19th January 2017. – A week in the life of..

Three factors led to this week’s blog post. (Sorry it is a long one)

Ever the enthusiastic reader of the Architects Journal, and some of its regular features, (such as ‘a week in the life of {insert architects name here}’) and ever the admirer of regular contributors to said features such as Ian Martin, Contributing editor at AJ; I have always wanted to write the short post of ‘a week in the life of a part time architecture student’.

I am currently coming to the end of deadline week for the first semester of this year; this surely is the most interesting week of my schedule, until the final deadline in July of course. The third and final factor is simply that wherever I look at this current point in time, I am surrounded by news of Teresa May’s BREXIT plan and that Mr Trump is… (well god only knows what he is up to today?!).

So here I go, for your curiosity and in the style of AJ’s regular feature, a week in the life of an average part time architecture student.


0900am “£36! £36, why on earth did I pay £36.” – Realisation, as I slump to a standstill in front of my allocated space on the studio wall, that I have in fact just been fleeced by the very UBER drivers I trust for budget, reliable travel on deadline days.

I look at the panoramic view of London from the 6th floor studio of London Southbank university architecture department as I often do, serene and as beautiful as ever (putting aside the ghastly mass of our very own ‘walkie talkie’ building). Yet I and the three other students, who have made it to our final critique on time, are all so aware that the London tube strike is quite simply hell on earth for anyone working to a deadline and having to cross central London. £36 and 95 minutes for a four mile journey, if it were not for my several boxes of models and large portfolio folders I would have cycled as I so regularly do.

1830pm Reflection from the final presentation to my two enthusiastic studio lecturers and a small group of laboured, tired, full time students – Well, given the two design projects I am being critiqued for and given I have just handed in a small book of written work, even putting aside my full time job and trying to survive, I think I did alright. That’s about all I can muster for a Monday.

1900pm I fall asleep, exhausted, still listening to the dulcet tones of ‘Honne’ in my earphones, the end of a long semesters push and preparation.


Into the office, glad to say, I cycled today, putting aside the near misses and holding my breath through central for the smog, a great start to the day.

0800am team meeting at my desk, this can only mean one thing, project deadlines. “Sorry to grab you before you take your coat off; a meeting has been bought forward and we need to put together a set of drawings for the end of the week, more specifically for Thursday so that we can submit on Friday afternoon, you are part of the team.” I choose ‘Oasis – Stop the Clocks’ for today’s soundtrack, a war of strong characters played through the medium of guitar and vocals, perfect for ‘getting on with it’, unsure whether the rest of the office can hear my headphones, I continue to no complaints.

1800pm I decide to leave the bike at work today, besides, the hour commute on the bus would be handy for drafting a university programme for the following week before hand-in. I grab a Pizza, after all, “I deserve it”.

1945pm re-writing my critique feedback leaves me in a cold sweat; I scramble as much of a site topography section as I can, before I spill my coffee and decide to sleep at 0115am.


0735am I give my seat up for a lady on the tube, she seems appreciative, yet I feel like a smug young wanker and so get out at the next stop to walk across the river to work, a bit of fresh air never hurt anyone. Works progress in the office, this time to ‘the 1975’, both albums as they really are each quite the achievement from an already amazing band.

1900pm Works progress at home, laser cutting files tonight.

0045am late night crumpets signal the end of the working day.


0800am Catch up on spam marketing emails, drink strong Coffee and generally discuss work left to do this week.

0930am REVIT trainer in the office, because the AutoCad and Sketchup software we all know and love is being phased out for efficiency, great news – terrible timing for me, especially given the use of Rhino 3D at university, I am unsure my head can take a fourth program.

1900pm I start the night shift, Rhino is already alien after today’s training and productivity is scarily reduced. I resort to the ‘Haim’ album ‘Days are gone’, great listen, calming influence.

0200am Why wont the damn line weights just print like they appear on screen, ‘who cares, I don’t want to be an Architect anyway’, bedtime.


1030am Submission. An early start conquers the deadline, “well done team!”.

1645pm I leave.

1700pm Collect my extortionately priced laser cutting files, ready for assembly, spend the rest of the journey home wondering where exactly the money for that model really did come from in my account (a secret door perhaps).


0900am Assembly of final site analysis model.
1400pm Catch-up with mother on the telephone, “yes I am still alive mum”, working lunch.

1700pm Rediscover ‘Queen’, Youtube wastes two hours of my day. – ‘Live Aid’ 1985 followed by an extensive playlist of classics.

2300pm Watch ‘the Grand Tour’ on Amazon Prime, a welcome distraction from work.


0700am Work starts early.

1800pm Late lunch in the office, printing begins.

2345pm Arrive home, crash into bed. I feel as though I have overcome something this week, I really feel as if tomorrow’s deadline is a game changer for me.

I visit Facebook, friends claim to having ‘nothing’ on paper and I feel thankful I managed to stay on top of it all, a little work every night I promised myself, all I can say is I am thankful for the music; very thankful for the music.

0130am Still talking to friends about the days up and coming hand-in I am reminded just how much I love the work that we strive so readily to complete, the presentation stretched out in front of me, regardless of grade and result is a snapshot of me, in my career, today for all to see at university and that alone makes it all worthwhile.

Thank you for reading and for today, to the sound of ‘Lorde – Pure Heroine’ I wish you goodnight.



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