The Second Studio Podcast: Should I go to architecture school?

The Second Studio Podcast: Should I go to architecture school?

© The studio’s second podcast

The Second Studio (formerly The Midnight Charette) is an explicit podcast about design, architecture and the everyday. Hosted by architects David Lee and Marina Bourderonnet, it features different creative professionals in unscripted conversations that allow for thoughtful shots and personal discussions.

A variety of topics are covered with honesty and humour: some episodes are interviews, while others are advice for other designers, reviews of buildings and other projects, or informal explorations of daily life and design. The second workshop is also available on itunes, Spotifyand Youtube.

This week David and Marina answer the question “Should I go to architecture school?” Both cover college/university suitability, architecture school experience, whether studying architecture is necessary to practice architecture, whether having a degree helps in finding a job, preparing for school of architecture, choosing the right degree, the cost of architecture school, and more.

Highlights and timestamps


Is college/university needed in general? (00:00)

The Architecture School Experience: Typical Courses, Challenges, Community, Misconceptions about Architecture Education. (08:40)

Non-architects tend to think architecture school is a lot more technical than it is. You learn technical things for sure. You learn software, you learn to build systems and practice architecture in general. But honestly, 90% of education is learning about design – the creative side of architecture. Students wash up because they don’t expect [design studio] to be so introspective and indefinite… it’s that lack of definition [that people don’t expect]. Architecture is not paint by numbers. (13:46)

The most important things learned in architecture school. Is architecture school difficult? (18:56)

Preparation for the school of architecture. (30:40)

Things I would recommend doing to prepare for architecture school, if any, would be to take creative classes like sculpting, painting, figure drawing…or even dancing. Take things that have to do with expression and creating something out of nothing – that have to do with the process of being authentic, understanding yourself, and making a statement. (32:30)

Is the school of architecture a different architectural practice? (36:12)

Student loans and debts. (42:44)

Many people think that architects really make a lot of money. […] For the average architect working in an average office as an employee, no, you don’t make a lot of money. Compared to other licensed professionals like doctors or lawyers, that’s not a lot of money. (47:36)

Do you need an architecture degree to get a job in an office? (49:00)

Is there an ideal age to enter an architecture school? (54:49)

Is architectural education beneficial if one does not practice architecture? (58:08)

Architecture education is quite general in the sense that it will open a bunch of interesting doors that you might not even know about when you start architecture school. […] You are exposed to so many different things. There’s real estate, urban design, sociology, anthropology, geography, sustainability, interior design, and philosophy – there’s a ton of philosophy in architecture. Architecture is this single, broad education that forces you to understand how these different things intersect and what they mean to feed into the design of the physical thing. How do all of these things inform the creation of a home? It’s crazy! (59:00)

Is an architecture school necessary to become a licensed architect? (01:01:51)

Check out previous editions of The Second Studio Podcast.

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