The Midnight Charette is an explicit podcast about design, architecture, and the everyday. Hosted by architectural designers David Lee and Marina Bourderonnet, it features a variety of creative professionals in unscripted and long-format conversations that allow for thoughtful takes and more personal discussions. Honesty and humor are used to cover a wide array of subjects: some episodes provide useful tips for designers, while others are project reviews, interviews, or simply explorations of everyday life and design. The Midnight Charette is available for free on iTunes, YouTube, Spotify, and all other podcast directories.
On this episode of The Midnight Charette podcast, hosts David Lee and Marina Bourderonnet discuss the factors to consider when choosing an undergraduate architecture school. The two cover everything from program curricula to group dynamics, accreditation, faculty leadership, school reputation, student work and portfolios, course diversity, 5th year, job opportunities after graduating and more. The Midnight Charette also recently interviewed several educators and academic leaders on architecture education and their own work.
HIGHLIGHTS & TIMESTAMPS
(07:05) Academic Calendar: The pace and quality of projects, student development and (44:28) the number of projects designed are impacted by quarter and semester calendars.
(10:47) Student Body Size: Student exposure to different ideas and preparation for professional life are both shaped by group dynamics.
(15:08) Accredited and Non-Accredited Schools
(16:34) Faculty: While design studios are often tailored by the individual instructor, prospective students can still estimate what a program is like by researching the right school leadership. These are the people to listen to.
(19:55) Reputation and Location: Does the school name and location affect the kinds of jobs students get after graduating?
(22:20) Portfolio and Jobs: Students are hired based largely on their portfolios, which is shaped by their schools' curricula.
(27:55) Passion vs Architecture: Even if prospective students 'know' they want to become an architect, questioning why one is attending undergraduate school is an essential part of making the right choice.
(31:20) Universities vs Niche-Schools: Is it necessary to take non-architecture courses to become a good designer and successful architect?
(33:53) Exchange Programs
(35:53) Curricula: Some programs have a more prescriptive curriculum and others are more open. Here are the pros and cons.
(38:49) Student Work: Researching a program's current student work can help prospects understand its philosophy and curriculum, even if they 'know nothing' about architecture. Here are the things to look for.
(45:48) Senior/5th-Year: The final year in undergraduate school is arguably the most important and not all schools structure it the same way. Here are some of the 5th-year program types and how they shape a student's design and personal development.