From Artist to Architecture ? mature applicant

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From Artist to Architecture ? mature applicant

Postby taizy8 » Sat Apr 29, 2006 6:55 pm

Am I mad?

I am in my early 40's and an artist, but I have always wanted to study architecture. I did'nt get the points at the time for UCD - went for interview at Bolton St. and they ( all men, who looked at portfolio) said "shouldn't you go to art school ?". Of course I had a backup plan and I managed to stick it out for a BA Fine art - now all those complaining about architecture school should have tried learning something at art school!!!
So I have had a meandering, eclectic career which has included web design, animation, interior design, as well as quite traditional and technical observational painting and drawing. I lived in the US for several years. The thing is I am not quite satisfied doing things for (usually rich) peoples walls, I am more excited by possibilities in building and design. I dream of being a benign dictator changing things around. I know that there's the real world and developers and people who like curtains and horrible conservatories. I have met a fair number of architects who are frustrated artists ! My partner is studying postgrad in ucd so has inspired me to research.
Is it too late to go back to study archhitecture? in Dublin ? what to prepare ? any ideas on the modular programme in UCD ?
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Re: From Artist to Architecture ? mature applicant

Postby el Pepe » Wed May 03, 2006 10:10 am

Hi,
I'm a 1st year student at ucd. There's a 54 year old student in our class, so it really is never too late to go back and study architecture. Granted he was a structural engineer, but art is just as applicable to the course. As regards modularisation, it is a change from the old system. The written exams are spread out over the year, with three at christmas and two at summer. I'm not sure if this is an improvement though, as it was, all the exams were together just after the three week study break at easter. The portfolio of projects is reviewed at christmas and summer, with a sepaerate grade for each viewing. It used to be that you could improve on the grade awarded at christmas after the review, but now that grade is final. There are some teething problems with the modularisation, like the deadlines for projects and portfolio submissions running quite close to exam times, but these should be worked out better for next year. I'm not sure how this system compares to other schools of architecture. As it stands it's just the 1st years who are modularised, but 2nd and 3rd years are due to be modularised in the coming term. Dublin's as good as anywhere to study i suppose. I was offereed places in a few british colleges but chose ucd for a number of reasons aside from convenience.They have quite a high student to tutor ratio, relatively small class sizes, good all round facilities(workshop, printshop etc), and a well stocked library which is very helpful, also the environmental policy agency and the urban institute of ireland is right next to the studios. Good luck in your decision, hope this was helpful.
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Re: From Artist to Architecture ? mature applicant

Postby experiMental » Wed May 03, 2006 5:42 pm

el Pepe: I'm thinking of studying architecture myself... I'm looking for a school of architecture that would provide me with both art/design related and technical knowledge of architecture.

In UCD school of architecture, are students taught technology-related subjects such as mathematics, physics, materials science, information technology and structural engineering in an in-depth detail?
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Re: From Artist to Architecture ? mature applicant

Postby el Pepe » Thu May 04, 2006 6:44 am

There seems to be a general misconception that ucd ignores the technical aspects of design in favour of the artistic. Even in 1st year we are obliged to consider fully how our designs could be constructed. You'd imagine this would be fairly fundamental, but from talking to friends who've studied in english colleges this isn't so. They would be awarded artistic licence when designing.

We have set lectures on building technology, environmemtal science, and structures. We have technical sessions once a week in the building workshop where we get our hands dirty with brickwork, plumbing, joinery etc. There are also technical workshops once a week where we work out the constructional details of our design and complete working drawings. The technical knowlege is built up gradually over the three years but in third year in particular every project must be worked to the last detail in order to be constructed. This is with the aim of making us more employable.

I could go on but this link will give you alot more information, and allow you to compare ucd with other course layouts, you may have checked it already.

http://architecture.ucd.ie/
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Re: From Artist to Architecture ? mature applicant

Postby Bren88 » Thu May 04, 2006 4:29 pm

I'm thinking of studying architecture myself... I'm looking for a school of architecture that would provide me with both art/design related and technical knowledge of architecture.


An education like the one you ask for above is ideal, at the end of it you can design and construct at the same time, saving time an money, eliminating along the way.
But is it possible.


There seems to be a general misconception that ucd ignores the technical aspects of design in favour of the artistic. Even in 1st year we are obliged to consider fully how our designs could be constructed.

We have set lectures on building technology, environmemtal science, and structures. There are also technical workshops once a week where we work out the constructional details of our design and complete working drawings.



Its interesting to hear a student architects opinion on "technical knowledge". But do you think the depth of study is enough? Are you shown the basics, so that your designs are somewhat realistic, or are they in depth enough that you could produce 1:5 construction details.
I worked with student architects on my final project this year. They were 3rd years students from bolton street. (Bolton street has always been known for being technical). They study all of the subjects you listed above. But the level of construction knowlege they are thought is less than expected.
Obviously i wouldn't judge every student like that but its a rough generalisation.

To get a professional workplace standard straight out of college its gonna take 8 years and two courses.
otherwise you'll have to learn from practical and professional experience.
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Re: From Artist to Architecture ? mature applicant

Postby experiMental » Thu May 04, 2006 5:52 pm

worked with student architects on my final project this year. They were 3rd years students from bolton street. (Bolton street has always been known for being technical). They study all of the subjects you listed above. But the level of construction knowlege they are thought is less than expected.


I've read books on construction (such as the famous "why things don't fall down" by J.Gordon), and I've realised that knowledge of construction really depends mostly on knowledge, application andunderstanding of theoretical subjects such as Mathematics, Physics and structural engineering. So in case of the students that you have reviewed, Bren 88, I guess that some of them didn't really put a lot of effort into understanding these subjects, and that lack of insight directly affected their construction knowledge and ability to construct their designs.

Oh, btw, thanks for the link, elPepe :D
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Re: From Artist to Architecture ? mature applicant

Postby Bren88 » Fri May 05, 2006 2:52 am

experiMental wrote:I've read books on construction (such as the famous "why things don't fall down" by J.Gordon), and I've realised that knowledge of construction really depends mostly on knowledge, application andunderstanding of theoretical subjects such as Mathematics, Physics and structural engineering. So in case of the students that you have reviewed, Bren 88, I guess that some of them didn't really put a lot of effort into understanding these subjects, and that lack of insight directly affected their construction knowledge and ability to construct their designs.


You have half my point, but missed on some. A good understanding of physics maths and basic structural engineering, will help alot in understand construction. Areas such as sizing beams and columns in steel or concrete, or in working out the deflection in the centre of a large span.

But that is only a small element of construction, and not the most important by far. Those subjects will not help much when it comes to detailing an awkward junction in a building. That is where basic principals come in.
I was reviewing a few students, it was a whole year, and all the work I have seen from other years.

They are just not expected to know everything, if they where they're wouldn't be people out there studying to fill the gaps.
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Re: From Artist to Architecture ? mature applicant

Postby experiMental » Fri May 05, 2006 2:01 pm

Bren88 wrote:They are just not expected to know everything


I have to concur on that point. Architecture courses cover so many topics that it is just impossible to specialise in one area and know everything about it.
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Re: From Artist to Architecture ? mature applicant

Postby rperse » Fri May 05, 2006 6:52 pm

just getting in is hard enough...
Sorry to bring down the tone but in my own experience it can be extremely difficult to get into architecture as a mature student in ireland. competition is still as much a factor as a mature student. i have been told by ucd and dit that each college allocates 6 places each year for mature students. 12 places competed for by about 100-150 candidates.
i would like to think your background would getv you in but its simply a numbers game; if 12 people are judged more suitable( by the all knowing men in suits) , you dont get in.
little wonder so many people choose (are forced) to study in the uk. if you want it enough the uk will provide...ireland probably wont...like i said, 12 places.
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Re: From Artist to Architecture ? mature applicant

Postby experiMental » Fri May 05, 2006 9:56 pm

rperse: what you've said in your last post is a little bit worrying... I'm going to apply into architecture as a mature student myself. I'm really hoping that University of Limerick and Waterford Institute of technology would reserve more than 6 places each for mature students. Otherwise I would also have to apply for British courses.

Sorry for being off topic, but I really want to satisfy my curiosity here ;) : Is it true that a student's Leaving Cert points DON'T determine whether he/she will become a better architect? The thing is, I've read an article in The Irish Times, which said that applicants to Dentistry courses with highest Leaving Cert points have actually done worse in their professional qualification exam than those with lower points. Is this also the case with architecture courses? Also, I don't really think that applicants with higher L.C point would make better academics either.
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Re: From Artist to Architecture ? mature applicant

Postby Bren88 » Sat May 06, 2006 4:02 pm

experiMental wrote:rperse:
Is it true that a student's Leaving Cert points DON'T determine whether he/she will become a better architect? Is this also the case with architecture courses? Also, I don't really think that applicants with higher L.C point would make better academics either.



The thing is that true of EVERY course. LC points are just a measure of how smart you were or how much study and effort you put into school. And in general people who are smater or put in more effort and study are going to do better in college too. But that doesn't mean that all will, My LC points were high enough to get me into say, a top english degree, but I would of failed miserably because I'm not greatat english.

It applies to all courses really. Weightings would be far better, but slightly unfair too.


It is going to be easier and easier to get into Architecture in ireland now. Two years ago when i applied there was 2 architecture courses and 3 architectural technology courses (unless i forgot some). Now It think there are 3 architecture (with another on the way I believe) and 5 arch. technology courses. With people applying to courses nearer to them the points will drop, or mature students will gain entry easier.
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Re: From Artist to Architecture ? mature applicant

Postby experiMental » Sun May 07, 2006 2:21 pm

It is going to be easier and easier to get into Architecture in ireland now. Two years ago when i applied there was 2 architecture courses and 3 architectural technology courses (unless i forgot some). Now It think there are 3 architecture (with another on the way I believe) and 5 arch. technology courses. With people applying to courses nearer to them the points will drop, or mature students will gain entry easier.


Sounds like good news for some. Lets just hope that the student admission policies of these new courses wouldn't be as harsh or unfair as DIT's and UCD's ;) After all, hasn't Ireland got a shortage of architects at the moment?
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