A Few Words about How to Study Architecture

A Few Words about How to Study Architecture

I dare say that majority of architects do not wish their children to follow in their footsteps… and I belong to them.

Nevertheless, if it were the only wish of my child, I would not prevent them from doing so. Let children do whatever they want but they should entirely throw themselves into it. Let them go, learn, progress and not stop. Because everything you do with your heart can be seen. Seen in your attitude, abilities and will. This is how I choose my co-workers as well. There is a certain passion for things. You cannot buy that, you can just be gifted with that.

I was thinking of how to help our craft to regain its value. In the course of time, it became unclear. Let’s be honest, the period when an architect actually meant something in our society, when people stood in a queue at their door, has been gone for decades. If we overlook the changing values of our society and the time period, I believe that it is mainly due to the fact that not everyone who studies architecture actually knows what he or she wants and is willing to sacrifice. Personally sacrifice. In general, graduates nowadays are disoriented and not ready for reality of life. They have no idea what this is all about and they actually have no essential knowledge. Is it because of their university syllabus, lecturers or their poor interest? Maybe they think that they will learn everything they are supposed to and everything that is necessary at a university. I used to think the same. But the truth is that they certainly will not. The university just helps you to learn the basics of architecture, what architecture actually is. When you graduate from a grammar school you learn the very basics and in case of a vocational construction school, your knowledge is a little bit broader. But the school itself does not teach you what it is like in harsh reality. It will not teach you that it is the most complex thing in the world. You have two options. If ambitiousness and assertiveness are inseparable part of your personality, then you will find out yourself. The second is that you allow somebody smarter and more experienced to lead you there. You also need to have some personality traits to be able to do this. Not everyone who graduates is humble enough to tolerate the fact that there is still a lot to learn. Maybe the system of education should change. To add more practice. To slightly open the door of that limited academic dungeon to see the real world.

For instance, our colleagues from the neighboring Austria established a private New Design University in the city of St.Poelten (NDU) that is built on other principles. To me, they offer a very attractive “course” called “Future Lab”. It is a platform created only by NDU and it is focused on interdisciplinary contact. Its students work in teams on real projects for an external client who will later put the given project into practice. It in fact enables them to be in the real creation process from the very beginning, to face real issues and complications from legislation, material and construction limits to coordination of co-workers from various professions. They realize that to be creative is not enough. One needs to be well-informed and good at math, physics and construction to be able to refute arguments such as: “it is not possible”, “no, it’s too difficult” or “it can’t be done like this”. And how should it be done? And the way it is done, is it really correct? Or is it just a routine or at least something easier? Everyone loves an easy way to do something. Is it not the truth? Big profit for poor performance. Today’s trend. But to overcome that huge “IT IS NOT POSSIBLE” is worth it.

So if you decide or you have already decided to study this beautiful yet difficult discipline, be ready to sacrifice everything to it. Your time, heart and passion.