101 Things I learned in Architecture School:Review
So you’ve read this and you still want to pursue a career in architecture. Fantastic, and good for you. The next 3 years of your architectural life (if you are studying in the UK) are going to be spent at a university, achieving either your BA or BS Hons in Architecture.
Nothing you’ve experienced so far, at college or secondary school will have prepared you for what will be 3 of the hardest years of your life. Habitables is here to help you through those dark nights, when inspiration is low, and your drive is gone. One of the best pieces of advice we can instill upon you is to turn to the place we turned whilst we were studying, when things were hard.
Matthew Frederick is the author of ’101 Things I learned in Architecture School’, I book I turned to during my studies. It’s full of plenty of great tips, thoughts, quotes and ideas that really are key if you want to survive your Architecture degree.
Who is Matthew Frederick?
Matthew Frederick is an architect and urban designer in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He has taught at a number of colleges and universities, including Boston Architectural College and Wentworth Institute of Technology. With this wealth of educational and work experience Matthew has written this book, to pass on this knowledge to the next generation of architects.
In conjunction with Matthew and MIT Press, the publicists, we are delighted to present to you what we believe to be 4 of the most valuable lessons in the book. As with all the tips within the book, you should view these as guides to help you through your studies as appose to stead fast rules to work by. Studying to be an architect is all about finding your own path, working out the best practises that suit your style, with the goal of creating an adaptive approach to complex, architectural puzzles. Use these tips to enhance and improve your studies, and like Matthew Frederick, you to can develop a broader, better approach to your education, and your career.
Understanding space, both negative and positive
When we create a building, we create spaces. The spaces we use are called positives, those we move through are negative. Appreciating the space required for circulation through a building will better help you understand how to better arranging your habitable areas.
Don’t be Precious
As a student you should be aiming to produce and develop ideas in response to a brief. You’ll often find the concept that you’ve been working on prior to a briefing or critique doesn’t do so well under scrutiny, or you may find yourself unhappy with a design. Don’t be afraid to completely scrap one idea that isn’t working to explore another.
Be a Meta-Thinker
It is important to evaluate your work, its equally important to evaluate the way you think. Understanding the way you are approaching a problem will not only allow you to know where you went wrong, but also to know where you went right.
Know your Form
It may be useful for you to know that most buildings fall into one of four categories in terms of the form they take. Familiarise yourself with them, apply them to your methods, identify the form used in some of the worlds greatest architecture. Understand form will help you appreciate the design.
There you have it, just a quick peek into the pages of 101 Things I learned in Architecture School, by Matthew Frederick. Its strength lies in the clarity of its message. These points are designed to provide direction, to guide you towards a career that will have you constantly questioning the world around you, adapting yourself and your work to better it. It could be said that the book lacks a certain depth found in most architectural books, but this, I assure you is its strength. It delivers its message very on point, telling you just enough so that you may develop your own path, drive your own passion and begin to understand your course the way that suits you best. As Mies van Der Rohe would say “Less is more”.
To keep an eye on everything Matthew is up to, head on over to his site, Frederick Design Studio.
For more information on the book, head on over to MIT Press.
All Images courtesy of Matthew Frederick and MIT Press.