What is the next step? I find myself asking this question often. Whether this question arises in regard to architecture or life I feel that many students are asking this.
I will start with architecture as a professional goal of mine. What is next? Well, where am I now? I am a graduate student in an accredited program here at SIU. That is a good start. I would like to work toward being a licensed architect so, for those that don’t know, I will need to have a professional degree (which my accredited Masters of Architecture will be), complete IDP hours, and take the ARE. So, what is next? I am earning my professional degree.
What is next in my degree? Currently, I am developing my thesis and working on a project for my studio. This is where I find myself asking, “what is next?” the most often. I am constantly trying to work closer to completing these projects. I am going to be working on my thesis until I graduate next summer so I am slowly progressing through it. However, my studio project is another matter. For studio I find that iterations and evolution of ideas is very important. At this point in semester there is not much time left for exploration and more time needs to be focused on decisions and development. A “Just Do It” kind of attitude needs to be taken on. This is where “what is next?” becomes important. Every time I complete a task I must move on to the next one. Every piece needs to be refined to details. How does the structure connect? What is the wall section like? How do people move through the space? Does it meet building code? What do you do next to complete the project?
Lastly, what is next in the profession in general? This is an important question that is answered by staying involved in the architecture culture. Keeping up with friends and colleagues, reading periodicals, and being involved in professional organizations. I find that I learn a lot from these three sources. The people I have class with are often a great source for things happening in the architecture world. We all research different things for our projects and when we come across something interesting we often share with each other. Architecture Record is also a great source for what is going on. The down side of Arch Record is that it comes out once a month, but don’t worry because you will get daily emails. Also, there are many blogs and things you can find on the internet… like this one. And lastly, the AIA and the AIAS are fantastic professional networks that are constantly working to advance the profession and the connections within it. I would try to explain it but I think it is just something you need to experience. Try going to a local meeting. Or better, go to national convention in the summer.