Architecture Guide

It saddens me. Seeing photos of my batch mates, with their silky hair, sparkling eyes, a smile that turns to a smirk, wearing their togas, looking straight at you from your computer screen, kind of telling you: Ha!!

When i was in high school, i started making up this persona where i will become an architect in the future. When i was a senior, people already assumed i was going to take up this course. But things happened, college came, and i got enrolled in Business. And i am not going to tell the whole Business story- on how i ended up there, ‘cause i know i have talked about this my entire stay on that field and i am not going through the pain again. Not physical pain but a suffocating, mental fight between what i want and what others want for me. Actually, it was more on a fight between me and me. I was never pressured by mom, or anyone else, but me. I wanted to be out there. I wanted to chase something i wanted. I wanted to get out the comfort zone and make mistakes. And so i did.

Two years thrown down the memory pit. I started my first year again, but now in Architecture. And to tell you this, I made the right choice. Now i am on my third year. And endless plans are on my head at this moment. My future is clearer now. I don’t know how to tell you this, or how can i make you picture this, but i am happy. 

Architecture. It is indeed a battlefield. But if you’re ready for the fight, victory is yours. Here are some things you might want to know:

1. It is a course of endless migraine. You have to think thoroughly if your design works. It is not a simple drawing of a house. You have to think, and rethink, if your design could withstand all possible calamities; if the users could find their way to where they want to be with ease; are there people with disabilities in the building; do people’s size and height matter; are the corners safe for the children; are the stairs slippery; where does the sun rises and sets; which direction gives you the cool and warm air; will the room gets too bright or too dim; are the colors pleasing enough or does it alter the occupants’ psychological perception of things in any way; is it functional; can a 0.5-meter column support this particular part of the construction– these questions can go on and on. Believe me. It is not all about drawings.

2. Who says there are no maths! This is a course of Aesthetics + Structural maths. (Aesthetics: Arts & Psychology; Structure: Physics & Math!)

3. It doesn’t end with mere designing. You’ll learn plumbing, electrical wiring, law, history (those are just what i have encounter in my 2 years, and i know there is more). There are also art projects that includes painting, photography and multi-media. There are computer stuff going on too. As well as speech communication!

4. Just like a lawyer, you have to defend all your designs– All the damn time.   (Why and how your design works) 

5. No sleep. Well, actually this varies from one person to another. It is all a matter of Time Management. If a project is given, then do it right away to not waste any more time. But not at all cases, there are designs that will take you sleepless ~weeks~.

6. Teamwork. There are projects that requires you to design a whole subdivision, then you need big help. So gain hard-working friends. And also, there will be lots of sleep-overs!

7. It is not all about simple layout, if you must know, a single project requires you to make floor plans (with detailed labels, dimensions, materials used, flooring layout, etc), drawings of the front elevations, left-side elevations, right-side elevations, rear elevations, cross sections, longitudinal sections, man’s eye perspective, aerial perspective, site development plans, structural plans and many many more. Imagine if you need this done in 1 night..

8. There is a lot of research needed. It’s not that simple. You might have to write 30 pages of hand-written research papers. Unlucky you if your professors require you a specific “font” you need to practice. There will be case studies of existing structures that you need detailed solutions on how the building was constructed.

9. Not to mention all the expenses. Yes– especially in making scaled models. You need to buy boards, model cars, people, and trees! Also, everyday plates require you to buy a batch of special papers that is expensive enough to cost you a kidney (kidding!) the worst that can happen is if you make a single ink blot, you have no choice but to start a new one. 

10. Travel. This is the best part. You need to go to project sites to learn first-hand about construction work. You need to visit potential places for your proposals. There might be a lot of “business talk” with officials in order to get some plan layouts of established buildings. You also need to travel very often to stay inspired!

All these things will be easy if you do it with passion. If you give yourself 100% on it. Do you know that feeling that you can finally see your future? That you already made plans and you’re trying to make things work one way or another? Then you start to learn how to save for yourself. You will see a brighter and happier you. And that is, if you follow your dreams. No matter what others order you to do this and do that, if you don’t like doing them, you already lost the battle between you and your dreams.