What Can You Expect to Learn in Architecture School? – PART 2

This is the 2nd part of a multi-part series about “What You Can Expect to Learn in Architecture School”. In the first post we discussed Architectural Communication, History and Criticism, and Architectural Design and Theory. If you’ve missed that be sure to check it out and then come back to this page. Happy learning! 

When you get to higher years in architecture school, your courses will start gravitating towards a lot of technical stuff.

Don’t be fooled by your younger years, where you will most probably be focused on presentation, standards, theory, and the creative design process. There is an entire more nosebleed-inducing side of the profession that you can – and will – learn about. This 2nd part is to give you a glimpse at the more technical side of architecture courses. Ready? Prepare your hard hats.

Continue reading What Can You Expect to Learn in Architecture School? – PART 2

One Simple Tip to Give Yourself A HUGE Knowledge Boost

Image courtesy of the Pritzker Prize website: http://www.pritzkerprize.com

There is one valuable technique in your design studies that, if taken advantage of, can sky-rocket your early learning.

…. And that is to spend an afternoon reading about Pritzker Prize Winners.

What exactly is that, you ask? I won’t be giving a detailed history of the Pritzker Prize in this post (you can find that on their website, should you be interested), but I will stress what the prize is all about:

“To honor a living architect or architects whose built work demonstrates a combination of those qualities of talent, vision, and commitment, which has produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity and the built environment through the art of architecture”.

Continue reading One Simple Tip to Give Yourself A HUGE Knowledge Boost

Know The Difference: How Architects and Engineers Are Wired Differently.


I have a whole lot of respect for Engineers, because they do the nitty-gritty things I personally don’t have the attitude nor competence to do.

I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with complex mathematical processes. So it’s no surprise that as I look back at the embedded engineering courses I had to brave to get my architecture degree, I feel like I escaped the depths of hell. Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration. But for the most part, I’m somehow in disbelief that I got through a litany of requirements where I had to:

– Calculate for stress, strain, shear, bending, torsion, overturning moment in a footing, retaining wall, column, beam, or what have you.
– Determining the spacing of stirrups, area of steel bars needed, effective depths, etc. etc.
– Calculating and deriving load schedules and riser diagrams to express our electrical set-up.
– Calculating septic tank sizes, pipe diameters, fixture units, and other plumbing mathematics.
– Okay. I don’t want to remember anymore. 

I DID, however, really enjoy the conceptual parts of my engineering courses.

Concept Diagrams Continue reading Know The Difference: How Architects and Engineers Are Wired Differently.

What Can You Expect to Learn in Architecture School? – PART 1

We all know design school is a needed stepping stone to be the successful architect of our dreams. But have you ever stopped to wonder how and why your school teaches architecture the way it does?

Each Architectural School has its own take on how its curriculum progresses, allowing the structure to unravel architecture for you in an intended path. Some are similar, while others are seemingly antithetical. There’s more than one way to skin a cat, after all. It’s good to note that the way your school focuses its teachings and structures its courses tells you a lot about what values it wants to impart on its graduates.

Are some approaches “better” than others? That’s an interesting discussion that we could definitely delve into in the future. (I’ll just state my advanced take on this: There’s no such thing as the best approach to learning architecture, period. There’s only the best approach for YOU) But regardless of approach, there are some generalities that are common to most, if not all schools. Continue reading What Can You Expect to Learn in Architecture School? – PART 1

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?

BLOGDATE #1: Good Beginnings – What to Expect?

Welcome to your first date with Adam.

Please don’t run away and allow me to explain. I want to do a lot of good with this site as it develops, and I want you guys to know how I’m doing every step of the way. So I’ll be writing regular blog updates (blog-dates, get it?) to keep you in step with how I’m working to make Overcoming Archi-torture a better, more effective piece of textual intercourse for everyone.

It’s part of my commitment to transparency, and hopefully bringing down the walls somewhat will allow me to reach out in a more comfortable manner. Boom boom pow.

Today’s Blogdate (the firrsst!) will introduce the blog in its first iteration, give the first glimpse of the book’s progress, and fill you in on what to expect from me in the near future. Continue reading BLOGDATE #1: Good Beginnings – What to Expect?

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.

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