Let’s Get Back To Architecture School.

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New Version

Welcome Back, Everyone!

I hope you had a wonderful summer. After having some time off, one of my favorite things was always getting back to architecture school and diving into my new design projects.

To celebrate the season, the 21st #ArchiTalks is titled “Back to School.” So without further ado, I present….

Young Architect’s Four Tips for Getting Back to Architecture School.

Here we go…

1. Let everyone else get settled into the studio. Then get comfortable.

At my school, trying to find a studio space on the first day was always madness. My approach was to let everyone else go nuts, battle it out, and argue over spaces.

Three weeks down the road, everything that everyone thought was going to happen usually never had. People who’d claimed more space than everyone else would oftentimes end up MIA.

I liked to wait for a few weeks, before I started getting comfortable in the architecture studio. After time has passed, it starts to become clear who’s putting in the facetime around the studio. Then I’d either relocate my spot, or start settling into living in the architecture building.

2. Consider consolidating your calendar and sketch book.

I used to keep my sketchbook and calendar book (with homework and deadlines) in one book.

I divided my sketchbook into 2 halves. The 1st half was for my calendar sketchbook, and the 2nd half was for my design-project sketches.

On the first half, I’d evenly divide all the pages of my sketchbook by the 16 weeks of the semester. Then I’d break down each week even further into days. If each day had 2 pages, that’s where I’d write down my homework and deadlines. Then I’d fill the rest of the pages with general sketching.

The second half of the book was entirely dedicated to my design project.

This system—having one master book for everything—seemed to work really well for staying organized, remaining aware of deadlines, and constantly sketching. Everyone has their own system. I encourage you to experiment and find what works best for you.

3. Sell Stuff

 Back to School is an incredible time to sell stuff you don’t need. People are excited to be back, and are planning on doing a lot of hard work this year. So use it to your advantage.

Ya know that old drafting table in your basement that’s covered with laundry? Well, it may make someone else really happy. And besides, you could use some cash. Consider whether you need to get rid of anything. If so, make a flyer.

4. Be Present for Architecture School.

Architecture Students are often extremely enthusiastic about becoming professionals, getting a real job, or becoming Licensed Architects. Sometimes, that completely removes them from the experience of being in architecture school.

All the extracurricular hoops you jump through for your resume are great. But honestly, having kickass design work in your portfolio is even better.

You’re going to spend the rest of your life working on projects. Take advantage of your time while you’re in architecture school, and stop worrying about what will happen in the future.

Welcome Back!

That’s all for now. Keep working hard, and stay committed.


Make sure you check out some of the other fine Architect Bloggers who apart of the #Architalks Series.

Enoch Sears – Business of Architecture (@businessofarch)
Back to School!

Bob Borson – Life of An Architect (@bobborson)

Matthew Stanfield – FiELD9: architecture (@FiELD9arch)
Designing Back to School

Marica McKeel – Studio MM (@ArchitectMM)
ArchiTalks: “Back To School”

Jeff Echols – Architect Of The Internet (@Jeff_Echols)
What Have We Learned? It’s Back To School For #ArchiTalks 21

Lee Calisti, AIA – Think Architect (@LeeCalisti)
good to go back to school

Mark R. LePage – EntreArchitect (@EntreArchitect)
Back to School: Marketing for Architects

Lora Teagarden – L² Design, LLC (@L2DesignLLC)
4 Tips As You Go Back To School

Cormac Phalen – Cormac Phalen (@archy_type)
Back to School Again

Michele Grace Hottel – Michele Grace Hottel, Architect (@mghottel)
#architalks 21 “back to school”

brady ernst – Soapbox Architect (@bradyernstAIA)
Back to the Cartography Board

Brian Paletz – The Emerging Architect (@bpaletz)
Back to School

Michael LaValley – Evolving Architect (@archivalley)
#ArchiTalks / 15 Ways to Make the Most of Your Architectural Education

Eric Wittman – intern[life] (@rico_w)
getting [schooled] again

Sharon George – Architecture By George (@sharonraigeorge)
What’s better than architecture after school?

Jarod Hall – di’velept (@divelept)
Back to {Architecture} School

Drew Paul Bell – Drew Paul Bell (@DrewPaulBell)
Back to School…Suckasssssss

Kyu Young Kim – Palo Alto Design Studio (@sokokyu)
Back to School: Seoul Studio

Jared W. Smith – Architect OWL (@ArchitectOWL)
Back to School…

Keith Palma – Architect’s Trace (@cogitatedesign)

Adam Denais – Defragging Architecture (@DefragArch)
[ArchiTalks #21] 10 Things Architecture Students Say Going Back to School

Jim Mehaffey – Yeoman Architect (@jamesmehaffey)
Back to School? It Doesn’t Stop there for Architects.

Tim Ung – Journey of an Architect (@timothy_ung)
10 Things I wish I knew about Architecture School

About the author

Michael Riscica

Michael Riscica is a Licensed Architect who lives in beautiful Portland, Oregon, with his Labrador Retriever. He is passionate about helping Young Architects change the world. In his free time, Michael likes to take very long bicycle rides across America. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Linked In.

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