

Design is a pretty fantastic profession. I believe we’ve already established this. I’ve dropped mentions of it in a number of posts such as: What Does “Designing” Mean Anyway?How do Architects contribute to Nation-building?How Do Architects Think? – An Eye Opener, and Know The Difference: How Architects and Engineers Are Wired Differently.

So today I’ll be getting a bit more direct with this thing called Design Process – which is basically the process of designing. Doh.

As an architecture student, you’re going to be doing a lot of designing every semester. So you have to be familiar with what it typically entails, so you can reflect on how to make your methods better.

I plan to eventually get more in-depth with each of the little nuances that comprise each step, so I thought a little primer would be a good starting point for today.

Without further ado, here are some of the basic things you should know about Design Process, in the context of architecture school. Continue reading 26 Things About Design Process That You Should Know

The Biggest Secret to Success: Take Care of Your Health

Today’s post is going to be the cornerstone of all succeeding entries on how to stay healthy in architecture school and beyond. Think of it as my guiding belief on how to achieve success – “Life is a marathon, not a sprint – so it’s extremely important to take care of your health”. 

Are you setting yourself up for long-term failure by trying to achieve everything today?

I’ve been there, friends. For some time, I was a chronic workaholic myself – and then I smartened up. 

For us young people who are still full of the vigor of life, we sometimes feel indestructible. This is especially true for many a gifted achiever who constantly seeks their next youthful success.

We take pride in our perceived resilience – so we brag about our week long all-nighters in getting a project done, inject ourselves into the roster of a number of councils and movements, and feel shaky and useless when our hands aren’t tied by new projects.

So what of exercise and sleep? Enter the commonly used maxim “Ain’t nobody got time for dat!”

There’s nothing wrong with being driven and wanting to pursue a meaningful youth, but once your health starts to suffer on a habitual basis, you’ve reached a point where you might be actually compromising your long-term well-beingContinue reading The Biggest Secret to Success: Take Care of Your Health

What Does “Designing” Mean Anyway?

When I was a freshman in architecture school, I honestly still didn’t know what the heck it meant to “design”.

Sure, we are already in the thick of many design projects for our different classes – design a hat made out of this, a workspace for this person, a house for this client. But going into all those endeavors half-blind to what I was really doing was limiting and counter-productive.

To me, the conception of what designing specifically meant was a vague animal. The first thing that popped into my head when I heard design this, or design that was, “Okay, how to make this thing pretty?”. 

You might also like:  26 Things About Design Process That You Should Know

I remember when a high school friend asked me in a small reunion “What does designing mean, exactly?”, and I was put in an awkward situation. I said a whole bunch of somethings as a reply that really meant “I don’t actually know bro or maybe I do but i’m not sure”. I was a designer for goodness sake, but I didn’t know what I was really doing.

Do you have a clear idea of what it means to design?

Continue reading What Does “Designing” Mean Anyway?

As Promised: My Personal Life-Plan at Age 23.

Life Plan

Craft your life-plan today, and you’ll wake up every morning with greater direction. It doesn’t need to be long or grand – it just needs to be honest.

In previous entries, I stressed my beliefs in the importance of dreaming big and thinking deeply about what you want in life, especially for us young people. Dream big, and then commit, is what I said.

I also promised that I’d share my own person goals in life as an example, and today I am making good on that promise. Seen below is my own personal Life Plan for myself, crafted at age 23. Think of it as what drives me to wake up every morning.

This is my own personal sharing to the world at large, partly to keep me accountable to my dreams, and partly in hopes that it could somehow help another person achieve theirs. Continue reading As Promised: My Personal Life-Plan at Age 23.

What Do You Want Out of Life?

Placelessness

There’s a crisis that thrives in the hearts of many people today, whether young or old, male or female. And it’s a destructive force that doesn’t take lives – it takes souls.

That crisis is living without meaning. So many people these days go through the motions of life, doing things because people tell them to, never looking to surpass themselves, going merely where the wind blows – and feeling empty.

What do you want out of life? What are you living for? Where do your passions lie? Continue reading What Do You Want Out of Life?

Learn, Plan, Commit, Adapt – the Fundamental Formula for Growth.

Plant

Success doesn’t come overnight. In my young seedling age, I’m not even considering that paradigm anymore.

I’ve learned early on from my parents and mentors that road to the greatest of triumphs is a long and arduous process that has no short cuts. If you want real success to blossom, it’s apparent that you have to nurture it from a seedling and slowly tend to it as it grows to maturity.

It’s delayed gratification. I’m in love with the concept of delayed gratification. I think it’s a beautiful ideal – because it makes work a whole lot more meaningful. And living out this mindset for the long term is a reward in itself; the character you develop in being process oriented will make you a more awesome person, guaranteed.

Bring the meticulous note taker that I am, I distilled all that I’ve learned into a basic four phase concept for success – something I’ll be constantly putting to the test for the long haul: Continue reading Learn, Plan, Commit, Adapt – the Fundamental Formula for Growth.