Episode 28: Architecture School As A Life Skill

Although we may not realize until years after architecture school, the problem solving skills and the ability to endure criticism is a valuable life skill that few other educational programs are able to offer.

episode 28

Eric and I discuss how the skills we learned in architecture school can help us succeed in life, both professionally and personally. We discuss problem solving and the ability to accept criticism as two key components that can be applied to the real world.

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Show Notes:

How to handle criticism:
  1. Listen (record or take notes):  the crit is designed to help you.  Use it!
  2. Focus:  it’s not about YOU.  Don’t take it personally.
  3. Repeat it back (active listening): so they know you were listening, and you confirm you heard it right
  4. Engage:  ask questions (i.e.:  So, I was thinking of this other approach… would that have worked better.”)
  5. Trust:  assume they had good intentions.  An occasional sadist in the jury would be offset by the other jurors.
  6. Body Language:  open arms, open face, open mind.
  7. Don’t get defensive:  that includes not making excuses.  Take control of the conversation by admitting the mistakes you just realized, or ways you could have approached it better.
  8. You can disagree:  you don’t have to agree with everything said, but you do have to consider it (don’t reject it outright)
  9. Gratitude:  be grateful for their time and feedback.  If you followed the steps above, you’ll benefit from it.


Worst things said in an Architectural Crit:
Crit(icism):  What is it good for?
Monty Python:  The Architects Sketch
Architecture Schools:  Crits & Criticism


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What have you learned in architecture school that you’ve applied to real life? Let us know in the comments below.

By |2019-01-21T18:38:58+00:00May 27th, 2016|Categories: Career Strategy, Podcast|0 Comments

About the Author:

David Doucette
David Doucette, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP is founder of Architect Exam Prep and CSEprep.com and has been helping candidates successfully prepare for and pass the California Supplemental Exam (CSE) for the last four years. He also hosts a podcast dedicated to preparing for the California Supplemental Exam as well as CSE Video Tips at CSEprep.com.

About Architect Exam Prep LLC

We are two licensed architects who have a love for teaching and helping people get their license.  For the last decade, Architect Exam Prep has helped thousands of candidates pass their AREs through their fun and innovative study guides and coaching programs.

About the A.R.E.

The Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®) is an exam of 6 divisions used to assess your knowledge and skills regarding the practice of Architecture. Developed by NCARB, the exam is accepted by every state in the U.S. as a pathway to becoming a Licensed Architect.