Towards the end of my secondary school education, I was faced with an array of choices on what I should study at the university. Despite how easy you may expect this to be, it was the most difficult decision I had to make in my academic pursuit.
Unfortunately, architecture as an academic discipline and professional career wasn’t as popular back then, and the knowledge of what it entails ad wasn’t as available to me. Sometimes even among those who should know, there is still a knowledge gap.
With all this in mind, you can understand how I stumbled into architecture and was shocked to discover that it involved a lot more than I expected.
What is architecture?
Basically, architecture is the art and science of designing and constructing buildings and structures.
In the study of architecture, you are taught quite a lot to equip yourself with the requisite knowledge. Ranging from arts: design, graphics, and modelling to science: climatology, theory of structures and lastly practicals: building methods and materials, professional practice etc.
The study of architecture is many things to many people but certainly a nightmare to the fainthearted and ill-prepared students.
Studying architecture doesn’t only test your intellect and creativity but also your stamina and determination.
How I stumbled on architecture.
I first stumbled on the word architecture when I was applying to study at the university.
Quite frankly one of the reasons why I chose architecture was because I felt ‘Architecture’ was a fancy word. Thus, may be a respectable and desirable course.
Coincidentally I later heard that my technical drawing (T.D) teacher studied architecture. I never verified this information though but thinking back why will an architect teach T.D. to secondary students? Anyway, I liked his subject.
I did very well in T.D., in fact, he had asked us to design chairs and tables out of steel pipes and draw them on our sketch sheets. Got one of the best and most creative designs. The guy who had the best went on to study medicine.
Also, about that time my parents needed to undertake the remodelling of their home.
I volunteered to redesign the home (of course I was a quack). Drew out my designs on drawing sheets and discussed my proposal with my parents. They were impressed with my basic knowledge of home design even without being taught.
That was when I decided that architecture should be my course of pursuit.
When I think back I remember that during my late secondary school days, I hardly passed by a nice building without taking a second glance and a mental note of its form and detail.
When I left to study architecture at the University of Lagos; it is a metropolitan city of tall buildings. I was in a young enthusiastic architecture student’s paradise. Feasting my eyes without end on the architectural varieties
I will say providence brought me into studying architecture and without knowing it, I had a passion for it. I went on to graduate with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from the University of Lagos.
Questions and Answers on my experience studying architecture
Did the study of architecture meet my expectation?
Yes, it did. Besides the theoretical aspect which I was already well-grounded in, I had endless opportunities to express myself creatively in design.
Thankfully the school of architecture I attended was very liberal in allowing you to showcase your design ideas. So long as you can propose a way or system by which your ideas will be actualized, in form of detailed drawings and specifications.
What will you say to young lads looking to read architecture?
By all means do, like the saying: after God, architects are the next creator.
Even if you have no flare or innate design creativity, you can learn, so long as you put your mind to it.
Several things you can do beforehand may include: trying sketching with freehand, reading up on other architects, being open-minded and being ready to work hard.