Master's in Architecture: the balance between working and learning, dreaming and doing
Three architects, three different perspectives on practice. Ted Maters, Antoine Bowers and Daniëlle Haasjes are alumni of the ArtEZ Architecture master’s course. How do they look back on it? Did they get something out of the research they concluded the course with? And what advice would they give potential new students? Daniëlle Haasjes: “Try to remain yourself. Don't be too much in thrall to lecturers or other people; find your own path instead. That way you will grow not only as an architect, but also as a person.”
Striking a balance
For Daniëlle, it started early: playing with Lego bricks as a child. “I had that combination of creativity and technology in me from an early age. At a certain point, those two things started growing together more and more." That rings a bell with Ted and Antoine too. Antoine: "I wanted to do something where art and civil engineering could meet. To make my mark by using my creativity." Ted says he always wanted to be an architect. “I was always drawing in perspective, things like that. After I graduated in structural engineering, I thought: let’s go for it."
The master's course Architecture offers concurrent education: a combination of working and studying. As a student, you work with themes like space, context and narrative in a challenging way. You learn to think freely and creatively and develop a new way of looking: as a result, you develop to become independently-minded professional with the knowledge and expertise to take a lead in shaping the relationship between people and space.
Thanks to the course, I know I need to be open to other possibilities. And how I can get clients to see those possibilities too."
Ted remembers cycling home after a day at work and running through all the things he had to do that evening in his head. “You have to strike a balance”, he says. "But the good thing is that you really learn to switch between the practical and experimental sides. You naturally acquire an investigative attitude. Thanks to the course, I know I need to be open to other possibilities. And how I can get clients to see those possibilities too.
This proves to be a recurring theme in the working life of an architect: the balance between dreaming and doing. "You have dealings with lots of different people who all want something from you", says Daniëlle. "On the one hand, you need to be pretty robust and fight for your design. But you also have to be able to see the project through another person's eyes. At the end of the day, you are making something for people to use. So it is important to be able to see different perspectives."
At the end of the day, you are making something for people to use.”