UNSW Built Environment Architectural Computing: David Butterworth

7 04 2009

Hey everyone, my name is David Butterworth, and I’ve just started my 2nd year of the Bachelor of Architectural Computing program.  After the 4 month summer break, I was keen to get back to uni and start class again.  BArchComp is one of the best courses at UNSW, which makes it easy to get ready and excited! (I’m actually serious, even with a 100 UAI I’d still do the same course, and I tell this to everyone!!)

I graduated from Cowra High in 2007 (rural town near Bathurst) and was focused mainly on doing mechanical engineering. After coming along to an open day at the uni I found the UNSW Built Environment stall and checked out all the stuff the BArchComp guys had done in the past. I figured that engineering was too much maths so I decided on BArchComp. After the very first lecture I knew that this was the course for me, a mix between computers, gaming, 3D visualisations and creative designs.

The best part of BArchComp is the fact that from day one, the skills I was learning seemed highly applicable to the industry.  For example, I was working freelance for clients using tools I’d learnt in class after 10 weeks! The lectures are fascinating and interesting as the lectures are always in touch with the latest technology; studying BArchComp really feels like I’m part of the cutting-edge progressions in digital architecture.

Outside of class, I can be found at College on campus which is where the sleeping, eating and socialising gets done.  I just recently got a job in Maroubra at a pizza shop for a little extra cash on the side. The hours of my degree are pretty good – usually only 15-20 contact hours per week – but it’s important to keep up assignment work at home obviously.
The projects I’m currently working on (actually just finished) are:
-Arch Design Studio: balsa wood Model of Venturi’s Mother’s House
-Generative Components research paper on generative form and organic architecture
-Thai House Revit 3D Model (Building Information Modeling)
-Business Report for my COFA design subject (general elective)

UNSW Built Environment Architectural Computing: Derek Georgeson

6 04 2009

Hey all,

I’m Derek, a second year Architectural Computing student.   Uni life is pretty amazing.  For a relatively new course, the Bachelor of Architectural Computing is planned around what’s fun and relevant.  I guess that is half the reason I chose the course, because it looked fun while being engaging.

I finished high school 4 years ago, got a semi decent UAI and then went backpacking around the world for a year.  While abroad I saw spectacular sights:  a Cathedral in Utrecht had one of the world’s tallest bell towers.  The attached cathedral was detached during a violent storm, and instead of re-building the section they just painted a mural depicting the inside;  and in Edinburgh (2nd largest city in Scotland) there is a mountain a half hour walk from the castle, which stands at the centre of the city. These incredible sights said to me that I should enrol in a course at UNSW Built Environment.  My interests in computing and digital imagery convinced me that Architectural Computing was the right one for me.

The first year of BArchComp is intense in a different kind of way.  There are no exams or essays, so my marks all came from assessments, which were based around concept and skill.  My friends were all kicking themselves, writing thousands and thousands of words in their respective degrees, while I just sat at the computer, doodling away at programs with some music on, relaxing while I pursued some outrageous idea in a manner that said “even if this wouldn’t work in real life, it works here…” but I digress.

Architectural Computing is a course for people who are skilled with programs and have creative flair. We use a range of programs to create buildings, models, landscapes and ideas that work on the embedded ideas within the built environment.  It’s a mix of being able to use a wide variety of programs with skill and ease (meaning that any future employer doesn’t need to ask what programs you can use because essentially you can use them all) and having the brains and competency to create and complete projects that would faze many hardened workers without losing too much sleep.  The only downside I can think of to this course is that I tend to get too engaged with a project and am sad to see it end.

Outside of the work habits, uni is really just THAT good!  I spend my weekends playing soccer, rock climbing with mates, working one or two days a week to save up for holidays and still have time for my friends at the pub on Friday nights.  Or, if the fast paced lifestyle isn’t to your liking, then you can trade all those activities to go lie on a beach during your 4 months of holiday each year.  Really, there has never been a better chance to relax, meet new people, and get some work done than in this degree.
This semester in one class we were given a few systematic diagrams to give some feeling to and create what are known as parté and poché drawings.  In another class, held  at COFA (College of Fine Arts, on Oxford St), we are learning to manage a business (though in a creative and abstract way) and then learn some of the coolest software which does all the work for you (Generative Components which designed the Beijing Water Cube).  This stuff is awesome!

Anyway, I’ll leave you with some of my first year work.  These are digital versions of Alvar Aalto’s Church and Parish in Riola!