Monday, November 22, 2010

A little about me and LTU

Welcome to Arch.0
I've started this blog with the intention on sharing my own perspective on the hectic life of an architecture student while working full time as an "architectural designer."  I'm presently in the second semester of the Master's of Architecture program at Lawrence Technological University.  This school is commonly referred to as either Lawrence Tech or LTU. 

View from LTU's courtyard

LTU's M.Arch program is essentially 4 semesters long.  It involves a summer design studio, two traditional semesters, and an additional summer semester which allows students to complete their final thesis.  This allows students to complete their degree in a single calender year. 

The summer design studio is taught by a different visiting professor each year.  This past summer the professor was Alexander D'Hooghe, a very impressive Dutch instructor who is currently teaching at MIT.  This studio focused on the typology of the Big Box outlet. At some point I'll go into this studio in greater detail. The class is extremely intense and well worth the effort.

I can't really comment on tracks other than the traditional "Design and Practice curriculum as this is my chosen route.  Also offered are concentrations is Sustainable architecture, Critial Studies, Urban Design, and Interior Architecture.  The Fall and Winter semesters of the Design and Practice track are traditional design studio semesters.  Students met with professors twice a week and to receive advice and criticism.  The first semester is primarily about research into the students chosen design question.  The Winter semester is about the design of the final project.  At the end of each semester is the traditional and very stressful final review critic.  This is the process in which the students present all of their work to be analyzed and critiqued by a panel of architects and professors.  Students can be figuratively torn apart in this setting by zealous jurors.  I'm told that this is a rarity at LTU.  It seemed to happen to at least one student per review at UDM (University of Detroit Mercy)

The final summer semester provides an opportunity for students to consolidate and refine their project into a single book suitable for publishing and bring to interviews.  This semester is also an opportunity for students to complete the remainder of their elective and required classes. 

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