As the end of academic year approaches for most architecture students in the Northern Hemishphere, I would like to dedicate the next few weeks to writing about the infamous ‘crit’. Love it or hate, it seems like this perverse anthropological ritual is here to stay.
Many of us have stumbled until we finally got the hang of this so called the crit? The purpose of it and importance of it and the relevance of it i the architectural education. I am not or am I against this 200years old tradition of assessing student’s work, nay rather I would like to explore it further and hopefully to bring out what could be the relevance of it in the digital age.
There’s a lot of advice about preparation and what it entails, sites such as Portico, First in Architecture site, a jounal and a book called The Crit can be a good resource to those wishing to know more or have an alternative view about.
At the weekly tutorials, one of the students asked me what software they should use for their designs and which one is ‘good‘. I was left perplexed… I attempted to make an inttellligent suggestion as I perused my thoughts for programmes which I have used in the past and current. Rhinoceros+Grasshopper spit out through my lips and the reveberation were echoed to the ears of the students.
This left the student with other questions such:
- as is it going to help me get a job?
- Is it easy to learn?
- How long would it take for me to be proficient at using it?
Legible question I should add because when I was choosing to learning any software it was not because it will help me best explain the project. It was mainly to do with being employed once I have learned it. I think today an architecture studets is required to learn so many programmes that it’s even hard to figure out which one would best suit the industry standards. Autodesk are the one championing the BIM idea and other companies are buying to this idea. The profession seems to be enthralled with a degree of quasi softwarism that is emerging to direct how people should design and make things. This is a compilation that was conducted by someone on archdaily that a student allowed me to see it, that help the lost to indentify which software they are ought to use with regards to their design skills and interests-it fails to cover a lot of things.
My on learning new porgrammes thus far it seems to be oriented towards what the industry is requiring rather than me providing the knowledge of how I think and apply my design intution. I am more focused on learning to meet specific practice in order than they find work which is similar to their taste so that they can easily employ me- i think with most students this is what they are focused on. The prioritisation of learning software rather than the cultivation of new knowledge in light of emerging industry technologies.
NB: Most of these programmes do pretty much the same thing. (Learn the difference between mesh, vector or nurbs and you will be fine)
We look forward to the start of this school: http://www.freeschoolofarchitecture.org/
Who knows it might shakes things up in terms of how architecture is being taught. This is the article that offers the description of the professor and the overall vision of the school; Article.
Who is benefitting from this presentation?
I look forward to creating more post that will allow students embarking on a journey to become a architect have an enriched understanding of the various habits that are developed along the journey. I and other contributors will refrain from reiterating the stereotypes…
I look forward to learning from you and also imparting some new light on the education of becoming an architect
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