back to uni

Published on 21 April 2024 at 10:00

„Ah, you study architecture and interior architecture? How much sleep do you get?“, is what I hear most as a reaction to my studies and I’m proud to reply: „More than I thought before I began last year“ after finishing the first semester. But finishing the first leads to beginning the second after spending the most amazing time home in Norway during the winter break. 

You know it’s time for the summer semester when April begins. Birds are chirping, the sun is shining, everything is greening up, cherry blossoms are decorating the city and the campus and warm jackets can finally be replaced by trench coats and sweatshirts - oh, how I love springtime! The perfect refreshment for your soul and mindset to get off to a motivated start for the upcoming  semester :)

When it comes to student life, springtime means that everyone returns from vacation, home or a needed recovery from all the stressful and exhausting past months.

I have now completed the new semester’s first two weeks and so far I can say that it hasn't started anywhere near as badly as the last one ended - but realistically, this is just the calm before the storm. 

But enough with the premature complaints, I actually wanted to write about studying architecture itself and especially all the beautiful and positive aspects!


The choice of a creative degree program has always been clear to me, just like the thematic area (interior) architecture, and it was definitely the right choice. 


During the studies you learn everything from scratch and are accompanied the whole time to get to know every single aspect about all the components of architecture and becoming an architect. All the different courses, weather they’re more technical or more creative, are mostly a combination of a lecture and a related seminar to work on tasks and projects afterwards. Learning about types of construction, designing, drafting, sketching (digital and analog), different materials and specific typologies takes places in lectures, of course, but is always connected to practical work which consolidates your knowledge because you can simply try everything out and learn from your own work. 

If you choose to study architecture you will spend hours designing and redesigning different buildings or the like in groups or on your own but what’s important to know is: what counts at the end of the day is the teacher’s or professor’s opinion on what you’ve created. So what's totally normal is to throw all the plans in the trash and start again if the idea doesn't go the way its supposed to go. The design process sometimes creates frustrating situations, not only because of the feedback you get but also because of a missing work flow or a blocked head. But that’s part of it and to be very cheesy, you grow through what you go through, that also applies to university work.  


To give a good impression about what a typical day might look like, I can guide you through a possible exercise and the process of working on it.

As I already said, we usually start with a lecture in the morning, which is adapted to the topic of the following task and presents it in detail at the end. Most of these tasks are worked on in groups, which means we sit down together in the work studios upstairs after our lunch break and start brainstorming. This allows us to quickly see whether the ideas we've collected are already going in a concrete direction or if we still need to help. Regardless of whether things are going well or not, one of the first steps after brainstorming is almost always research. It enables us to develop our ideas further with concrete examples and inspiration, or to come up with general ideas on how we can fulfill the required task. 

I can list a few aspects we had to focus on in the last semester to get an idea of different factors that influence architecture: lighting situations, surroundings, room transitions, relation between indoor and outdoor space.


everyday essential

model making and sketching utensils

additionally for working at home


Many steps are needed to implement these aspects and I usually start with working on developing a concept through mind-maps and research which leads to sketching and building working models for the first visualizations that can be evaluated by our teachers and help us to build the final model and sketch the final drawing plans to guide the observer through our building. Often, graphics and texts are also expected to facilitate the understanding of the project and provide additional support for the drawings and the model.  

We divide all these parts of the overall work among ourselves in our group or work on them together so that the working methods and creativity of each individual lead to the finished presentation and the project thus bears the signature of each group member. 

The available time varies from task to task but is about two busy weeks in average. You’re actually busy all the time, as this pattern applies to almost all courses and you work on several tasks like that with different groups at the same time. I’m not going to lie to you, the stress can be really hard from time to time but all of that is forgotten when you presented and defended your work and can considered it as finished - and most importantly are proud of what you managed to do!

I’ll be honest, I really enjoyed the winter break and miss the carefree time but I also missed all the things I’m looking forward to now. I’m motivated to learn more in all my courses, work on new projects and exercises and spend time with my friends again every day (even if we have to create and design buildings in the meantime…). 

What I’m really happy about is this semester’s work atmosphere in our studios at the campus because the long-lasting daylight is a great help when it comes to motivated work and we all know how positive the influence of sunlight is - especially when it allows after work drinks on the rooftop terrace to round off the evening ;) 


All the mentioned aspects, as unpleasant as some of them might sound, make studying architecture a unique journey that I’m grateful to experience. 

I hope you can or could also choose to follow your dreams and have the chance to turn your personal interests into jour future job to do whatever fulfills you for a lifetime. And if you haven’t done it yet, maybe you should…

Be brave and go for it, I'm sure you won't regret it,

Mia <3

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