On Friday, December 14th WHSAD students attended a final architectural review at the City College of New York. The architectural review was for the master’s course offered at the school. The students presenting their year’s worth of research were under review and watch by a panel of people. The review was interesting for many reasons, one being how the trip as a whole exposed students to this new part of architecture in a learning-based environment, with which many of us had not been familiar.
This exposure was good for those students who are especially interested in applying to architectural colleges and or programs in the future. We got to experience what it’s like not only to present a final review but also what it’s like to review and critique a review from an outside perspective. This was essential because it could help us in the future when and if we ever do a final presentation not only in an architectural based environment but in any forum which requires a culminating presentation. We can now understand what it is that our graders want specifically and how it is that we convey that perfectly, not only through vocalizing our points but also body language.
WHSAD students also had the opportunity to explore the school and observe all it had to offer. The art pieces on display were beautiful and you could tell that profound thoughts went into every placement of every piece. The freedom that each student has when doing a project is outstanding and it certainly was shown and expressed through their designs. While students may receive the same requirements to meet an overall task and outline, all students take a unique approach to different scenarios and there is not just one single “cookie cutter” way to approach a scenario. This is so because of how vast the assignments are. The requirements are broad, which allows students to approach situations in different ways. An example of this is if students were tasked with rezoning an industrial area to a commercial usage area. There is not only one thing to solve that issue but a plethora of variables to consider. This wide array of solutions allows for freedom and flexibility in the school and stood out to almost all the students in attendance.
This proved especially interesting for students who are interested in majoring in architecture in college as this is something they’re going to eventually be more than familiar with. This is why trips likes these are essential for those interested in majoring in not only architecture but also other design oriented majors, as it makes sure that situations like that are not foreign but in fact very familiar to students.
Special thanks to The Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture at New York City College for allowing WHSAD students to observe what an architectural final review is like in their Masters of Architecture program. The students had the opportunity to tour the design studios and were exposed to thesis presentations. Not only students were able to see the level of visual communication at a graduate level but were able to listen to some of the deeper questions asked by critics and responses during an architectural final review. The importance of high school students gaining insight into what to expect in the years to come, may influence how they prepare for these types of project.