Architecture · Life · Motivation · University

Designing Crap Things First

Kieren and I are currently completely swamped with Uni assignments, church commitments, trying to cook dinner every night most nights, our part time jobs and keeping the house reasonably tidy (I don’t understand how the two of us make so much mess)! Crazy is what it is. I know we’re not the only ones in the world who have this lifestyle so I’m not complaining. Honestly I love being busy, but I also love chill time, as long as I have a balance of both it’s great πŸ˜›

I’ve just had two weeks of working round the clock on a Uni group assignment which has resulted in a lot of sleepless nights, slicing bits off my finger (again), ridiculous food cravings and not washing my hair for as long as possible without people noticing. It was stressful, but today was submission day and we were able to sit back and pat ourselves on the back for all the hard work we’d put in. That’s what I love about this degree. It’s all about maximum input for maximum reward/learning experiences/getting better etc.

Architecture school is gruelling, we obsess over seemingly insignificant things that don’t make sense but we can’t let go of because we want things to be perfect. We’re told every single line on the page must mean something, something can’t exist in our presentations without meaning something. It really messes your head, believe me.

models close
The models for our group presentation (other 3 pictured are not my own work)Β 

But it’s also the most rewarding thing ever. Because it starts from nothing, a few sketches in a notebook, and (with a lot of work) it turns into something amazing. Even though while working on something I’ll think it’s crap but along the way someone else, a friend or Kieren tells me it’s not crap and I’m back to feeling OK.

I compare it to back when I was studying music, playing piano. My teacher would hand me ten pages of music, play the whole thing flawlessly while I follow along with my jaw on the ground. I would always the hell am I going to do this!? But like everything in life, it starts by tackling the music one page at a time, one note at a time, making painfully sounding mistakes but continuously trying until it sounds amazing.

I really use to grill myself over my “lack” of skill for the art of designing buildings, but I always looked at everyone else’s end results, the amazing models and posters without understanding that it’s a process. The awesome renders start with a sketch, that moves into the computer, the materials are added, then photoshop-ing and possibly back to the sketching. And it doesn’t necessarily occur in that order there’s often a lot of back and forth between all the steps.

The hardest part for me throughout figuring out how to be good at architecture was that I was going to come up with crap designs before I’d get to the cool stuff. It’s really hard to get negative feedback from teachers/tutors because even though it’s not personal, it sometimes feels personal because you’ve poured all your effort into something that you want to be amazing but then someone else doesn’t get it. A big part of architecture is about communicating things well. You’re idea could be the best thing ever but if you can’t explain it well through drawings, models and images then it can be misunderstood. And even when you think you’ve communicated something efficiently there’s heaps of times when it’s doesn’t appear that way, which I feel like will still happen after I graduate. But that’s alright, it’s all part of the process.

A process which I’ve started to film. I like recording myself work because I end up with a cool video, but I also see myself start from something super average quickly turn into the creative end product, thanks to the technology of the time-lapse feature on my phone. Watching the videos back motivates me to keep doing what I’m doing, it’s something that reminds me that I can do hard things and I get uplifting feedback from people that see my work which I truly appreciate.

The end of the year already feels like it’s around the corner, that in a blink of an eye I’ll be finishing off my last studio assignment. Time goes so fast when you’re constantly thinking about assignments and how short the weeks in between that you have to complete them seem. Part of me worries I’ll run out of time to learn enough before I finish my studies but I have to remember that learning isn’t restricted to the classroom and the end of Uni will mean the start of something else amazing, even though I don’t know what that will be yet!

I don’t post my work from Uni to boast but to show that I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished. Because it’s been a really intense and hard (personally and academically) but a great journey for me to get to where I am now. And also posting my work adds it to the vast library of other people doing the same thing which I often look up on Pinterest when I’m after some inspiration πŸ™‚

Final presentation. Graphics by entire group not just myself!

sub day

The road to where we want to go is often a path with lots of twists and turns that we don’t expect, whether it’s just to get an assignment done awesomely or make big life decisions. Things will happen that you don’t like, you’ll create things you hoped would turn out differently and you’ll think this is crap.Β But such is the circle of life where good things happen and bad things happen and all you can do is keep trying to do your best. I really do believe you’ve got to go through the stuff that you don’t want to happen to help you figure out that what you do want, is really what you want…if that makes sense? Probably not, I’m sleep deprived.

I feel I’ve done my best for today and the last few days leading up to today, so I’m going to watch a ridiculous amount of TV, SLEEP IN and let myself do nothing until it will soon be time again to pull a bunch of all nighters. Balance is key πŸ˜›

Til next time…

– Liv xx

below is one of my vids + more similar stuff on my Instagram πŸ™‚


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