Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Architecture Education--The Process

By Brittany Ricker

Over the course of five years I have been to 3 different schools (Currently a Graduate Student at Southern Illinois University) and each place has provided me with the tools and basic knowledge to help me succeed not only later in life, but right now. I’m sure if you are in the Architecture field you have probably heard something along the lines of, “Aren’t you worried you won’t be able to find a job?!” or another favorite (insert sarcasm), “Why didn’t you choose a field that has more job security (whatever that means today…) or something that would pay better!?” All of these questions are valid coming from someone who has NO IDEA what a student goes through during school or what being an architect is really about. I cannot speak for everyone, of course, but in my opinion when choosing a career path it should never be about making the most money. If that was the case I would have stuck with computer programming (at the time it was a great career to go into but we are increasingly seeing those jobs being shipped overseas and disappearing in the united states…..job security??? http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/labor/news/2012/07/09/11898/5-facts-about-overseas-outsourcing/). With that said, I wanted to explain one of the many amazing benefits of not only choosing Architecture as my career path but the process of going through the rigorous Architecture program.

Throughout the Architecture program, numerous software programs are introduced which most are even free or at least discounted through educational licensing. There are a few courses that teach you the basics of a few programs but, ultimately it’s up to the student to learn each program to the point where they might not know absolutely everything but they know enough to decide which program would be appropriate for different project designs. It takes practice. Back to the question, “aren’t you worried you won’t find a job!?” The answer is simply no. I am not worried because I, along with numerous other students, have taken the time to not only learn the programs but also understand why certain projects use different programs. It is important to try new things because you never know when it might become useful! Notice how I did not say I would find a job at an architecture firm…because that I have no idea. I would like to think YES but who knows. What I do know is the Architecture Programs have provided the tools that really can fit into numerous professions. Not to say you would be as qualified as someone who studied solely on that subject, like engineering or graphic design, BUT just keeping an open mind and knowing there are several options out there is the best thing.

I have had the opportunity to work for a civil engineer for the past 2 years and it has been one of the most beneficial experiences so far. I am constantly reminded of how valuable it is to have someone who can understand the situation/project and utilize the tools provided throughout my education to solve a problem. It’s not about the money or getting awards, for me, it’s about helping people to the best of my ability (Awards would be awesome though!) and whether that is directly associated with Architecture by designing a building or volunteering my time to important organizations is up for grabs. One important organization I dedicate my time to is for Breast Cancer Research. 

Recently, I was given the opportunity to design, for the second year in a row, t-shirts for the event: Big or Small, Save Them All: 
Illustrations by Author

Ottawa's Annual Breast Cancer Poker Walk held in Ottawa, Illinois. The process of Architecture and Design has really stuck with me and with all my projects I really try to provide various ideas/approaches to one project to give the client some options. Including clients in the decision process is actually one of the most rewarding aspects if it is great collaboration.  Below are samples of a few possible t-shirt design ideas for the Breast Cancer Poker Walk that was given to the fundraiser coordinator to choose from/make suggestions.  With all that being said…October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month!!! You can help the effort to eliminate cancer by making a donation or by attending the Big or Small, Save Them All Poker Walk on October 12, 2013. Below is a flyer with all the details.
Flyer design provided by: Amy Vrtis - https://www.facebook.com/bcpokerwalk

Payments are accepted online or by check:
Checks should be written out to:
American Cancer Society ATTN: RFL LaSalle 143 First St Batavia, IL 60510
(Please include “Cons ID: 30225329”)
For tax purposes:
EIN: 13-1788491

1 comment:

  1. ahh, what a exciting post to read for an architecture student like me :) thank you