Architecture Students Need to Self Teach
Before I went to architecture school, I studied the Building Design course at a local TAFE. While it taught me some strong foundations in design, construction and drafting, the main thing I took away was the understanding that I need to teach myself some things. This is also quite evident in architecture school, with so much to get through, there’s just not enough time in the semester, year, course, to really go into depth on a particular program. As an architecture student, you need to understand that you will need to self teach yourself software, whether that be AutoCAD, SketchUp, Rhino, Grasshopper, Revit, or even Photoshop, Illustrator and/or InDesign.
I remember back in TAFE when I was learning Revit, trying to model and draft a project, I encountered so many obstacles. Whether it was something simple like re-numbering the window schedule, or creating an extrusion, or simply altering the hatch patterns, I kept encountering new challenges as I was progressing. What this meant was I spent considerable amounts of time Googling and on Revit forums trying to figure out how to do something. In my mind, I wasn’t the first person to come across this problem, and that the people before me decided to upload the solution on the internet, somewhere. So I’d read tutorials or watch YouTube videos, but this was something that I needed to do for myself, I could not expect our Revit teacher to go into this level of detail given the limited time we had.
That is something architecture students need to understand, architecture school isn’t there to teach you “everything”. You really need to put the effort into learning things on your own, and more importantly, know how to find the answer. One of my favourite movies is The Pursuit of Happyness with Will Smith, and one of my favourite quotes from that movie is, during an interview, “Um, I'm the type of person that if you ask me a question and I don't know the answer, I'm gonna tell you that I don't know. But I bet you what, I know how to find the answer and I will find the answer.” You should be learning through architecture school not just facts and figures, but more so process, how to find the answer to a problem.
I know this has drifted from Dom’s original thinking but I wanted to use this Architecture 1o1 series to relate the advice architect’s give to my own experience with architecture school.