Architectural Blatherations

The Mature Age Student in Architecture

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The Good Oil

About two per cent of architecture undergrads in Dr Garry's Australian homeland are mature age or adult students, those who have come to architecture after a career or degree in another field. They can have a great time, but they may also find a few surprises.

The mature age student

No doubt about it, an architectural education can be a heap of fun. Dr Garry hugely enjoyed his own, way back in the mid-1970s. If you have already spent years listening to droning lectures, and sitting painful examinations that merely require you to have a sound memory, then architecture will come as a pleasant surprise. Or maybe a great shock.

But the greater shock will be in how you are treated. As we have heard from countless mature age students over the years, your previous life experience will count for naught. Whether you be a 30 year-old lawyer looking for a sea-change or a 40 year-old builder looking to formalise expertise, you will be treated as a 20 year-old tabula rasa. It can be quite aggravating to be condescended to by a tutor {studio critic} 10 or more years younger than you, whose experience in the reality of workday capitalism consists of a few cosy years in academe to your decades working to pay the mortgage or raise kids.