Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 17 of 17

Thread: Getting into planning school with design backgroud

  1. #1

    Getting into planning school with design backgroud

    Is it helpful? I already have a Pol Sci degree, considerable public policy experience and am now pursuing a Certificate in Architecture at the local CC.

    OK, so I jumped the gun and signed up for a grad prep program out here in LA called the Los Angeles Institute of Arc and Design. It is an excellent program with a reputation for feeding students into top architecture schools. Only downside is that the prep program costs six grand for the year. That might be cheap for some but for me it's a pretty penny.

    SEMESTER 1
    Perception and Principles / Basic Design
    GP 101 A Conceptual Design 3 units
    GP 101 B Basic Architectural Drawing / Computer Applications 3 units

    SEMESTER 2
    Design Process
    GP 102 A Basic Architectural Design 1 3 units
    GP 102 B Basic Architectural Drawing 2 / Computer Applications 3 units
    Arch 203 Portfolio Development 0 units


    These four courses are the basics of the year long program.

    Now I just found a cheaper, closer program literally three miles down from me at LA Valley College. It's a typical community college with a certificate program in Architecture.


    ENG GEN 101
    Introduction to Science, Engineering Materials and Technology
    Math 115* Elementary Algebra (or higher level math course)

    ARC 172
    Architecture Drawing I

    ARC 173
    Architecture Drawing II

    ARC 221
    Architectural Rendering

    EGT 211*
    Elementary Engineering Graphics

    ARC 271
    Architectural Drawing III

    ARC 161
    Introduction to Computer Aided Architecture Drawing

    Will any of this be helpful at all in Planning school? Will any of this be helpful with getting into a good planning school for an urban design/development concentration?

    After graduating will it help to have a bit of a design background and planning degree for future employment?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Dec 2006
    Location
    midwest
    Posts
    2,802
    It's good that you realize this is merely a design primer for an actual degree rather than a substitute for a degree. If you don't have a design background or even a basic portfolio of artistic work/hobbies from high school or college, you will need to get up to speed. Sounds like it would be a good investment that shows your seriousness in pursuing a design education.
    "This is great, honey. What's the crunchy stuff?"
    "M&Ms. I ran out of paprika."

    Family Guy

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2007
    Location
    As far south of SoCal as I Will Go
    Posts
    5,095
    Ensure that you qualify for the cheaper "in-state" tuition option at your local JC. You typically have to reside a minimum of 1 year in CA to get in-state JC tuition, which is still a bargain compared to other JCs in the nation.
    follow me on the twitter @rcplans

  4. #4

    thanks guys....

    But should I save my money and go with the CC or with the Cadillac of Arch prep schools?

    I am hoping to do a dual M.Arch MUP program too. What do you guys think?

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Dec 2006
    Location
    midwest
    Posts
    2,802
    I think it rests on the strengths of your portfolio and your design skills learned in the program. Personally, I would pick a program that teaches you how to draw by hand. You really need to be to able to sketch plans, sections, elevations, and isometric drawings. Don't get to fancy with all of the different software yet. You will learn the basics in school and REALLY learn how to use them on the job.
    "This is great, honey. What's the crunchy stuff?"
    "M&Ms. I ran out of paprika."

    Family Guy

  6. #6
    Cyburbian chupacabra's avatar
    Registered
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    274
    I would do the CC program and use the money I save to pay for a Mike Lin (or similar) hand graphics course.
    You can grow ideas in the garden of your mind.

  7. #7
    The first one, the expensive one, is more geared toward design and building a portfolio. The latter I am thinking, although I am hoping it's not, might be an arch tech program. It might be geared more toward drafting. I am not sure.

    But just in case I am stuck going with the latter, can one still build a portfolio with the latter program?

  8. #8
    Quote Originally posted by chupacabra View post
    I would do the CC program and use the money I save to pay for a Mike Lin (or similar) hand graphics course.
    So the combo of the arch basic courses and a drawing graphics course combo would be good to get into a dual M.Arch/MUP program?

    Is it just impossible to build a portfolio of one's work in a technical CC program?

  9. #9
    Cyburbian chupacabra's avatar
    Registered
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    274
    The arch tech program would give you better tools to work with when you start your program. I assume you'd be entering whichever program as a "three year" non-design background applicant. I really doubt a three credit design class at the expensive school will give you much of a leg up. I'd rather have a better toolkit at my disposal so I can hit the ground running. A CC will do that fine.

    (take all of this with a grain of salt - I don't know these schools, you, or where you want to apply)
    You can grow ideas in the garden of your mind.

  10. #10
    LAIAD is a prep school designed to feed students into top arch schools. It's 6k a year and has a 90% acceptance rate into the school of choice for most students. But really I think that the school just weeds the ones that don't cop to their fast approach, collect the money and who ever is left gets a portfolio designer to help them out.

    The community college route is generic and I found an even better one in the LA area that has both the tech and design courses needed.

    I think that maybe I could take the CC courses, save money and hire someone to help me out with my portfolio. Would that work?

    I basically just want to go to a State school preferably UCLA. I am also looking into USC and Sci-Arc (which has a small planning concentration).

    So chupa, do you think that the CC route would be best considering the tools gained, but for arch schools is not the portfolio the key? The designs one comes up with? I just want to have the right portfolio of designs rather than a portfolio of landscape instagram photographs that most non design background applicants do.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian chupacabra's avatar
    Registered
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    274
    When I do a quick overview of the LAIAD website, all I thought was "puppy mill" for the A/E industry, like those culinary schools that require $40K in loans and result in an $8/hr. job. If you can document that it will get you into the program of your choice, I say go for it. Otherwise it looks like a place for people with trust funds to flail. To be fair, the tuition really isn't that bad.

    Your portfolio as a student (your professional portfolio is a different beast) will really be a way to showcase your toolkit rather than a way to show off your design skills. You won't design anything real in the CC program, the expensive school. or when you actually get your masters. Nobody in program admissions or probably at your first job after grad school will expect you to have a portfolio of designed projects (which you won't get at any of these prep courses).
    You can grow ideas in the garden of your mind.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian chupacabra's avatar
    Registered
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    274
    I should add, I speak with an MLA and not as an architecture grad student.
    You can grow ideas in the garden of your mind.

  13. #13
    Chupa then there is this program which seems to have a design focus too at a much cheaper rate.

    http://catalog.lacitycollege.edu/pages/architecture.htm

    Overall gimme your final analysis so I won't have to keep pestering you.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian chupacabra's avatar
    Registered
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    274
    I spent about 2 minutes looking at it, so factor that in to my assessment.

    LA college looks pretty promising. It's a mix of fundamentals of design and toolkit stuff, including hand graphics (which is becoming a rare skill). I would go to LA College, then the CC, then the more expensive place. Attending any of the three would help you out but I don't see any advantage to LAIAD.
    You can grow ideas in the garden of your mind.

  15. #15
    I am going to do just that. I'd rather have the tool kits down than just the design skills.

    Any urban designers in here? I need to know what design courses to take before applying to planning or urban planning grad program.

  16. #16
    Also is the MLA closer related to planning? Why are the admission standards lower for the MLA than the MArch?

  17. #17
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2007
    Location
    As far south of SoCal as I Will Go
    Posts
    5,095
    Quote Originally posted by nrschmid View post
    Personally, I would pick a program that teaches you how to draw by hand. You really need to be to able to sketch plans, sections, elevations, and isometric drawings. Don't get to fancy with all of the different software yet.
    Quote Originally posted by chupacabra View post
    I save to pay for a Mike Lin (or similar) hand graphics course.
    These posts are excellent advice. It's not about CAD this, photoshop that, or sketchup this. The basic fundamentals start with a pencil, flimsey, and creating spatial placements through size and proper relations. You need a fundamental in basic hand drawn skills to really move forward. The recent grads I have come across lack basic understand of design with a pen a paper. 9/10 it is easier to draw something by hand than recreate in hours on the computer.
    follow me on the twitter @rcplans

+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. Replies: 4
    Last post: 02 Sep 2013, 1:11 AM
  2. Replies: 1
    Last post: 11 Dec 2011, 6:08 PM
  3. Replies: 3
    Last post: 30 Jun 2008, 11:18 AM
  4. Replies: 7
    Last post: 19 Apr 2005, 7:45 PM