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Besides partying fearlessly in the face of ever looming deadlines, school has and always will be about taking lessons learned, and carrying it over into the real world. However, there are some things that will surely be forgotten as part of the lesson plan. In this blog post by Linda Bennett of Archi-Ninja, She blogs about the 10 things you don't get taught in Architecture School.
In my early assignments at Architecture School I struggled to obtain a passing mark – and in fact, I was lucky to make it through my 1st year! Initially, Architecture School was overwhelming, in particular I struggled learning the new design ‘language’, managing the intense studio hours (goodbye to mum and dad for a while) and dealing with the tough criticism. Then there were the ‘super-students’, those who appeared to achieve the unattainable; ‘Supers’ could draw in plan, section AND perspective, not to mention they maintained a superior ability to verbally communicate and sell their ideas.
Six years on from this tough beginning I graduated with high distinction, achieving the highest overall aggregated marks of all students, in the subject areas of History, Theory, Construction, Practice and Design. I was the University of Technology (UTS) winner of the most Outstanding Design Student in 2010, awarded a scholarship to study in L.A. and was also nominated by UTS for the NSW Architects Medallion in 2011.
Today I reflect on my time at university (or college for my US readers) to recognize that the most important lessons didn’t come from what was in the curriculum, but from what I discovered along the way, including things relating to architecture, life and individually. Through my own experience, and in no particular order here is what I uncovered about surviving and achieving high in architecture school. The following was instrumental to my experience and growth – allowing me to literally go from the bottom of the class to the top!
As a recent college graduate, number 9 on the list stands out the most to me.
9: Learn project management
As an architecture student, one of the first things you find out (and last things you learn to figure in) is that everything will likely take three to five times longer than you expected. This is also unfortunately common in practice and generally Architects need to be better managers. I believe this is because architecture is both a qualitative and quantitative process which helps to negate the ‘finish’ line. Not ever did I feel a design project was ‘perfect’ and likewise Architects on every project wish they had done something (or many things) differently. “Parkinson’s Law dictates that a task will swell in (perceived) importance and complexity in relation to the time allotted for its completion.”- Tim Ferriss, The Four Hour Work week.
Understanding the perceived importance of a given task will effectively allow you to direct your focus on the right things, at the right time, allowing you to make smart decisions on where to spend your effort, time, money, resources and so on for maximum gain. For more guidance on study hacks and optimizing the use of your time check out Cal Newport’s blog and 99U.
Visit Archi-Ninja's page here to read the rest of Linda's post.