Coming from abroad to study at Kent has been a great adventure, and not for one day of being here have I regretted taking it up. The good reputation of the Kent School of Architecture and a promise of a safe and pleasant living environment contributed to my decision to choose it over other universities. Even though I took a risk by doing so, without visiting the campus beforehand, I was not disappointed.
Currently I’m about to enter my third year of the Architecture BA (Hons) programme. I know that even moreso than the second year that it is going to be a challenge – straining both my intellect and my time management skills – but I’m excited to learn even more about design, history and software. Part of the reason for my enthusiasm is KSA’s range of enthusiastic lecturers and tutors. They are not only experts in their own field, but also approachable and helpful individuals (often with colourful personalities). I appreciate the fact that during our projects we are given the opportunity to arrange meetings with our tutors and seek additional advice. Yet we are also encouraged to be creative and think outside of the box in order to realise our ideas.
My favourite module so far was Landscape, in which we were to design a wellness centre with theraupetic gardens. I enjoyed it the most because it opened my eyes to the ways greenery can define open space, and how it can influence the image of buildings.
The group of architecture students at Kent is a very mixed crowd and, as cliched as it sounds, I very much enjoyed meeting people of various cultures and nationalities. Talking to students from completely different backgrounds about architecture, or even everyday matters, can be stimulating. The course is so demanding that a lot of us spends most of our days at the studio, working side by side; but that can only end up in either fierce rivalry or close friendship, right?
I like the fact that all of the facilities at KSA – computer and drawing studios, printers, workshop, and so on – are contained within one building. Last year we gained a new facility – the ‘Crit Room’, our department’s pride and joy, with its large touch screens which we now use for presentations. They are a step forward in the digitalisation of the coursework, but what I’m more looking forward to is next year’s rearrangement of Studio 3 which should bring more workspace for students.
Even though one of the consequences of taking my course is very limited spare time, I do my best to keep an illustrated journal of my everyday experiences and therefore always trying to improve my hand-drawing and painting techniques. I’m also a part of Kent’s Article 25 group, organising events to fundraise for this development and disaster relief charity. If I manage to squeeze in a good book and a long walk somewhere in between all these activities, I’m the happiest architecture student under the sun. After this course, I hope to follow a career in architecture, which includes an MA, but I will also be on the lookout for illustration-related opportunities.
To anyone considering studying architecture, be aware of the fact that it requires extremely hard work and dedication, but will equip you with a very wide range of skills and, above all, offers a new perception of the world around you.