First-Year Undergraduate Student
Those select few who are chosen to study architecture at LSU should be very thankful and proud to be a part of such a wonderful and interesting curriculum. The architecture program is not an easy one, and you will learn quickly that extra time becomes very scarce. However, the experience of studying such a subject is all worth while.
Freedom plays a major role in architecture. Many of the projects and assignments given are designed so you will explore new ideas, opening your mind beyond current limits. You will never ponder over the same thing because new information and materials are introduced to you almost everyday. The most difficult thing to accept when studying architecture at LSU is that there is no correct way to achieve something. Only your power of creativity and, of course, your brilliant explanation for what ever it is you are trying to get across, will help you succeed in learning and completing a fantastic project.
Though everything may seem overwhelming at first, the work will die down. Being a student in the school of architecture is one of the best experiences of my life, and I encourage all of you interested in this curriculum to take part and explore the many wonders of architecture here at LSU.
Second-Year Undergraduate Student
If you’re energetic, a bit bizarre and love caffeine, this is the major for you! And even if you’re NOT, this is still the major for you, for nothing is more satisfying than CREATING. Architecture is about being constantly creative and thinking–even in your sleep. Intellectually rigorous, the LSU architecture school requires much hard work and patience, as well as the humility to accept criticism and learn from it. Because you learn mostly through trial and error, you must be willing to try and do as much work as possible so that you can create the best final project and get the most out of your education. In the architecture program, you definitely “get out of it” what you “put into it.”
You will often get very little sleep and may be baffled by the first few projects, but you WILL eventually understand the meaning of architecture. You will also get USED to the sleep deprivation and the deadlines, so don’t worry. In addition, you will also get to know your classmates very well and will have quite a few delirious laughs – it’s like a huge co-ed slumber party! When you DO go to bed at night, nothing is more satisfying than knowing that you are different and more enlightened than you were the day before. You feel that you are making use of your intellect and creating something that no one else on this campus is creating.
You may start to think about architecture all day long– while you’re talking to a friend, the perfect design idea may pop into your head, or, while you’re eating, you may feel the need to hurriedly scribble down an idea before you forget it. Architectural thought may capture your mind and hold it hostage.
Being an architecture student is about completely immersing yourself in a new way of thinking and a new appreciation of your surroundings. You may start to analyze the social habits of your fellow students, notice the gesture of a lonely tree, or ponder why the buildings on the LSU campus have exteriors that totally don’t relate to the interiors. You may begin to think about how everything in this world relates or how poetic the interior of a building can be. Overall, the LSU architecture program gives you deeper understanding of life.
Third-Year Undergraduate Student
Before I entered the architecture program, I was a business major. I went to class, went to parties, and got decent grades. Basically I had the typical college experience. After a year of this routine, I realized that business was not for me. After speaking to a friend who was an architecture major, I decided that design was something that I would enjoy. I was spending all of my time outside of class working on my studio project. After being on campus from 8:30 A.M.-4:30 P.M., I would stay in the studio and work on my project until about 4am. I was able spend so much time doing schoolwork because it wasn’t “work”; it wasn’t reading and studying, and figuring out the correct answer. It was a creative process that involved defining the problem and coming up with my own solution. Professors challenge us to explore not only different ideas and forms, but also to analyze our entire outlook on the world and to respond to it. I would push myself to create a design that I was proud of, and the best part was that there was no “correct” answer. I would come to studio and see all the different designs and approaches to a project. I saw that architecture was not just the cookie-cutter houses in my neighborhood. Project gets progressively more complex and demanding with each semester I have learned not only technical issues, but I have also learned to manage my time better, and to evaluate my surroundings in new ways. Professors continue to challenge students to bring their projects to the next level. Architecture has given me a drive to push myself and produce something that I can be proud of, a drive that I couldn’t find in any other curriculum. The architecture program has a strong community within the school because it has its own building and we spend so much of our time with the same people. Because of this, I have become close friends with most of my classmates. It is this community within the building, which makes committing so much time to working tolerable.
Master of Architecture Student
Flexibility and adjustment. These two forces have become the factors that have guided my life since making the decision to pursue a master of architecture degree as LSU. Not only have I adjusted my whole life in order to return to school for a degree which will lead to a totally new career field, but I have also adjusted my way of thinking to adapt to several different learning processes.
Nothing in my previous business education or in my career could have prepared me for architecture school. My days are spent thinking about and “doing” architecture from the minute I wake up until the minute I go to sleep (and on some days I don’t go to sleep!). For most of my days, I am consumed with the process of learning about architecture. The biggest challenge for me has been adapting to the many different types of learning needed to achieve a degree in architecture. Each type of learning involves a different set of skills. History classes utilize memorization and analytical skills, structures classes utilize math and logic skills, and design studios utilize a whole set of skill that I never knew existed within me. My major adjustment has come from using a different side of my brain in the learning process. My background in a business and accounting type world where everything balances and things are always done the same way used a different side of my brain than the one that I have to use in a design world where things do not have to balance and where things are not usually done the same way twice.
Am I happy with my decision to return to graduate school and with my decision to attend LSU? The answer is yes, despite all the hard work and long hours. I began my graduate work in architecture at another school in a different state, but never felt that I fit. At LSU I will be able to concentrate in historic preservation which is an area which interests me greatly. My days are busy and sometimes overwhelming, but my desire to become an architect helps me to get through.