36 Things You MUST Consider When Designing Your Project

(Disclaimer: Many of the examples of this post are as per Philippine Context)

For the most part, defining “good design” is pretty much subjective. Each architect will have his own guiding philosophy on what constitutes an effective proposal- so at least on the conceptual level, debating on merits of styles will be never-ending. However, unless you live in a culturati first world society that likes to live dangerously, you have to be sure that your design is safe and liveable. In order to do this, there are a number of key checks I’ve found to be essential when planning out your design. It’s best to consider these early on, lest you realize you’ve made a critical oversight or code breach too close to your presentation. Or worse – to find out during your deliberations itself while your jury grills you on your fatal flaws. Continue reading 36 Things You MUST Consider When Designing Your Project

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

What Can You Expect to Learn in Architecture School? – PART 5

This is the 4th part of a multi-part series about “What Can You Expect to Learn in Architecture School?“. If you’ve missed previous parts that be sure to check them out and then come back to this page. Happy learning! 

PART 1: Architectural Communication, History and Criticism, and Architectural Design and Theory.
PART 2: Building Materials and Construction
PART 3: Structural Analysis & Conceptualization 
PART 4: Lighting and Acoustics Design

Architects have X-ray vision. Bzzt bzzt.

We can’t see through peoples’ clothes (sorry) – though we can see into their minds; Instead of apparel, architects can mentally dissect the inner workings of a building.

In your quest to achieve your degree in Archi-torture, you will undoubtedly have to dip your toes into the realms of engineering courses – and survive. You’ll be taking up subjects to understand all the different systems that run through buildings, how to optimize them in your design, and what options you can suggest should they all conflict.

One thing to keep in mind: Just because you’ve taken up a few utilities courses doesn’t mean you can do the work of an engineer, because as I’ve already explained before, Architects and Engineers are wired differently.

What these courses will do is give you a good background and grasp of the trades, so you can take the lead during design coordination and site meetings. Architects, as the maestro of the orchestra, constantly have to reconcile everyone’s considerations into the architecture, so you naturally have to know first what those considerations are.  Continue reading What Can You Expect to Learn in Architecture School? – PART 5

BLOGDATE #2: New Layout, Upcoming Mailing List, Free Ebook!

(Click HERE if you’d like to backtrack to BLOGDATE #1)

Welcome back to the spanking new blog! (in terms of layout, anyway)

I was being a bit of a scientist lately, and this new layout is the product of my research & monitoring of stats and figures. So far, so good, readership is growing steadily in response to the incremental changes and additional content. So I am quite bouncy and happy given our current trajectory.

Hope you like how everything’s coming along so far, but again, if you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear how I can make this blog better for you.

In our previous BLOGDATE a couple of weeks ago, I gave you a glimpse as to what I’m working for months and months down the road. For this second one, I’m be talking about a few more immediate happenings just around the bend. Continue reading BLOGDATE #2: New Layout, Upcoming Mailing List, Free Ebook!

What Can You Expect to Learn in Architecture School? – PART 4

This is the 4th part of a multi-part series about “What Can You Expect to Learn in Architecture School?“. If you’ve missed previous parts that be sure to check them out and then come back to this page. Happy learning! 

PART 1: Architectural Communication, History and Criticism, and Architectural Design and Theory.
PART 2: Building Materials and Constuction
PART 3: Structural Analysis & Conceptualization

Imagine a pretty looking building without power, indoor plumbing, lighting, air-conditioning, and sound systems. Would you live in it?

Not so pleasant, right? In today’s contemporary world, we practically run on technology and convenience. Remove all that and it’ll literally be like a 21st century Dark Age. Technological advancement has become the cornerstone of human development, and the way we integrate all sorts of gizmos to our built environment is a clear indication of that.

Which is why you’ll be studying all kinds of building systems in architecture school.

In the fourth and fifth parts of the “What Can You Expect in Architecture School?” series, I’ll be giving you a glimpse on all those pesky (but useful) utility courses that you’ll be tackling in your upper years. Don’t be daunted – you’ll cross the river when you get there. Besides, you’ll be surprised at how fun they can actually be. This installment will give you the down-low on two of the most crucial utilities with respect to the beauty and pleasantness of your designs – Lighting and Acoustics.  Continue reading What Can You Expect to Learn in Architecture School? – PART 4

On Death, Cancer, and Living for Others: Never Take Anyone for Granted

A solemn November 1 to all. 

What are you living for? Who are you living for?

Today on Archi Student Help, I’m going to tackle a very personal story of mine, one that is both heartfelt and inspiring, and one that I hope you can take the time to read. It’s about the death of a loved one.

But why death? How does this even fit into the context of surviving architecture school?

Remember, in whatever we do, our motivations are at the core of who we are. So I hope you’ll consider this:

There are people who have sacrificed their lives for you to be who you are today – and you should live your life to give theirs glory.

Today I’d like to share a perspective on why you should be even more driven to be the very best that you can be, in everything that you do. 
Continue reading On Death, Cancer, and Living for Others: Never Take Anyone for Granted

Read Your Local Architectural Magazines and Get SMART.

If you’ve never took the time to open up an architectural magazine and browse through the content, you’re hampering your learning potential.

I bought my first two Architectural Magazines with my allowance way-back-when in 2008. I was a giddy little freshman who was both clueless and elated to learn about this new world before him. So as I stepped out of the bookstore I immediately tore open my fresh issues of Archikonst and BluPrint, found a nice seat in the food court, and devoured my new found toys.

To this day, I believe regularly buying and pouring through architectural magazines – especially your local ones – is a valuable learning tool for any design student. Here are some great reasons why you should consider buying some fine-print. Continue reading Read Your Local Architectural Magazines and Get SMART.

How Do Architects Think? – An Eye Opener

It’s a sad truth, but many societies tend to belittle the design profession.

This is normally due to a lack of information on what exactly the design process entails – on the outset, most lay people still think that “designing” merely means making something pretty. But as discussed in a previous post “What Does Designing Mean Anyway?“, we know that this is far from true.

So then, how difficult is the thinking process when you’re designing? Is it just a matter of doing a few sketches, considering a few laws, and then voila – the design is ready?

Today, we’re going to do another exercise, to demonstrate again why designers and architects are so valuable in society. Hold your judgement, and let’s go on a quick journey into the mind of an architect.

  Continue reading How Do Architects Think? – An Eye Opener

12 Ways to Increase Brain Power for Architecture School – PART 1

Click here to jump to: 12 Ways to Increase Brain Power For Architecture School – PART 2

A healthy, clear, and efficiently working brain is one of the architecture student’s greatest assets. I’d like to give you a few life hacks to supercharge yours.

Around two years ago, I had a sort of nutritional epiphany that allowed me start living every day with a clear and efficient mind, and I’ve never looked back since. Today I’m going to share with you some of the life-hacks I really wish I knew back when I was younger. They’ve helped me live with constant energy and a clear mind, warding off crankiness and increasing feelings of well-being.

How I was able to browse through the peer-reviewed research and find the perfect brain-power plan for me is a different story all together – which merits a separate post or two. For now, I’d like to just give you the rough outline, principles and tidbits for the top 12 highly effective ways to make your brain feel like a million bucks every single day.

This is going to be a two-part series merely meant to be an introduction to future posts. Each of these 12 points will then have their own individual entries, discussing in more detail the scientific backing and ways you can effectively and safely implement their use in your lifestyle.

Without further ado, I invite you to expand your mind. Continue reading 12 Ways to Increase Brain Power for Architecture School – PART 1

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