Tag Archives: Feature

The Internship Guide 1: What Are the 2 Major Kinds of Design Firms?

Architecture is learned best through practice.

And when I say practice, I mean hands-on, integrative, and synthesizing work. The kind that makes you take everything you know and piece them together in a meaningful puzzle.

It’s for this reason that reading books day-in and day-out without any application probably won’t give you the best retention and bang-for-your-buck.

The solution? Practice. And make sure you’re in the best environment possible while doing it. The kind that makes you feel the weight of your actions, gives each line purpose, and provides you with mentors that hold you accountable for your output – like an architectural office.

I’m a firm believer that every architecture student should experience working for a firm or sole practice at least once before they graduate.

I spent two summers of my undergrad life as an apprentice, intern (and eventual employee), and they were invaluable learning experiences. The kind that expanded my view of the truths of the practice, and made my succeeding works a whole lot more guided.

But of course, there are lots of things to consider and be aware of when dipping your toes into the workplace. It isn’t all fun and games, and there some very important decisions and attitudes you need to be cognizant of.

This series of posts entitled “The Internship Guide” number things you should be very receptive to, so you can get the most of each and every day.

To start off, let’s talk about the two most common organizational set ups of a typical architectural design office, starting the discourse on which one could be better for you based on your own needs. Continue reading The Internship Guide 1: What Are the 2 Major Kinds of Design Firms?

22 Simple Guidelines for the Successful Architecture Student

"Victory is the child of preparation and determination". ~ Sean Hampton

Today, I thought I’d give a bit of a token piece for the new readers, for them to get an easy overview of all the topics Archi Student Help has covered in its first 50 pages or so. 

From me to you, here’s a 22 point summary of the blog’s take-home points for young designers thus far, geared at helping you become your best self yet. If you find them helpful, please – feel free to share them with your friends. 


1. Discover early on what it really means to design. And in-grain it into your thinking.

2. Understand that the best take-home from every project isn’t a pretty rendering, but a more-informed design process.

3. Prioritize your health. Consider that life is a marathon and not a sprint.

4. Invest in your brain power. Integrate life-hacks into a comprehensive program to keep you revved like a well-tuned car.

5. Become process-oriented. It will make you happier, more consistent, and will give you solid self-worth. Continue reading 22 Simple Guidelines for the Successful Architecture Student

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

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

Check Out the 1,715 Entries! The Guggenheim Helsinki Design Competition has Rocked the World.

Update December 3, 2014 – The 6 Guggenheim Helsinki Competition Finalists Have Been Announced!

Image courtesy of https://designguggenheimhelsinki.org/
Image courtesy of https://designguggenheimhelsinki.org/

There are many architectural design competitions that sprout up across the globe on a regular basis. But among them, there are only a few that truly rock the world. The Designing Guggenheim Helsinki competition is one of them. You have to check it out.

Guggenheim Museum” is a phrase that resonates prestige in most architects, art afficionados, and regular folk alike – not only because of the art pieces they house, but also because of the architecture itself. 

The first Guggenheim Museum in New York was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, one of history’s most prolific architects. It remains as one of the city’s most iconic edifices.  Continue reading Check Out the 1,715 Entries! The Guggenheim Helsinki Design Competition has Rocked the World.