I am an urban planning graduate applying to MA and MLA at Daniels and UBC.?Since high school, I have always wanted to study architecture, but wasn’t
in the right environment (language barrier as an immigrant born in a?non-design family in Asia) to interpret creative stimulations until myundergraduate study. My portfolio was mostly projects from planning, with a?few handcrafts, drawing, and photography works. This is my second time?applying, I am hoping for the best, although quite intimidated by the works?from senior students in the master programs at Daniels judging from their?critique photos online.
Through design studios I began to pick up many trends, ideas, and?principles that drive the creative process, and I am in constant amusement?of how unpredictable the methodologies to design projects are. Considering?the breadth of application through design in solving current issues, the?social, environmental, and creative responsibilities each proposal holds,?and the complex impact each physical addition would impose, I struggle to?understand the “whole” picture, let alone propose and justify my projects?with confidence. This is especially evident in the work field when almost?every decision was driven by cost, structural feasibility, and external?factors outside of our control as designers.
I would imagine each individual have different learning style, and the?triggers to our imaginative tendencies vary, but as someone who truly had?to begin the pursuit of this profession from a blank slate, I would love?for you to share your experience on the types of activities, interests,?knowledge, and habits that contribute to the types of thinking possessed by?architects to draw inspirations from in their design. What are some?qualities of architecture and even large scale projects that win your?admiration, and also, qualities of architects (students or professionals,?even starchitects) as characters that contribute to the quality of their?designs and recognition of their excellence.
These are some incredibly vague questions, I’m sure you might be thinking.?Although I am trying to stir a discussion towards your idea on the thinking?process of architects, your answer on any single aspect of these questions?will be appreciated!
i appreciate all the thought you put into your question, i really do. it was a nice read, like a little article, on this monday evening. however, i don’t think i can be of much use to you.
the kernel of your question, from what i can see, is, “what are some qualities of architecture and even large-scale projects that win your?admiration, and also, qualities of architects (students or professionals,?even starchitects) as characters that contribute to the quality of their?designs and recognition of their excellence”?
that’s a pretty good question. i just think you asked the wrong person.
listen, i’m impressed when people can just get buildings to stand straight up without falling down. i can’t even make a house of cards.
what i can help a bit with is your anxiety about applying to uoft. i can see you’re stressed about being an international student, and i’m sure the fact that this is your second time around, so to speak, is discouraging as well.
all i can say is that uoft is an incredibly international school. we have people from all over, and not only do we have them, we have a?lot of them. so you can rest easy if you’re concerned about that affecting your application.
if you want to see how you might fit into the world of architects, i’d recommend reading stuff by actual architects in the city – ’cause honestly, i could try to give you my opinion, but i’d just be embarrassing myself. all i know is CORINTHIAN COLUMNS! that’s a thing in architecture, right? maybe?
one of our most famous architecture-writers (though he’s not originally trained as an architect…i think) is shawn micallef. he edits spacing magazine (which i highly recommend) and he has a column in?The Star. if you want opinions about architects and architecture, i’d start there. (he also wrote an excellent book about architecture in toronto).
here are some publications about architecture and architects that may interest you. you might also want to browse aska’s architecture tag to get more of a feel for the daniels faculty and uoft architecture students in particular.
good luck with your applications!