Fourth post in the Architecture and Design series
On my last day of undergraduate classes as a social sciences major, I looked more like the architecture student futurity that I abandoned prior to entering university.
With a black oversized blazer and culottes, I fit the (completely fictional) stereotype of architects wearing dark-coloured clothes. What completed the architecture look was the large portfolio bag I deftly carried around, in order to keep the the final tabloid-sized (11×17”) prints for my final presentation flat.
For my last class was not a class for my major, but rather the city visuals course. To top it off, it was presentation day, for which we had to bring in our final drawings for one last crit session – thus the large print outs.
All throughout today, I mused how it was very neat to finish my undergraduate classes this way, doing a presentation like the architecture course I had in high school. Being the architecture student that I might have been, rather than the social sciences major that I actually am.
Since starting this course in January 2018, I’ve had the sense that I was returning to a past version of me. Through this course, I was exploring the future as an architecture student that I never had.
I made use of experiences from the summer high school architecture course in this university course. I attribute part of the success I had in my final project to the “Why” lesson I learnt all those years ago. From the get-go, I saw the need to establish a strong narrative to unify my project. I think I successfully achieved that as I did not receive any questions during crit about why certain components were relevant. Rather, I only received questions about the execution of my project, which did not dig deep at whether I successfully conveyed my concept or not.
In this course, I built on those experiences and deepened my understanding of design. I learnt about drawing principles, how to convey hierarchy of importance, and applied those lessons to real-life examples. I figured out how to use Adobe Illustrator for my final project. I wasn’t designing spaces, but I created visuals with purpose and demanded “Why?” as I contemplated designs, much like what an architect does.
All this reminiscing about my architecture and design history and the future I might have had is what prompted me to do the Architecture and Design series. This course has reaffirmed my interest in the way things are visually represented.
A friend who has read the posts asked me if I regretted not choosing to study architecture five years ago. To her, it sounded as if I saw greener grass on other side.
I reassured her that it was the opposite. Perhaps it sounded like I yearned to have done things differently and that I only declined my BArchitecture offer because I felt that I was not capable of doing well in that field. In reality, I love where I am nowadays. I also knew when declining my BArchitecture offer that is a Master’s degree in Architecture that is essential for an architecture career, and so I have always known that I could pursue that if I was still interested after my Bachelor’s degree.
That is not happening though. I will be pursuing further studies in the social sciences and I cannot recall pausing to consider architecture at any point during this undergraduate degree. I love what I am doing right now too much!
At the same time I began exploring the potential architecture student me when I started the city visuals course in January, I already realized how important my current interests are to me. While the prof went through examples of how visuals were biased, my mind instantly screamed, “Politics! Politics!”
So, though I came back to my interests in architecture and design during this term, I simultaneously am moving forward. Onwards, onto new adventures.