Introduction to Architecture Testimonials

"For most students, Intro is their first encounter with architectural design, and it is an introduction through familiar, intimate techniques: hand drawing and physical model making. I think this is very important as it teaches you to both think and work with an intuititve set of tools you've always had, but in a fundamentally different and new way. This uncomfortable reversal when it comes to how to think, draw, or make, forces students to re-think their hands in ways that are both frustrating and liberating. From my own experience as a student and helping/frustrating students through this learning process, I've come to believe that this is an invaluable way to really jump into architectural education."

-Miles Fujiki, Teacher Assistant

"The Introduction to Architecture program was my first exposure to what it means tostudy architecture at something like the graduate level.  While I had taken some history and asmall studio course in my undergraduate work, nothing had prepared me for the intensityand full immersion of a real studio until Intro.  Over the course of a few weeks, I discovered how demandingand rewarding a round-the-clock commitment to a design project could be.  It was like getting my feet wet bygoing head-first into the deep end. My studio critic Moji got us to critically engage with the process ofdesigning at a variety of scales, from the handheld to the urban.  We even had an impromptu 24-hourproject to build a 1-to-1 styrofoam wall! Most importantly, however, was theopportunity to push myself to limits I previously never imagined approachingand ultimately deciding that I really was going to be an architect."

- David Hecht, Former Student

"The evening studio is an intense experience. Many of the students have day jobs or other obligations that restrict their ability to attend studio sessions in the afternoons. That said, the expectation is that evening students will produce just as much work and will be just as committed to program.  Also, unlike the afternoon sessions, where students are grouped according to their relative architectural experience, the evening students are usually all grouped together. This has the added advantage of allowing those with less experience to quickly absorb the studio culture and hit the ground running.

It is a quick semester and affords little time to warm up slowly; students must be willing to react quickly and produce voluminously. Mostly, however, the evening sessions are fun, and serve as a great break from ones normal daily obligations. Students are expected to keep up with the challenges of the evening studio and may need to often work late past official studio hours to maintain the pace.  Just remember that having other commitments is no excuse for not keeping up, your peers are all in the same situation.

In the two years that I taught the evening studio, I have begun with a quick and dirty problem that gets students thinking spatially and volumetrically. For those who assume they know what architecture is, these assignments quickly put them outside their comfort zone, and for those with little prior exposure, it helps them question their initial presumptions. In both cases the students find themselves swiftly adapting to the given constraints and making space almost instantaneously. Through a series of iterative and expansive problems, a final architectural intervention in both model and drawing is achieved. In the end, students often look back amazed at what was achieved through this burst of creativity."

-Babak Bryan, Studio Critic