What It’s Like to Learn Architecture

Today’s Topics:

  • Architectural Knowledge
  • Learning Architecture Software
  • Time Management

Architectural Knowledge

Everyone comes in with a preconceived notion of what architecture is, and that can be a great thing. But there is always so much more to learn when in school.

The art of designing a building is much more complex than just drawing 4 walls and a roof.

You have to learn how to use specific design styles, in a way where form can follow function.

You have to research successful architecture in order to grasp what “good” design is.

Then you have to be able to translate all of these things into a workflow that produces an outcome representing all of your different design ideas in an orderly fashion.

How you present your project can make or break it. You can have an amazing design with very little concept and meaning to the project, but that won’t get you far.

You have to think outside of designing a pretty picture, everything you do needs to have meaning and purpose. If you design a shed roof, are you thinking about the sun path that will move around the building?

Learning Architecture Software

At Virginia Tech, our architecture school is really good at allowing students to explore their interests.

For most projects, students have the freedom to choose how to work. Whether that is hand drawings, physical models, or 3D models.

I think that all of these are of great essence and need to be learned while in school, but something I have taken note of is that architecture firms in this modern day all mostly use architecture software.

There are 4 main softwares that architecture firms generally use.

  • Revit
  • Rhino
  • AutoCad
  • Google SketchUp

Learning software like this can be one of the most complex tasks while being a student. It takes years and years to master all of the different tools and processes that become a 3-D model.

So the earlier you start, the better off you will be.

Personally, I started when I was in high school. Google SketchUp was my first software where I have gotten to design. Followed by AutoCad, Revit, and once I got into college, Rhino.

I’m always trying to further develop my knowledge of design skills every time I open a program.

Learning things like this is most helpful when you can find support whether it is a YouTube channel, a upper class men, or whatever else you find.

Time Management

Lastly and most essentially is time management. This is something that must be mastered in order to be successful in school and in your career.

You are always constantly battling and moving quickly to meet deadlines, and it is definitely a change of pace from being in high school.

You attend class 3 days per week, 4 hours per day. Then outside of class time you are expected to come back and work on your projects.

Doing this takes time management. You have to map out all of the things you need to do, put limits on how long each task will take, and give yourself extra time for anything that goes wrong.

It takes time to perfect the allocation of your time. Once you get it down, you will successfully be able to complete your projects including all of the things above.


Thanks for tuning into this week’s blog post, leave a like or comment if you enjoyed this! As always, Dream Big!

Published by Alonzo Colon

Architecture Student at Virginia Tech

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