Architecture students have a lot in common. We share a long-term committed relationship with coffee. We share an instinctive urge to collect random cardboard boxes for model-making. We share a university studio which, over time, becomes our ‘home away from home’. As we get to know our fellow students, however, we learn that the architecture studio hosts a micro-society of ten different, but lovable, characters.
The ‘all-rounder’ is perhaps the student we strive to be – prompt, efficient, and organized. With a loaded arsenal of models, drawings, and books, no assignment is safe. The ‘all-rounder’ is ready for any situation.
The ‘running for marks’ student is a strident believer that the more they present their work to a professor, the more likely they are to break down the walls of skepticism. It can be frustrating at times, but one cannot help but watch is admiration as Mark showcases the same process model for six weeks.
The ‘full attendance’ student will take a front-row seat at every lecture, whatever the weather. Even with looming portfolio deadlines, this dedicated student acts as a solo representative for their stressed colleagues, and hence a valuable point of contact.
The ‘always questioning’ student typically sits beside the ‘full attendance’ student. In a two-hour lecture, they can’t help but wait until the last minute before creating an in-depth, reflective dialogue with the professor. Curiosity didn’t kill the cat, but it did kill everybody’s hopes of beating the lunchtime coffee queue.
The ‘always absent’ student is a pioneer of a new architecture degree, typically three days per week, part-time. There isn’t much to say about this student, due to their consistent absence. In extreme cases, rumors spread throughout the studio that this student only exists in the imagination, ‘Fight Club’ style.
The ‘geek’ student is a rising star. We can only stand in awe at their commitment, knowledge, and endless drive to explore as much of the architectural world as possible. With a laptop not out of place on the Starship Enterprise, this student is piloting the profession towards technological, innovative excellence.
For most architecture students, a day consists of twenty-four fully-booked hours. Therefore, the ‘extra-curricular’ student urgently needs to explain where they find time to attend pottery workshops, origami classes, and photography society meetings. There is method in the madness however, as this student always finds a way to express these interests through architecture.
The ‘all time high’ student is the Tony Stark of the studio, with a wild imagination, chaotic schedule, and of course, alternative medical supplies. Young entrepreneurs could sell box-office tickets to the ‘all time high’ student’s crit, such is the intrigue around how professors will react to the idea of a flying aircraft carrier.
The ‘always has help’ student has mastered the art of delegation, much to the frustration of their colleagues. Having made the calculation that all group members are given the same grade, this student elects to be the ‘observer-in-chief’.
The ‘idea borrower’ is a distant relative of the ‘always has help’ student. The ‘idea borrower’ doesn’t just delegate their tasks to others, they outsource the entire design process. The end result resembles a ‘greatest hits’ of everybody else’s ideas, which is not only frustrating but often unconvincing. We can only assume it is their way of complimenting your ingenuity.
Centuries of civilizations built on structures designed by architects and yet, their voice is lost among the countless stories of rulers and armies and sometimes wondrous monsters.
The Leewardists are rewriting the contemporary history of our civilization through the voice of this elusive being, The Architect.