The craftsmanship involved in some projects gets many students hooked. But, perhaps it’s the entrepeneurial side of you which makes a Live Project interesting. Maybe you just want to get the chance to develop your soft-skills through a collaborative project. Is a Live Project your opportunity to express an opinion and raise awareness for an issue? There are countless reasons why you might choose to do a Live Project as a student. Even if your motivation is just to make yourself stand out among other students, as soon as you start to have some ownership of the project you’ll probably find yourself motivated by other things.Whatever your reason, having a clear idea about why you want to do a Live Project will help you to know what it is you want to achieve. Keeping this in mind will help you as your project progresses, especially in discussions and making decisions. Your personal motives may well be different to the others in your project. If so, don’t worry, this will likely strengthen the group and help define your roles.
The opportunity to learn new skills through practical experience is undoubtly the most influential reason why students choose to do Live Projects. In live projects the students take on new and
challenging tasks that enables them to develop a multiple set of new skills.
Live projects will require you to develop an awareness of your social responsibillity and your role as an architect. You may be fortunate enough to get a firsthand experience of the direct impact architecture can have on people. Whether your client be a community or an
individual, live projects will often reveal how meaningful architecture can be in a way a conventional studio course can’t. This will build your understanding of context and encourage you to reflect on your work and develop your critical skills.
A live project will give you a sense of responsibilty and ownership that will make you not allow yourself to produce anything less than your best. You will therefore naturally develop your design skills by asking more of yourself. Alongside this you will need the neccessary skills to manage a project.
Although you may still be a student, you should be aware that when you take your expertise and apply it outside of an institutional
environment you take on the responsibility of an architect. Students play an important role within the practice of architecture as an industry and it’s therefore important that student work is complimentary to professional work. Students have an ethical responsibilty to ensure that Live Projects to diplace professional work. This is among the
primary of considerations for Live Projects. Other ethical issues will also need consideration of course, but these are related to the stakeholders in the project. These issues are more likely to arise in humanitarian projects in developing counrties, where the project budget is, relatively speaking, much larger. In these instances it’s important to establish the incentives and roles of all the stakeholders, and know your client. This will help reveal any ethical issues you may need to consider.
Every case is specific and differs from the next. In the end it is up to you to make an informed decision, based on the guidance and information available, as to whether to take on a project or not. The decision tree below should help take you through some of the necessary considerations when asking yourself if and why you should do a particular project.