The reason I choose the Architectural Technology course over architecture was because it goes beyond just designing, you look at each element of construction.

10388431_10154215443825383_225006534_nBefore university, I was in 6th form doing my A-Levels; Art, Physics, Maths and Chemistry. For as long as I remember I wanted to do Architecture at University, therefore I spent a while researching different universities and their Architecture degrees, which brought me to information on the Architectural Technology degree.

Exploded AxoThe course offers a more in-depth look into design ideas and how evolving sustainable technologies (as well as other technologies) can be incorporated and their impact upon the environment. The course is shorter than an Architecture course at 3 years, with the optional year in industry (sandwich course – 4 years) between your 2nd and final year. The reason I choose the AT course over architecture was because it goes beyond just designing, you look at each element of construction (existing and new buildings) and also look at taking proposed designs from a concept to reality. Furthermore the optional year in industry within the course was something which interested me as it could be used to enhance my work within this country or abroad if I wished.

In my first year at Nottingham Trent University, I have done five different modules. Four of five modules concentrated on the foundations of architecture, design and technology, these modules looked at; the history of architecture, building services, construction processes and design communication (hand drawings and computer-aided design [CAD]). All these modules then tied together into a main running studio module (fifth module). This involved work on live projects such as the design of a house extension and a street kitchen,  and also studio projects looking into designing prefabricated livings units and crane-support structures. This main module has been my favourite throughout the year; it has allowed my freedom of design to flourish while working with all the knowledge from the other modules.

My first year doing Architectural Technology has been very enjoyable. The course itself is designed to be challenging and the work pushes you to produce your best. At Nottingham Trent, both lecturers and tutors are engaging, helping build up your self-confidence and drive you to think outside of the box on design projects. I have become very good friends with a lot of my course as we together throughout the week in workshops, studio and lectures.

Now that first year has finished, I am now back home wanting to make the most of it. I have previously worked part-time with a building contractor and I am hoping to get more work this summer. I find that this line of work shows me first-hand many building processes which I put into my designs. I am now also starting to consider my options for my placement year, which I feel that the opportunity to work abroad is something I could not turn down and a path I will look into.

Furthermore, if you are interested, in any of my modules – I have done a blog which has some submitted tasks on but also reviews of my work and my experiences living in Nottingham.

If there is anything else please leave a comment below

Shaun Bagnall