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What to pack for an architecture degree Watch

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    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 at least 4 years
    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, but make sure you state straight away you dont want to pay the £80 when the 6 month trial runs out).

    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'. the harder pencils are really good for soft outlines and the softer ones are good for adding texture.

    Black pens of varying thicknesses
    Get a pack of them. They're usually put in packs from 0.1 - 1mm in thickness. then get a thicker felt tip pen for outlines on section cuts of buildings (you will 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; you'll be fine. These will be used for elevations. a black promarker is really good for rendering the wall/floor thickness'.

    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 you've got a creativity block. 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 - see in books-

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

    Earphones
    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 you'll be wanting to do in first year. studio goblins are the best friends you can make on the course. they have a good work culture you are 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 Poundland.

    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 they're 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
    * update *
    Building designed by BIG architects. Its called 'The peoples building'. Located in Shanghai, Ren. Its a Hieroglyph for the word 'people'.
    (not 100% sure if its actually been made yet/ is going to be made.)
    http://jdsa.eu/ren/

    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. You will more than likely being using pen and paper for lectures. No one likes the guy loudly tapping away on their laptop whilst everyone else is slaving away trying to scribble down every word the lecturer says.

    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.

    Knives
    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.

    Biros
    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 paper
    Really good for adding levels and adjustments to your design without having to constantly redraw the floorplan/site. useful for seminars as its a really good way of showing how the components of your design interact with each other when the floor plans are lines up. Buy in rolls from amazon, this is so much cheaper.

    3 in 1 printer
    Really 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.

    --books--
    These are books I have purchased during the year, but having them at the start of the year would have been really helpful.

    Architectural drawing - David Dernie
    This book is really good for ideas on presentation. It takes pages that established firms such as Zaha Hadid Architects have released on presenting ideas. It also has sections with a couple of basic program guides e.g. photoshop and 3DS max. It covers everything from sketching to collage. Get it. It'll give you some much needed direction at the start of the year.

    Architectural Pocket Book - Charlotte Baden Powell
    Essential! This book is clearly laid out, easy to use and a really good level of depth. This book really helped me out in between seminars for standard object measurements and general tips/tricks of the trade. Also has loads of drawings and symbol guides to use as references for tasks such as technical drawings.

    A book by/based on an architect you like that have the same values and interests as you
    I chose: Eco Skyscrapers (Volume 2) - Ken Yeang
    This one particularly was very good because it was a solid 90% pictures and diagrams which are good for inspiration when youre in a bit of a creative rut. Its a good idea to get as many as possible of these as although you can quickly search up what youre looking for on pinterest or whatever, its good to take some time away from screens to give yourself a 'smart break'; where youre still getting a break, but youre using time efficiently.


    --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
    generally useful, try and get a non marking one so you can stick drawings, photos, posters on your wall. Show off the pieces youre proud of! Itll be a constant reminder of what you can achieve.

    Wadge of A3 paper
    Good to have for mind maps etc. I brought 250 sheets for £8 off amazon. Try to avoid high quality print paper. it doesnt feel as nice when youre skeching and the shading comes out a bit off...?

    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. I know most people have it but if you dont its a really useful tool.

    A medium sized 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/computer. Despite the fact the guy that brings a 32inch TV to uni is an absolute flat legend, you may be at this a long time and do not 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.

    Pistachios
    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.

    Flux
    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
    Luke
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    (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.
    This is a really good list

    If you wanted you could edit it into our Architecture degree wiki article: http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wiki...tecture_Degree (hit edit and copy & paste!....use ==== (four equals signs) either side of any headings and it'll be added to the links menu at the top).

    Would you mind if I stickied this thread? it'd be useful to get feedback from other architecture students (and applicants) about if they think anything else needs adding (and possibly to argue with you about Macs )
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    Incidentally, are you suggesting they get a single laptop to last 9 years or that they regularly keep their laptop updated?

    The former seems like quite an ask!
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    (Original post by Elivercury)
    Incidentally, are you suggesting they get a single laptop to last 9 years or that they regularly keep their laptop updated?

    The former seems like quite an ask!
    Hi,
    I'm not entirely sure what you men by keeping your laptop updated to be honest?
    I was merely suggesting that laptops are expensive tools, but well worth the investment when undertaking an architecture degree. Lots of the upper years at my uni are still using their laptops they brought or the first year.

    Some thing I did forget to add was an external hard drive. Youre going to want to back up your work to minimize the potential meltdown inducing problems you could face come submission time.
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    (Original post by PQ)
    This is a really good list

    If you wanted you could edit it into our Architecture degree wiki article: http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wiki...tecture_Degree (hit edit and copy & paste!....use ==== (four equals signs) either side of any headings and it'll be added to the links menu at the top).

    Would you mind if I stickied this thread? it'd be useful to get feedback from other architecture students (and applicants) about if they think anything else needs adding (and possibly to argue with you about Macs )
    Okay sure! Good idea, but I'm staying firm on the Mac argument
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    (Original post by 97lamyers)
    Hi,
    I'm not entirely sure what you men by keeping your laptop updated to be honest?
    I was merely suggesting that laptops are expensive tools, but well worth the investment when undertaking an architecture degree. Lots of the upper years at my uni are still using their laptops they brought or the first year.

    Some thing I did forget to add was an external hard drive. Youre going to want to back up your work to minimize the potential meltdown inducing problems you could face come submission time.
    I am saying that buying a laptop powerful enough to last you 9 years is quite an ask, this is a very long time in terms of technology. Making sure you have an up to date laptop/replacing it every few years to ensure you have sufficient power is a different matter entirely.
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    I know this is quite irrelevant to what you're talking about, but what did you choose for your a-levels because i want to do architecture too but with my current options of Art, Economics, Maths and Arabic i don't know if they're good enough.. Any sort of advice you've learnt through your a-levels and its connection with architecture would be very much appreciated !
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    (Original post by ssoliman00)
    I know this is quite irrelevant to what you're talking about, but what did you choose for your a-levels because i want to do architecture too but with my current options of Art, Economics, Maths and Arabic i don't know if they're good enough.. Any sort of advice you've learnt through your a-levels and its connection with architecture would be very much appreciated !
    I chose Physics, Geography, Product Design and Business (dropped after AS though). Arabic is an absolute baller move. Companies like Forster and partners are gagging for Arabic speakers, so go you. Art will put you in really good stead in terms of how to present your ideas, as well as some impressive ass pages to hand in. It'll definitely give you the upper hand. Economics is a good one to have in general because it means youre a rational thinker... maybe..? I personally think geography was the most relevant A level course i did to be fair. Half of the course is human geography which will educate you on growing problems etc. We even chose a case study that happened to be 20 marks in one of my uni exams. Bit of a blessing but such is the modern world. I'd really recommend this. Maths is really good to have... It is however hard AF. I dropped it after a couple weeks because up until A level i got away with breezing it, got an A* in GCSE and literally got told to leave by my teacher. Just consider that maths is very time consuming, as is art around hand in time. But yeah, nice choice of well rounded subjects.
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    (Original post by 97lamyers)
    I chose Physics, Geography, Product Design and Business (dropped after AS though). Arabic is an absolute baller move. Companies like Forster and partners are gagging for Arabic speakers, so go you. Art will put you in really good stead in terms of how to present your ideas, as well as some impressive ass pages to hand in. It'll definitely give you the upper hand. Economics is a good one to have in general because it means youre a rational thinker... maybe..? I personally think geography was the most relevant A level course i did to be fair. Half of the course is human geography which will educate you on growing problems etc. We even chose a case study that happened to be 20 marks in one of my uni exams. Bit of a blessing but such is the modern world. I'd really recommend this. Maths is really good to have... It is however hard AF. I dropped it after a couple weeks because up until A level i got away with breezing it, got an A* in GCSE and literally got told to leave by my teacher. Just consider that maths is very time consuming, as is art around hand in time. But yeah, nice choice of well rounded subjects.
    How did you find physics?
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    Really interesting but I just didn't put in the time and effort, ****ed around and got the result I deserved. As long as you stay on top of it you'll be fine because lots of it follows a pathway through the different modules, so start strong even if it does mean learning all the diff prefixes e.g. Giga, all that crap. I would say have a look at the course and uni you're aiming for. The ones that concentrate more on the engineering side such as Southampton would like physics, but others more arty such as Brighton would much prefer graphics or any other creative subject. I go to one where the main influence for design is sustainability and I haven't had to think of anything maths or engineeringy related.
    Do geography! You'll be battling with sustainability all career long and it'll put you in good stead for the future.
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    (Original post by 97lamyers)
    Really interesting but I just didn't put in the time and effort, ****ed around and got the result I deserved. As long as you stay on top of it you'll be fine because lots of it follows a pathway through the different modules, so start strong even if it does mean learning all the diff prefixes e.g. Giga, all that crap. I would say have a look at the course and uni you're aiming for. The ones that concentrate more on the engineering side such as Southampton would like physics, but others more arty such as Brighton would much prefer graphics or any other creative subject. I go to one where the main influence for design is sustainability and I haven't had to think of anything maths or engineeringy related.
    Do geography! You'll be battling with sustainability all career long and it'll put you in good stead for the future.
    Thanks for the advice, and seeing as i probably have got really bad for my maths exam due to todays consequences i'm probably not gonna bother taking maths, and hopefully i get a b for it anyway so i can still carry on with my decision with taking physics and economics, or i guess it'll end up with 1) a lot of persuasion on results day 2) me cancelling the two subjects out completely and taking geography. By the way if you don't mind me asking what uni do you go to? and is it good?
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    (Original post by ssoliman00)
    Thanks for the advice, and seeing as i probably have got really bad for my maths exam due to todays consequences i'm probably not gonna bother taking maths, and hopefully i get a b for it anyway so i can still carry on with my decision with taking physics and economics, or i guess it'll end up with 1) a lot of persuasion on results day 2) me cancelling the two subjects out completely and taking geography. By the way if you don't mind me asking what uni do you go to? and is it good?

    I go to Sheffield Hallam. Chose it because of the environmental focus of the course, I loved sheffield as a city because it felt like more of a large town than a city, also being £2.50 away from the peak district was very appealing. Nightlife is on point and everything is within walking distance. The course will become better come 2nd and 3rd year when it livens up a bit and gets more intense, bit of a slow first year to be honest. A piece of advice that I picked up from a friend was on open days ask what was different about your experience than what you expected. This way you avoid them regurgitating the same **** thats plastered all over the prospectus that you already know.
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    (Original post by Elivercury)
    I am saying that buying a laptop powerful enough to last you 9 years is quite an ask, this is a very long time in terms of technology. Making sure you have an up to date laptop/replacing it every few years to ensure you have sufficient power is a different matter entirely.
    The best strategy is to buy a high spec machine at the start of your degree which can carry you through 5-6 years of uni work - you won't need a powerful machine for Part III since you'll be in practice.

    Just don't buy a medium spec machine in 1st year... then realise you need to buy another more powerful machine in your 3rd year!

    What I did was buy a laptop for my A-levels which I used through my first undergrad years.. and then I bought a desktop for my final BSc year and Masters which is now my general work and media hub now I've graduated
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    Is a laptop a necessity or could you get away with having a PC/Desktop computer?
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    Its not necessity, I do have a couple course mates who just have desktops. I would heavily suggest to get a laptop though. Its just really handy to bring everything along with you, to have everything up quickly for crits and just general work. It just makes things a thousand times more convenient.
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    (Original post by Honeywood)
    Is a laptop a necessity or could you get away with having a PC/Desktop computer?
    I think it's far too overkill to be using a desktop in studio until your final year, which means you'd instead do most of your work in your room which is very lonely..

    You don't need a laptop over a desktop, but working without one may restrict your flexibility
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    All an architect really needs is a pen and a piece of paper. Everything else is optional. All the equipment and technology in the world won't substitute creativity.
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    (Original post by Honeywood)
    Is a laptop a necessity or could you get away with having a PC/Desktop computer?
    I always had just a laptop and used the university desktops, I found that towards deadlines a lot of us would work all hours in the architecture desktop rooms (cad lab). I would only recommend this if your uni has dedicated ones for render/cad/revit etc

    I definitely agree with the others though only getting a desktop will restrict you somewhat
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    So enthusiastic. By the end of if it you will be taking notes on a leaf you found on the way to your lecture.
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    (Original post by ioclops)
    So enthusiastic. By the end of if it you will be taking notes on a leaf you found on the way to your lecture.
    So enthusiastic... you went to lectures near deadlines :p:
 
 
 
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