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Architecture Education: The Latest Architecture and News

ArchDaily's Ultimate List of Advice for Incoming Architecture Students

Architecture school. You’ve heard the myths - the legends of all-nighters and innovation, of unmatched workaholism and love for the profession. Perhaps you know what you want – to solve the great urbanization problem, to create the next sustainable wonder-gadget, or maybe just to start your own firm and show the architectural world how it’s done. Maybe you have no idea what you want to do, drawn to architecture by the romance, the larger-than-life scale. Maybe you’re an artist who wants a job when they graduate. A hometown hero, you’re about to be thrown into a classroom of the best, possibly for the first time in your life. You’ll be surrounded by the brightest in engineering, problem solving, writing, drawing and a host of other skills. Anxious and excited, you stand ready at the doors of architectural education, hungry for innovation and ready to share and learn from others. Stepping inside that first day, you prepare yourself for the best - and most difficult times of your life so far.

To prepare you for the strange beast that is architecture school, shed light on what is fact and fiction, and give you some peace of mind, we at ArchDaily have prepared a list of advice for all incoming architecture students. There is no other education in the world quite like an architectural one, and we hope that this list can help prepare you for its unique wonders and challenges. The advice below is meant to ease the transition into school as much as possible – but be warned, nothing can compare to experiencing the real deal. Read them all after the break.

First year review. Image © Steven Lin A lecture in Brooklyn. Image © Ien Boodan © Jeff So The (rare) empty studio. Image © Ien Boodan + 18

9 Lessons For Post-Architecture-School Survival

We’ve already talked about this. You’re preparing your final project (or thesis project). You’ve gone over everything in your head a thousand times; the presentation to the panel, your project, your model, your memory, your words. You go ahead with it, but think you'll be lousy. Then you think just the opposite, you will be successful and it will all be worth it. Then everything repeats itself and you want to call it quits.  You don’t know when this roller coaster is going to end. 

Until the day arrives. You present your project. Explain your ideas. The committee asks you questions. You answer. You realize you know more than you thought you did and that none of the scenarios you imaged over the past year got even close to what really happened in the exam. The committee whisper amongst themselves. The presentation ends and they ask you to leave for a while. Outside you wait an eternity, the minutes crawling slowly. Come in, please. The commission recites a brief introduction and you can’t tell whether you were right or wrong. The commission gets to the point.

You passed! Congratulations, you are now their new colleague and they all congratulate you on your achievement. The joy washes over you despite the fatigue that you’ve dragging around with you. The adrenaline stops pumping. You spend weeks or months taking a much-deserved break. You begin to wonder: Now what?

The university, the institution that molded you into a professional (perhaps even more so than you would have liked), hands you the diploma and now you face the job market for the first time (that is if you haven’t worked before). Before leaving and defining your own markers for personal success (success is no longer measured with grades or academic evaluations), we share 9 lessons to face the world now that you're an architect.

RIBA’s Nationwide Architecture Program Exposes Young Students to Thinking Like an Architect

This November, RIBA launched a national school program devoted to providing children between the ages of 4-18 access to architecture programs. This will be the UK’s first nationwide architecture program. The instructors, formally known as Architecture Ambassadors, are volunteer architecture professionals donating their time to partnering schools at which students participate free of charge.

Before launching the nationwide program, RIBA conducted a pilot version - gaging interest and success from students, school administrators, and ambassadors. The pilot phase visited over 200 schools in England and 18,000 students. Each school’s architectural workshop was highly individualized to the community and location, adding a personal aspect to the student’s introduction to the vast field of architecture. These tangible projects investigated local areas, assessing their needs, issues that affect the community, and their hopes for the future.

4 Steps That Will Help Set You Up for Success in Architecture School

The beginning of the fall semester is quickly approaching, and prospective architecture students are gearing up for the beginning of their future careers. While the next step may seem daunting, the first year of your architecture education helps set the pace for the remaining four to five years. So it's important to get started on the right foot.

Architecture studios are notorious for long nights, intensive model-making and desks overflowing with trace paper and parti diagrams. But there is one important aspect of studio life that is too often neglected: the student-professor relationship.

Read on for the four steps to start investing in this unique relationship to set yourself up for success.

Open Call: The Best Student Design-Build Projects

When learning about architecture, there is no replacement for practical experience: seeing how materials can be joined together, how structural elements respond to the stresses placed upon them, or how construction techniques can alter the finished project. For this reason, it is a good idea to give students a chance for some hands-on experience building real structures—something that, due to budgetary constraints and the academic culture of many architecture schools, has sadly been uncommon in the past.

However, in recent years, this culture has started to shift, with increasing numbers of architecture schools finding ways for students to be involved in construction projects, from small, temporary interventions and pavilions, to larger permanent buildings. In order to show the excellent work that can be done in an educational context, for the fourth time ArchDaily is calling on students and professors to submit the design-build projects they have completed in the past year. As always, we're teaming up with all of ArchDaily en Español, ArchDaily Brasil, and ArchDaily China, in the hope that we can present the best work from students worldwide to a worldwide audience. Read on to find out how you can take part.

5 Ways to Prepare for Architecture School Over the Summer

This summer a brand new class of eager architectural hopefuls are preparing to start their lives in design at architecture schools around the world. Entering a studio environment for the first time brings an exciting set of new creative challenges, but this thrilling new world of architecture can often be tough to anticipate for those who have yet to begin their journey — leaving newcomers feeling unprepared and nervous on their first day.

A Simple Guide to Studying for the ARE 5.0

<a href='https://www.archdaily.com/871156/underground-forest-in-onepark-gubei-wutopia-lab'>Underground Forest in Onepark Gubei / Wutopia Lab</a>. Image © CreatAR - AI Qing & SHI Kaicheng
Underground Forest in Onepark Gubei / Wutopia Lab. Image © CreatAR - AI Qing & SHI Kaicheng

After countless late nights designing in studio, facing the critics, laying out (and re-laying out) your portfolio, finally convincing someone to hire you, and working 50+ hour weeks... you’re still not an architect. Welcome to the examination portion of your professional journey, folks.

Beginning a multi-division examination with pass rates in the 50-60% range is a seriously daunting task. That’s without even mentioning the overwhelming amount of study materials and opinions floating around in cyberspace. Never fear, ArchDaily is here to help you navigate the tools and techniques available to you when cracking open the books and (hopefully) passing your first exam.

Architectural Education: Is It Actually Preparing Our Students for the Future?

The issue of how we educate our architects of the future is a divisive one. With the capabilities of our technology advancing rapidly, new mediums of Virtual Reality, robotics, and artificial intelligence are all changing the architectural profession at a fundamental level. This creates the question of whether architectural pedagogy is keeping up with the times and educating students to be ready for both professional practice and an uncertain future.

In his opinion piece for Common Edge, ‘Architectural Education is Changing: Let’s Hope the Profession Can Keep Up’, Phil Bernstein articulates his belief that architectural education today is indeed teaching students the necessary skills, but rather than focusing on simply teaching them to become competent workers, it is teaching them skills to design for the future.

Frank Gehry’s Online Masterclass: A Review By Architecture Students

You’ve probably seen the ads. Popping out from your Facebook newsfeed, the Masterclass sales pitch immediately attracts the eye: beautifully backlit wooden models and silky hand sketching emphasized by orchestral swells are accompanied by an adorable pirouette by the one and only Frank Gehry. The combination of Gehry’s status and slick production has managed to amass over 1.6 million views for the trailer on Youtube. Even in the company of courses taught by Martin Scorsese, Deadmau5, and Samuel L Jackson, the lone architect impressively lays claim to the eighth most popular teaser in the Masterclass series. The production value alone is almost a convincing argument for the $90 USD price, a detail that is quietly left out of the trailer.

The course has been reviewed by a critic, a practicing architect, and a curator—but what of its ostensible target audience, the architecture student? Has Masterclass managed to crack the online class conundrum with cinematography and celebrity?

The SDG Academy Has Launched Free, Graduate-Level Courses on Sustainable Development, Urbanization and Natural Resources

The SDG Academy online education platform recently launched a series of free online courses on topics ranging from sustainable development and urbanization to climate change and the use of natural resources. According to the description on its website, SDG Academy "creates and curates free, top-level courses on sustainable development for students around the world."

A Glimpse Into the Weird World of Architecture Students' First Assignments

Do you think architecture is your calling? Do you have the passion and drive to explore this creative field and learn from the best? Every year, many young people decide to take on the challenge of an architecture education, but how many have any idea what is in store for them on that first day in the design studio? In truth, the exercises given to new students by their professors reveal a lot about the architecture world.

I reached out to hundreds of professors, assistant professors, and adjunct and visiting professors to find out their favorite first-year studio design prompt. The responses varied from the abstract to the concrete, as well as from simple drawing exercises to complex steps to end at a completed work. Most projects were designed for individuals, however some required a team effort. The following is a peek into that world from a variety of educators from schools around the globe.

Free School of Architecture: Call for Applications

Free School of Architecture Summer 2018 Call for Admissions

FSA is pleased to announce its call for admissions for both participants and teaching proposals for the Free School of Architecture, Summer 2018.

FSA’s three page Application Form for participants and teaching proposals will be issued for download from the FSA website (www.freeschoolofarchitecture.org) from Monday, November 27, 2017 at 12 PM PST.

The Free School of Architecture, Summer 2018 will take place between Thursday, June 14, 2018 and Saturday, July 28, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.

Architecture Education is Unhealthy, Expensive, and Ineffective. Could Online Learning Change That?

This article was originally published by Common Edge as "Is Online Learning Really the Future of Architectural Education?"

Higher education is on the cusp of a major transition. It’s extremely likely that professional training, including that necessary to become an architect, will be conducted primarily online in the relatively near future. This means that design studio classes, a hallmark of the architect’s experience, will also happen online, likely without the in-person, face-to-face contact that defines that experience. The shift will eliminate many self-defeating aspects of today’s studio culture, but there’s also potential pitfalls that need to be addressed, before an online version of that culture acquires its own bad habits. We can do this by pro-actively devising new teaching and working methods that leverage the capabilities of digital education to promote constructive social dynamics between students.

How To Survive an All-Nighter

As most architecture students and practicing architects find out, all-nighters are (ironically) the stuff of nightmares. They're a last resort when the project is due and you have run out times you can say "I’ll do that tomorrow." All-nighters should be avoided at all costs as they can have many negative effects on your mind such as decreased concentration and reduced long-term memory. Even your body can suffer too; pushing yourself to the limit as you fight tiredness and work as much as physically possible will weaken your immune system and can cause circulatory problems from sitting down for 20 or so hours straight.

In a previous article, we have discussed the many ways in which you can avoid pulling an all-nighter so you don’t have to be as sleep deprived. But sometimes things just don't go to plan, and you may feel that working through the night is the only option. Read on for tips and tricks that should make your all-nighter slightly more bearable (if that's at all possible).

Fresh Takes: A Close-Up Look at SCI-Arc’s BArch Thesis Program 

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SCI-Arc's B.Arch thesis students recently presented projects in progress at midterm reviews aimed at fostering discussion, debate, and direction. The culmination of the school's five-year B.Arch curriculum, the year-long thesis program challenges the next generation of designers to take firm positions, form fresh perspectives, and conceive solutions for issues that architects will face in the future.

13 Tips to Help You Avoid an All-Nighter

All-nighters: the bane of all architecture students. The new academic year brings in an influx of fresh, enthusiastic architecture students alongside slightly more hardened veterans of the degree, and students of all experience levels are reminded of the unfortunate tendency for work to stretch through the night. It's an easy habit to slip into for both students and even those working in practice; however many times we may tell ourselves at the end of a project that we will be more organized next time, the work always piles up and it seems like the only option – but it’s not!

With architecture holding the title for the degree that works the longest hours, it is important to maintain a healthy work-life balance throughout. If you feel that you are falling into the trap of staying up until 6am every day then this article should prevent any further sleep deprivation. With advice taken from several architecture students with years of experience dodging the twilight hour, this list will guide you on your way to enough sleep and decent grades.

This World-Leading Building Researcher Believes That Architecture Is Afraid of Science

Steven J Orfield in his anechoic chamber at Orfield Labs, which has been certified by Guinness World Records as the quietest place on earth. Image via screenshot from <a href='http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2016/06/26/finding-minnesota-orfield-laboratories/'>a WCCO video</a> about the chamber
Steven J Orfield in his anechoic chamber at Orfield Labs, which has been certified by Guinness World Records as the quietest place on earth. Image via screenshot from a WCCO video about the chamber

This article was originally published by Common Edge as "A Top Building Researcher Asks: Why is Architecture Afraid of Science?"

Recently we’ve written a fair amount about the state of architectural research. The general consensus appears to be that it lacks rigor and, even more importantly, is not grounded in good science. Steven J Orfield has some strong opinions about architectural research. He’s been conducting it—for architecture and design firms, as well as Fortune 500 companies—at his Minneapolis-based Orfield Laboratories for more than three decades now. Late last week I talked to him about why architects are afraid of science, how he would introduce it into the schools, and his work in the field of universal design.

How to Choose an Undergraduate Architecture Thesis Topic

As architecture students head to their final year of BArch, half-crazy from years’ worth of scraped fingers, ghastly juries, sleepless nights, and a general lack of social life, they encounter the mighty problem of choosing a thesis topic. There are many subjects to choose from, but a personal interest in a particular subject is just one of the many factors that should influence this decision. Students need to ask themselves several other questions: Is the topic significant enough? Is it expansive enough? Is the project realistically doable?

The process can be daunting, for the decision has many consequences; sometimes, the choice of topic alone can mean the difference between the success and failure of a thesis. With so many factors to consider and deadlines closing in, students easily end up making decisions that they regret later. Here are eight tips to help you make an informed choice on the matter: