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Emmanuel Onimowo

An Architecture Student’s Life (Foundation Year)

Foundations are very well known to be virtually the most important part of a structure and human growth. The stronger, well rooted the foundation is or in the case of humans, the better the knowledge impacted during growth and learning, the stronger the structure or individual. Knowledge is power hence the programme which is prescribed by the Architects Registration Board, has a very self-explanatory and all-encompassing name as it provides and has provided me with the very foundation for kick starting a career as an architect. As an international student from Nigeria, the prospect of travelling over 6000 miles, the complete change of scenario and leaving my comfort zone for an education was quite daunting at first. Once I made the move and met the ARU College staff who were very welcoming and offered assistance whenever necessary to facilitate my settling in and general progress, I realised I had made the right choice.

During the course of the programme, I faced academic challenges, had the opportunity to tap into creative zones in my mind I never knew existed and developed both creatively and intellectually. This growth was as a result of the conducive and supportive environment, the creative criticism from the very skilled lecturers who have years of experience in the field and know what is required to become a top notch architect. Being a student here has been especially wonderful because the lecturers are able to break down the technicalities into terms and scenarios which are easily understood. Some of the modules I did such as Creative Workshop Series (I & II), Approach to Design, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Critical Thinking, Critical and Contextual Studies, Engineering design and Interactive Learning Skills and Communication were all interconnected but at the same time they all carried their own individuality. They exposed me to various fields of study which meant the knowledge gained was transferrable – what I learnt in Critical Thinking I could apply to Critical and Contextual Studies.

The module I enjoyed the most was Creative Workshop Series (I & II). It was divided into three sections; illustration, photography and my specialist project. Illustration lasted about six weeks, in that time I learnt how to represent various textures seen in everyday life on paper, after which I made a project of six different textures mounted on A3 boards. The photography section helped to sharpen my discerning eye for good art, architecture and designs. We had to look into urban landscapes so I selected sacred places, streets and residential areas. I took an in-depth look into them, took photographs from which the best were selected then presented in my portfolio. The final project I had to carry out was my specialist project for which I had to come up with three ideas. I came up with the design of a family house for my dad, a student accommodation for ARU College and a chapel for a priest. After presenting to my lecturer and discussing the ideas, it was decided that I would go ahead with the student accommodation design for ARU College. This project helped me to learn how to tackle problems, interact with a client, start from scratch and build up. It also built up my research skills because I had to find out existing designs so as not to infringe on someone else’s design.

Based on my journey so far, my advice to anyone who would like to study Architecture at ARU College is do not hesitate to go for it but NEVER PROCASTINATE. Always make sure you attack any assignments or projects as they are given to enable you to complete and submit in good time. I want to say a big thank you to all the staff and ARU College team who were there for me all the way.

Emmanuel Onimowo
BSc (Hons) Architecture
Nigeria

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