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I am soon going to be a third year at the UVA School of Architecture (but studying in Venice for the coming semester). I am deeply passionate about architecture, but I am fully aware that some people who share my passion have not had the unique opportunities to develop their architecture skills, and therefore may have more difficulty expressing their concepts on paper. Far more than money I am motivated to help people along their paths through architecture, knowing that there are so many people in the world who have wonderful ideas, but lack the skills to express them.
I have been educated in a variety of drafting and architecture related skills over the past six years with considerable success in the subjects. At the age of 14 I took the class Drafting I at Stafford High School which began with lessons in hand drafting. I continued along this line of class skills throughout my high school education, which gave me the opportunity to be trained in the proper use of manual drafting equipment, AutoCAD, AutoDesk Inventor, AutoCAD Architecture, and Revit. While learning these skills I was given the opportunity to participate in the district drafting competition hosted by SkillsUSA twice, as well as create the initial designs for three real buildings while in Drafting IV. The first design was the basic design for an addition to the Stafford ROTC building in which I worked with a partner to create it. The second was a design made for Habitat for Humanity in which I made the two most crucial documents for its eventual construction. Finally I was given the opportunity to create the floor plan for my Vice-Principal's new house.
As I graduated from High School with honors I was accepted to both the VA Tech Architecture program, and the UVA School of Architecture. Eventually, I decided on the UVA School of Architecture for personal reasons. Upon my entrance into the UVA School of Architecture I quickly learned that the majority of the other students were coming from an art background and knew nothing about the hand drawing and computer techniques that we were expected to use. While later classes taught the use of Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, and Rhino 5.0 more thoroughly for the first three semesters I taught many other students how to do the work that was expected of us. While these lessons were supposed to be taught primarily by our TAs, their hours were often inconvenient, or they were irresponsible, which made me helpful to many people struggling to use the programs, all of which were either related to, or were the same programs that I had already learned thoroughly over my four intensive high school years. Of additional note is that many people who I worked with were often complimented for their advanced use of the computer programs when they presented their completed work to our Professors.
Additionally I have had the opportunity to hone my skills in a fully professional environment when I interned at the Virginia Center for Architecture, which included both architecture and graphic design work. There I made use of AutoCAD, InDesign, and Photoshop, often using multiple programs on each document to make all of my work there up to the high professional standards held by the state center for Virginia architecture.
My tutoring method begins with teaching an understanding of the basic vocabulary involved in for the program that I am teaching. Once this vocabulary is learned it is far easier to use a variety of drafting and/or Adobe programs, as well as to communicate problems. Since this first step is the most vital to remember I will include a handout that can be used at any point in the future to remember the most basic aspects of these programs. After that I will develop the skills in a greater context by working through a series of design problems with the student, beginning with simple designs that will only take a single lesson to complete, but the lessons will conclude with a design problem that will take more time, effort, and thought. However, the completion of this final design project will be on a professional enough level to be include in a portfolio. This whole process will involve my full attention in a fully one-on-one environment that encourages questions. Even questions that I cannot immediately answer are welcome. To this day I have never met anyone who claims to fully understand these programs due to their complexity, but what I have found is that on all of my architecture projects throughout the years I have always been able to solve problems very quickly. Additionally, I would be delighted to answer any questions regarding architecture school, home design, or a professional architecture environment.
Adobe Illustrator is one of the subjects that is stressed at the University of Virginia School of Architecture. I have been given lessons on the subject during Studio II, and have used it in my most recent semester with Studio III to touch up my drawings on a regular basis. I have also had to make them ready to be viewed by the professional architects and university professors for presentations of our work at the end of each semester of Studio work.
Adobe InDesign is one of the primary programs used at the University of Virginia School of Architecture. For the last two years my professors at UVA have taught me how to use the program, a skill that has been tested many times since nearly every single project that I have completed over the past two years for my architecture classes has been printed by arranging several drawings on an massive InDesign document, exporting it as a PDF, and then printing the entire layout through a large plotter.
This skill was also tested in a highly professional environment since I was assigned to create a graphic design when I interned with the Virginia Center for Architecture. The resulting InDesign generated arrangement was sent out to dozens of potential investors in the Branch House, the building that is home to the Virginia Center for Architecture.
This experience gave me a slight advantage over many of my fellow students, so while the program has been relatively easy to use for them compared to AutoCAD I have taught several people how to export documents, multiple ways of arranging images in InDesign, and how to place and alter text.
As a student at the University of Virginia School of Architecture I have been given many lessons through my 6 credit Studio classes, going from Studio I to Studio III. In addition to these lessons from my professors I have learned more aspects of Photoshop through personal and group exploration, including my creation of art pieces using Photoshop for a literature class. I have also had these skills tested in a more professional environment when I interned with the Virginia Center for Architecture and utilized my Photoshop abilities to modify pictures and the logo so that they would look their best for arrangement on an InDesign layout for a handout that Virginia Center for Architecture sent to many potential investors in the building that the Virginia Center for Architecture was housed in.
Additionally, this professional experience combined with my personal interest in Photoshop gave me a slight advantage over many of my fellow students, which made me a useful resource when I was needed to help walk people through the process of adjusting an image in a variety of ways.
I began learning AutoCAD in 2008 at the end of my Drafting I class through the teaching of Robert Jett at Stafford High School. The following year I used relatively little AutoCAD since Drafting II had more of a concentration on AutoDesk Inventor. However, Drafting III consisted almost entirely of lessons and projects utilizing AutoCAD. By the end I had created complete or nearly complete designs for six houses.
When I began taking classes at the UVA School of Architecture in fall of 2012 I quickly realized that the majority of the other students had not been educated in the use of AutoCAD I quickly became one of the main people helping students to understand the program that they were expected to use, as well as the closely related, Rhinoceros 5.0. When tutoring my fellow students I utilized the same method that I had been taught with. First I explained the basic vocabulary of the program so that they could use the search bar, as well as understand what they were trying to do. Next, I showed them the steps that they were trying to accomplish on my computer screen, and helped them follow along so that they were getting experience. Finally, I encouraged questions, and if there were problems I worked closely with them so that they could see common steps to problem solving in the program.
During the summer break of my first college year I was given the opportunity to hone my skills in a completely professional setting when I interned with the Virginia Center for Architecture. There I made common use of AutoCAD to deliver documents that were going to be used by professional architects and students all around the city.
Finally, during my third semester at UVA my professors in Studio II began to teach the architecture classes on how to use AutoCAD. By that point I was advanced in the subject, but I still learned some new controls in AutoCAD, many of which were simply different ways to execute a command that I had already used many times. This extra education made me even faster with the program and an even better problem solver.
I have utilized this program since elementary school on a regular basis. The best tests have my skills have come from my four years spent in Commonwealth Governor's School during high school. At the end of each year I was expected to use a PowerPoint to as the backbone of a lengthy presentation on a year's worth of research. Each of these presentations was of increasing length, concluding with a twenty minute presentation during my senior year. This presentation ended up being longer than any that I have done in college, but I still have used it throughout my college experience.
This is a program that I have been using since elementary school, but unlike many other people I have developed a wider range of skills through during the use of this program. During my senior year I utilized Microsoft Word to create the first several chapters of a book on Revit, including images, by the request of my teacher for Drafting IV, Robert Jett. I also utilized the program Finally, I was also given some special lessons in the program during my class of Lessons on the Lawn taught by Peter Waldman at the University of Virginia. The class encouraged the use of Microsoft Word to move the words into abstract forms as a type of art writing.
I was first introduced to Revit in my Drafting IV class in 2009 under the direction of Robert Jett. The entire year of the class (which was a full block every single day of the week) was devoted to teaching the proper use of this program as well as using it to create some highly professional projects.
In comparison to AutoCAD I learned this program at a massively accelerated rate since there are many similar commands between the two programs. After a couple of weeks learning the program I was assigned to create an addition for Stafford High's ROTC building using Revit, which I managed to do with a fair amount of speed. During that year I also made the basic design for my Vice-principal's new house and the crucial drawings for a Habitat for Humanity House.
I finished most of these drawings with such speed that Mr. Jett had my partner and I begin to create a book on Revit that could be used to help new users to the program in his class work with Revit as quickly as we had been. While the book was not completed the completed chapters are an easy to use reference for people learning the basics of the program.
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