Love at First Sight: Initial Experiences in Architectural Studio

After two years of intense longing to become an architect, I worried about what my first studio class would be like. Would it be terrifying? Would the professor trash all my work? Would I fall out of love with it?

The answer to all of those questions was yes…

…as of day one.


I remember the tense feeling still, we were taught how to make a building grid, and received a vague explanation of floor plans, elevations, and section drawings. We went to the campus chapel for our first drawing project. We had to create all of these things in three days. Naturally, I was used to my fastidious self-taught drawing technique I had practiced by drawing buildings that inspired me and sketches that I dreamt up during high school band class. Now, I had to know an entire foreign building from the inside out amidst my normal class load. It felt impossible. I still didn’t completely accept the idea of a grid, or basic shapes being put together to make a building. I couldn’t yet break it down in my mind to see it in abstractly simple terms. I called my mom that night, nearly in tears, working in the studio well past 10pm, struggling to finish this project as I drew every nook and cranny in thorough detail.


Finally, class time came back around. A rush of worry hit me as I passed one of my classmate’s drawings, finely outlined in pen. Shoot. Was I supposed to do that? I dashed back to my desk, shaking in worry, then our professor walked in.

He jumped straight into desk critiques, individually showing each student what they did wrong, and things they missed. I attentively eaves-dropped, altering my own drawing with each thing he said . Finally, his voice died down, and I heard footsteps approaching my desk. I unburied myself from my drawing, and breathed in…


Well hey, he actually liked some of it. He said I was understanding it. What? Was I? Sure! If you say so! Of course, I spent too much time on the details, and I had a few bumps every here and there, but I felt pretty confident after all that fuss and worry.

Huh. So it turned out alright.

I still had more to improve on obviously, but our professor planned for us to spend another day perfecting our drawings after desk crits. Wow. It’s like he understood that we are students. It was well appreciated.

As of the first few days of architecture, I got my happy ending, but I took a detour. It’s amazing where hard work can get you!

That’s all for the beginning of my adventures in studio. I’ll be publishing many many more in the future…







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