The Next Generation of Architects

I met a young man last summer, who had studied Architecture in Nigeria for 6 years, and then after qualifying his degree, he decided to think about his life, his future, his prospects, and in one swift move decided to become a fashion designer.

Like most Nigerian students, dropping out of anything is rarely the 'better' option, so instead many stay on to study and complete their course, and only afterwards begin considering their options post-qualification.

Now, the point is this, what do you believe he would say if I asked him was it all worth it?

In several countries around the world, Architecture along with Medicine share are some of the longest lasting "undergraduate" courses any student could elect to do at university level. Whilst medicine is well understood and respected by the average man (no matter where he/she's from) architecture still remains to be a sort of secret society if you will (if I am to quote a lawyer friend of mine).

Once again, I can't help but ask; is it worth it?

What things are being done to ensure that the youth believe that completing the whole 6 years (or whatever it may be in your country) is worth it?

As discussed in many of my previous posts on this blog, there is a sizeable gap between the common person and architecture, and finding a good straight forward 'answer' to this profession is practically impossible - this is something that all the countries share in common. Because of this, students will continue to look elsewhere, and other professions will continue to lure away the committed, strong willed, dedicated, innovative and enthusiastic personalities which are unique characteristics required to complete the course.

Unfortunately the answer was that young man didn't think it was all worth it. Not necessarily to the point of regret, 6 years of rigorous study is rarely deemed to be "worth-it" when at the end of it the person feels that they need to look else where.

Maybe someday he'll re-realise his desire to become a practising architect, but for now the large scale and worldwide interest in fashion, publicity, and the attainable rewards of that industry will be sufficient enough to distract him from re-thinking his decision for a while.
The Next Generation of Architects The Next Generation of Architects Reviewed by NG on 2/08/2011 01:00:00 pm Rating: 5


Kola said...

The real problem, I think is the requirement that Nigerian schools have with respect to choosing a major. They shouldn't expect young fresh-out-of-secondary-school kids to know what they want to do with their lives! Education isn't something that should be rushed into. Which brings me to the lack of advisement facilities in the high schools and colleges, how do we truly expect kids to stay in a chosen major (talk less of a major as difficult and time-consuming as Architecture) and be happy with it, if they weren't even told about what they were getting into. This is not just an Architecture problem, it is quite general. Little things like having professionals talk to kids that are interested in going into a their fields, go a long way in helping to set a child on the right track! I think it's great that that student went on to do fashion design, of course he was unlucky to have spent so much time studying what he wasn't interested in (btw it is truly impossible to study architecture and find no alternate uses for it), but what of people who are even as lucky as him? How about people who go ahead and work all their lives being unhappy? No one can ever reach their full potential practicing what they aren't happy with!

NG said...

Thank you Kola for your very insightful response!

Which one matters the most to you?

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