Chronicling Architecture School with Joseph Echavarria

Architecture student, Joseph Echavarria, is currently working on his M.Arch at the Rhode Island School of Design. Besides working hard at finishing his degree, he’s the Mastermind behind the YouTube vlogging series, The Architecture School Chronicles, as well as the Life of a Designer and creator of the Life of a Designer Podcast. As you tune into this episode, you’ll find out why he started vlogging, how he’s improved his technique, what he’s learned while in architecture school, and his best advice for fellow architect students.  

 Joseph Feature 1 Chronicling Architecture School with Joseph Echavarria Podcast

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Architecture Student Joseph Echavarria 

From the moment he saw his cousin’s tools for a drafting class, Joseph was instantly fascinated by the idea of design. He was so inspired that the following summer he participated in the UH Design Experience Summer Program at the University of Houston to get an idea of what studio was like and before he knew it, he fell in love with the profession.  

After studying in his hometown at the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture and Design at the University of Houston, Joseph moved across the country to where he is now studying for his M.Arch at the Rhode Island School of Design. Long before he came to Rhode Island, he was already making videos, but he realized one day that he could help fellow architecture students by sharing them. Thus, The Architecture School Chronicles was born.  

Not only has taken great pride in providing amazing content via The Architecture School Chroniclesbut Joseph has also recently begun other projects such as the Life of a Designer vlog and Life of a Designer Podcast to continue the conversation about architecture and design.   

Since beginning his academic career, he has faced different challenges and struggles that have made him both stronger in design and more efficient when it comes to time management. Now nearing the end of his M.Arch program, he is working on his thesis which focuses on converting an old baseball stadium into a multi-function building that can also be used as a disaster relief location. 

What’s next for him? Surely, he’ll gone on to accomplish incredible feats in the architecture industry with all his spirit and determination.     


What You’ll Hear on This Episode  

  • How he transitioned from his hometown in Houston, Texas to go to school in Providence, Rhode Island.
  • All about his YouTube Video Blogs including his series called The Architecture School Chronicles.  
  • Why he started the YouTube series and what kind of praise and reaction it’s received from all over the world.
  •  What his first year of architecture was like with the foundation courses at the University of Houston.  
  • Why he decided to try out interior architecture program.  
  • The differences between studying for a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree. 
  • His experience studying design and why he chose it over any other major.  
  • Why he loves spending time in studio and what he enjoys the most about it.  
  • The project he’s working on now for his thesis to convert an old baseball stadium into a multi-function building that can also be used as a disaster relief location.  
  • The process he went through to become really comfortable with creating videos in public. 
  • How he learned to edit videos via iMovie and tutorials on YouTube.  
  • His plans to continue videoblogging once he’s finished school and his next project, Life of a Designer, on both YouTube as another video blog series and as a podcast. 
  • What he plans to do for his career once he finishes school.  
  • The skills he’s picked up and learned along the way including time management and presenting better drawings.  



Top 3 Takeaways from This Episode 

  1. Time management is vital when it comes in succeeding both at school and in your career. Learning this skill early on will really help you out in the long run.  
  2. Don’t allow people’s thoughts on who you are or what you will become get in the way of your dreams. The only person who truly knows what they’re capable of is you and you alone.  
  3. Always keeping creating. That’s the only way you’re going to keep learning and improving your design skills. Maybe you don’t like where your abilities are now, but before you know it, you’ll become the architect that you want to be.  


Joseph Echavarria’s Advice for Aspiring Architects 

“Just keep creating; you can’t stop. Once you stop, it’s like exercising; if you stop exercising, you start to get slower and more lethargic to the point where it’s harder to get back up. So, if you keep creating, even on your down time, you’re only going to get better as a designer and becoming an architect is going to be that much easier. No matter if you’re in architecture school now or about to take the first step in your career, just don’t stop and keep sketching what you see, thinking about what could be improved, and sharing your ideas about it with someone else.”  


Favorite Quotes 

“I was filming here and there with a Go-Pro and a little camera, but I was always too nervous to actually upload something to the Internet. However, it wasn’t until I got into grad school when I realized that I was taking classes with a bunch of undergrad students and I had the opportunity to teach some of them. It suddenly came to me that I have all this information already recorded from my undergrad. That’s when I also began to document my experiences as a graduate student.” – Joseph Echavarria on helping fellow architecture students and starting his YouTube channel. 


“I’m finally getting more used to walking around public with a camera and talking to the camera. I’ll still sometimes run into a room where I’m all by myself and just record there. However, now people know me as the guy with the camera who’s always vlogging or recording so that kind of helps. There’s no real big difference between Facetiming someone in a public space or if you’re on the phone talking. The only difference is that you might have a camera in front of you and you’re talking to the camera versus someone on the other side of the phone.” – Joseph Echavarria about talking on video and getting comfortable with vlogging in public.  


“I’ve learned that there’s more to the camera than just looking at it and recording 20 minutes of material. You want to share what’s going on around, the scenario, and movement. It’s not as entertaining to watch 20 minutes of someone talking versus 20 minutes of a little bit of everything going on to give you context. So, that’s something that definitely makes a video better.” – Joseph Echavarria on what it takes to make a make an entertaining vlog. 


“Time management is a big deal. During my undergrad, I didn’t know what time management was and so I would pull all-nighters and it was tough. It wasn’t just tough on my work, but on me mentally as well. Going into grad school, I knew that I had to figure everything out; especially with being in a new city. With time management, you have to learn when it’s time to get to work and focus.” – Joseph Echavarria on what he has learned during architecture school that he didn’t know before. 


Resources Mentioned in the Show 



Michael Riscica

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