The Making Of

My interest in the architecture programme, in particular the studio programme at our architecture school is based on this question:

What is the quality or standard that we want the students to achieve at the end of each year? What are the skills or the profile (CV) that the students should have at the end of the year?

This discussion is work in progress. We have been at it since the late 90s, and almost one decade later, we are, shall I say, still concern about that quality or standard that we need to achieve for every studio year.

After attending all the studio presentations in the last two weeks plus discussing a point or two with people on the social dimension of the architecture studio and the architecture student, I expressed to the boss (KJ) the need to actually pursue the following line of argument.

An assumption is being made that, in order to achieve a vibrant architecture community at the school and a progressive culture, we need to focus on the subject of “identity” or the lack of it amongst the students. And I reasoned out that the lecturers also need to develop their own identities, which is their identity as a “studio master” and as an “architect”. I realized that more so when I had to be the 4th year studio master, where I had been negligent in this aspect. Yes, this aspect to project myself and my identity.

I think we need to open ourselves to the students by “sharing with them” our likes and dislikes, such as, my favourite architect is Louis Kahn (for example) and I like work that deals with strong formal aspects, does not matter what “ism” it is, and my approach to design is first to go deeply into the subject with lots of readings and definitions of the key words and here are some example of my studies that I did and here are some examples of work that I did (for my thesis). And this is my approach to architecture. Let’s all meet at the Capitol Hotel (for example) and discuss how good that building is. By the way, this other building is badly design because… We need to connect with the students and give them some bearing or some direction where they want to take and form their own identity. We need to directly or indirectly say to them, its okay to express your self. What sort of an architect are you?

I think we need to form our own sort of “atelier” in a group teaching setting. As long as we follow the deadlines and programme structure and work within that structure we cannot go wrong.

I was just trying to form an outline of what to expect at the end of the year, but more so, what sort of identity we are trying to “build” in each year. Perhaps, we can also use the word “characteristics” rather than identity. I just like to use the word identity. Here is a summary of the latest outline of what we could expect at the end of each studio year:

BSc in Architecture Course – The Making of the Architectural Designer

1st year student: Basic Designer

  • Key Skill: Draftsmanship
  • Skills: Drafting skills; Architectural conventions; Model making; Design skills – ideas, composition; Basic form-making skills
  • Outcome: Application of Theory and Communication; Application of Graphics and Drafting; Application of Basic Design Principles; Application of Basic Construction

2nd year student: Architectural Designer Identity 1

  • Key Skill: Ideas and Form maker (Architecture Programme)
  • Skills: Advance drafting skills; Architectural conventions; Model making; Design skills – concepts (synthesizing two or three ideas)
  • Outcome: Application of Precedence Studies; Interpretation of Building Types; Application of Advanced Theory and Communication; Application of Advanced Graphics and Drafting; Application of Construction and Services

3rd year student: Architectural Designer Identity 2

  • Key Skill: Concept and Place maker (Urban Context)
  • Skills: Advance drafting, conventions, model-making skills; Design skills – Conceptualizing and Visualizing (synthesizing many ideas and making connections)
  • Outcome: Application of Analytical Tools; Application of Advance Precedence Studies; Reformulation of Basic Design Problem; Application of Sustainable Design; Application of Integrated Building System

B Arch Course – The Making of the Architect

4th year student: Architect Identity 1

  • Key Skill: Experimentation
  • Skills: Design skills – Conceptual model; Experimenting methods and tools
  • Outcome: Application of Advance Analytical Tools; Synthesis of Advance Precedence Studies; Reformulation of Varied Design Problems; Synthesis of Sustainable Design; Application of Advance Integrated Building System

5th year student: Architect Identity 2

  • Key Skill: Thinker & Philosopher
  • Skills: Design skills – Design Thesis; Validating a Conceptual model;
  • Outcome: Application of Advance Analytical Tools; Synthesis of Advance Precedence Studies; Reformulation of Varied Design Problems; Synthesis of Sustainable Design; Application of Advance Integrated Building System

 

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5 thoughts on “The Making Of

  1. Hi, miss nazi
    I m a third year architecture student.
    recently very sad with the portfolio review,not becoz of the grade.
    But is about are we third year that bad?
    Recently receive many critics about our third year studio.
    They say that we only know how to do graphic thing, but graphic without content. Means the board will fancy 3d but without design.
    Do you think we are that bad? Are we really fail to achieve the standard so much?
    Are we only know how to do graphic? but not design?

    I really wanted to know ur reply.
    If we fail to get LAM, will be our fault?

  2. Hi 3rd Year Student,

    This year is tough for all of us and especially for a 3rd year student, as the standard to be achieved will be additionally tested by the MPSM accreditation board’s approval whether we get LAM Part 1.

    Our biggest challenge as a school is the C grade or minimum pass quality of work. We are strict on this due to the scrutiny of the accreditation board. If we let go and not be strict with the standard of the C grade students in particular we may not get LAM Part 1. The work of B and A grade students are of higher standards and should help us. But those with C grade have to be upgraded.

    I am sorry that this will affect your exams revision and I hope you will keep calm and be patient.

  3. thanks for your reply, I understand the requirements to get the LAM is high.

    but mis nazi, some of us really wanted to know:

    1. from your observation, are we third year students only know how to do 3d graphic? but no design? Are we design without content?

    sorry if i insist on the answer, haha………thanks ya mis nazi

  4. Not true. For students who have A grade, there design content is very good, for B grade, it is a good attempt at design, however for C grade the design in minimal and passable. There are instances where a C grade in design shows an A grade in 3D graphics. Usually it is only possible to do with CAD, that is to hide the poor quality in design with 3D graphics. We can see that if we look closely. If look at it quickly we cannot see this. Usually with manual techniques the quality of presentation reflects the design. Meaning its hard to hide poor quality design with 3D graphics. Our comments during portfolio review is “general” not specific. Time and time again I would advice you to seek one to one tutoring with your lecturer and others in the department.
    My concern is more on construction that works.

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