Tag Archives: Design Process

12 Ways to Increase Brain Power For Architecture School – PART 2

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

In the first part of “12 Ways to Increase Your Brain for Architecture School”, I gave my first six life-hacks for keeping your mind clear, powerful, and alert for those long lecture days and even longer work nights.

In case you need a bit of refreshing:

  1. Ditch the sugar.
  2. Get enough sleep at night.
  3. Drink enough water.
  4. Make sure you’re getting enough Omega-3s.
  5. Make nuts your snack of choice.
  6. Enjoy a cup of brewed coffee.

Today I want to continue the chain and add a few more brilliant, effective things you can do to help your brain stay revved in high gear.

Implement the complete twelve in a comprehensive and quantified program, and you my friend are setting your brain for some serious pampering throughout life.  Continue reading 12 Ways to Increase Brain Power For Architecture School – PART 2

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

Pointers for Designing an AWESOME Room – Part 1 (20 Tips)

What’s in a “room”? A supposedly basic and elementary term for defining a space, you’d think. As architecture students, you’ll be designing a lot of rooms for your projects. Sounds simple enough – group together some blobs and squares to fit the form you want.

But as you’ll find out, doing so isn’t as trivial as most people think.

A good designer knows that a whole lot of careful thought should be put into each space, considering factors that relate to human psyche, anthropometrics, technology, energy-efficiency, cost-efficiency, comfort, beauty, engineering, and a whole lot of other synthesize-able things.

Don’t believe me? Well then, allow me to give you a few examples of things you might consider when designing individual spaces.

This first post will contain some 20 considerations, and succeeding posts will continue this chain – in hopes of providing you with a more holistic checklist while planning out your spaces. Continue reading Pointers for Designing an AWESOME Room – Part 1 (20 Tips)

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.

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)

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

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

What Can You Expect to Learn in Architecture School? – PART 3

This is the 3nd part of a multi-part series about “What You Can 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

Systems Planning 1

Mother of God

If you’re like me, then you’re not really a whiz with mathematics, and long calculations are sometimes public enemy number 1.

But if you love purposefully crunching values and find a thrill in chasing down a target numerical indication, then you’ll be in for a treat in your structural courses. Continue reading What Can You Expect to Learn in Architecture School? – PART 3

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

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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.