I was thinking today about the problems and weaknesses I have in my study of architecture; they basically all come down to the trouble I have getting my ideas out in a drawing. I can write about what I want to do with a building, and I go through versions in my head, but professors want to see stuff on paper. And I struggle with that quite a bit. I realize I am only a fairly inexperienced student and my professors know so much more than I do, but at times I have this misplaced and unearned confidence that makes me tell myself, “Look, I know how I work best, just let me do it that way and things will turn out fine.” But then the end of the project comes and while I am usually fairly happy with the results, my professors are sometimes not. So you would think I’d realize that maybe my way of working doesn’t…well, doesn’t work. But like I said, misplaced and unearned confidence.
But, at the same time, I don’t know if that’s all of it. There is a part of me, probably the largest part of me, that is not concerned so much with the aesthetics of a building or if I have everything detailed so that it’s obvious I know how a building works. I imagine I will learn that stuff in great detail as I go through my internship. What I am most concerned with while I am in school is getting the ideas right. Because I see myself as needing that base before I even begin to really make architecture. I feel like the larger idea behind a building is so much more important, and every building must have a larger idea. There must be a reason for every choice I make, whether it’s a large reason or a small one. But there must be a reason. Architects are one of the few people who can affect a person’s mood (this is why I’m always amused by the question, “Is architecture art?” Of course it is, just like painting, music, photography, etc! Although it’s inhabitableness makes it more than just art.), and I think we have a huge responsibility to be serious about that. So I feel like I must be able to understand how to do that before I can think about the technical and aesthetic aspects of architecture.
But that gets me into trouble, I think. Because professors want to see that I know the technical and aesthetic parts of it, and they want to see the versions I go through in my head. They want to see my concepts in a visual way when I don’t understand how to make an idea visible. And I’m learning those parts; I think I’m developing my own aesthetic sense, and I’ve learned what components have to go into a building to make it work. But that’s not really what comes out in my studio work, and I think that’s why I’m not getting the grades I want. I’m not saying this is my teachers’ fault at all, I know I need to “grow up” in my work enough to be able to deal with the technical and aesthetic aspects as well as the philosophical ones. But I can’t seem to shake the feeling that the technical and aesthetic aspects just don’t matter to me nearly as much. For me, right now, it’s all about the idea.
(I know a few architects read this blog. I’d desperately love some feedback.)