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Thread: Urban Design Education.

  1. #1

    Urban Design Education.

    Just to follow up from previous post:

    Does anybody think that a design concentation in a planning masters would grant me the same access to urban design jobs as an architecture degree+ urban design?

    Would it be hard to compete with the superior design skills of an architect?

    I'm not sure to go the architecture + UD route or just planning with design
    concentration.

    Anybody have any thoughts?

    Thanks
    Al

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    If you want to be an architect, get the architecture degree. If you want to be a planner, get the planning degree. Very few people really cross over from one field to the other. Becoming a planner with an architecture degree would be more likely than the other.
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  3. #3
    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal
    If you want to be an architect, get the architecture degree. If you want to be a planner, get the planning degree. Very few people really cross over from one field to the other. Becoming a planner with an architecture degree would be more likely than the other.

    Thank You.

    I want to be an urban designer, not a planner or architect. I'm trying the best way for me, in my sitaution, to reach my goal -- whether it is through architecture or planning.

    Given that architecture school is considered very grueling, tough and long, the planning route would be easier -- but then again, if that prevents me from getting urban design jobs, i'd look at architecture or landscape architecture.


    Alan

  4. #4
    Cyburbian silentvoice's avatar
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    The best way to find out is to ask the school u're looking at, and look at the qualifications of the faculty, what degrees do they hold. Personally, I've yet to meet someone with just a "pure" UD degree. I've met plenty of architects doing UD or Landscape architects doing it.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by aadoyle
    Thank You.

    I want to be an urban designer, not a planner or architect. I'm trying the best way for me, in my sitaution, to reach my goal -- whether it is through architecture or planning.

    Given that architecture school is considered very grueling, tough and long, the planning route would be easier -- but then again, if that prevents me from getting urban design jobs, i'd look at architecture or landscape architecture.


    Alan
    Have you considered landscape architecture? As a landscape architect, you would focus on the spaces between buildings. You might also find this field leads to more possibilities in employment in urban design. Some programs offer a joint degree between landscape architecture and planning.
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  6. #6
    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal
    Have you considered landscape architecture? As a landscape architect, you would focus on the spaces between buildings. You might also find this field leads to more possibilities in employment in urban design. Some programs offer a joint degree between landscape architecture and planning.
    Landscape architecture might be good, but it seems to be very plant/soil focused. I'm not sure thats my thing.

    Do you think that L.Arch education would be less grueling than pure arch?

    Alan

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    One of the biggest arguments in landscape architecture right now is over whether enough "plants" are taught in the profession, or if it become too focused on the hardscapes. Personally, I think it has. I don't know that it is fair to say that any of planning, architecture, or landscape architecture is easier than the others. It mainly depends on what you are good at.
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  8. #8
    Cyburbian silentvoice's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by aadoyle
    Landscape architecture might be good, but it seems to be very plant/soil focused. I'm not sure thats my thing.

    Do you think that L.Arch education would be less grueling than pure arch?

    Alan
    I wouldn't place too much emphasis on whether it's gruelling or not. You should follow your interest. To give a brief intro of Architecture, it covers anything from renaisance art to building technology to any of the courses civil engineers would take, like structure and construction techniques. You also have to do climatic studies, environmental control, and computer aided designs in addition to history and theory, etc. And ofcause, STUDIO.

    That's why it's 5 to 6 years. It's not so much of gruelling or not, but you need to have lotsa tenacity to get through it. One MAJOR thing which I never got from reading career guides was - you need to be able to take criticisms to be an architect. You must be able to take disappointments, because 90% of the time your project will be ****ted by professors and then, clients after you graduate. Must be able to take those, smile, and then go back and rework your designs. Sometimes starting over from scratch even if it's 99% completed already. As my supervisor used to say, architecture is all about abortive work.

    I suppose the same is for L.Arch. So there you go.

  9. #9
    Thanks

    I guess i'm concerend about model making ability/drawing ability for architecture...

    With freehand drawing, i've taken a few studio courses and my work is OK, but i struggled with nude poses, still life was easier for me. I'm not a major drawing talent.

    How good do you need to get into school, and how good do you need to be for arch. in general. Do you need to be able to do complex finished illustrations from you head? Just be able to do rough design concepts. I don't think I have a great illustration talent.

    For model making, I have not had experience with this. Are you thought this in school, or do you basically need to know it before you get in.

    The detail in some of those models is amazing. I'm wondering if the profs. just hand you a design assignment and expect the model to be built. Or is there a course that teaches you?

    Thanks
    Alan

  10. #10
    Cyburbian silentvoice's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by aadoyle
    Thanks

    I guess i'm concerend about model making ability/drawing ability for architecture...
    Er... don't worry. 10 years ago yes. Now you just need to be good with CAD -computer aided design (or destruction) But of cause, you need to be able to visualize 3d in your head before anything. As for drawing, it is not so important, in anycase, you'll pick it up I'm sure.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian boilerplater's avatar
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    One MAJOR thing which I never got from reading career guides was - you need to be able to take criticisms to be an architect. You must be able to take disappointments, because 90% of the time your project will be ****ted by professors and then, clients after you graduate.
    WORD! That is something I wasn't ready for in my LA program, and I was a sensitive kid, so it was hard. And that was after some art courses where the teachers seemed to love everything I did.
    I agree that you don't need to be too concerned about drawing ability, especially now with CAD models and illustrations so commonplace. I always hated drafting, so CAD was a big salvation for me. Look at some of Frank Gehry's concept sketches. They're indecipherable scribbles. Thinking in 3D is more important, though some nice illustrations might help you get in, don't obsess about it. Also, it is something that can be learned. Its not so much natural talent. Before you write off LA, consider that some programs are more plant-oriented than others. Look at the program offered by the City College of New York. Its very oriented to their urban mileiu. Good luck with your decision.
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  12. #12
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    I agree on the point about being able to take criticism. That and the long hours break a lot of people's will. (My school had 50% attrition.)

    Though you don't have to be an artistic genius, and what people are saying about computers is somewhat true, it is still probably senseless to get into architecture without some artistic inclinations and talents. Gehry's sketches appear as scribbles but are the products of a very artistically advanced imagination.

    You won't have to do fancy illustrations or renderings and won't be expected to instantly produce immaculate models but there is a steep learning curve. Some kind of sketching ability and visual sense is very essential.

    You have to REALLY want to be an architect to make it through school and licensure and the demands of the profession. It is somewhat comparable to the legal profession (and a bit less than the demands of the medical profession) but will pay you like 30 or 40 G for the first five or ten years (depending on location, luck, etc.), then maybe you'll top out at 45 to 50 G. (Construction managers would make double to quadruple, depending.) If you don't absolutely love it, it isn't a great career to be in. Some of these same comments however may apply to planning (I cannot say for sure myself since I am not yet in the profession) - but the schooling for planning at least should be a little easier, unless it is MIT or something.

    From some of your previous comments it does seem that you are more into making things (airports, etc.) and into design than you are into planning for such projects and developments. So the architecture route is probably the only way to get to that point.

    Rob

  13. #13
    Member JasonLB's avatar
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    Since I had my undergrad in planning, I was able to take a lot of Arch and LA classes in my graduate planning curriculum - including urban design studio and theory. Urban designers do a fair share of writing guidelines, not just rendering. It is beneficial to attend a planning program in a college of design if you want to move in that direction, but I would recommend getting a masters in UD

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Planizzlator's avatar
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    I know that Berkeley has a dedicated master's degree program in Urban Design. It requires that you have at least 2 years of professional design experience before applying. You might want to look into that.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally posted by aadoyle
    Thanks

    I guess i'm concerend about model making ability/drawing ability for architecture...

    The detail in some of those models is amazing. I'm wondering if the profs. just hand you a design assignment and expect the model to be built. Or is there a course that teaches you?

    Thanks
    Alan
    I completed my undergrad in Architecture and although an undergraduate experience may differ from a graduate experience I can tell you a little bit about my studio experience. I attended Berkeley and I can tell you that students are considered lucky when they have an instructor that teaches them how to construct models. (i.e. materials, technique, etc.) Most model making learning is through your peers and through experimenting. I personally wouldn't worry about lack of modeling experience because I find that people who lack it are the ones are are the most innovative when it comes to model making. They can often see things from a different perspective which is always refreshing.

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