An architectural education is a special experience. It is about personal growth, the magic of creativity, the joy of making things, and the satisfaction of crafting well.
An architecture curriculum develops us as whole human beings. It challenges and expands us intellectually. It draws on our senses and emotions. And it invites the expression of our spirits, the disclosure of our souls. Architecture helps us to cultivate a discerning eye for beauty, a feel for elegance, an appreciation of quality.
The experience of an architectural education is personal, demanding, and immensely satisfying. Coursework asks us to reflect upon and draw from our personal experiences and backgrounds and to evolve our own individual ways of solving problems. In this learning process, we learn who we are, what we value, what we want our lives to be about, and what our best work looks like. The culture and courses in architecture school move us to new levels of personal commitment, intensity, and productivity. They take us to the edges of our competencies and capacities and then help us expand our boundaries.
The educational experience in architecture is organized around the design studio courses. In studio, we learn how to conduct research for the planning of building projects, how to formulate creative approaches to the design of new environments, and how to develop schemes aesthetically and technically. We learn to make the drawings and models that explain our ideas and to present our concepts to others. Studio courses are complemented by classes in architectural history and theory, professional practice, computers, building construction, environmental technology, and structures.
Important fundamental life competencies are acquired as we progress through the curriculum. We learn how to work cooperatively and constructively with others, to handle diverse viewpoints, and to manage them to consensus. We learn to size up complex situations, ask incisive questions, and translate foggy circumstances into effective action plans, ways to reach envisioned goals. We learn to write well, speak to groups, and think on our feet. We learn to negotiate, make mid- course corrections, and help others articulate their hopes and dreams.
An architectural education in holistic. It engages virtually every area of university study including the arts, science, liberal arts, humanities, and industrial arts. Sculpture, photography, graphic design, physics, chemistry, biology, math, geography, psychology, philosophy, business, and construction are a few of the fields relevant to architecture. An education in architecture prepares us for more than professional success. It prepares us for life.