1. All-nighters are not a requirement
Architecture students are terrible at managing their time. While part of the design process is the vetting that goes on between students, rarely do architecture students show up, put their heads down, and get to work in a methodical productive manner. There is a lot of competition and gamesmanship that goes on but if you manage your time in the studio like it was your job, all-nighters simply wouldn’t happen. I see all the time that when older people go back for an architecture degree or a masters – people who have been out in the work place or have other “grown-up” responsibilities, they never pull all-nighters. They don’t have to because when they are at the studio for 8 hours, they get 8 hours of work done. It’s the guy sleeping in the lounge during structures class whose desk is littered Starbucks cups that pulls all-nighters. This person will also brag about pulling an all-nighter – as a “grown-up”, this makes me chuckle.
2. Last minute changes do more harm than good
It’s always hard to stop designing, especially in school, but at some point the goal is to present the concepts, the drawings, and models to support your ideas. If you were to think of this process as if you were presenting to a client and work backward from a deadline, you will have far less negative work. If you determine that it is going to take you 4 days to build your model out of basswood and 2 days to render the drawings, leave yourself the appropriate amount of time and stop creating original work. If you have all these great ideas and no method to effectively communicate them who cares? I don’t and the people who will be sitting in on your jury crits don’t either.
3. A bad presentation during your review will not sink your grade
If things are still the same, people get really worked up and more than a little stressed out when the time comes to pin their work up on the wall to get reviewed. The good news should be that your professor, the person who will actually be giving you your grade, knows all about your project and how much time and effort you’ve put in. As a result, you should be less concerned about the guest professors/ reviewers who don’t know anything about your work, have 10 minutes to “get it”, and then offer some meaningful insight. More times than not those professors have their own pet project or something that they are into and their comments are simply a narcissistic way to make your project about them. Your project could be a multi-disciplinary research housing station on the dark side of the moon and the “sustainable” professor will find some way to ask you about rainwater harvesting. (think about it – I’m not making a joke). Same thing happens to the person who can render really, really well. Their presentation will look amazing and the guest reviewers will go on and on about how great this project is and how feeble the previous one was, this person’s on a entirely different level, etc. etc. … but everyone in the class (including the professor) knows that this project doesn’t work, despite looking as great as it does. Everyone is influenced by snazzy graphics – but unless this is a rendering class, you professor will know who did what and where the value lies.