New Project

There’s always a mixture of feelings that comes with a ‘New Project’. There’s the excitement of not knowing what its about and what you’re going to be asked to design, hoping that its something you can relate to, or something you know you’ll have plenty of ideas for, but that is always coupled with a certain fear, as you’re undoubtedly going to be expected to complete it to a higher standard than your previous work. Depending on how the last project went, for example if I didn’t enjoy it, I always look forward to starting afresh and not having to worry about previous work that I maybe wasn’t happy with, being able to put that away to worry about at a different time, however there is also the slight apprehension that this project might be just-as-bad-if-not-a-bit-worse than the last, in which case you know you’re in for another six weeks of trying to find inspiration to complete something which you just don’t find inspiring!

Your true feelings are confirmed as the brief is flung onto the desk in front of you. What’s the title? Is there a picture on the front? This brief uses a lot more paper than the last, it feels heavier, is this a good thing or a bad thing? Sometimes it takes a few goes at reading it through and highlighting bits to truly understand what they’re asking for, each page is feeding you more and more information and its hard to tell if this is complicating matters or clarifying your thoughts in your head. The brief is discussed in peer and studio groups, what does everyone else think of the New Project?  Usually the general feelings are the same, but a mixture of emotions is always inevitable because of the ways people react to them and the ways in which they proceed. There’s also one person who sits quietly panicking to themselves  the one who is excited and already has ideas flowing, the one whose getting angry and complaining that ‘we can’t possibly complete something like this!’

Of course this varies with each project. We’ve had a mixture this year, some have been short, maybe one or two weeks. The length of time always reflects the depth and detail of work the tutors expect. Some projects are completed in groups – something I’ve had mixed feelings about. As a rule I find it quite difficult to work in a group, but this is a skill I have developed over this year and now have a more mature attitude towards – so at least a positive has come out of it!

My New Project (and final project of the year – scary!) is still being processed in my head. I’m feeling excited, as I know this project is more like ones that you would get in ‘real life’ and its also something that you could envisage happening in the future. However it’s also a lot bigger and a lot more complicated that any of the projects we’ve completed in the past. The requirements are larger and more detailed than before, and although we have more time to complete it in, I know already that it’s going to be more intense and compact than than any other work I’ve done this year.

Scared yet excited are definitely my emotions at this moment in time. In the past two days I’ve also experienced panic and hysterical panic, so I think for now we are moving in the right direction.


4 thoughts on “New Project

  1. all the best with your project Caitlin, I hope you are enjoying your time in James Watson Halls, please write a little review about University of Portsmouth for thanks

  2. Blake says:

    Hi Caitlin!

    I have a friend who will soon be going to College. He is looking to take Architecture at University, and so I was wondering if you could tell me about the entry requirements for Architecture at Portsmouth.

    From what I’ve seen, there isn’t any specific subjects you have to have at A-level. I’m not sure if thats true, so any info would be really helpful. What A-levels did you have?



    • Caitlin says:

      Hi Blake 🙂

      I did Maths, Art & Design and Chemistry. There aren’t specific subject requirements but I would recommend taking an Art based course/ A level as it sets you up doing project work, creating a portfolio and working to a brief, which would be really handy skills to have. I would also say that the work I’m doing at the moment is quite similar to my Art A level in the way the work is structured and the hours you have to put in! As for Maths and Chemistry, they were just the subjects I enjoyed/was good at for GCSEs. I have used some Maths this year when designing staircases, and you also have to work in different scales so I would say that having a Maths background has helped me quite a lot as well. When going from AS to A level I did consider doing History (took it for AS) and I think this may in hindsight have been of some benefit as at the moment I am also doing a research project for one of my Units, plus there is a History and Theory unit as part of Architecture so although you’re not learning about the same things it may provide you with some good skills in terms of research. Chemistry so far hasn’t come into the work I’m doing at the moment, though it may do in the future!

      I would say as a guide to definitely take an Art A level (or graphics/textiles – something ‘creative’). It may be useful to have some basic photoshop skills – though I had only used it once before I came to Uni and you are taught how to use it.

      It may be helpful to know that the first year is 100% coursework – which can make it seem like there is more work than other courses, but its just because other people may have one two hour exam instead of an 8 week project – for example.

      As for grades, I was required to get 280 UCAS points – BBC or equivalent at A level, but I have heard that other people had higher requirements – up to 320 points I think, and then a few had unconditional offers! So I’m assuming this depends on your personal statement etc.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if your friend has any other questions, feel free to email me! 🙂


  3. Blake says:


    Thanks so much for your detailed and quick reply!
    I’ll pass on what you’ve said, and if there are any other questions I’ll let you know.

    Many thanks again!


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