Architecture Studio Stereotypes…

by Elsa / from Finland / studying Architecture / 1st year postgraduate 

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You might have come across one of us on campus… we’re not too hard to recognize: we walk fast, very fast – no time to stroll. We’re usually wearing [elegant] black. We most likely look tired…so tired. Oh, and don’t forget the coffee cup accessory. We love our coffee.

So, architecture students do fulfil the stereotype to some extent, I mean it must have been based off of something right? But what non-architects don’t know about are the stereotypes within the stereotype. Without fail, every studio seems to have the following characters:

The ‘sleep is for the weak’ one. You’ve had a long day at studio, you’re exhausted, and your drawing just barely makes sense at this point. It has become a mess of overlapping lines superimposed over more lines. There’s your cue: it’s time to get some sleep.  You start to pack up your things ready to head when a head pops up from behind a screen; “You’re going home??” they ask in absolutely disbelief… somehow, even though it’s almost midnight. Defeated, you nod and wish them goodnight. Feeling fresh you return to the studio in the morning, to find them exactly where you left them. They ask how your sleep was before you get the chance to say good morning and proceed to make sure you’re made aware they never left. Because, who even needs sleep? The weak, and only the weak. 

The Zen-Don’t-Stress student. Architecture can be a very stressful course; the workload is intense, and the deadlines just keep coming. Nonetheless, there is always that one student who keeps their cool like no other. They’re the ones calming down their friend on the phone at 4am: “don’t worry man, in the grand scheme of things, this is only a spec in your timeline… there is more to life than this deadline… it will resolve itself… breathe.” Great attitude, we do need more of those.

The ‘first-week and last-week.’ You meet them on the first week of the semester and then they’re gone. Poof. Disappeared into thin air. No trace to be found. Are they ok? Did they quit? Did they change their number? Wait, did I even meet them, was it all an illusion?  Until finals. Out of nowhere, on the day of the deadline their assigned exhibition place displays a collection of beautiful drawings, models, with anything and everything completed.

The rich one. Their models are composed of real oak wood, and you might even spot a sprinkle of gold leaf intended to add that extra jazz. They own their own 3d printer. No big deal. They also own a camera for everything: one for polaroid’s, one for the vintage look, one for close-ups, one for buildings, one for the quick shots, one for photographing models, one for landscapes… the list never ends, and neither does the money supply. 

The chatty procrastinator. We all love this person dearly, they are absolutely lovely and chatty, and friendly… but oh my god do they distract you. When you end up sat next to this person for the day, forget getting much work done. They will drag you along for coffee breaks and sustain a conversation for hours. 

The engineer. We all have that one architect in our studio who definitely chose the wrong course and who reminds us that they chose the wrong course everyday but here they still are, five years into the degree. They hate all things artsy, and they manage to steer every project into the most practical and functional structure possible. They do not touch photoshop or post-production. They take the raw line work from design software and present it plain and simple – forget colours and fancy aesthetics.

There are many more quirky personalities inhabiting our studios and in fact, that’s the best part of the course. After all those long hours and hard work, we have taken each other in and formed one of the greatest families. 


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