Turning The Tables: Second Year's Final Review

Graduation was a month ago. Seniors have left us for whatever they decide is next. Our semesters have ended, grades have posted, freedom has rang. For the class of 2019, third year architecture-student life awaits us, but first, we have a summer to enjoy.

In the same way I wondered about second year coming, last year as a newly finished first year, I look towards third. However, now with the wisdom and experience of having completed the sophomore year of this architectural education, I’m excited and I am rational because I know how much work it’s going to take.

I’m excited for the studio topic to be Housing and excited to combine my knowledge of Structures with whatever it is my future self ends up designing. Finally, a studio that actually seems like architecture. Beams, loads, practicalities. Thus far, it’s been manipulations of contours like and defining rule sets to drive out the instructors given design issue.

Second year was first about designing an art museum derived from a generic warehouse space and then an aquarium for a designated area of topography and contours, both located here in Los Angeles.

Evidently, I may have learned more about using Rhino and Illustrator or how to better my studio-work ethic with life than I did about architecture.

That is not to say the past two studios were useless to me. I learned how to see between and translate a space by their horizontal and vertical representations. I learned the infinite possibilities to transform and open space with partitions, catwalk like bridges, multiple stories points of entry, circulation, etc.

But looking back, I think the best things I look with me are qualities as a students I was able to internalize and can tap back into at anytime in my future.

One of them is confidence. I remember the common thing at most of my reviews was how timid my products were. Not sure where that came from. Maybe it was from first year, after I pinned up a hand drawn section and my instructor basically told me to withdraw from the studio. Maybe the confidence came from that same professor critic-ing my work again earlier last year but this time with a compliment. Maybe it was my last instructor, Anali G., who forced me to put up my work and believe in the time I spent on it, regardless of what I was afraid other people would think. Maybe it’s even the school counselor who told me a few words that help drive my design process more than any architecture handbook helped me: Comparison is the thief of happiness/good design. It’s true. Once I starting pinning up and having tunnel vision between my work, myself and my instructor, what other people thought of my work was never hindering my work again.

Studio aside, second year was awesome because what happened off campus. Visiting the Case Study #22 house in the Hollywood Hills or FLW’s Sowden House on Franklin Avenue (literally 20 minutes from campus!) or going to the Frank Gehry Exhibit at LACMA were the most memorable or influential parts of my studies. Nothing taught true architecture to me more than being within some of the greatests.

Studio is awesome, instructors are rich in knowledge, second year is well-done with, third year awaits.

Congratulations on you ’15-’16 everyone. Empower your summers as ’16-’17 will be even better for us all.


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