Studying with UCD Architecture - Lidia O'Shea

I was interested in Architecture since I was quite young, but UCD Architecture made me really fall in love with it.

The first time I got to visit it was at the UCD School of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy Open Day and that’s when I knew it was the course for me. We were shown around Richview campus and saw all the ongoing work from students of various stages; met some of our future professors and talked to undergraduates about why they enjoyed architecture in UCD. Even back then, not having a clue of how big UCD is and how long it takes to cross the campus, it was evidently clear that the architecture buildings in Richview were a bit of a distance from central campus but also that Richview is a world of its own.

And it still feels like it. From day one of orientation week I fell in love with Richview and its people and sense of community. I don’t think there is any other place on campus where students work as closely together and make bonds as strong as ‘the architects’. About 70% of our time we spend in our creative studios, working on projects: drawing, sketching, modelling, researching. And all of this happens with your classmates, your friends and other students from the Land of Richview being around you constantly. We work a lot but never without fun and passion. One of the things I particularly like about my course is being able to talk to our professors/tutors more or less every second day, which helps organise one’s creative process and helps out in difficult situations. Their advice is based on high level expertise as most would be successful architects working for known practises. You would never feel like you’re battling your assignments alone, unless you want to. There is always somebody: be it a person from the year above or below who’d be willing to give you help, advice or inspiration.

People say that architecture has the longest hours and most work. While it’s true that this is one of the courses you need to be fully committed to, it doesn’t make it any less enjoyable or prevent you from participating in extracurricular activities. In fact, I think it is very important to take advantage from the opportunities that UCD presents to you as a student. Joining clubs and societies, going to events and exploring the campus helped me make more friends and take my mind off my course. I find it amazing just how much you can do without leaving Belfield. Nevertheless the course itself gives a lot of variety: the projects are always different and explore so many directions in which Architecture could go as a profession. As you progress through the years many aids help you form your own style and understanding of what architecture can do for you. Richview library for example is the biggest specialised architecture library in Ireland and annual class field trips abroad open up a wide set of sources and precedent studies for self development.

As the bachelor part of the Architecture programme is only three years, the BSc is quite packed, but the variety never seizes to amaze me (UCD Architecture is a 3 + 2 structure). One day you’re designing a Community Centre and then the other you’re off to the Architecture Biennale in Venice. Now, being in my final year, I still never feel like my course is not giving me enough. I see progress in everything I do. UCD Architecture taught me how to be a student, a learning architect and a good friend. And it’s an experience and a journey I would never be able to recommend enough!

Lidia began her studies with the UCD BSc Architectural Science DN100 programme and is currently in her third year of the BSc. If you are interested in studying with the UCD College of Engineering and Architecture you should register now for the upcoming UCD Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Planning, Geography & Environment Open Day which takes place on Saturday January 21st 2017.