A few words from our latest work experience student
I sat down on my first day of work experience, entirely unsure what to expect, having only ever worked in the inconsequential environment of the university studio, and I completed the experience with a new appreciation for the role of the architect. There were many aspects to the role which really became apparent outside of the academic environment.
The first, and perhaps most important, difference between the two settings is that the professional environment is set up to serve the needs of the client whereas the academic is more about your own personal aesthetic style and ideology. During my time at Rickett Architects I observed the importance of keeping people happy whilst also having to tell them something they may not wish to hear. I have developed a new level of appreciation for the patience of architects and how much of the profession is about interacting with clients.
The second eye opener for me was the reality of what is actually simple to construct. Whilst at university we are encouraged to be creative and come up with interesting and often complex designs. Some of these I believed would be fairly simple and inexpensive to construct but would, in reality, be complex and therefore expensive to build.
My time at Rickett Architects has also emphasised the importance of CAD and digital work which is not as well used in the studio environment. We are not taught what to do in the sense that we can present and create work in any format we wish; be that hand or computer drawn. This does not necessarily make sense and I personally feel there should be more time spent teaching students how to use the software available to them to create clear and concise work. However, I understand why this is not done as students may then become reliant upon and restricted by what they can get a computer to do rather than fully exploring the possibilities of their ideas.