Sunday, June 5, 2011

Summer Activities

I'm currently a graduated student from highschool, what do you suggest me to do during the summer?  Program in university(looks expensive)? Studio(how)? internship(I know nothing about architecture yet...)

Below is an excerpt from my book, Becoming an Architect, 2nd Edition.  As you can see, there are many things you can do during the summer that are mostly free but help in your path to become an architect.  Probably the easiest is to draw everyday and go "see" architecture.

I still strongly consider attending a summer high school program; most do offer financial aid.

An important skill to acquire in becoming an architect is the ability to see. By learning to observe buildings, spaces, and their relationships, you become sensitive to issues that concern architects. Explore your surroundings by looking closely at the built environment every day.

Tour and observe your neighborhood or city and take visual notes about the architecture you encounter. Seek out guided tours of significant buildings in your city and learn about their architectural features.

Purchase a sketchbook and begin to teach yourself to draw. Sketch from real life to develop your drawing skills and sharpen your awareness of the existing environment. Sketching from life trains you to observe, analyze, and evaluate while recording your surroundings.

One way to develop your drawing skills is to dedicate a specific amount of time — one or two hours — per day to sketching. Be committed to drawing each day. Practice, practice, and practice!

Begin reading books, magazines, and newspapers articles on architecture and the profession of architecture. Check your local public library for ideas.

Tour the design studios of a nearby school of architecture to become acquainted with the experiences of an architecture student. Speak with students about what they do. If possible, attend a few classes to learn about the courses you may take. Additionally, consider attending a lecture sponsored by the school. Most schools sponsor evening lectures highlighting architects and their work. Typically, these are free and open to the public.

Visit with local architects to gain a broader understanding of the nature of an architect’s work and the value of the profession. Remember, these connections may be valuable when you apply to architecture programs or for possible summer employment opportunities.

Visit construction sites to learn how buildings are constructed. Talk with carpenters, builders, and others in the building industry to learn their perspectives on architecture. In addition, travel throughout your community, your region of the country, or to other countries to experience architecture from various perspectives. As you visit, sketch!

Many colleges and universities offer summer programs designed for high school students who desire to learn about the field of architecture.  Summer programs are also a good way to learn about the regular architecture program of that particular school.

If you are unable to secure a summer internship, find an architect to shadow for a day or a week. Many high schools offer programs designed to connect students with career professionals.

After-school Programs
Another program that exposes you to the profession is the ACE (Architecture, Construction, and Engineering) Mentor Program of America. ACE is an after-school program for high school students interested in learning about career opportunities in architecture, engineering, and construction management.  Other extracurricular programs include the Boy Scouts of America Explorer Post, Odyssey of the Mind, and others. 


Dr. Architecture

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