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An insight into the life of an Architecture student

Guest posts

Faculty: Science and Engineering
School: Engineering and the Built Environment
Course: BA (Hons) Architecture
Category: Architecture, building and construction

4 May 2022

Halima Mohammed

Right from day one I knew I would enjoy the architecture course here at ARU. It had all the modules I was interested in learning, and the method of teaching is hands-on and practical, which solidified my interest.

Learning in the studio

In my first year we started from the basics, and slowly evolved into bigger and more complex modules as we progressed into Year 2. In Year 2, you soon realise why certain techniques and processes are introduced on the course and how all the elements begin to work together.

One of the things I really love is the one-on-one interactions we get to have with our lecturers, invited engineers, guest lecturers, people from the built environment industry, and so on. Such exposure and interactions have given me more insight in what’s to come and how the outside/built environment industry works, which is really impactful.

Coming to the design studio is one of the best parts of my week. There’s so much freedom and expression in that space. I listen to music on my speakers with my friends while we do our work and designs. It also creates an atmosphere for collaboration with my mates, sharing ideas and opinions on our designs and helping each other out.

Overall, even though my days and weeks are always busy doing one module or the other, I won’t change a thing. Every day is always a different and exciting day that I look forward to.

My top 5 architecture resources

When it comes to architecture, there’s really no such thing as too much research or knowing too much. So, getting information/ architecture material from various sources like books, YouTube videos, LinkedIn and so on is always an advantage. These resources helped me a lot during my projects and coursework.

  1. Hetreed, J., Ross, A., Baden-Powell, C., 2017. Architect’s Pocket Book (Abingdon: Routledge)
    This book is an absolute must-have. It contains all the necessary information about standard design measurements used in British architecture. It also contains information on furniture sizes, space sizes, explanations on how the body fits and interacts in a space, and so on. I have found this book super helpful since I was in my first year, and it will continue to help me in future. I would highly recommend this book. It is, however, a little high in price, but you can get a copy from a second-hand bookstore or eBay.
  2. Architects' Journal: AJ Buildings Library
    AJ Buildings Library is an online architecture library that contains information on various buildings, structures, and so on, not only in the architecture sector, but also arts, culture, civic, healthcare, housing, landscape design, master planning and more. You can do loads of research from this site by finding out about a particular building or structure, or just browsing through the various buildings if you need inspiration for your project. You can also find floorplans and design specifics of some structures. It is a super helpful site. You automatically gain access to the site as a Architecture or Architectural Technology student at ARU - all you need to do is sign up!
  3. Architecture student vlogs/channels on YouTube
    Yes, that’s right, YouTube. The amount of architecture materials and tutorials one can find for free on YouTube is absolutely amazing. Literally any software or design problem you may encounter in your studies, the solution can be found there. Architecture vlogs and channels on YouTube like Surviving Architecture, Show It Better, Upstairs and Archigraph have helped me so much, and vastly improved my skills on Photoshop, Illustrator, Rhino and more. The amazing thing about these channels is that they really break down information, so you can always understand and follow it clearly.
  4. Pinterest
    I know you’re thinking, 'what?! Pinterest?!' but yes, Pinterest is also an amazing source of information and inspiration! As architecture students, we sometimes need to come up with a concept or an idea quickly and it’s not always easy. We can sometimes get design block or not have an idea or concept in an instant and that’s absolutely fine, that’s where Pinterest comes in. This website has unlimited architecture ideas and designs and inspirations from all over the world. Pinterest isn’t strictly an architecture site, but its architecture section is really insightful and helpful. One of my lecturers introduced us to using Pinterest to get ideas and concepts and I honestly haven’t stopped using it ever since.
  5. Dezeen
    Dezeen is an architecture, interiors and design online magazine. It contains various articles and publications, both new and old, on various types of designs. This site is particularly helpful when looking for information on famous architecture monuments, or the latest design projects in any part of the world that are tackling a social problem or using innovative methods or materials. It's kind of like the CNN or BBC of the architecture world, providing the latest updates in design, interiors and architecture.

I hope you’ll find these recommendations as helpful as they were for me, because they truly are game changers.

By Halima Mohammed
BA (Hons) Architecture student

Halima is studying Architecture at ARU in Chelmsford. To find out more about our degree courses and student life at ARU, book your place at an Open Day.


The views expressed here are those of the individual and do not necessarily represent the views of Anglia Ruskin University. If you've got any concerns please contact us.