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What to pack for an architecture degree

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Why bother with a post grad? Are they even worth it? Have your say! 26-10-2016

    How high are costs of materials and printing? Roughly how much do you reckon you spent a year on materials and printing?

    THANK YOU!!!!!!! this is a big help in preparation for starting in Sept
    (Original post by 97lamyers)
    This is a list I am writing after completing my first year of architecture, with very little guidance before the course. I felt the lists already available online were a bit... ****. Feel free to message me any thing you would add to this.

    --things you will need--
    A good laptop.
    For final projects youre going to want to do a lot of multitasking on your laptop, with programmes like AutoCad and Photoshop running.
    I have got a HP Pavilion ENVY 1Tb hard drive 8GB RAM, i7 Processor with NVIDA GEFORCE graphics card.
    -it has got to stay up to date for up to 9 years if you decide to take the course all the way completing part 2&3 in industry.
    DO NOT GET A MAC. yes theyre pretty and you may well be a Jobs loyalist; but the main programmes like AutoCad and Revit are designed for PC. If you get a mac you will need to get a windows converter for £80 odd pounds which is extremely slow and frankly a ball ache. Just dont do it. There are lots of other lovely laptops out there.

    Student pack of promarkers
    Even if youre not the best of artists they make drawings look 1000% times better.
    I have windsor and newton because they were the cheaper ones on amazon

    A calendar
    Mark out all of your deadlines asap. keep an eye on them as they creep up on you fast. first year is an absolute blur.
    9 times out of 10 youre going to get a massive one in freshers at some point, but if not you can get one pretty inexpensively from amazon (free student amazon prime is your friend).

    Trusty pencil
    Ive decided to phrase it this way because this is your one mechanical pencil that will last you all the way through architecture school and beyond. Choose a hardness and thickness you get on with. My preference is 0.8mm 2B. Theyre only about £5 and £1 for lead or something, again, go through amazon. Also get a nice set of pencils with varying hardness'.

    Black pens of varying thicknesses
    Get a pack of them. Theyre usually put in packs from 0.1 - 1mm in thickness. then get a thicker felt tip pen for outlines on section cuts of buildings (youll be doing a load of these). You do not need the expensive rotoring pen sets the uni sell. Just get the cheap throw away ones; youll be fine.

    Architecture magazines
    Try to get a subscription as an early christmas present or something. just get the most mainstream ones going like the architecture review. Lots of pictures and food for thought. Its always good to have some for inspiration when youre stuck in a creative rut. if you cant get the subscription as they can be pricey just get a couple on the off and give 'em a read.

    A copy of Architects pocket book
    This will have a lot of the rules of thumbs and information that keep the guess work to a minimum, e.g. stair heights widths and treads (depths). it is also good for any construction technology work you will have to do. It does not cover everything but it does help fill in a lot of blanks

    A large adjustable set square
    Keeps all your angled parallel lines parallel. Great tool

    Youre going to want earphones instead of headphones because you can just shove in one enabling you to listen to your tunes yet stay approachable. which youll be wanting to do in first year. studio goblins are the best friends you can make out of the course. they have a good work culture youre going to want to adopt.

    University end of year books
    These can be picked up for free from uni visits. accumulate as many as possible as these will help with the graphics-ey part of the course. the actual final pieces and presentation techniques. there are also lots of good ideas from people in the same situation as yourself. well worthy of some space on the accommodation book shelf.

    Masking tape
    This is an absolute god send when drawing straight onto your A1 sheets in the studio. also everyone loves the guy with masking tape, hes like the guy that always has gum in every other social situation.
    -Theyre good for models too
    -Get like 5 rolls from pound land.

    A couple of sketchbooks
    Theyre good to have right from the start of a project. fill them with bubble diagrams and initial rough sketches. seminar leaders love all that ****. also theyre marked along side the portfolio hand in. well... ours was...?

    A couple of plain A4 pads with nice paper
    Use this as an idea book. a problem with first year is that everyone gets excited by ideas, and tries to pump their project with all the ideas that come into their head. just chill and save them for the next project. This one company i cant think of did this, showed this Chinese bank their idea book, turns out one of their designs was in the shape of the Chinese word for happy or something like that... anyway, keep one. Wish i did this year. Will definitely be doing this next year

    Scale ruler
    Get the one with 3 spokes. this is a necessity and makes things a lot less complicated when you stop overthinking measurements.

    Couple of lined paper pads
    Get one for each subject. dont have loose sheets knocking about, they literally always get lost even if you do file them perfectly in chronological order. No one likes the guy loudly tapping away on their laptop whilst everyone else is slaving away with a paper and pen in lectures.

    Metal ruler
    These are great for making models and they wont deform your scale ruler making it all bumpy when you accidentally cut away at it.

    A comfy craft knife is an absolute god send. I have an Xacto, because they have a good brand name and it was like £3 for 40 replacement blades. I would suggest getting a stanley blade as well because they produce much better straight lines than smaller craft knifes

    Youll get about a million during freshers week but get one or two that are comfy for writing a vast amounts with. Some days you could have back to back to back lectures, and no one wants a sore hand 30 mins deep into lecture one.

    Glue gun
    Get a decent one that will last you a couple years, try to avoid the ones from poundland, as you dont want it breaking when youre deep in the model making zone.

    Laptop stand
    Youre going to want to be the comfiest you can be when youre blitzing your all-nighter. I have one and havent had any back or neck problems...?

    A mouse
    Obvious but youre not going to want to do any cad without one. get one that fits your hand nicely. look for reviews on amazon like, it was too small if you have smaller hand and vice versa (obvious again but y'know'. Again youre going to want to be as comfy as possible cooped up in your flat for 48 hours without sun or human contact.

    A3 drawing board
    Good for drawing elevations etc, handy and not too expensive. I wouldnt splash out on this as much.

    A2 cutting board
    Good to have if you bring/start your model at home.
    Tracing paperReally good for adding levels to your building without having to constantly redraw the floorplan/site. good for seminars toobuy in rolls from amazon, this is so much cheaper.
    3 in 1 printerReally good to have come hand in as you can print off screen shots of your sketchup model (its quick relatively precise and you can import a load of good stuff from the warehouse) in which to trace over. tracing paper scans well if you back it with white paper.

    Join a sports team or society
    architecture has very few contact hours due to all the independent work we are expected to do. Because of this you may find getting started at uni may take a bit longer. JOIN A TEAM! JOIN A SOCIETY! It wont hurt, you dont have to go back after the first one if it was scary. There are socials most weeks in the first term and you meet a load of great new people. I did not and it is one of my biggest regrets. This is easily the most common regret among students: Not getting stuck in earlier. GO! You got this.

    --good things to have--
    Model trees and grass
    these are good to have because it means you can get straight to model making without much faffing. grass is good to have. Id opt away from the model train grass as lots of my tutors hate it, but that could just be them. go for a 1:100 scale tree set, theyre relatively expensive for what they are but you can always just blue tack them down and reuse them.

    Blue tack
    For the trees.
    Wadge of A3 paperGood to have for mind maps etc. I brought 250 sheets for £8 off amazon

    Facebook account
    Good for liking pages such as arch daily which post a lot of useful ****. Also for joining the university architecture page for socials and course updates.

    A medium sized tv/computer monitor and HDMI cable
    The primary use for this is to have the tutorials playing on the monitor, and you to be following it on the laptop. although the guy who brings the 32inch TV to uni is an absolute flat hero, you may be at this for a long time and dont need your retinas cremated after the first video. you will be relatively close to the screen as uni accommodation do offer desks, but theyre not often expansive.
    -i also like to put on grand designs whilst i work... its amusing enough to keep my interest peaked whilst not being too amusing that i outright forget about work and watch Kevin McCloud shout at a couple of tunnel visioned optimists... but thats just me.

    Weird one but as revision/work food goes; I rate these the highest. the reason being is that de-shelling these beauties give you a lot of thinking time to read what youve written, take a step back and assess what work youve done. they are salty but just compensate with a pint of water. working with juice and fizzy drinks is not ideal for spillages nor sugar highs/lows.

    Its a free computer program you download that changes the colour output of the screen depending on the time of day/night. It puts a warmer tone on the screen at night to avoid eye stress and help you sleep better when/if you do decide to sleep.

    Ted Talks
    Get into these. Theyre great. This is another great use for the dual monitor set up as theyre very interesting, reasonably short and you may even learn something...?

    Forgive the *****y spelling and grammar. never been my strong point, but good luck in the future to all the readers

    Okay so I'm in A2 and i really want to applyn into architecture but reading this just scared the **** out of me because i dont know **** about architecture and im not really good at art too. Do the projects require a lot of Math and Physics?
    • Thread Starter

    (Original post by Aziz99)
    Okay so I'm in A2 and i really want to applyn into architecture but reading this just scared the **** out of me because i dont know **** about architecture and im not really good at art too. Do the projects require a lot of Math and Physics?
    There are quite a few people on the course that didn't come from an arts/design background so i wouldn't worry about that (you may have to muster up a portfolio for the interview).
    No. None of my projects required any maths/physics. They might if you go to a more construction orientated course, like civil engineering and architecture. I believe they do this course at Southampton and I'm sure you can continue to part 2+3 after.
    Have a look at architectural technology. That's more aimed at the people who want to go into architecture but may not necessarily have or want to have the arty side of architecture. You still get the creative problem solving side, but you come at the objective from a more... technical(?) standpoint.
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