Is architecture really for me?

World architecture... what's happening generally....

Is architecture really for me?

Postby acousticer » Mon Jun 22, 2009 5:41 pm

I'm back with hopefully my final post!!

ok so i know i'll probably get replies from some members saying "why don't you just go and try the course" and the likes because I've done a good few threads but anyway here it goes....

I've always had my mind set on architecture, since i practically started my 1st year in secondary, but I'm just not sure whether I'm interested enough in it.....like should I be getting monthly architecture magazines or reading up on architecture terms......did ye have an interest in these sort of things before ye did the course.......with less than 15 days left to set my change of mind form I'm having doubts and maybe i would be more interested in something simpler like architectural technology or product design!?!?

any advice?
thanks!
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Re: Is architecture really for me?

Postby parka » Mon Jun 22, 2009 6:48 pm

It's like all college courses, some like it, some hate it. There will always will be a drop out rate after first year. I always felt sorry for the people who liked the course, but could never pass the year. Other got fed up as there is no right or wrong in design, so a few people I knew jumped over to engineering. As for the reading up bit, you have plenty of time to buy a black polar neck when you're on the course.

Oh Yeah, I wouldn't say AT is any simpler
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Re: Is architecture really for me?

Postby bitasean » Mon Jun 22, 2009 9:25 pm

It took me 3 years to figure out I liked it, no regrets now
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Re: Is architecture really for me?

Postby spoil_sport » Mon Jun 22, 2009 9:33 pm

No one here knows you well enough to answer that, the only thing I will say, cliché or not, is that you will probably regret it more if you don't try.

As for interest, etc, no I would not read magazines, ever, even as a graduate, they pollute the mind. The architectural terminology and jargon (others might say bullshit) will come in time. If you are really interested I would suggest you read Peter Zumthor's Thinking Architecture, have a flick through OMA's SMLXL, look at some of Le Corbusier's and Mies van der Rohe's work (but don't read about them yet), and just for the sake of confusion read Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities.

If it is any consolation I failed the DIT entrance exam, didn't even pass the first hurdle, struggled through 1st year UCD, but subsequently graduated with first class hons. Architecture requires a certain appitude, but more importantly a lot of work.
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Re: Is architecture really for me?

Postby missarchi » Tue Jun 23, 2009 12:48 am

eTenders - Graduate Diploma/MBS in Strategic Procurement... sounds good:D

I think the most important thing for you to realise is
the difference between study and practice... (not trying to take away any fun)
and Wether you want a stable life and financial independence if that is even possible ect

AT will put you in good stead and you might get credit?...
but you are never guaranteed a job no matter how good you are...
Product design I would not think much of that happens in Ireland more like Denmark ect
(maybe I'm wrong)
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Re: Is architecture really for me?

Postby acousticer » Tue Jun 30, 2009 1:29 am

thanks for the advice guys.....yeah i think i will go for it, I'll probably only regret it if i don't, but I just hope I will still have time for my music too......considering I get the points and all, do you think I would have time to have a band on the side as well??
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Re: Is architecture really for me?

Postby rira » Thu Jul 02, 2009 10:10 am

absolutley ... i know plenty of people who had decent enough bands all the way through college without too much hassle
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Re: Is architecture really for me?

Postby experiMental » Sat Jul 04, 2009 11:39 am

missarchi wrote:Product design I would not think much of that happens in Ireland more like Denmark ect
(maybe I'm wrong)


Product design can happen anywhere - there are a lot of sites that can convert your design into product. Also, once you have your idea, you can pitch it to an investor or a manufacturer, or to a marketing agency to conduct further research on it. However, working as a product designer full time may not be possible right now or in the near future as well. Its all to do with business models of corporations - they don't want to employ one designer all the time, but they want high quality ideas and products, and they will look everywhere- even the most remote regions of Siberia ;)

I don't think you'll have to worry whether architecture is for you. You should treat your course as a means to gain knowledge. Although there will probably be a decreased demand for people with certain qualifications, there will always be a demand for people with new opinions, superior knowledge and ability.
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Re: Is architecture really for me?

Postby acousticer » Sat Jul 04, 2009 6:34 pm

experiMental wrote:Product design can happen anywhere - there are a lot of sites that can convert your design into product. Also, once you have your idea, you can pitch it to an investor or a manufacturer, or to a marketing agency to conduct further research on it. However, working as a product designer full time may not be possible right now or in the near future as well. Its all to do with business models of corporations - they don't want to employ one designer all the time, but they want high quality ideas and products, and they will look everywhere- even the most remote regions of Siberia ;)


Why won't it be possible......because of the economic crisis we're in.......or are you saying it's because companies will search far and wide for ideas rather than hiring?!?Is it/will it not be possible to obtain a steady job in product design.....where are all the graduates of product design gone so....abroad?.....is there better opportunities in other countries than Ireland?...I have the course in DIT down as my third choice and I am seriously considering taking it instead of architectural technology (if I don't get architecture - although I know it has no relation to architecture)....I think I would really enjoy it though......but if this is the case, are you suggesting that I should maybe reconsider.....
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Re: Is architecture really for me?

Postby experiMental » Sat Jul 04, 2009 10:05 pm

acousticer wrote:Why won't it be possible......because of the economic crisis we're in.......or are you saying it's because companies will search far and wide for ideas rather than hiring?!?Is it/will it not be possible to obtain a steady job in product design.....


It's partly to do with economic crisis, many companies will search for ideas, while ignoring the people who have creted them. They have established in-house designers and engineers, who can turn these ideas into products. It will be very hard to get an in-house design role, because people usually hold on to these roles for many years.
Some manufacturers don't have "in-house" designers, so they hire consultants. Consultancy work like this can be very competitive, because only the ones who will produce the best solution to a brief may go through. A good solution can include something that is as brutally specific as a project management strategy or product promotion plan.

acousticer wrote: Where are all the graduates of product design gone so....abroad?.....is there better opportunities in other countries than Ireland?...

Product design can enable you to work in many areas which may require design. For example, you can work in a management consultancy, helping to plan business strategies, by evaluating and proposing solutions, and maybe even in county council to tackle problems such as public entertainment, playground design, etc. But I have to stress that you can't get jobs like that straight after your degree. You have to pitch yourself in these areas, for example, go to trade shows, ask people questions, propose solutions in your spare time, etc. While you are at college, you will have to explore all these options.

Graduates work in many of these areas, and they sometimes bring a fresh outlook to tradidional problems.

acousticer wrote:have the course in DIT down as my third choice and I am seriously considering taking it instead of architectural technology ..but if this is the case, are you suggesting that I should maybe reconsider.....

Definitely don't reconsider this, you made a good choice. However, given the current economic climate, you'd be better off doing architecture, because
a.) its a longer course, so more time at college and more time to explore your options and think about applying them to real world
b.) Since this is a longer course, you can get more critiques and this will help you to refine your work better.
c.) longer course, so you can get student discounts to shops and hospital visits too, for one extra year ;)

I hope you get your first choice, good luck!
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Re: Is architecture really for me?

Postby acousticer » Sat Jul 04, 2009 11:41 pm

thanks experiMental!Really appreciate the advice.

I read on Qualifax that you can also do a range masters degree after the course if you reach the appropriate honours standard, but yeah I do see where your coming from!
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Re: Is architecture really for me?

Postby acousticer » Fri Aug 14, 2009 12:42 am

experimental.....are you a product designer?
I could use your advice one more time:P

so i got the LC results.....bit disappointed tbh but got over the 400s......I'll know the offers come Monday but maybe you could shed some light on my situation...
As I've said already, i would like to try architecture and give it a go, and I know I will be disappointed if I don't get the course.....but repeating is the last thing I have on my mind....and I know it's "only one more year of your life" and if it's the course i want to do then I should go for it....but I think I'd go nuts since i put in a damn good effort this year....although i slipped up in business having the English exam being changed to Saturday but anyway....I'll probably get product design and I'm pretty sure I'd like it a lot too.....plus it's in Dublin compared to having to go down to Waterford to do architecture(if I got it)....since UCD's points will hardly drop enough for me.....and it's probably a much more relaxed course in comparison to architecture in general,not saying that it's not hard but you know what I mean.....I know you already said that it may be hard to get an in-house job as a Product designer but if that's the case...isn't architecture gonna be the same.....I've heard that so many architects were already let go when the recession hit.....and if it keeps persisting the way it does....won't it be even harder for the graduates to get a job?!?.....architecture may be a longer course but it's only one year longer than the product design course and you can even go onto do a masters degree as well so.......!consultancy work may be tough but i bet architects don't have an easy job getting work either if they're on their own.......is product design a good career in you're opinion?

by the way, if i happened to do arch tech,a level 7 three year course, and then i wanted to go onto to do architecture....that would give me a good shot of being accepted yes?....but would I be able to skip a year or 2 of the course......i think spoil_sport you had an idea of this?!?

appreciate any advice...:D
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Re: Is architecture really for me?

Postby spoil_sport » Fri Aug 14, 2009 9:30 am

Just to clarify what I mentioned before, I have no first hand expereince, but I do know a guy who did the four year tech course, graduated top of his class, did a year work experience with a top architect, and was then allowd to skip the first two years of architecture. I also know people who have gone a similar route, but had to start architecture from scratch.

There is no standard formula for this route, it is at the discression of the college, and they will decide based on your portfolio, and another college may give you a different answer.

I know the points are tumbling for architecture, but I would be surprised if UCD was below 500 (maybe you could fill us in on the points for UCD, UL, etc out of curiosity?)

I was lucky enough to get the points for UCD first time 'round. However, as I was doing the LC, I figured if I didn't, I wouldn't repeat, that I would have taken my second choice (civil engineering, I had already failed the DIT entrance, and we didn't have the luxury of choice as there is now) None of that matters now, but in hindsight, I think it would have been a mistake not to repeat.

That is just my experience, I hope it dosen't add to your confusion.
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Re: Is architecture really for me?

Postby missarchi » Fri Aug 14, 2009 10:24 am

I think its quite hard to get more than two years credit (maybe impossible)
Having said that I know of someone who did a 2 year tech course and got 2 years credit for architecture but not in Ireland...

maybe you should become a cat...
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Re: Is architecture really for me?

Postby acousticer » Sat Aug 15, 2009 5:01 pm

spoil_sport wrote:Just to clarify what I mentioned before, I have no first hand expereince, but I do know a guy who did the four year tech course, graduated top of his class, did a year work experience with a top architect, and was then allowd to skip the first two years of architecture. I also know people who have gone a similar route, but had to start architecture from scratch.

There is no standard formula for this route, it is at the discression of the college, and they will decide based on your portfolio, and another college may give you a different answer.


Yeah this is what I'm afraid of.....as well as having to fork out the money for 8 years of college!


spoil_sport wrote:I know the points are tumbling for architecture, but I would be surprised if UCD was below 500 (maybe you could fill us in on the points for UCD, UL, etc out of curiosity?)


Yeah this is exactly what I was thinking.At least other architecture courses have requirements such as a portfolio but UCD don't so I think the points can't drop too much either!
Last years points are as follows:
UCD:525
DIT:532
WIT:455
UCC:495
UL:490
I'll see how the points differ come Monday!

spoil_sport wrote:I was lucky enough to get the points for UCD first time 'round. However, as I was doing the LC, I figured if I didn't, I wouldn't repeat, that I would have taken my second choice (civil engineering, I had already failed the DIT entrance, and we didn't have the luxury of choice as there is now) None of that matters now, but in hindsight, I think it would have been a mistake not to repeat.

That is just my experience, I hope it doesn't add to your confusion.


The thing is,I said to myself after my L.C was over, that I highly doubt that I would repeat....and I just can't picture it....or more like I don't want to!:P
I studied fairly hard during the whole year and worked my ass off to try get the grades that I wanted but I was still disappointed....but maybe I wasn't meant to do it....or maybe I just don't have the brains to do it!My expectations in the Leaving were probably too high anyway but I always aim for the best I can.
"The highest dropout rate in college is architecture students" also kinda leaves me uneasy.Repeating could be a waste of time if the course ended up not being for me at all....but then again it might not either.I'm just hoping for Waterford at this stage!
But you know,I've been looking up websites about product design and it looks just as appealing in terms of interest.
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Re: Is architecture really for me?

Postby spoil_sport » Sat Aug 15, 2009 5:31 pm

"The highest dropout rate in college is architecture students"

Is that a statistical fact? It wouldn't surprise me. Less than half the people that I started with in first year made it to the end in one go. Don't give up on it yet, you will find that LC points don't count for much after you get into college. I would be amazed if any of those points went up. Do WIT, UL or UCC require a portfolio?
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Re: Is architecture really for me?

Postby acousticer » Sun Aug 16, 2009 12:31 pm

spoil_sport wrote:"The highest dropout rate in college is architecture students"

Is that a statistical fact? It wouldn't surprise me. Less than half the people that I started with in first year made it to the end in one go. Don't give up on it yet, you will find that LC points don't count for much after you get into college. I would be amazed if any of those points went up. Do WIT, UL or UCC require a portfolio?


Well I've heard or read it somewhere anyway.Yeah I doubt any course will go up.
No Waterford doesn't which I'm surprised by since the points are a good bit lower compared to the other courses.I'm not sure about UCC but I don't think it does.For UL they require a portfolio of like twenty pages or around that...AND...an "essay"...fairly short one though...maybe 600-1000 words...this year's one was to write about the unbuilt architecture in your locale, or something like can't....I can't fully remember because I didn't finish it.Although you don't get any extra points for that.

Do you have any knowledge of product design just as a matter of interest?
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Re: Is architecture really for me?

Postby spoil_sport » Sun Aug 16, 2009 1:13 pm

Not particularly.
I've been to the NCAD graduate expo with the last few years, and the product design (or industrial design I think it might be called) is always the poor relation. They don't seem to be at the same ball game as the rest of the college. Most of the work was badly presented, painfully unoriginal, and seemingly, govened mostly by health and safety concerns.
I will also say, some of the best furniture of the last century was designed by architects; Le Corbusier, Mies, Aalto, Saarinen, Jacobsen, Eames, Eileen Gray, etc.
With, that in mind, I wouldn't be keen on it, or at least I wouldn't do it in Ireland, I know of people doing it in London, where there seems to be a better approach to it.
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Re: Is architecture really for me?

Postby acousticer » Sun Aug 16, 2009 3:19 pm

spoil_sport wrote:Not particularly.
I've been to the NCAD graduate expo with the last few years, and the product design (or industrial design I think it might be called) is always the poor relation. They don't seem to be at the same ball game as the rest of the college. Most of the work was badly presented, painfully unoriginal, and seemingly, govened mostly by health and safety concerns.
I will also say, some of the best furniture of the last century was designed by architects; Le Corbusier, Mies, Aalto, Saarinen, Jacobsen, Eames, Eileen Gray, etc.
With, that in mind, I wouldn't be keen on it, or at least I wouldn't do it in Ireland, I know of people doing it in London, where there seems to be a better approach to it.


Actually can I just ask you a question, if I graduate with a degree in architecture after 5 years, is that the only field I'll be qualified in or is there areas that i can go into too....like designing furniture like you mentioned!
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Re: Is architecture really for me?

Postby spoil_sport » Sun Aug 16, 2009 7:03 pm

The architeture education covers a very broad range of subjects, art + literature, structures, ecology, urban design etc. However some things like professional practice are given very little time, for example, preparing a planning application or a bill of quantities are not explicitly taught, instead you learn things like that when on an internship. It is in some ways an abstract education, which is why, after 5 years in college, you still have to do a minimum two years working under the supervision of an architect and sit another set of prefessional exams before you can use the title "architect". So, yes, it is entirely possible to branch out, and given the "current economic climate" many people who graduated in the last few years have no choice but to pursue alternatives, including, of some people I know, furniture, fashion, graphic design, art, etc.

You should, if you havent already, look up some of the names from my previous post, they covered an awful lot of stuff between them.
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Re: Is architecture really for me?

Postby acousticer » Wed Aug 19, 2009 10:57 am

thanks for the help spoil_sport!
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Re: Is architecture really for me?

Postby PlanE » Thu Nov 26, 2009 2:15 pm

So what did you go for in the end Acousticer? i've enjoyed reading your posts but they ended abruptly! :)
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