What is it really like to study architecture?
If there’s any degree that receives bad press, it’s definitely the seven years of RIBA accredited study.
Let me start by telling you what architecture is not. It is not an impossible work load leading to hundreds of all-nighters. It is not going to steal all of your time. Architecture is not a boring, delayed transition into adulthood or a career. It is definitely not just ‘cutting and sticking’ either!
Architecture is an incredibly creative and structured course. The principles of design are integral to every aspect and at all points you are encouraged to express your own interests. Architecture is a rich, unique mix of subjects: arts; environmental sciences; engineering; culture; history…
Studio life requires discipline but it generates an exciting creative community that does life together.
Before coming to university, I was close to giving up on architecture. Every where I looked, course reviews and information panels painted this picture of a crippling course. The internet portrays the degree as this all consuming, never ending, impossible burden of work. It seems this is what many people have come to believe.
When I tell people that I am studying to be an architect, the conversation instantly changes. People gasp and make comments like, ‘wow isn’t that a really long course?’ Or, ‘will you really finish the whole degree?’ “All you do is glue paper models.’ The worst? ‘I know an architect who tells everybody to never practise the profession.’
Stop shutting us down
Seriously? ! I am fed up of people killing our passion for architecture! I’m pretty much wired to study this degree. Yes, it calls for a certain type of person but so what? That might just be me or you.
I delight in the long studio hours, working on a model that is worthy of a showcase. A huge enthusiasm is experienced every time a new brief is presented. Rejoicing is my attitude through the trials of not knowing where a design is leading. I persevere when my design looks like utter crap.
I refuse to let the anxiety of deadlines overload me. I actually sleep every night. I socialise and take weekends. Granted, there is a certain discipline required to prioritise my work but this comes out of an excitement for my design – not an anxiety.
If anyone is considering architecture, do it. Don’t listen to the people who make you feel like you’ll never be good enough or the worries about keeping up with the pace. The diversity of the course is incredible. Your interest in culture, design, materials and architectural history will increase rapidly.
Studying architecture is like going to a dressmaker. It is made to be a perfect fit – adjustable for all. This robe can be styled and purposed for individuals. It looks and feels beautiful. Architecture is worthy of an award – not a bad press.
Investigate architecture. Pay attention to what it has to offer and don’t just write it off!