Episode #002 – Ready To Go: Preparing For Architecture School

Advice, Architecture School, Life in General, Podcast

Welcome to the show notes for Discussed It, a podcast about Architecture, Sport and Anything Else We Want. Read ahead for a written breakdown of each podcast episode, photos, links and bonus content that didn’t make the cut for the podcast. Happy reading and if you want to check out the podcast where myself and Hayden Day discuss a little about a lot, follow the links below. 

You can listen by clicking above or by searching Discussed It on your favourite podcast players such as Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Deezer and many more. 

Welcome back to the second edition of the show notes for Episode 2 of our brand new podcast. We are both super excited to return this week with both these show notes and the podcast episode. I hope that the show notes will add that further layer of communication between the two of us and our listeners by providing additional information but I’m sure it won’t beat listening to us chat away first hand. We hope that you enjoy listening and will consider subscribing and making the Discussed It podcast a part of your weekly routine. 

Within this weeks episode, we:

  • Discuss our preparations for starting university and studying architecture. 
  • Review how our week has gone with the return of our Weekly Round-up. 
  • and much more…

Topic 1 – Preparing For Architecture School 

This week we decided to concentrate our discussion on our preparations for university and specifically studying architecture as a subject. 

This is something that both myself and Hayden are going through as I am sure many across the world are also. It is a slightly confusing time as you are unsure of what to concentrate on most to prepare you best for the years to come. We had a general discussion on the avenues we are exploring as individuals which range from the creative aspect of architecture school to the technical, as well as skills such as cooking and washing. There are a plethora of skills that need to be developed that will support us in our transition. 

We broke the discussion down into the idea of skill acquisition. To study architecture there are so many different aspects of the process that need to be practised and perfected so we grouped them into three categories. 

  1. Creative Skills
  2. Writing Skills 
  3. Presenting Skills
  1. Creative Skills

We then further dismantled what creative skills entails and spoke about the importance of hand sketching, particularly in 1st year. To tackle that I have been working on my sketching skills using Kim Kanone who is a content creator that uploads videos walking through how he sketches buildings within urban and rural landscapes. To build up consistency I have been trying to sketch daily and using a calendar checklist to keep myself motivated. I have included a link to his Instagram page below. 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kimkanone_/?hl=en

In terms of supplies, I have started to accumulate some tools that I have found to be useful already. These include mechanical pencils with different line weights (0.3, 0.5, 0.7) and ink fineliners also with different line weights from 0.05 to 0.8. I have also purchased some sketchbooks to fill, my choice of sketchbook has been the Moleskine A5 sketchbook for my random sketches and the Muji A5 Dot Grid Sketchbook to use for my different project at university. I want to keep my thoughts together rather than using random sheets of paper. I have included links to all the mentioned products below. 

rOtring Mechanical Pencils:

Uniball Fineliners:

Moleskine A5 Sketchbook:

Muji A5 Dot Grid Notebook:

We then discussed slightly more technical creative skills such as the software packages that we are trying our hand at which will make them feel less foreign when we come to use them for real. I have outlined a list of the software that we mentioned in the podcast. 

  • The Adobe package (Photoshop, Illustrator, Lightroom) 
  • AutoCAD 
  • Revit 
  • SketchUp 
  • Rhino 

There are many more that we will be expected to use at some point but these were the ones that we mainly discussed. 

Staying technical we spoke about laptops as Hayden is looking to buy a new one before he gets to university. Below I am going to outline some of the specs that we discussed and some additional that really are a must-have to be able to comfortably run the programs above without going crazy and throwing your laptop through a window! 

CPU (Processor): Ideally Intel Core i7 or newer as i5 will struggle 

System RAM: 16 GB minimum, more preferred 

Hard Drive (Storage): 512 GB SSD or 750 GB/7200 RPM minimum, more preferred

Monitor/Display: 15” minimum (second monitor recommend) 

Realistically to achieve these specs I would lean towards recommending a Windows laptop but if you do have an Apple laptop, don’t panic! Just be conscious that you will be unable to run some programs on Apple and may be required to upgrade. But, an Apple should get you through year

2. Writing Skills 

I have come to learn that architecture is all about communicating ideas to others, this could be a tutor in university or a client in an architecture firm. This being so important it is a must to try and develop your communication skills. A person can communicate through a host of mediums. For example, writing is utilised regularly. That is why creating this website and committing myself to regular blog posts and I am seeing my writing skills improve both on this blog and in other situations where I am required to write.

3. Presenting Skills 

Running with the realisation of the importance of communication in architecture we spoke about presenting. To most standing up and presenting to others is a challenge as both I and Hayden agreed. Despite these challenges, it is crucial to add oral presentation to your arsenal of skills. To tackle this there are many ways to do this. These could include just talking to more new people. This could be at an event, over the phone or even when you’re on the walk. Just build that confidence up by talking to strangers, with time and practice it will become much easier. 

In my situation, I have utilised the creation of a podcast to become more confident in my presentation of ideas and opinions. As well as that when we have guests on the show that will provide an opportunity to talk to new people and build relationships with them. I’m not suggesting that everyone should start a podcast but I will give a piece of advice here. 

‘The first step is always the hardest, once you take it the rest is all downhill’ 

Just send that email, approach that person and say hello and you will see that everyone is not that scary. Just remember, even your best friends were strangers. 

The Weekly Round-Up 

I feel that it would be wise to offer some explanation for this segment which will become a recurring section of the podcast each week, or at least we think it will be. The general idea is that every week, each of us will choose three weeks that best sum up that week trying to be as honest as possible and then will explain the reasoning behind the selection of the words. The chosen three words will be kept secret from the other person until recording which we hope will allow for some interesting conversation. 

In this week’s episode, The Weekly Round-Up interrupts our lengthy conversation about preparing for architecture school to allow us to discuss how our weeks went. In these show notes, I will provide our words but if you want any explanations then you’ll have to give our podcast a listen. Can’t give it all away here sorry readers! 

My three words of the week were: 

  1. Showers 
  2. Working 
  3. Triathlon 

And Hayden’s words of the week were: 

  1. Sun
  2. Cladding
  3. Gervais 

‘Thing’ Of The Week

Not dissimilar to The Weekly Roundup, this will also be a recurring segment of the show. In this section of the podcast, each of us will choose their favourite thing that we have seen over the week. This could be absolutely anything ranging from a product, food, architect etc. that has stuck in our minds. Most probably our ‘thing’ of the week will be utterly useless to yourself, but you never know. 

This week Hayden’s Thing Of The Week was: 


“If anyone doesn’t know Extras is a TV show that was written by Ricky Gervais and Steve Merchant” and the premise of the show is that they would“have on celebrity guests that play a satirical character of themselves”. Examples of these celebrity guests include “Orlando Bloom, Ross Kemp and Shawn Williamson”. 

I think it is clear that Hayden enjoys this show with him saying that it is “probably one the best sit-coms ever written…second to the Office but very slightly” with the show being “expertly written and such a unique idea” in the way that the show is set up. 

And who knows you might come to love it as much as Hayden does if you fancy checking it out I have included a link below: 

Netflix: https://www.netflix.com/title/70157434

BBC Iplayer: https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episodes/b0070rj8/extras

Moving on, my Thing Of The Week was: 

“The Last Dance” 

For those that don’t know The Last Dance is “a brand-new Netflix documentary series” which premiered on the 19th April 2020. The series “follows Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls”. 

I am not ashamed to say that I have binged this series from start to finish as I had almost all of the episodes backed up ready to watch. I enjoyed learning both about Michael Jordan as a person as well as the NBA as a sport which I have not played a massive amount of attention to. However, my perspective on the game has changed and I will start taking more of an interest. 

Directed by Jason Hehir, the series incorporates both footages from a film crew that were granted behind the scenes access in 1997 to the Chicago Bulls journey that led to their 6th NBA championship run in 8 years and interviews with NBA personalities such as Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman and Phil Jackson. 

Even if you’re not a sports fan you may enjoy understanding how aspiring individuals tick and how teams can reach such heights. It was interesting to watch how Jordan dealt with becoming such a global icon and how it affected those around him. I highly recommend you give it a watch and I have included the link that allows you to find the series on Netflix. 


I hope that the show notes have provided that further layer of communication between the two of us and you, our listeners, by providing additional information, but I’m sure it won’t beat listening to us chat away first hand. We hope that you enjoyed listening and will consider subscribing and making the Discussed It podcast a part of your weekly routine. 

I’m looking forward to writing the show notes for next weeks episode, there may be someone joining myself and Hayden on the podcast. Stay tuned for exciting developments.

See you next week!

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