"Architecture is a visual art, and the buildings speak for themselves". ~ Julia Morgan
At the core of it all, an architect is a communicator. You my friend, are a creator of meaning.
Spaces are not merely enclosures with no face and no expression. They are a canvas for which the artist (which is you) distills a multitude of contexts and considerations – to provide response that can say a resounding something. Continue reading ARCHI NOTE #1: You are a COMMUNICATOR.
Got an email last night from Erika, a young, driven former schoolmate who had to put her architecture dreams on hold due to migration to a different country. Now she has a number of questions that I’d gladly shed some light on. Let’s check out what she had to say.
Hey Aldo! :)
I came across your website just recently. It's really refreshing to know that a Filipino site like this exists!
As a fresh graduate and someone already exposed to the working environment in the corporate world of Architecture, I thought you might be able to give me a lot of perspective on things. If you have the time to go through this, it would help me significantly! I'm sorry this popped in so randomly. Any kind of insight would be great.
This might be long and a little confusing; I apologize in advance, huhu.
Hey there Erika! 🙂 So nice to know that you appreciate the site. It’s really been my goal to put some Philippine context in the myriad of architectural learning sites for students. I’d be glad to help; go on and tell me your story. Continue reading “Is It Too Late to Start Pursuing Architecture Again?” (Q&A #7)
1. You don’t NEED to be excellent at drawing.
Contrary to popular belief, rendering like a true artist is a non-essential part of being an architect.
Sure, it’s an impressive skill to have, but for the most part, being able to draw clearly is of higher worth. Sketching is very important for the thought and communication processes of architectural work – but the clarity of your drawings holds more weight than their flashiness.
Related Post: Why Is It Important For Architects to Sketch?
2. You’ll be using computers to refine your work.
Sketching is great for fleshing out broad ideas and moves. But during the tail-ends of each design project, it’s more time-efficient to refine your work and do the final drawings with computer software. And so you might be dipping your toes into a myriad of programs that your local scene gravitate towards.
The best bang for your buck would be to learn a 2D Drafting Software (like AutoCAD), a 3D modelling software (like Sketchup and 3Ds Max), and a BIM Software (like ArchiCAD or Revit).
You might also like: The BIG 4: Aspects of Architectural Education You Just HAVE to Focus On. Continue reading 6 Simple Truths Incoming Architecture Freshmen Can Expect.
Got an email last night from Millie, in response to The Internship Guide 1: What Are the 2 Major Kinds of Design Firms?. She has been in the design workforce for well more than the year, and gave some insights I thought would be great to share with everyone. Take the floor, Millie!
Hello Aldo! :D
I think that as a business model, the Design Studio is only as good as its team. A small team can only be as well-oiled as the assembly line if everyone is hardworking, willing to step up, and takes responsibility. Apprentices should be fast learners and mentors should be generous with time.
Unfortunately, most small studios don't compensate as well as big companies. Small, young companies are still growing, and all extra money gets invested towards the firm (new software, comfier chairs, etc). The salaries and benefits may be the same, but the perks are limited. Office parties and bonuses are rare, and you are expected to work a lot (even during typhoons, huhuhu).
Although working in a small design studio is rewarding, I understand it is not for everyone. Cheers! :)
Continue reading On Smaller Firms: Low Pay, But High Value? (Q&A#5)
"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
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
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
Got an email from Sheena, a fresh applicant in my beloved college org. She has a concern that I’m sure many freshmen in architecture school have: how to combat the woes of manual drafting. Go on girl, take the floor.
Good day Kuya Aldo! I'm Sheena, an ASA-APP who got your autograph last Hiyas :) But who I am doesn't matter (I'm a freshie who never took manual drafting and art classes before entering UP arki tho).
My problem is, my class for Arch 1 was either free cut, an off-topic discussion, or a lecture of a lesson for the nth time, so I still suck at drafting (especially lettering) and I still don't know how to construct floor plans and elevations and sections. I have only 7 Arch 1 meetings left.
I don't know what to do. I've considered reading books but I don't know what book to start with. P.S. I was so happy when I found about this website! I immediately saved all the articles to my Pocket and I make it a point to read at least one article everyday :D
Continue reading 10 ESSENTIAL Tips for Drafting Like a Pro (Q&A #3)
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