Mummaw Architecture Student’s – Learn from the Past

Posted On: December 19, 2010
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It was quite a week! The semester ended with tremendous success as all of the Four Design Studios presented their work in the Palm Beach State College Arch-Attack Pin-Up. There were a dozen or so practicing architects, the PBSC Faculty and some past alumni of the architecture program present to critique the student’s work.

As I sat there observing this on-going tradition of architectural education, it occurred to me that Architects have been engaging in this PROCESS for thousands of years. The Concept of one generation of architects reviewing and teaching the next generation is an essential component of the young architect’s “journey” to licensing and a lifetime of pursuing Design Excellence.

As I conversed with past students, many of which I still remain in contact with, I realized that they (only a few years removed from their architectural” beginnings”) have developed some incredible insight of the educational process.

The first advice comes form Mo Warsame , a senior (Design 8 )  at the University of Miami.

” The advice I would give to PBSC architecture students is that upper division is not easy, and it takes a lot of hard work. Lower division prepared me for what was to come, but when I got into upper division, I was a bit overwhelmed with the workload. It got easier to manage, but there are a few things that help. Time Management is very important. Learn how to use your time wisely when you are in the studio. Also, learn the programs that will help you to bring your vision to life, such as revit or maya. The 3D perspectives are very important in presentations, and the jurors need little explanations when looking at them. Lastly, get to know your peers. In the studio, there are times where you need outside view on your project. The more comfortable you are with your peers, the more you can rely on their opinion and get their help.”

Jose Quezada is also a senior at Andrews University. He advises:

“When Prof. Mummaw asked me to provide with a small piece of advice for you, I felt very honored and excited to be able to tell you some of the things that I have learned in Upper Division at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, MI. I would like to tell you about three things that thus far are the major guides in my education.

Learn from the past.
Marcus Vitruvius Pollio wrote De Architectura in around 25 BC and said “The architect should be equipped with knowledge of many branches of study and varied kinds of learning, for it is by his judgment that all work done by the other arts is put to test. This knowledge is the child of practice and theory. Practice is the continuous and regular exercise of employment where manual work is done with any necessary material according to the design of a drawing. Theory, on the other hand, is the ability to demonstrate and explain the productions of dexterity on the principles of proportion.” When I first read this it blew my mind, to think that this was written so long ago, I knew at that moment that there are tons of knowledge to learn from.
Design Lovable Places.
Buildings that have lasted over 100 years are still up because people love them and want to keep them around for future generations. Our goal as architecture students should be: to design places that people can love them, to design places that are well built (so that they can last over 100 years), and to respect the vernacular language of the site. So Do It!!!
Learn to Draw.
Drawing is the main tool used to communicate our thoughts to others. It is imperative that someone that strives to become an architect masters this skill. Drawing with pencil, rapidograph, conte crayons, are an expression of oneself. There are tons of ways to learn but the best way for me Prof Mummaw taught me: trace paper over a clear big picture (so you can see what you are doing), three line weights (to show Hierarchy), and concentrate on the main idea of the drawing, not so much on the detail (in the beginning, later on you will).
Lastly.
Don’t be afraid of Architecture School, it is not hard (if you love it). People that believe architecture school is hard are wimps and should not be in it. Do your best, eat right, SLEEP at least three hours, and learn as much as possible from Prof Mummaw, he is like a well of infinite knowledge.”

Thank you Mo & Jose. You continue to inspire me with your commitment and passion for Architecture! I really miss those conversations in Studio:)

For the rest of you aspiring architecture students, keep the “wisdom” coming. I have fond memories of all of your development, especially the “breakthroughs” that occurred along your momentary journey in my Design Studio at Palm Beach State College. All the best in your educational endeavors and continue to practice your architectural craft with passion.

Professor “MUMMAW”