How to Think Like An Architect: Let Your Surroundings Provide the Ideas for You

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This post is part of Tutorial Tuesday, a series hosted by “The Admission Insider” and PortPrep owner Karen Kesteloot. Tutorial Tuesday aims to help students improve the artworks in their college art portfolio by teaching various hand drawing techniques.

how to think like an architect`

A hallmark of a professional architect is the ability to create original ideas for their designs. For students of architecture programs the skill of coming up with designs that are totally unique and different from the rest takes years to develop. However, the late Barry Berkus has helpful advice below to help students get started on how to think like an architect.

There are skillful architecture students who are weak on original ideas in their portfolios. In other words, they are unsure how to come up with ideas.

In a study that favors uniqueness and creative thinking, it is important for students to generate ideas coming from their own thoughts if they’re serious in studying architecture in college. Professors prioritize college applicants with unique ideas and the ability to conceive of space in unusual ways.

The late Barry Berkus, who made a name for himself creating designs for mass-market housings, draws ideas from the world around him. In the short videos below, Mr. Berkus explains the creative process on how he uses nature and organic form for his architectural design ideas.

While watching the video, you will hear how Mr. Berkus refers to pen and paper having “memory” as opposed to using a computer, where you can save and revisit some of your past works. Before jumping the gun and saying that Mr. Berkus is incorrect, keep in mind that his medium of preference is of pen and paper, which might have led him to that thinking. Also, he isn’t adept at using a computer software for creating his architectural design, why explains why he gravitates towards the use of pen and paper.

Key takeaways

  • Exercise the mind. Continuously look for places to live and work through nature and the environment you’re in.
  • Let your hand communicate the idea on paper. Drawing by hand lets you see the past, your old artworks, and see how you progressed as an architect
  • Organic shapes in nature can be made by hand, just like you can make compelling architectural designs using your hand.

Here’s another video of Mr. Berkus during a TED conference titled “Dream Big Dare to Fail”

How about you, dear reader – what are other tips and advice to help college applicants to an architect program on how to think like an architect and increase their chances of getting into college? Share your thoughts by commenting below!

If you want to learn how to draw more creative ideas for your design, you can read our extensive and informative post titled “Making an Artistic Impact – The Creative Inspiration Process in Building Your Art Portfolio” or ask “The Admission Insider” Karen Kesteloot to coach you. She will not only help develop your creative though process, but also improve your skills to make better artworks for your portfolio!

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