A Day in the Life: Cornell Architecture Student

A Day in the Life: Cornell Architecture Student


(“Growing Up” by Sean Valy) – Hey, I’m JC. I am a student here at Cornell University,
studying architecture. I’ve been here four years and most of the time outside of class tend to maybe go to the
gym, hang out with friends, and, you know, pretty much do what every other college kid at Cornell does, and you’ll find out more about it. (“Ryan’s Garage” by PA.CK) – [Interviewer] Okay, so where are we now? – [JC] We’re at Milstein Hall. So this is the architecture school, – [Interviewer] Mm hmm. which is part of AAP, so
Architecture, Art, and Planning. – [Interviewer] Mm hmm. – They’re at the building next to us, but this is pretty much all
the architecture studios here. Basically the floor plan
is designed in a way where, you know, this is where
the first years sit, so the freshmen, and then the
sophomores, juniors, seniors, and then pretty much going all around there is the graduate studios. So pretty much you have this big mixture of different levels of, I
guess, expertise and experience. I think that’s pretty
cool because, you know, even being, like, sort of a
senior you can learn a lot from, you know, because
architecture is sort of like a creative industry where you really need inspiration from other people. You can draw a lot of
inspiration from people even if, sort of, they’re a lower year. So, you know, we sort of
tend to see this space as something that is just
like a big melting pot of all these ideas that
come out of, you know, everybody that comes to Cornell
and studies architecture. – [Interviewer] Right. (chill hip hop music) – This is my room. I guess it’s got one of the
few favorite things of mine in the world, and I guess I’d
like to show you my alpaca. (JC chuckling) Basically it just shows that I’m the residential music player (chuckling). So this alpaca has, actually
has a lot of history. He’s been passed down from,
like, a lot of brothers. I know it’s not usually
like up here or anything, but, it’s pink, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like
it before, so, ha ha ha. Yeah. – [Interviewer] So are
you gonna pass it down? – Definitely, definitely, too many people have held this for their
lives, ha ha ha ha. (“Wanna Fly” by Chris Nixk) – The architecture program, what are the, sort of,
requirements to graduate? – Pretty much first to fifth
year studios always sit. You have to take the studios. There’s certain elective
classes, like I mentioned before, – [Interviewer] Mm hmm. – Just to teach you a little
bit about history, and, – Okay.
– in first and second year you have to learn about, like, there would be elective
classes, like, about acoustics, building technology, – [Interviewer] Okay. – you know, structural properties. – So what has been your favorite
class that you’ve taken? – I think my favorite class was digital fabrication last semester, where we had to build a 12-foot column. And we, you know, we don’t just stack bricks,
– Mm hmm. – cause that would be too easy. – Right.
– But, like, we basically had to challenge ourselves and use different properties, so what we try to do is, sort of like, make an impossible column,
where it was, sort of, made with triangles of wood veneer that didn’t look like they
were connected, but they were. And they were just stacked
into a 12-foot column. It’s not really about,
like, the physical thing after that,
– Right. – it just, sort of like, goes away, where you can throw it
away, it doesn’t matter, – Sure.
– but it’s the fact that you achieved it, and
then you’ve recorded it, and, you know, you can use
that for your portfolio later to, sort of, find a job or go to graduate school for architecture. – Why do you get drawn to architecture? – I think everyone has
a very different reason. – [Interviewer] Mm hmm. – So I can’t speak for
everyone here, but personally, it’s because, you know,
my father’s an architect, – [Interviewer] Mm hmm. – And both my grandparents were engineers. As a kid, I remember, like,
running around, just like, seeing all these, like, plans and things being thrown around the house, and I just sort of grew
up in that environment, and I think growing up in that environment definitely influences some
of the choices that you make – Mm hmm.
– later on in life. And during high school, you know like, I guess I was relatively all right at physics and maths and drawing and somehow one plus one
equals two, and they, and everyone just figured
I should be an architect. So, you know, I wasn’t too sure, but I came to the school
and I applied and I got in, and I’m senior now, so. You know, this is a
point in life, I think, someone my age, that it’s kind of like, you’re kind of a little bit lost. – [Interviewer] Yup. – And it’s not necessarily
about architecture. I think it’s just, like, life in general. – [Interviewer] Yeah. – That you’re not too sure
where you’re gonna be. And even if you do make some predictions, I think in the end life will, basically, veer you off course, and
then you’ll probably end up, most likely, at some place
that you didn’t expect. (chill hip hop music) – How would you describe the
academic culture at Cornell, both, like, more broadly and within the architecture program? – Broadly speaking, everyone
is very hard working, and, you know, there’s a lot of, like, prelims or preliminary exams that go
on throughout the semester, where it’s sort of like
everyone’s always, sort of, taking these exams, so you
get used to just always studying and, like,
preparing for your next exam. You know at first it’s a little bit, it’s a little hard to get
used to, and you’re just always complaining about
how many prelims you have, but you get used to it, and
I guess it just prepares you for, like you know, the world out there, where there’s much harder
tests, and more frequently too. – Right.
– And more unexpected as well. With the architecture school,
they also draw you into, like, into that same kind of mode where you’re always striving for
the best, and, you know like, if your project is unsatisfactory, they’re not afraid to let you know that. It is very like, I guess
like, for some people it may be very stressful, but
I think it’s just a matter of getting used to it,
– Mm hmm. – and once you get used to it I think you’ll be better
prepared for, like, you know, other bigger and greater things. – [Interviewer] Fair enough. (chill hip hop music) – So down here, these
are final exams going on. – Yeah, so this is what
we call the Final Review, and currently it’s the
second years’ day today. So it’s usually one year per day. So this is this sophomores, and they’re doing their final review for their studio projects, and, you know, what
basically, it’s just their, the culmination on the entire work during studio this semester, basically. – So how are those graded? Are, like, professors just going through and basically taking notes? – In terms of grading, because
architecture isn’t, like, something that you can
just give a definitive, sort of, mark,
– Mm hmm. – [JC] or number to, or
a score, to be honest, because a lot of it is
subjective, you know. In someone’s eyes great architecture, a piece of architecture could be good, and then in someone
else’s it might be bad. – [Interviewer] Right. – Yeah, so, I guess, like, in terms of
grading, it’s usually done with sort of like a
matrix, and people, I mean, the professors will sort of look at the amount of work that you’ve
done throughout the semester, and what you pin up at the end. (chill hip hop music) – Overall, was Cornell what
you thought it would be? – Definitely not. I think I’ve asked many people
that same question before, – Mm hmm.
– and they all kind of have the same feeling that
I’ve had where everyone came into Cornell with a
very different expectation. – So what surprised you the most? – I think, for me, it
was definitely my major . – Mm hmm.
– I think, like, I expected architecture
to be a very normal major. You know, even though my
father was an architect I think seeing practical
architecture and like seeing an architectural firm run is not the same as being
in architectural school, – Right.
– Where, you know, in some ways I think, like,
it wouldn’t be inaccurate to describe an architecture student as almost just, like, an art student, except you have to take into
consideration more, like, real world, like physics, and you have to apply some of those, – Right.
– but really I think at the core of it, you’re still just purely creating. And that wasn’t what,
something that I always, like, thought it would be like. I thought it would be
more, like, technical and making things work. So I guess in my, I had more
of an engineering mindset coming into architecture, but then now I sort of understand it, and I understand what
the professors expect and expect us to learn. – What advice would you give
to students who are thinking about making the same
decisions that you did, applying to schools overseas,
applying to Cornell? What advice would you give? – I think the best advice that
I can give someone who was in the same position that I was is that I think you should
just do it (laughing). Because I was quite
against it, to be honest. You know, I didn’t, like, my dreams and hopes
weren’t always at Cornell. I was quite content with New Zealand. But it was, it is because, it’s like, if you’re stuck in a small
box and that is the world that you know, it’s hard
to see outside of that box. I guess in the end you just have, sort of have that blind faith that I did in the people that really cared for me, and I believed that they
knew better than I did, and I trusted in their word, and I think, and I wouldn’t regret that decision, and I will make the same
decision today again, because it turns out that,
you know, I think it was, it turned out pretty good
to me, in my opinion. (“Work” by Big Wade)

34 comments

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  2. Architecture is a 5 year major, so you should clarify this in the beginning of the video since JC is a 4th year and said he’s a senior.

  3. This dudes backpack is so big in every video he is in hahaha. Why are you carrying so much my man? Practice minimalism 😂

  4. Where is the guy who did the videos before? The old guy was much more energetic and interesting to watch.

  5. so there's a greater than average probability that this lads passion in life has yet to be discovered

  6. Ford smile ce I learned currency exchange when I studied in junior high school at Europe airport
    I use currency exchange with mathematic now
    My account in Swissland for my FJU college girls
    For my girls memorial time.

  7. 三合院 四合院 檻 炕 又 嘉南平原 松撩平原 Chinese Rice
    So 我 me 了
    My family 家族 本業 rice exchange

  8. Cross this student
    this student can’t realized ,keeping discover friends’ advantage entirely and treasure friendship

  9. I didn’t know how many times you take exams for this department of architecture
    I take exams unlimited times in life
    So I am so strong now
    I have unlimit vocabulary in several professional issue

    I am having enternal working rights

    It’s excactly what I like and want and interested in
    An enternal working rights
    It is the reason I learned English conversation when I am junior students.
    I didn’t cheat or dispoint my self lead to my self dreams came true
    not only self practiced
    NOW I got the work caring children
    The CARING LICENCE is from BRITAIN MINISTRY of DEFENCE

  10. I've just uploaded: A day in the life of an Architect
    Would love for you to check it out and let me know what you think! 
    Your vlogs have inspired me so much and it's been so much fun filming my working life!
    Big <3 From The UK!
    Emma

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