Studying Architecture

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Starduster
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Joined: Sat Sep 18, 2010 11:22 am

Studying Architecture

Post by Starduster » Sat Sep 18, 2010 11:54 am

Hello all,

I'm currently studying Architecture (and Planning, it's a dual course).
I have ADHD and Dyspraxia. My ADHD has always bothered me, I didn't really know I had dyspraxia. I knew there was something, but I didn't have it diagnosed and in the US, there was something called Non Verbal Learning Disorder (I studied in the US for a bit, I'm not American) which was suggested and I kind of picked up. I thought it might be dyscalculia but I'm not bad with numbers, I just flip them around sometimes (kind of dyslexia) and I'm not bad at reading maps. My dyspraxia is not that bad but I think the ADHD and dyspraxia are forming some kind of unholy alliance. My ADHD seems severe and I'm taking medication which keeps getting changed as it doesn't seem to work. I managed to get put on dexedrine after many years on ritalin. And on medication, I've graduated to ADHD mild and certainly not like those I hear who get super focus.

I'm not too bad with gross motor movements. I have done karate since I was 12, and I think that's really helped me. I bump into things, spill things from time to time, but I can handle that. The fine motor skills are more my problem. I'm not bad with writing though it hurts if I have to write for a long time and am able to use computers in exams. I'm a touch typist. I've worked as a receptionist and a PA(!!!!!) and used to work in call centres so computers I'm fine with. I'm very disorganised and find it difficult to structure essays and I'm always struggling with deadlines. It takes me longer to start everything. And we used to have more flexible deadlines but they've stopped that.

I started this course 2 years ago and I've been having great difficulty passing my design studios ie I haven't. I'm now going into my 3rd year of my 4th year course and I've failed Design studio twice but I get a third try for my 3rd year. But I'll have to take 2 years out part time to do design studio 2 and 3 and then the 3rd year do design studio 4. So adding 2 extra years.

I know many of the tutors and advisors would suggest that I stop the Architecture bit and just do the planning. I like planning and enjoy it but I came onto the course because of both the Architecture and Planning. I'm now 30 years old. If I was 19 or 20, I would do the recommended course of action and go back into Architecture later. But like I said I'm 30, and this is my second attempt at university. I failed last time studying Computer Information Systems and Tourism mostly because my ADHD was dragging me down and being assaulted was the final straw and I couldn't take it.

I felt relief that I didn't have to finish Computers and was bored of it. I was having difficulties with making programs, I couldn't do it, I occassionally managed to dream up the code and do it. Seriously. I would stare and stare and couldn't figure what to do, try and plug at it for days but nothing. The night before, due to panic and increased levels of dopamine and adrenaline, I would see the entire program, write it down. I would look at it in the morning, have no clue what it all meant, but since I had no other option, I would have to present it in class and it will work but I don't know how or why. If that sort of thing happened more often, it would be fine. But I would fully understand for a few hours and back into the cloud again.

But I do want to do this course but I'm having such difficulties. It's so frustrating, I'm not stupid and though I was secretly wondering about that over the past 2 years, I finally got my dyspraxia assessment and that was not the problem at all and I was even surprised.

My dyspraxia is really flaring up. We have to do lots of models in the class, and drawing and cutting and gluing and drawing straight lines. And my other issue is time management, being able to do things on time, knowing what to do, not feeling overwhelmed, knowing where to start, I can sit down for 2 hours, stare, and stare and do absolutely nothing. They say just start, but lots of times, I'm not starting well, I'm wasting my time on things that later I look back and think why did I do that for 2 hours, it's now obvious I shouldn't be doing that. Starting something is good but when you consistently waste time doing wrong things, it's inefficient and it's also making me more anxious.


I don't know what to do. I've wondered whether I should just quit because try as I have, I can't seem to find anyone who is an architect and dyspraxic though I think there are some who are ADHD but can't find them either. Maybe architecture is for smug, rich neurotypicals and I should just go away leaving them to smirk at me. Yea, I also work part time but I'm reducing some hours for next hour and yes, yes to the 20th power of yes, if I weren't working, it would help a lot, I know that but I have to work.

Any advice, views, opinions would be welcome.

hippieteacup
New member - welcome them!
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2010 3:32 pm

Re: Studying Architecture

Post by hippieteacup » Wed Sep 22, 2010 4:07 pm

Starduster wrote:Hello all,

I'm currently studying Architecture (and Planning, it's a dual course).
I have ADHD and Dyspraxia. My ADHD has always bothered me, I didn't really know I had dyspraxia. I knew there was something, but I didn't have it diagnosed and in the US, there was something called Non Verbal Learning Disorder (I studied in the US for a bit, I'm not American) which was suggested and I kind of picked up. I thought it might be dyscalculia but I'm not bad with numbers, I just flip them around sometimes (kind of dyslexia) and I'm not bad at reading maps. My dyspraxia is not that bad but I think the ADHD and dyspraxia are forming some kind of unholy alliance. My ADHD seems severe and I'm taking medication which keeps getting changed as it doesn't seem to work. I managed to get put on dexedrine after many years on ritalin. And on medication, I've graduated to ADHD mild and certainly not like those I hear who get super focus.

I'm not too bad with gross motor movements. I have done karate since I was 12, and I think that's really helped me. I bump into things, spill things from time to time, but I can handle that. The fine motor skills are more my problem. I'm not bad with writing though it hurts if I have to write for a long time and am able to use computers in exams. I'm a touch typist. I've worked as a receptionist and a PA(!!!!!) and used to work in call centres so computers I'm fine with. I'm very disorganised and find it difficult to structure essays and I'm always struggling with deadlines. It takes me longer to start everything. And we used to have more flexible deadlines but they've stopped that.

I started this course 2 years ago and I've been having great difficulty passing my design studios ie I haven't. I'm now going into my 3rd year of my 4th year course and I've failed Design studio twice but I get a third try for my 3rd year. But I'll have to take 2 years out part time to do design studio 2 and 3 and then the 3rd year do design studio 4. So adding 2 extra years.

I know many of the tutors and advisors would suggest that I stop the Architecture bit and just do the planning. I like planning and enjoy it but I came onto the course because of both the Architecture and Planning. I'm now 30 years old. If I was 19 or 20, I would do the recommended course of action and go back into Architecture later. But like I said I'm 30, and this is my second attempt at university. I failed last time studying Computer Information Systems and Tourism mostly because my ADHD was dragging me down and being assaulted was the final straw and I couldn't take it.

I felt relief that I didn't have to finish Computers and was bored of it. I was having difficulties with making programs, I couldn't do it, I occassionally managed to dream up the code and do it. Seriously. I would stare and stare and couldn't figure what to do, try and plug at it for days but nothing. The night before, due to panic and increased levels of dopamine and adrenaline, I would see the entire program, write it down. I would look at it in the morning, have no clue what it all meant, but since I had no other option, I would have to present it in class and it will work but I don't know how or why. If that sort of thing happened more often, it would be fine. But I would fully understand for a few hours and back into the cloud again.

But I do want to do this course but I'm having such difficulties. It's so frustrating, I'm not stupid and though I was secretly wondering about that over the past 2 years, I finally got my dyspraxia assessment and that was not the problem at all and I was even surprised.

My dyspraxia is really flaring up. We have to do lots of models in the class, and drawing and cutting and gluing and drawing straight lines. And my other issue is time management, being able to do things on time, knowing what to do, not feeling overwhelmed, knowing where to start, I can sit down for 2 hours, stare, and stare and do absolutely nothing. They say just start, but lots of times, I'm not starting well, I'm wasting my time on things that later I look back and think why did I do that for 2 hours, it's now obvious I shouldn't be doing that. Starting something is good but when you consistently waste time doing wrong things, it's inefficient and it's also making me more anxious.


I don't know what to do. I've wondered whether I should just quit because try as I have, I can't seem to find anyone who is an architect and dyspraxic though I think there are some who are ADHD but can't find them either. Maybe architecture is for smug, rich neurotypicals and I should just go away leaving them to smirk at me. Yea, I also work part time but I'm reducing some hours for next hour and yes, yes to the 20th power of yes, if I weren't working, it would help a lot, I know that but I have to work.

Any advice, views, opinions would be welcome.
This sounds like me!
I have dyspraxia, dyslexia and I study architecture. I wanted to ask whether you got help during those years that you went to university as that may be a reason why you haven't passed?
i generally find the design studio more harder than the cultural context and technical studies modules out of the architecture course.

i've been trying to find an architect that has dyspraxia as its not really like dyslexia, as dyspraxia is on the same spectum as autism. my tutor and mentor wants me to meet one so i can find out the strategies to do things as i have auditory problems and i stop and start something and then jump on the next.

i need structure in my life otherwise things are just chaos.
o

Starduster
Getting settled in
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Sep 18, 2010 11:22 am

Re: Studying Architecture

Post by Starduster » Sat Oct 02, 2010 4:44 pm

Thanks for your answer. I'm glad there's someone out there with dyspraxia and architecture!!! I was beginning to lose hope. Have you had any luck finding architects with dyspraxia? I'm having difficulty finding architects with ADHD even, as I have that as well. Lots of stuff about dyslexia and architecture which is not the same.

What strategies have you found useful? How about drawing? I find it seems I'm teaching myself and research. There isn't much out there about research on the brain and drawing.

What I've found so far:

I've finally understood that there is a difference in drawing from mind and drawing still lifes, and patterns. I found a paper on a fashion student who had epilepsy when he had to draw still lifes or complicated patterns but not when he drew simple patterns and writing which shows that they are processed in different parts of the brain. So contrary to advice that if you can make a mark on a paper, you can draw. They are different. So maybe I need to figure out a way to change things so they pass from the complicated pattern part of the brain to the simple pattern part of the brain.

I've discovered that there's some research going on with dyspraxics in art and design and their difficulties in Swansea. I'm in the process of writing to the person in charge to find what recommendations there might be.

It's difficult. No one really seems to understand my challenges, especially the professsors. So I'm floundering and failed my design studio twice. I have an exceptional third attempt and want to pass. I don't believe I can't do it, I just haven't found the way yet....

hippieteacup
New member - welcome them!
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2010 3:32 pm

Re: Studying Architecture

Post by hippieteacup » Sat May 28, 2011 10:22 am

Starduster wrote:Thanks for your answer. I'm glad there's someone out there with dyspraxia and architecture!!! I was beginning to lose hope. Have you had any luck finding architects with dyspraxia? I'm having difficulty finding architects with ADHD even, as I have that as well. Lots of stuff about dyslexia and architecture which is not the same.

What strategies have you found useful? How about drawing? I find it seems I'm teaching myself and research. There isn't much out there about research on the brain and drawing.

What I've found so far:

I've finally understood that there is a difference in drawing from mind and drawing still lifes, and patterns. I found a paper on a fashion student who had epilepsy when he had to draw still lifes or complicated patterns but not when he drew simple patterns and writing which shows that they are processed in different parts of the brain. So contrary to advice that if you can make a mark on a paper, you can draw. They are different. So maybe I need to figure out a way to change things so they pass from the complicated pattern part of the brain to the simple pattern part of the brain.

I've discovered that there's some research going on with dyspraxics in art and design and their difficulties in Swansea. I'm in the process of writing to the person in charge to find what recommendations there might be.

It's difficult. No one really seems to understand my challenges, especially the professsors. So I'm floundering and failed my design studio twice. I have an exceptional third attempt and want to pass. I don't believe I can't do it, I just haven't found the way yet....
hi there, I am so sorry for the late reply. hopefully you will have read this.

did you get much from the people at swansea? I was reading up on dyslexia and dyspraxia and its relationship to drawing on the website. http://creativementors.co.uk/who-we-are/how-we-started

i did not realized it is a on going problem, i think dyspraxic people will have more difficulty in drawing than dyslexics. I have a dyslexic class mate and she is really good at making models and drawings, she even hand sown a perspective section and is top of our year through other means of drawing via textiles and hand making models.

what university do you go to?
I did okay in my second year and managed to get some really high grades but i am failing in design because i do not have the mental capacity to put pen to paper to draw out the technical drawings and plans and sections.

I have been taught how to draw for several years, both in secondary school in gcse art and graphics, again in st martins and in my first year of architecture school, yet i am still struggling. i can do all the modelling but when it comes down to drawing the basics in black and white on paper, I struggling terrible. I think there is something in the brain in dyspraxic people where we struggle to do things in an orderly way. everything is either messy and with architectural plans and sections are done in a particular manner with regards to line thicknesses and tone. it is a problem to do controlled drawings.

John arc
New member - welcome them!
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2017 5:51 pm

Re: Studying Architecture

Post by John arc » Sat Nov 04, 2017 6:24 pm

Hi there,

Coming to this thread and indeed condition very late! I am 40 and have just figured out I have dyspraxia. My nephews have been diagnosed with the condition several years ago and my sister recently told me I have the same symptoms, i have spent the past week getting my head around this and I feel fascinated,relieved and excited to understand why I'm a bit different, a lot of my behaviour throughout my life finally makes sense to me.

I am the design director of an architecture firm that I founded, I concentrate on the creative side while my business partner, who is the opposite of dyspraxic, manages everything. I now believe that my dyspraxia enabled me to focus intensely on the subject allowing me to look closely and daydream, which are critical to the design processes. I imagine it also helps to have heightened emotional sensitivity when designing, although in a rough tough industry like construction it also can get emotionally exhausting when things don't go to plan!

I hope this helps, John

Dan
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Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2017 12:35 am

Re: Studying Architecture

Post by Dan » Tue Feb 27, 2018 6:09 am

Obviously my reply is super late and not really worthwhile for Starduster, but the whole thing where the code would just be done and would be handed in is a pretty classic side effect of ADHD medications. They're stimulants, just like 'speed', and Dexedrine is speed without the levo isomer, so it can play havoc with thoughts and make long periods of time appear to be over in an instant. I've heard this from many of my friends who've had ADHD.

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