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School v. the Real World
by Katy Purviance on 01/06/09 @ 10:31:27 am
Categories: Grad School | 470 words | 2177 views

I just came across a blog post by an architecture student from Johannesburg, South Africa.

Sunday, January 04, 2009
Goodbye Architecture
So after 4 years I have decided to say my goodbyes to architecture, and Im thrilled about it. It takes a while to admit when something is wrong for you- but I refuse to wake up everyday with a deep sense of dread in the pit of my stomach. I know plenty of people go to work everday, doing a job that they’re not happy with, but stick with it because of financial security or a comfort zone - I am not one of those people! Even though I havent a clue what I’m going to do now, I feel as though a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I somehow have faith that things will fall into place. In the meantime, Im going to start a new blog, that hopefully will be updated more regularly and will probably focus on photography which is really the one thing I can probably say that I’m passionate about. I do however have the utmost respect for architects! Its a challenging job, and takes amazing people to do it well.

She posted images of her final project. You gotta see them.

So then here’s a comment somebody left:

This post showed up in a Google alert for me on architecture. I must say that I do find your buildings to be very interesting and active. There are many elements in your work that emphasize your sensitivity to the terrain. I would certainly like to see the plan of some of these, it is much more important than the exteriors.

One thing that school doesn’t teach you, and they actively lobby against it, is that focusing on exteriors disregards the reason for a building, what is happening INSIDE. Exterior aesthetics are important, but only to the person that views a building as an object, rather than a building, which is constructed to offer protection from the OUTSIDE.

I too hated architecture school with an unabated passion, but after getting out, the job is nothing like college. It seems that the only people that try to teach architecture students are the people that were massive failures at performing the work. In other words, they are useless to the world other than removing the desire from students to do good work. They place emphasis on theory, rather than real world concepts. Drawings and models are nice, but the built environment is the end result, not a bunch of pretty stuff in the studio.

That said, architecture is honestly the most fulfilling profession that you could possibly find if you actually like studying the built environment. Hopefully, the professors have not killed that for you because your exterior designs are very engaging.

Good luck!

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places where you could probably learn more about designing and building in just a few days than I did after a year of grad school

Know of some others I can add here? Let me know. Have you already visited some of these places...or planning on it? Let me know and I will feature your story and your photos here!

I am starting a new kind of architecture school. Unlike most architecture schools, you wouldn't have to submit GRE scores or good grades or letters of recommendation. You wouldn't have to put the rest of your life on hold for 3 to 5 years. You wouldn't have to accrue tens of thousands of dollars in debt. At my architecture school, anyone could come for a few weeks and learn how to build a house with their own two hands. My teachers would take skills and concepts from some of these other workshops I've listed above... except classes would be held year-round to make it easy to fit into your schedule. I would have a number of different campuses around the country that would teach building designs appropriate to the local climate. And I need your help. Can you donate land for a campus? Can you dotate books for a library? Can you teach a workshop? Can you provide start-up capital? Let me know.

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