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  • Writer's pictureAS:CSM

Tips for STAGE 1 from our Current Stage 2s

Updated: Oct 22, 2020

Welcome to first year!

Your first year will be a new experience, a learning curve, one where you have the freedom to explore and find out who you are and explore your interests within the field of architecture. This year is an opportunity to step outside your comfort zone and be as wild and daring as you want with the work you produce. Try not to be too precious about your work and allow yourself to experiment and discover yourself. You will come across hurdles whilst tackling new softwares, creating portfolios and presenting at crits but, taking each step at your own pace and learning from these experiences will push you to excel. Be adventurous and begin to truly wonder what it is you love about architecture.

 Another important part is to embrace your mistakes. Never leave anything undocumented. If you’ve made a model that you don’t particularly like or a messy sketch - photograph it and bring it to your next tutorial. Sometimes that is what pushes your projects further and it’s a very good way of showing your design process in your portfolio, so make sure to never get rid of any work you’ve done.

 As well as experimenting in your work, try different ways of working. University can be quite a different style of learning, so try out different methods of note-taking, sketching, essay planning, researching etc. Finding how you work best and trying to establish good habits will help you academically, as well as making your life a lot easier.

On a similar note, try and set up systems to make your life easier. Simple things like having your briefs filed in unit folders on your computer so you can find them easily, or making sure you have your university email in your phone (and actually checking it) to make sure you never miss an update, will make your life less stressful. You will have a lot of information in your first term so keeping it organised will stop you from getting overwhelmed.

This is definitely easier said than done, but try not to put too much pressure on yourself. Try to approach reviews with an open mind and allow yourself to make mistakes in order to learn from them. Learn how to deal with criticism and try to remember that reviews are open conversations about your work, not exams. We’re all here to learn, not to get everything right. Being a good student means being open to learning, not necessarily getting straight As.

We wish you an exciting and productive year!

Naajiyah, Nia and Poppy


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