If you are in Architecture School, you might be well known of Architecture Juries and the whole mechanics of Design Juries. This is where the student will pin up their work on the wall and explain with great admiration albeit with double hidden anxiousness what they are trying to accomplish in the design project. I know I have been through it, and I know you have been through the entire process quite a few times now, yet the stress and tension are always daunting every time there is an architectural jury.
The people listening to our project are of course the entire class, the professors who have control over our final grades and which seems to at that time our entire architect future. Moreover, we also have the pressure of gaining acceptance and approval from all of them. Lastly, if that was not enough, there are also external architects invited as jurors to take a look and comment on our entire semester work.
So we can say that Architecture Juries are the prerequisite of any architecture school across the board around the world. They are the bread and butter of the foundation of our training that prepares us to practice professionally. Although you have given your efforts into your design and your portfolio, juries are without a doubt unpredictable and finally, it narrows down to the fear of portraying yourself badly and not capable enough.
Thus to survive your juries relatively unscathed, the following are the 10 Things to Remember before Architecture Juries whether you are appearing in front of the whole class or it is just you and the jurors.
1. Ample Discussion
There is never a fixed number for the number of discussions you can have prior to your final presentation. Discuss your design process in great detail with your professors and even amongst your friends. Effective brainstorming can only happen when the project has an effective discussion as well as constructive criticism.
2. Take Control
Be in charge of the final review. Make sure you direct the critics like a well-curated story through your design project. Jurors respond to what you say or what you show as well as the opposite. The way you communicate about your design will carry out the rest of your review. Take the jurors through your process, methods, and iterations giving them the idea and better understanding of how you evolved the design and came on the final product.
3. Be Prepared to the Dot
An excellent final presentation does not happen overnight. The storyboard needs to be planned well weeks in advance of the final jury. Make a schedule for every little step in your process. As much as the amount of time allotted for designing is important, it is also crucial to plan the amount of time required to actually draft the drawings. Plan your schedule properly giving ample time to each to keep away from any last-minute eleventh-hour crisis. Create a script beforehand to avoid the occurrences of rambling over or getting stuck at a point midway in your critic.
4. Presentation matters too!
First impression matters! You must have heard from your teachers that drawings should always speak for themselves. Even if you are not present physically to explain the drawings, they should be able to do the task on their own. Your teachers could not be more correct. The storyboard has to be designed too. The way you represent your graphics, the way you compose your graphics, and finally, the way you narrate the content – everything needs to be an experience. Think the way you start and most importantly think the way you’ll finish.
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5. Don’t forget about the Model
Always keep in mind, physical model making will always take twice as long as your initial planning. It is always advisable and better to start working on the model once you start drafting your final drawings. Because rather than to put it away after, the amount of time required for it is comparatively larger.
6. Quality over Quantity
It is quite common of you to compare your final panel with other classmates’ panels criticizing yourself over the number of drawings you’ve put in. You might feel that you need to include in the final sheets every little thing that you have worked on. For instance, the basic reason for this might be to show that you have made a lot of effort and worked extra hard. It is very important to be comprehensive but concise about your compilation. Graphical representation in a clear hierarchy including key details and excluding jargon matter will help the jurors easily understand everything.
7. Practice is the Key
You need to give yourself enough time to prepare for your review monologue. As mentioned before be ready with a script and build up your case with enough data to support it. Time your talk. Don’t go overboard or be a slow poke. You need to get the timing just right because all the rules of public speaking are vital and definitely apply. You may also discuss with your peers and get feedback from them.
8. Don’t get Defensive
Although it is true that the juror may not always be right, if they miss out on certain details about your project and criticize it, keep in mind to not go on a defensive mode about your design. Remember you are the expert on the project, act like it. Be confident and keep the discussion speaking directly on your work.
9. Concept is the primary key
Talking about the initial inspiration and idea of your project is also important because it explains the back-end of your project. Spend time giving a brief about your overall concept.
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10. Get a good night’s sleep
Relax. Try not to stress over the upcoming jury. You don’t want to be exhausted right when the time has come to give your jury. So it is always better to get a good night’s sleep before the finals.