“After having the opportunity to be a TA, I finally realized that instructors often give guidelines just to make sure no one underachieves. The students who are interested in working outside the guidelines are often worried that they’re ‘breaking the rules,’ and they shouldn’t be. Many (most?) instructors are willing to let students break boundaries and work outside of the box as it often leads to better work. The students become more passionate about their projects, and generate more interesting work. So my advice is: don’t wait for your instructors to tell you what to do, take risks, work outside the box, and do work you’re passionate about. Being a little ridiculous doesn’t hurt.
Also, I think it’s incredibly important to iterate at full scale. Architects have an unfortunate reputation for not understanding construction. By iterating (not just modeling) at full scale, we get the opportunity to learn about material limitations and possibilities. By having a better understanding of detailing and joinery, we can improve the field’s reputation, and lower the risk of a design being compromised by a detail that has to be changed.”