Late in August, ARCHDaily authored and posted an article entitled, Ultimate List of Advice for Incoming Architecture Students. Below is a link to the article, but I thought I would also provide additional comments to the list.

Not exactly, but the list somewhat parallels an entry I wrote just a few weeks ago — You Are an Architecture Student — See below.

Below is the list from ARCHDaily along with any comments from me. Please note that the initial ARCHDaily article has commentary for each item in the list; to see their commentary, visit the initial article.

School is what you make of it, so give it your best.

Ask Questions:  Absolutely! Do ask question and ask them of all in the school community — faculty, fellow students, and staff. Specifically, ask questions of the architecture library.

Teach yourself: Yes and related to the above item, do ask for help in learning what is needed — especially students more advanced that you.

Organize & catalog your research: Did you know that Evan Sharp created Pinterest for this exact reason; when I was in school (pre-internet), we did the old paper method but you would keep copies of “stuff” that would inspire you.

Travel: Not exactly sure, but about 25% of students travel abroad during their studies — compare that to architecture students — about 60%. Early on, talk to upperclass students to learn more about the study abroad offerings of your school.

Read all that you can: When I taught, I would tell students that most architecture books are mostly images (pictures). Not really, but they do have images. Ask your faculty for recommendations.

Visit ArchDaily for inspiration: Yes, but there are also other sources for inspiration — read the periodicals in your architecture library. Others include — Architizer, Dezeen, and Houzz. Of course, there are others.

Don’t be afraid to question your teachers: 


Be Patient: 

Create freely: 

Go to class: Not only go to class, but sit in the front row and ask for help when needed.

Stay busy: 

Architecture school can be strenuous, but you’ll be far more effective as a fully functioning student than as an overworked zombie.

Don’t be competitive: Typically, architecture students are NOT competitive; in fact, they are the opposite. Most will help each other in doing whatever needs being done.

Get some sleep: Do not brag about doing all-nighters; if you are do all-nighters, you are doing something wrong. For me, I would take a power nap from about 5:30pm – 7:00pm (after dinner) and work every night until 2:00am. Plus, I worked solid for Friday evening and Sundays.

Join a soccer/frisbee/croquet/dance/etc team: Do this to stay active and maintain your sanity — “all work and no play makes you dull.” When I was in school, we had a pick-up volleyball game each Thursday.

Purchase wisely: You will purchase supplies — most of which you will keep forever, but you will also NOT purchase many books (some exceptions). Just keep your spending in check.

Enjoy every new project: 

Stay energized: 

Cook for yourself: 

Make friends: Do make friends as your studio mates may friends for life or someone may become your partner. From experience, I do not recommend you date someone from your studio. As well, make friends of students in other majors or across campus.

These are people you’ll be working with for 4-5 years so leave a good impression!

Respect others: 

Respect the studio space: I had a faculty colleague who would tell the students to ONLY do studio work in studio; work for your other courses should be done elsewhere.

Keep spare clothes/deodorant in your studio locker: 

A tin of mints goes a long way: 

Make it clear when you want to work: Aside from wearing headphones and a hoodie to indicate you do not want to be disturbed, may I suggest you find a time in studio when few students work. For me, that was Saturday mornings — no one would be there.

Not only will this help you have an easier time after you graduate, you’ll learn more about the profession and do better in school.

Build your network: Your best network is your classmates outside of the architecture program. Another faculty would say — go meet the business or engineering students.

Keep your options open: Regardless of whether you struggle or not, keep your options open — consider a minor or just taking a course across campus. Many graduates have pursued other careers beyond architecture.

Build: One criticism of an architectural education is that it is NOT hands-on. Thus, become involved with construction or building. Become involved with Habitat for Humanity or AIAS Freedom by Design on your campus. Or obtain a position in construction. I worked in construction for three summers.

Learn to write and present: Most students hate to write; this if very true for architecture students but writing is an important skill to learn. Use your professor and campus writing center to improve your writing. And, practice and develop your oral presentation skills.

Stay humble: 

There you have it — ARCHDaily’s Ultimate list of advice for incoming architecture students with some additional comments from me.

Eric Oh. “ArchDaily’s Ultimate List of Advice for Incoming Architecture Students” 22 Aug 2019. ArchDaily. Accessed 4 Sep 2019. <> ISSN 0719-8884

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