A review of First things first: A quick video
Before we get started, let’s watch a brief video on – yes you guessed right – a review of first things first.
Well there you have it. The architect is the Jack of All Trades and Master of Architecture. Of course this is a play on the adage Jack of all trades and Master of None.
The Architect: Jack of all trades Master of None?
Architects Registration Council of Nigeria, ARCON defines architecture as the art and science in theory and practice of design, erection, commissioning, maintenance, and management and coordination of allied professional inputs.
Architecture can be referred to as an allied discipline. This means architecture is a mix of principles from the various fields of design, mathematics, structures, chemistry, humanities, and environmental studies. That is why you needed that unique subject combination of arts, physics and mathematics for admission. When I was a student, I often wondered whether I was studying fine art, engineering or building technology with the unique combination of courses offered. The architect has always been considered a multi-talented individual. He/she takes care of not only the structure of the building, but also its function, aesthetic and experience, making him a jack of all trades and master of architecture.
A Review of First things First – So you want to be an architect?
Sometimes as an icebreaker to my lectures, I do a mini poll on why do you want to be an architect? You will be surprised at the answers I get. But it’s pretty safe to surmise that by the time a student is first semester 300 level or half way through the experience they are either wondering. “why on earth am I here”? Or while excelling wishing there ought to be a better way.
“As an Architect, you design for a present, with an awareness of the past, for a future that is essentially unknown.” – Norman Foster
I was a college junior in the early 1980s in the USA and I think I can say without a doubt that some things never change. I wondered about the same things when I was at the half way point. And the geographical location didn’t make a difference. Personally, I think every one takes a reality check every so often so if you’re feeling that way, never fear you’re in good company.
First things first: How do I excel?
First of all, I want to encourage you to explore my website. There are a number of blogs that I think will be very helpful you. In our time the web was a dream and we knocked ourselves out reading Sir Banister Fletcher’s A History of Architecture. For you, I recommend Emma Walshaw’s First In Architecture website. She has a little thing for starting out. Also I am personally not one to reinvent the wheel so you can go and look it up. This is not introduction to architecture. Rather it is a review of first things first.
I do have a checklist of dos and don’ts that I’ve adapted from here and here and there. However the summary of this is. There is a time for everything in architecture and you have to get the timings right. If you wait to the last minute to do your work (the bane of most architecture students) you may pass but you will not excel. Architecture takes way too much time to do well and even if you crash it, you will probably crash land. Ouch.
A Review of First things first: Reach and Limits of Current Issues
This course is unique in that it gives you insights into how you can approach the other courses. That is because its rather philosophical in its approach. I also helps you understand the why of the course you are offering currently (no pun intended please). For instance, you may wonder why I should study statically indeterminate structures. That is until you encounter a building that looks like this.
The word analogous means to be comparable in certain respects. In other words analogous examples typically makes clearer the nature of the things they are being compared with .In nature, there are animate and inanimate objects. Developing the built environment can be similar in some respects. This is because the construction has a combination of living and non living factors that affect the design and construction. All of the factors play a significant role in determining the nature of the built environment. The analogies used here are trees and forest.
Architectural Theory and the tree
We had earlier established the use of the tree to explain how ideas or concepts become fruits. Let us revisit this for emphasis. This sketch reveals that concepts through ideas are the roots and the design product in the fruits.
Architecture is a mysterious forest and Current Issues helps you become a good forester.
First Impressions Count
Even though you’re in your third year of architecture, I want to introduce my thoughts on architectural education at least in the way it applies in the University of Jos. Architecture is broken into 7 modes of study. These I would call the seven phyla of trees and all the trees in the forest and some of the branches are the various courses of study. It would help you to see them as interrelated as they each make up more than a part of the whole (Gestalt theory). We will talk about that in later classes.
I think I must add (since this is a course on current issues) that in the near future, the forest of architectural education courses would look more like the one below to reflect Post COVID-19 realities.
You notice that the environmental control and physical sciences trees look taller than in the first forest. I believe that the role of I &CT and environmental impact will expand to reflect the environmental responses to pandemic designs. Even though pandemics like COVID-19 are once in a century diseases, there are too many diseases in between to ignore, particularly in the face of globalisation.
Current Issues in the Architectural Forest of Education
The whole issue of the trees and forests is to see the intra and inter-relationships between current issues and other courses. It also looks at current issues in architectural thought and expression. Lets first consider the intra-relationship
Current Issues falls under history and theoretical studies. We use History of Architecture to lay down precedents or past references. We also look at Theory of the Creative Process. This will enable us determine the thoughts that inform the architectural expression. Current Issues therefore is the middle ground between History and Theory of the Creative Process.
Current Issues flows through the seven modules of architectural education taught at University of Jos. We examine the interrelationship between them. Highlighting current issues in building services technology examining Artificial Intelligence and new construction technologies. And also identifying Human and social issues of the day including the Corona virus. Current Environmental design systems are examined as well. This is with a view to determining the effects on architectural design, graphics and I &CT development.
A Review of First things first
Hopefully we now understand the relationship between current issues and other courses in the department. Let us examine a few videos that are important to give us the right orientation as we review first things first.
A final review of First things first
Imagine that you are in a hurry to put up a building. Do you start with the roof? The walls? I mean you are in a hurry, so why start with the foundation? It really takes a lot of time to do. Not to talk about the cost.
This sounds absurd to consider. However, we must realise that in architecture like any knowledge based profession. First things come first.
First things first