Some people enter Architecture School thinking about arts and roses with a bit of a mathematical touch. However, soon they find themselves in a shock as they are hit with sudden extraordinary challenges.

Everyone cries more than once at architecture school. It’s just a bitter reality. You are expected to spend your whole semester and your whole life working on your studio project. Many students quit in the freshman year while some give up in the middle of school to pursue legal studies or business or something.

You, on the other hand, are made for architecture. What we are offering you here is not just a survival guide but tips that will help you make the most of your school years. Trust us and read on to find out How to survive Architecture School Like a Boss!

Find Your Motivation!

It is a race at architecture school. That means, if you pause, you’re a goner. The only way to keep moving is to make yourself determined to succeed. Think about “WHY architecture?” Have an objective! You will pass the semester anyway, but if you want to do it happily and enthusiastically, you must find your motivation.

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Pay attention to your own behavior and architectural style, know who you are and move on accordingly.

Do NOT Be an All-Nighter!

You do not have to. If you use 7 studio-hours for work, you will have 7 hours of work by the end of the day. The only guy who pulls all-nighters is this dude you see in your studio:

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Get your act together and manage your time wisely. Think of it as a job and finish your tasks while you are at school. Trust me, you will never be able to do your best after 2:00 am. Countless studies have shown that working late night is harmful to your brain and kills productivity!

Hard Work Is Its Own Reward!

There are people who really work hard, and there are those who ‘show’ that they work hard. You know very well which category you belong to, and your instructor knows it too. Just don’t think you can get away with it because you will surely face the truth in the most public way.

Courtesy of CBS from How I Met Your Mother

Avoid Last-Minute Changes!

Do not get caught up in minor details. No one cares about the size of the toilet seat in your plan unless that is all your design comes down to. I know it gets pretty tempting to keep making changes till the last minute but we have to be smarter. Your main goal is to present your idea to others; thus, you should mainly care about things that would support it i.e. drawings, renderings, design process, sketches, etc.

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Think backward from the day you will present so you can avoid all the useless details and save time.

Your Professor Is Your Client!

You can be confident that your professor does not just want you to succeed, rather he wants you to be the best. So, abuse their office hours and get them engaged in your project so they feel as if your success is their success. Articulate your logic to them and take their feedback.

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Note: keep in mind that the instructor’s job is to guide you through your project and not to do it for you.

Do Not Stress Over Jury Reviews!

Most architecture students get super tensed on the jury day; the big day in their lives. Some people only work throughout the semester just to get a positive feedback from the jury. Well, here’s good news: your professor is the one who grades you. He knows all about the struggles you went through to achieve this result, whereas the jurors are just there for a 10-minute assessment. Mostly, their comments are an egoistic way to make your project about what they are into.

Courtesy of Yale

Typically, those with impressive visual presentations score higher with the reviewers, but don’t worry! Your instructor knows the true potential of every project, and while graphics matter, the actual value lies in the conceptually-deep and technically-workable projects.

Perhaps the real benefit of jury reviews is for you to learn the art of speaking publicly with confidence.

Develop Social Skills!

Like we said, communication and socialization skills are vital. An architect who can break the ice with the client and make a connection would be on a higher pedestal than a skilled designer. Believe me, the kid who, you think, stinks at designing but can only talk about their work, will be your CEO. You just haven’t acknowledged it yet.

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Learn to socialize to make your survival easy and blissful both inside and outside of school.

Design your Portfolio Wisely!

The portfolio is really important, so keep updating it as you move on. Though, at some point, you will realize that your work wasn’t all that you thought it was. Quality renders are supportive but highly overrated. Know that if you fill your portfolio with renders, you will be the “render guy”, if anything. A wiser way to design it is by illustrating your analytical skills and design thinking.

Left: Courtesy of Schmidt hammer lassen architects – Right: Courtesy of Dimitar Dobrev

Respect Others’ Opinions!

Avoid unnecessary baggage at school by paying attention to everyone’s opinions. Respect what others have to say and sincerely consider their suggestions if they are beneficial for your project.

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This skill will not just help you survive architecture school but many of life’s other challenges.

Hang Out With Buds To Survive Architecture School!

It is of utmost importance that we guide you to stay up maybe a bit late if it is for the sake of hanging out with your studio mates. Going out for a meal or simply for a walk together can build healthy relationships and increase unity within the studio. Friendly solidarity among class-fellows eventually makes school-life easy.

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So long as you finish your work early enough, you can party all you want.

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