Architecture university is a continuous challenge, a test of resistance facing all-nighters, subjective criticism and financial efforts, while required to stay creative and open to new ideas. Difficult as they may seem the night before deadlines, once these aspects pass we somehow understand that they are part of our lives now and we start asking ourselves: “What comes next?…”
So, here are 10 ideas for those of you in need of inspiration on your architectural journey:
1. Remember your initial motivation for choosing architecture
What expectations did you have before entering uni? Remember the long preparation process, all those moments spent sketching and studying, and, after all, the satisfaction of seeing your drawing evolution in time. How did you see architecture then, what did you aspire to achieve? Remember: no matter how challenging the road is, everything that you do at the moment is meant to take you closer to those wishes. All that really counts is heading for a good aim and stepping up with confidence.
2. Take a break
A clear mind can make better decisions and work more efficiently. In order to be creative you need your inner resources to be at full level. If the right idea does not come at some point, the best you can do is to detach yourself for a while, recharge our batteries, sleep, relax. Simply enjoy your free time – you deserve it. When you come back to work, you will be able to observe your projects from a wider perspective and not be trapped in irrelevant details.
Books, articles, online magazines… everything can inspire you and add valuable experience. Being well-informed about the latest achievements in the field offers you a starting point, a source to which you can relate in your own projects. However, an architect’s reading list does not limit to this topic of architecture. Cultivating your sensibility and enriching your general knowledge will always have a word to say in your work results. An architect is responsible for creating a living environment, so he or she must understand the existing context and its evolution process. History, psychology, universal and contemporary literature can very well make a bookmark topic for an architect. Also, the biographies of great personalities in the architecture field (and not only) can inspire you a lot in ways in which you can relate to your life in order to achieve your goals.
‘A picture is worth a thousand words….’ And a real experience of space, a lot more. When presenting a project, we always use images. For a final presentation, a quality rendering can be worth several days of work. What for? Because we want the viewer to experience what the reality of our project would be like. More than the sensorial experience, what matters is the unique spirit of the place, which must be experienced personally. Visit architectural monuments, urban squares, village roads, any place that reminds you of the most beautiful part of your future profession.
Put your ideas on paper, take notes of the interesting quotes you find in books, leave a mark of your daily journey through the years. This may help you realize the importance that every day has in your evolution and could even motivate you to make your daily practice more interesting and complex. ‘Making memories’ should be an everyday aim for a fulfilling lifestyle. Moreover, writing your impressions helps a lot in developing your fluency in writing, organizing your time better and putting your thoughts in order.
6. Use your imagination
Architecture is so much about creativity! Keep yourself curious, open up to new situations and see how you can face the challenges. Imagine what you would like to change in your home, in your town, what you would like to experience in a different way. Sketch the ideas that cross you mind, see how far they can take you. In this profession, even as a student, a truly important aspect is to care, to search for improvement, to understand the current state of the world, to be able to see it on a larger scale. Trusting your imagination can lead to unexpected achievements, useful experience and a boost of self-confidence.
7. Find ways to apply what you learn in school
Another important aspect: architecture school does not equal architecture itself. The university is just an education system that guides you in a certain amount in your preparation. But the architecture that you will do depends on much more than that, especially on your own initiatives: what you like to study, what you choose to research, how you apply the knowledge gained, in which activities you take part, and also your attitude towards others, the profession and even towards yourself.
8. Showcase you work
In this profession it is important to make a name for yourself, to show off your abilities, to offer others what you have best. On the other hand, constructive criticism can help a lot at improving and inspiring you. This is why you should let the world know about your work – school projects, art works or writings, anything you are passionate about. Social media and blogging platforms can be a good start, apart from traditional exhibitions. In this way you can also facilitate an easier understanding of architecture for people outside this field.
9. Learn new things
Architecture implies a broad understanding of the context – the more you know or experience, the better you can answer to a specific problem as an architect. There are so many fields related to architecture. Starting a new hobby or a new study subject keeps your motivation high and your mind active.
You really have a lot to tell. Architecture school expands your general knowledge and enriches your personality. Engage in dialogue with your colleagues, your professors, with people that share your interests. In practice, efficient communication is essential: being able to express your ideas and listen to the client’s needs and expectations can make the difference between a great project and a mediocre one.
Studying architecture, both at university and by yourself, is one of the most beautiful choices and is definitely worth the effort. It is your occasion to offer the world an original contribution to the future of culture. Maybe it happens differently for everyone of us, but we still share the same aim and it can really make a difference when we share these experiences. So… which are your own ways to motivate yourself on your architectural journey?