Beautiful landscape, Scotland
Before final year submissions
To the students wanting to become Architects
I hope this finds you well and in good spirits. I have to apologise for being out of touch in the recent weeks. Travel and performance review at work occupied my thoughts.
I am writing this as I remedy my turbulent emotions and a feeling of dissapointment. Courage and enthusiasm has been sucked out of me and the blows that I confronted have left bruises that are slowly recovering. What I am trying to say is that my performance review didn’t go so well and there’s a high chance I will be fired at the end of the month. Tick tock… the search for a new job has started.
What’s odd about the situation I find myself in, is the fact that from the previous review I was asked if I could focus on placing myself in a position where I might be able to take RIBA Part 3 Exam in a couple of years time. I have made effort for this to happen, registered myself with an accredited University and embarked on a literature review of the possible question I might encounter at the exam. All this effort is amounting to very little evident progress as projects have gone slow, I turn up to work to find nothing for me to do apart from browsing the internet, endless tea/coffee break and a chit chat with the staff members.
Yes, Part 3 is a long and difficult path, but its relation to the academic providers and the awarding bodies can be optimised to provide effective experience and exposure for students who endevour to become Chartered members of the profession.
To summarise my uncoherent thoughts, for anyone to become an Architect, they must get into the right job that provides the right experince and exposure, be close to an academic institution to enable him/her in attending lectures, attending construction industry conferences and being part of a architecture community that engages on topic relevant to the progress of the profession.
I am now approaching a year and six months since completing a MArch, and my head is full of construction terminologies, legislative requirements adhered to, the dynamics of dealing with clients and builders, and also adapting to the ever-changing office environment, be it projects, design teams or constant deadlines that have to be met. In light of these occurrences and a quest to receive a Chartership status, it becomes clear that my approach in design has changed (blame the projects), dress sense has been modified and an attitude to learning has been refined to cater for the requirements of the upcoming board exam.
What has become apparent though in these past months is that a graduating student like I and others have vast gaps in knowledge that could only be filled by practising the profession. The elephant in the room is that there is the subtle disconnect between what Architecture as a profession aspires towards, the reality of practising and its distorted alienation with the academia. It’s like sailing on a ship with no captain. To squeeze in a few years of academic education together with some practical experience which is not guaranteed post the first degree is unrealistic. If we are to maintain the presitige and develop a pool of skilled individuals dedicated to design and administer the development of the landscape/be it cities through their design interventions models of training and career development will have to be advanced required societal needs.
Testament of these can be witnessed in the various types of articles and research conducted by other media platform:
- For the Architecture in practice, it is about acquiring projects that will help develop her/his practice to another level. Funds fits quality of design intervention.
- For the registration body, it is about providing the illusion of being relevant to the profession whilst having a small degree of influence.
- For the institution, it is a constant search to display a degree of value to the public.
The partial evidence has been displayed and the witness has provided an account that can only describe the tusk of the Elephant. Should you wish to know more open your critical eyes and engage with current developments of the enviroment to which you will inhabit.
It’s through your participation in ongoing discussion of neighbourhood nay city development that a profession rendered with prestige, might be unstuck in a rut of producing ubiquitious extrusions which are brainchilds of a single ideology be it glocal movement.
Following the previous post on the Crit…. I took it upon me to develop somekind of manuscript or guidance manual for the crit. This will include the various topics which might be related to the crit.
This came after coming across, The Crit An Architecture Student’s Handbook: Seriously Useful Guides (Architectural Students Handbooks). This book by
Crit that has remained for many decades. The following notes will be a comment on a tradition that I see as resisting change and lack proressive vision and organisation.
This is the a booklet which I hope will be a gift to students at early stages of their career: Elements of the booklet will include
Crit Map: Using the layout of the Universities I attended and invited for th crit, we will place areas where the crit spaces are occurring in those environments. This is similar to most schools as the layout of many studios are ubiquitios.
Table of Contents
- History of the crit (Where it all started)
- Layout of the crit_ set up (communication of rigorous information/process to tutors) Studio Layouts
- Varies depending on school or the time of the year (formal and informal)
- Why crit? Assessment methods
- Characters in the crit
- Refer to pizza crit
- Preparation for Crit_
- It start with studio attendance and sharing of ideas
- (Start Making lines-There more the lines the better)There’s no time to lose nor is the room for vacillation_ The time to be creative is now, multitude are waiting for your ideas to manifest
- Sharing a meal with friends is always good idea
- That time will not manage itself. All it knows is to go around
- Get some sleep
- Tidy yourself up_ To shower or not shower. Don’t be like me and wait for the rain to turn up
- Types of students, which one are you?
- Presentations_ dress code_ please reflect a degree of professinalism or personality
- Presentation_ Work_ Don’t be intermidated by the questions
- The late night attitude? Why are you doing this to yourself
- Post crit (Some drink some cry the gloom and blooms of crits
- Resting phase- Invite friends for social/ leisure activity
- Absorption of ideas and the criticism received
- Development of Project Further_ architecture only stops when you we are tired of being creative or dead…
- Refining knowledge
- Developing your character_ mental dexterity
- Practice_ You are developing your practice method not relying on being employed
- Developing new professional values
You have the capacity to enhance the architectural profession with the knowledge we have accumulated thus far… and you will bringing new professional values…
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.