An Explanation

I want to use this post to explain a couple things, and for me personally as a way to get some thoughts out. I have touched on briefly about this in scattered tweets and Instagram posts but I don’t think I’ve properly addressed here on the blog. As many of you may know, I am entering my final* year of study. I started back in 2010 and three years later I walked away with an Advanced Diploma of Building Design (Architectural). Then in 2015 I completed my Bachelor of Design (Architecture), and started my Master of Architecture in 2016. All-in-all, I am now entering my 8th year of study and to be honest I’m a little bit tired.

I know I have mentioned this plenty of times but last semester was a real eye-opener for me, and it was the first time I legitimately struggled. Even though I literally failed three subjects in a year, last semester felt way worse. Last semester was the first time I had serious thoughts about stopping my study, and I mean just wiping my hands and walking away. I have had times in the past where I thought of quitting but they were fleeting or came to me at 3am during my second all-nighter. The thoughts I had last semester were constant, they would pop up at any time of the day or night. The only thing that kept me going was reminding myself ‘7 years nearly done, 1 to go.’ I felt if I had quit I would have wasted the last 7 years, so I just pushed on.

A constant criticism I received from my studio leader had to do with my attitude, or maybe lack-off. I had lost all enthusiasm, excitement, motivation and drive for studio. This then translated into a pretty poor design process by me, which then gave a lot of ammo for my tutor. On top of feeling extremely flat and uninterested, I had a tutor constantly critiquing my work in a not-so-positive light. This is expected in architecture, I mean how many other university courses ‘prides’ itself on ripping apart students? For me however this started to play with my mind, to the point I questioned myself. I questioned if I was good enough to pass, if I could even be an architect in the future, I basically questioned if I made the right choice studying architecture. I’ve had these thoughts for a few years, well since I started studying back in 2010, but last semester they really started to hit home. By the end of semester I lost all motivation, and I’m not talking about for studio. I mean I lost ALL motivation for architecture.

Not long after the end-of-semester exhibition I went for a 3-week trip to Japan, the home of amazing architecture. I was convinced that my motivation and love for architecture would return during this trip, but something happened. Actually it’s more like something didn’t happen, the spark didn’t return. I was surrounded by this Japanese architecture and sure I took a couple photos but I looked at it in a ‘meh, kinda cool‘ way. I visited a museum for architecture models and it didn’t excite me.

I got back from Japan, more lost than before I left. Christmas Eve I went out to a block of land that my brother and partner are planning on building a house on, and trying to even remotely get into an ‘architecture mindset’ was so difficult I got extremely frustrated, with myself. At this point I thought to myself ‘What the f**k am I doing?!‘ I couldn’t even muster up anything to add to the conversation my brother was trying to have with me, I had zero interest in talking shop or design or architecture or building.

What I needed was an outlet, something other than architecture. 98% of my life revolves around architecture, I have zero hobbies outside of architecture and most of my friends are fellow architecture students. I felt suffocated by architecture, so I needed something else to escape to. This is where the idea of Adventures by Anthony really took effect, which is basically a travel blog. However it’s a travel blog which will force me to go out and have adventures, and gives me something else to write about, talk about, think about and experience.

At the moment though I’m still lost with architecture, I still don’t have any internal motivation or passion for it. I’m hoping over the next couple months I can focus on this new blog-venture and maybe architecture will creep itself back in? If the blog posts here aren’t frequent it’s because I’m either focused on the other blog, or I just have nothing to say. Maybe a new studio with a new tutor will reignite things? Maybe absence will make the heart grow fonder? Or maybe I need to take a few more steps back and think ‘Should I do something else?’

2 thoughts on “An Explanation

  1. Really sorry to here you’ve lost your enthusiasm. For what it’s worth, I know a few people who really struggled with university, but thrived once they hit the workforce. This is not just architects, but plenty of other vocations too. Architecture is a long slog (it took me 8 years, including a misguided year studying pharmacy, a diploma of modern languages added into the mix, a the designing and documenting of Hill House), I’m sure there are heaps of people who feel like chucking in the towel at one point or another.

    Diversity in life is key, and it’s interesting to read that you’re going to actively pursue something else in an attempt to re-find your joy. I’ve always done other things e.g. reading actual novels not about architecture, playing chess, running, and most recently skateboarding. I don’t just do these things, I talk about them a lot (usually with the people I’m doing them with i.e. fellow runners, skater friends etc.).

    I’ve sometimes wondered whether I should be spending so much time on these other things when I could be pouring that effort into architecture. But I think you’re spot on – these other things aren’t just fun, they’re necessary to give me a break from the work, a bit of balance in life.

    So good luck with it, and hopefully you get a more inspiring tutor this year.
    W.

    Like

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