The Mash Up…

February 12, 2024


Top 5 Lessons From Summer Design Studio

This week I’m finishing up tutoring and final marking for a Summer Design studio for first years.

It was a small group, which gave us the luxury of students really being able to get to know one another and me being able to spend some quality time with each of them each week.

I was pondering some of the big lessons that came out of this studio – both for me and for students the – that might be able to help you as you prepare for your next semester

  • Create a study group – As s small group of 11, these students set up an online chat and arranged times to come in and work together in the studio. This allowed them to ask questions and help one another outside of studio and tutorial times.
  • Start early – As a first year studio, this was divided into four small projects and presentations every 3 weeks. This forced students to start early – so important in longer projects!!!
  • Be consistent – As always, the students who worked consistently and presented work each week resolved their design and avoided crazy stress at the end.
  • Find something that inspires you (early)! – Those who found something about the project that excited them early on gained momentum, consistency – and a clear concept! This requires more front-end research in the beginning, but it always pays off!
  • Ask for help – When you’re stuck, go to class, turn up and ask for help. You’ll get moving way faster than sitting at home buy yourself trying to get unstuck.

What’s New This Week

First year can be so overwhelming. In fact, the first ten to fifteen years of architecture can be overwhelming!

There’s so much new information, ideas and constant learning. There’s design concepts and theory, drawing skills, history and theory, construction and documentation, then professional practice and study skills. It’s a lot.

Coming out of this studio, I thought I’d consolidate a clear list of ten books I regularly recommend to first years.

I’ve divided them into five categories that cover architectural basics – general, communication, design, construction and history.

While these books are a good basis for beginners, they are not beginners books. Many of them (especially design and construction) are regularly referenced in practice and serve as great reminders.

Read the full article here >

An Exercise For You

If you’re headed into a new semester this year, I challenge you to check out my list of ten books and see if there’s any that you aren’t aware of. Or, are there some that you know of but haven’t really spent a lot of time studying or absorbing.

Consider one of your weak areas that needs some work. Do you need to brush up on some drawing or communication skill, or developing designs or understanding construction and how buildings go together?

Is there a book on this list you could get a hold of and spend some time studying? Consider one of your previous projects and how you could apply some of these ideas to your own work.

  • What drawing type could have communicated an idea better?
  • Could you have used different design strategies?
  • Could you find construction details that could apply to a past design project?
  • Is there a certain building, era or architectural style you want to know more about?

How can you use this time off to get ahead?

Until next time…

…Liz at ArchiMash

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