Diploma in
Architecture

Professional
Studies 5
Assignment 1 – Part 1

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Just in Time Management

 

‘Part-time studies should not feel like a
daunting task, but instead an amazing opportunity to immerse yourself in the
world of academia and professional life simultaneously. ‘ 1

In my article for RIAS Quarterly 2017 Autumn Issue, titled ‘Part Time – No
Time’ I talked about managing my part-time studies in Glasgow School of Art and
working as a part 2 Architectural Assistant with 3DReid Architect in Edinburgh.

I find time management to be essential to my current position.

 

First of
all, I would like to note that I do most of my writing and assignment work at
my home studio In Edinburgh, or I find myself working while travelling between
Edinburgh and Glasgow. I would also like to point out, that most of the
university work is written assignments, workshops and lectures, which helps to
concentrate on the tasks, as I do not have to worry about material procurement,
model making times and using art school workshops in Glasgow.  

 

The graphic
part of the assignment for this task has been done in two connected parts. The
first table identifies a ‘current’ week displayed as a day by day schedule, and
a timetable on week by week basis for every week of this academic year. The
daily schedule really helps to determine how many hours I will actually have in
a day to study or undertake other activities. This allows me to create such
table for every week, and also draw form each week’s experience of how much time
particular tasks or assignments take and predict into the future.

 

My weekly
schedule for this task was based on 8 hours sleep every night, minimum 28 hours
for any informal daily activities and chores, such as eating, cooking, etc.,
and about 84 hours dedicated to work, studying, leisure and relaxing. Therefore,
if I have to work more on a particular day that week, I can relax longer on the
next whilst maintaining a time balance in a week. I have allowed a flexible
amount of time in a week of 20 hours for part-time studies, with an additional
10 hours available for any deadlines.

 

Despite
having a daily schedule, I have also added a ‘Control Time Limit’ per week, and
set it to never go lower than 28 hours per week, which usually is higher and
stays in 40-hour base.

The daily time
management table also allows me to monitor any other activities, RIAS Planning Committee
or Architecture Fringe responsibilities.

 

The linear graph
at the bottom right corner of the graphics page allows for milestones and
deadlines to be created to monitor my progress over the hurdles within this
academic year, starting 20th of November and ending in June. As all
the graphs in the page are set up in Excel programme, the milestones timetable can
be easily updated by typing new date, new deadline or number of hours to be
spent on an activity. Moreover, once a new assignment is added, I can update
how many hours I will spend on it in weeks following to it, and create
milestones to monitor the progress. ‘Today’ and ‘this week’ tabs demonstrate my
position in the academic year and progress.

 

I actually have
been keeping a daily timetable for some time now, and splitting a work day into
30 minute intervals. I decided to do so after reading about the Pomodoro Technique
2, developed in 1980s, which teaches to split any bigger task into
25 minute intervals, with a couple minute breaks in between, with a longer
break after four cycles.  I also like to
alternate tasks, which sometimes allows to work faster.  

 

Both tables
should be reviewed an updated weekly, or at least at every new or achieved milestone.

The daily timetable can be update every day, preferably in the morning. I am
planning to continue developing these two tables presented for the task, as deadlines
change, and also as I observe how well I achieve my milestones for assignments,
and other important dates in my education.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diploma in
Architecture

Professional
Studies 5
Assignment 1 – Part 2

 

My path to achieving Architect’s Qualification
or the Saga of Perseverance in Time and Space

 

Every time
I have to talk about my path to Architect’s Qualification, I feel like it’s a
really hard riddle that I have finally managed to solve, and it’s a good
feeling. I recently have spoken about similar issues in Architecture Fringe
2017 debate ‘Turncoats: Greener Grass?’ with Richard Murphy.

 

My
undergraduate thesis project and master of science studies focused a lot on
urban design. Despite that, after working as an architectural assistant for
couple of years in Edinburgh, I found a new appreciation and passion for architecture
as a profession. Three years ago, I have decided to find a way to qualify as an
architect here in UK. As expected, the path to qualification was going to be
different to a typical one, and yet the motivation to be able to one day call
myself an Architect was stronger.

 

Firstly, it
was quite hard to navigate the prescribed examination system or receive
information from ARB directly, as my circumstances were not exactly standard. I
was very keen to maintain my position in the practise, where I have discovered
myself climbing up the career ladder, even if it was only little steps. After a
few online conversations with ARB consultants, and countless letters to the helpful
professional studies advisors, I have found the only possible path to qualifying
as an Architect in UK. I was going to take Part 1 Prescribed examination together
with a part-time Part 2 UK based course, that would allow me to sit a Part 3
exam. Despite the complexities of the system, I seem to have found a way.  

 

Moreover, I
had a task to find a way to be able to finance my studies, and although it
might seem like a not important factor to time management, but I was not
interested in finishing three years of studies with a debt on my shoulders.

Luckily, I was able to raise this in my annual review in the practise, where I
prepared a little business plan which led me to my directors kindly accepting
my proposal to finance my studies in exchange of a minimum of one year stay
after I qualify.

 

In
exchange, I have also received one day per week to focus on studies and
additional ten holiday days for my studies, as advice by APEAS PEDR guide to
practises (?) and endless support from my co-workers and management. This
allows me to spend one weekday and my weekends for studies and any additional
activities I have, such as RIAS Planning Committee and Architecture 2018
Co-Producing.

 

Due to my
aspiration to take my part 3 exam directly after my Part 2 Diploma studies are
finished, I am planning to take my Part 1 Prescribed Examination in August or
October of 2018, depending on my work load in the practise. I have allowed a
few hours a week to compile my Part 1 comparative matrix and portfolio, and
study for an English language test, between April and July, when I don’t have
any lectures or studio work in GSA. I have also planned all PEDR and EBA
deadlines, including milestones to achieve these. I am very keen to be able to
have all my PEDR sheets submitted and EBA written at the beginning of summer
2019. I am planning to start a Part 3 student study group at the beginning of
January 2019.

 

This is
something I have gotten advice for from my professional studies advisor and I
am confident it can be achieved. Please note, that if I find my part 2 and part
3 studies and preparation too complicated, I am hoping to either have
additional 10 study days from the practise, or delay my qualification till the
next year. This is something I would have to make a decision in 2019 September,
to be able to carry my registration and examination fees to the next year
exams.

 

Overall, I
do understand my schedule would not be a perfect example of life and work
balance, but I am very passionate about what I am currently trying to achieve,
and I do see myself working harder, because the task is tough.

 

I do hope
to be able to call myself an Architect in February 2020.