Architecture Students...

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by NStocks, Feb 9, 2009.

  1. NStocks macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2008
    Location:
    England
    #1
    I will be studying a degree in Architecture this September, and wanted to know if other student use/need laptops on campus. The reason I ask is because I don't know wether to get the 15" or 17" Macbook pro, the obvious been that the size of the 17" is too big and also the weight if I need to carry it around much.

    Thank You

    NStocks
     
  2. geekgirl macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2007
    #2
    I would ask your chosen school what they recommend. Our school has a laptop lease program in which students pay a set fee per semester, which includes the laptop, software, and support. At the end of six semesters, they own the laptop. Works pretty well.
     
  3. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #3
    Well, the 17" wasn't an option when I was in architecture school, but the 15" served me just fine.

    As an architecture student, you will be in studio an awful lot. Thus, you will be carrying your computer around with you an awful lot of the time. From that perspective, I would say stick with the 15" and save your back. Hell, from that perspective, get a MacBookAir.

    However, you'll also be doing a lot of CAD work (and if you aren't, you should be if you want a job when you get out) and for that, the bigger screen of the 17" would be nice.

    It depends on what your priorities are. If you feel the screen size is critical for CAD work, go with the 17". If you want to save your back, go with the smaller size. Personally, I'd say go with the smaller laptop and keep a big screen at home for lengthy CAD work sessions. You'll be carrying a whole lot of supplies besides a laptop, so the 17" in your backpack all the time is too much IMHO. And having done a decent amount of CAD work on a 15" screen, I can tell you it's not all that bad. Surely nowhere near as nice as a 30" monitor, but no laptop will be.

    Also, make sure you get a good portable mouse no matter which one you choose. CAD work on a trackpad is brutal.
     
  4. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    #4
    I would strongly recomend you look at the software your school uses.

    I know at the college I went architecture students were required to have laptops and it was noted it had to be a windows computer.

    Reason being is the software they worked on was windows only.

    Just make sure you look into it before you buy.
     
  5. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #5
    I got along just fine with a Mac. And that was in the days *before* you could run Boot Camp. You know, AutoCad in VPC. :eek:

    There are perfectly serviceable CAD programs for the Mac OS, and all the other graphic work was easily done in OS X-native programs. No reason one couldn't use a Mac, despite what the departments "require".

    That said, I'd definitely recommend picking up a copy of Windows so that you can work with AutoCad. It IS the industry standard, after all.
     
  6. silbeej macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 3, 2007
    #6
    Id wait and see if your school requires a certain laptop. Some times certain majors will have a computer for you to lease that contains all the software that you will be using, and you are required to get it. If you call them up and they say there is no requirements, then i'd go for the 15inch or 17inch depending on your bank account.
     
  7. heehee macrumors 68020

    heehee

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    #7
    September is a long time away. I would wait until school starts before buying a computer. Some programs teaches 3DS max, I have seen somewhere that program does not like bootcamp.
     
  8. NStocks thread starter macrumors 65816

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    England
    #8
    I got a reply from my Uni, and they said that a Laptop is not required as they have so many pc that are available to me, but a personal laptop would be useful if I stay on campus to live etc.

    With that in mind, I have a better chance of getting the 17" because I won't need to carry it around every where with me, but again I have less than a week to decided as this is when my unit has to go back...

    Do I save £200 and just get the end 15", or pay a bit more and get something ' extra'

    NStocks
     
  9. silbeej macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2007
    #9
    Well if its only 200GBP more to get the 17inch MBP, then i'd go for it. Otherwise, get the highend 15inch. At this point, i would just be concerned with application compatibility between Windows and OSX. Otherwise, hand over the cash and enjoy the purchase. :D

    Yeah you're right, for 200 pounds i'd get it.
     
  10. silbeej macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 3, 2007
    #10
    This is interesting, and a good sign of the current economy and how messed up it is. I was under the impression that Apple always charged more for their products in the UK than in the US, one to cover costs, and two since the British Pound was worth so much more than the US Dollar.

    17 " MBP

    1949.00 GBP inc. VAT = 2881.21 USD

    17 " MBP

    2799 USD + 6% Sales Tax = 2966.94 USD

    I don't mind the US Dollar being worth more, but the Euro and British Pound have always been worth more, and thus products cost less (just in number value) than they would in US Dollars, but the actual value was around the same, if not a little more. Who knows whats up, but like i said above, buy it, get pissed at the money you spent, and then enjoy it.
     
  11. NStocks thread starter macrumors 65816

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    England
    #11
    I get higher education discount, therefor:

    17" MBP = £1,657.15... normal price = £1,949.00
    15" high end MBP = £1,454.75... normal price = £1,712.00

    But I will have to wait 4 WEEKS at the least :(
     
  12. silbeej macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2007
    #12
    I've got to hand it to apple:eek:

    British Spec Education:
    £1949.00 - £1657.15 = £291.85
    £291.85 = $428.98!!!!!

    US Spec Education:
    $2799.00 -$2599.00 = $200.00

    $200.00 <<< $428.98
     
  13. NStocks thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #13
    :eek:... let me get this right, I get it about $200 cheaper than a US HE student would ?

    Also, on the keynote with Phil Schiler he said that when you buy iWork '09 with a new mac you get it half price. Now because I'm a student I get iWork for £30 whether I buy a Mac or not so theroetically this means that when I as a HE student buy iWork '09 should get it for £15 ?

    ... the online apple store rep told me I get one discount or the other :confused:
     
  14. silbeej macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 3, 2007
    #14
    Yeah, with the 17 inch MBP you do, the 15 inch MBP is about 290 GBP, so it would be a little less, but still a great deal. As far as iLife goes, all i know of is the $9.95 upgrade from iLife 08. That, and the $39 education priced one, not sure what it is in the UK.
     
  15. JamesP12345 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2007
    #15
    I'm doing architecture at Manchester and I can't imagine how difficult it would be to do my course without my MBP, so although it is possible to use uni computers I would defiantly recommend getting your own personal computer (as you seem to be doing anyway). I have a 15" MBP that serves my purposes perfectly, I take my laptop in every day so I decided to sacrifice screen area for portability. Personally my recommendation would be to buy the 15" MBP and perhaps spend the difference on a monitor that you can keep in your halls / flat and plug into when you are doing work at home. That way you get portability and screen size when needed (as I personally tend to do more CAD/Photoshop work at home rather than at uni)!
     
  16. NStocks thread starter macrumors 65816

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    England
    #16
    Well I thought about that, I know it would be a whole lot better for me to work off a Mac rather than a pc, but from what I read from the email they said there are plenty of computer to use, but I guess I will see what other students do.I don't want or like the idea of having a external monitor, I'm sure it's very nice but to me it defeats the point of a laptop because you still have more cables, a keyboard and mouse.

    Do the other people in your class use laptops or do they use the provided computers ? I would really like the high-res screen because I plan to upload quite a lot of images on a stock photo website to make a bit more money for Uni, and I feel that a bigger screen with better resolution will give me more inspiration to do so ( not saying that the 15" screen is bad ), and it seems more ' future proof' , plus if I'm going to take it to uni I will have a car ( I walk 25 mins to college ). The extra battery life can't be a bad thing either !

    Do you find yourself carrying much paper work to and from Uni ? At college I carry a large notepad and a few hundred pages of notes that are in a A4 arch file, but I 'm not sure if it's all computer/electronic based for Architecture.

    EDIT : I will more than likely be living at home as it will be cheaper than student accomadation. Also, how many days to you attend Uni a week and do you have a part time job at all ( I work at Tesco part time, and could possibly just do 1 day a week. )

    NStocks
     
  17. JamesP12345 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2007
    #17
    Well in that case it would seem that the 17" version is more suited to your needs so I would go for that, certainly the added screen real estate will help for most of the work you will be doing. In response to your questions; I would say at a guess that probably 85% of the students in my year have there own personal laptop (be it pc or mac) and a further 10% have there own personal desktop at home and use the uni pc's when they are in, with the remaining 5% just using the uni pc's. Obviously you will use the uni pc's to do things like large format printing etc, but you will do so much computer work, particularly in the latter years of your degree, that having a laptop where you can keep your work in one place with you is invaluable.

    As for paper work, I rarely have much with me, my laptop bag usually contains a few handouts and an a5 notebook and sketchbook. I guess it depends on how you work, but you will probably find that the only time you do much on paper is during lectures - as you will be taking notes with associated diagrams most of the time. Almost all of our handouts and lecture notes are also provided electronically, so you probably won't be lugging a lever arch file around. Anything else you want to know, feel free to ask!

    EDIT- Just saw what you added to your post, I am in everyday, but I'm now in 5th year, in 1st year it was more like twice a week with the rest doing work at home, but that will of course vary from school to school. I no longer have a part time job, instead doing summer work. However in first year I did and it certainly helped with material costs, so I'd say if you can keep work on, then I would!
     
  18. NStocks thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Apr 3, 2008
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    England
    #18
    That sounds good, I've always imagined my studies with almost no paper work, so it makes even more sense to invest in the MBP.

    Just a few questions if you don't mind.

    What software do you use, and is it the same as the Uni's software ?

    What course number are you studying, I'm taking the K100 course which is Architecture ( RIBA ), level one is for 3 years, then you get a year out I've heard for work placement and I hope to stay on with that company full time, and carry out levels 2 and 3 part time, even though it will take a bit longer but at least I will be getting more experience and will be earning some money. If you are studying the same course, can you tell me how many days you are at University for ?

    Generally is it a good course to be on, I've heard from a Architect that some tutors are not updated on building reg's etc. and that they just teach you about the design and not how regulations will influence it, it that true ?

    Did you know much about Architecture prior to your studies at Uni, and if not did it matter too much, I mean do they teach you all the basic first ?

    I can't wait to start as I hate my college, it's useless and the tutor's don't care to be honest. I'm achieving good grades through my own initiative and I'm on line for at least Merit, Merit and Distinction which is 280 UCAS points.

    Thank You

    NStocks
     
  19. JamesP12345 macrumors newbie

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    Oct 14, 2007
    #19
    Sure, no problem:

    Software wise I use Vectorworks and Photoshop primarily, my 'college' within the school is also quite keen on mixed media so I have used iMovie 06 to do some basic video editing aswell. Sketchup is another great piece of software for quick 3d models, and I would also recommend 'Artlantis' as a piece of rendering software (which also has the plus side that it is free to students from their website). I also have a bootcamp partition with windows on for running a few little programs that come in handy and also AutoCAD. Although I no longer use AutoCAD (I had a pc laptop in my first 3 years so used AutoCAD then) I like to have it on my MBP so I can keep up to date with it, as it is the industry standard and will be useful when it comes to getting a job!

    As for my studies, I have completed and qualified from my BA(Hons) Architecture course (the k100 course you mentioned) and also done my part 1 practical training year. I am currently in 5th year which is a BArch (Hons) Architecture course that covers part 2. As in BA (K100), at Manchester you are required in for a day of lectures and a day of studio a week, the rest of the time is left for you to produce work; whether you chose to do it at home or at uni is up to you, though obviously some things like wooden models are easier done at uni.

    I personally really like the course, it's very hard work but you do come on a long way year to year. In a way the architect you spoke to is right, but that is actually a good thing. You will have technology and professional practice lectures to keep you informed of legislation (so don't worry about being unqualified when you come to work) but that sort of stuff you pick up really quickly in your year in practice. Studio is all about design and ideas, as it should be in my opinion, they will aim to expand your design ideas and skills and really push you to produce the best stuff you can, which is obviously invaluable in your future career. Although they will try and keep you grounded in some kind of reality (regulation wise) it will be the only time in your career when you can truly design without worrying about, costs and time and all the legal stuff that comes with it so my advice is to enjoy the opportunity!

    As for prior knowledge, i'd say it isn't so important as they will cover a lot with you. The main thing is that you have an idea about architecture and a passion for it as that is the thing that will drive you on towards the end of year when you are doing 18 hour days! I would suggest that a bit of background reading on some of the main 'periods' and persons of architecture would be useful, just to give you a base of understanding to work from.
     
  20. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    Los Angeles
    #20
    I helped an architecture student shop for his college computer. Some of the software used at his college is PC-only and a glutton for resources. Even though he'd been a Mac user up until then, and still has a Mac at home, he ended up buying a high-end PC laptop to take to school, with the biggest screen, the fastest processor, and the most RAM he could afford. I think he made the right choice; he's used every ounce of power it has for his design and rendering work and needs the larger screen space.

    Your school may be different, but I'd still recommend a higher-end model with a large screen for an architecture student. If it's to be a MacBook Pro, that means the 17", maybe the 2.93GHz version. This is not what I recommend to students in other majors, who can get by with less power and size, and don't need to spend so much or put up with sore shoulders from carrying around a large laptop.

    Rather than simply asking the school what they recommend, I suggest talking to students there to find out what they've been using and how well it works for them.
     
  21. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #21
    That is a valid point. My suggestion was based on the OPs declaration that his choice was between the 15" and 17" Apple laptops, and that a Windows laptop was not an option.

    Personally I still don't see it as necessary. Schools will have labs where major renderings can be done -- and in my experience that happens no more than a few times a quarter -- if that is a major concern.

    And quite frankly, I feel that architecture students need to be focused more on technical details than being the next Frank Gehry right out of school. I remember seeing classmates projects and asking "how the hell are you planning to connect those two pieces?" and getting the response "with my hot glue gun"! :eek:
     
  22. NStocks thread starter macrumors 65816

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    England
    #22
    Well I have almost decided to get the 17", even if I have to carry to Uni with me. The only thing that's holding me back is the need for a good carry case. I need on that is a shoulder bag so I can store some paperwork etc with it. I've seen the crumpler ones but since I have only every had a sony vaio shoulder case and a incase neoprene ( for my current Unibody ) I don't know if crumpler is worth the money.

    What do you use for your Mac to carry to college and is it a ' comfortable' bag ?

    NStocks
     
  23. arkitect macrumors 601

    arkitect

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    Location:
    Bath, United Kingdom
    #23
    It is ever thus…
    But then again, it may be the only chance in your career (unless you do happen to be Frank Gehry et al) when you are free to do what you want — short of answering:
    "Skyhooks, madam."
    :p
     
  24. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #24
    No, you're right. Students do need a chance to design freely. But I don't think it should come until the latter half of the process, IMHO. If I could set curriculum, the first place I'd start would be to "design" and produce construction documents for a simple rectangular cabin or shed structure. Then move on to the Bilbao.
     
  25. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #25
    man that would be nice.

    What I been hearing from people in the industry on the contractor side is drawings are getting worse and worse.

    Mind you I know part of that is brought on by the fact that money is being cut more and more and of course you get the faster push at all times.

    Still there some times just no excuse for how uncoordinated the drawings are some times. It is one thing is the Architectures, MEP and structural drawings have coordination issues but there is no excuse for the architectures to have coordination issues with architectures drawings

    Sorry I gotten rather bitter about having to right REALLY stupid RFI's about dealing with uncoordinated drawings.


    But I agree with you. Architect in school need more down to earth construction training early on. To many thing it all foo foo free thinking design. To much is realize on in the field training. Might explain the huge burn out they suffer.
     

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