5 Lessons I Learned From Architecture School

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Architecture school is a wild and unforgiving beast. The weak fall, and only the brave survive. 

When I first began architecture school two and a half years ago, I was extremely unprepared for the behemoth undertaking. Although I understood that pursuing my college degree in architecture would require a decent amount of commitment and hard work, I didn’t anticipate all of the long hours I would spend in the studio, and the countless nights I would go without sleep.

Looking back on my education experience, architecture school has taught me several valuable lessons about life, and how to become a successful architect and designer: 

#1 Just Go With the Flow

The first lesson I learned from architecture school was to just go with the flow.

Early on in my education career, I waisted a lot of my time by overthinking school projects. In order to succeed, and perform well academically, I felt like I had to micro-manage every aspect of the design process. As I further progressed in school, I quickly realized that this method of designing was unproductive.

Today, I approach the design process more organically. Instead of planning everything out, I jump right into my projects and see where the design takes me.

#2 Be Humble and Kind

The second lesson I learned from architecture school was to be humble and kind.

During my freshman year in college, I had a classmate who made me feel deeply insecure about my design talents. Whenever we had a class critique, my classmate approached the class discussion with a know it all attitude and ego. Even though my classmate never said anything negative, or put anyone down, his harsh criticism drove a sharp wedge in between everyone in my class, and made me feel insignificant as an artist and designer. 

Ever since that class, I try my hardest to treat my peers with dignity and respect.

#3 Better Done Than Perfect

The third lesson I learned from architecture school was to let go of the idea of perfection.

There’s no such thing as perfect.

At the beginning of architecture school, I struggled with completing my projects and assignments on time, because I strived for perfection. Now that I’m older and a little bit wiser, I recognize the importance of meeting deadlines. I realize that its better to have something done than “perfect” so I can move onto the next thing.

#4 Be Confident 

The forth lesson I learned from architecture school was to be confident.

Architecture is a highly competitive field. If I wanted to swim above the rest of the fishes, I realized early on in school that I had to be  a confident designer who was self-assured of his skill set. Although I still struggle with projecting confidence through my craft as a young designer, I always make sure to advertise my best qualities when ever the opportunity presents itself.

#5 Fail Often

The fifth and final lesson I learned from architecture school was to fail often.

College is the place where you make mistakes. Its the perfect environment to experiment with new ideas, and develop solutions that lead to success.

Throughout my undergraduate studies as an architecture student, I’ve experienced tremendous failure. While I admit that it can sometimes be discouraging, I’m starting to understand that failure is apart of the process. If I want to succeed in my career, I have to fail often as possible as I can.


Thank you for reading this blog post. If you found this content interesting, press subscribe, and check out my blog post from last week: Off the Grid: Bread Nugent. I post new blogs every Monday.

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