I spent this summer working for a medium sized international architecture firm in Torquay, Devon. While only a short walk from my house, the project locations I was working on were spread across the globe. One day an entrance foyer in Delhi, the next a black box exhibition space in China. I could not however get away from the ‘new guy’ toilet layout tasks which I was assured of by tutors when starting my course. Although I complain, the nature of collaborating in a multidisciplinary design team on high profile live projects is not something I have experienced before, and was therefore both insightful and exciting. I admit however that early starts 5 days a week were not something which I was used to.
I was lucky enough to secure a paid position which made the whole experience that much better, although when I look at the amount that I learnt whilst working, the money seems almost insignificant. I developed software skills which although highly important to work in the architectural profession, simply cannot be taught in a university environment, away from the burdens of planning constraints or cost.
There is only so much that can be taught at university, I believe that it is far better to experience work in practice at an early stage of your degree, so that you can fine tune the skills you learn before being released into the working world. I would advise anyone to do the same.
By Edward Powe – Stage 3 BA (Hons) Architecture