How to Prepare for Architecture School – Getting Ready to Study Architecture | SAS 24: Danial Lau

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Getting Ready to Study Architecture with Danial Lau

Are you a high school student wanting to become an architect? In this episode of the Successful Architecture Student’s Podcast, I interview college student Danial Lau to talk about how you can prepare for architecture school to become a successful student.


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Danial is a college student studying in Melbourne, Australia.

Although he’s not currently studying architecture specifically – I thought it would be a great opportunity to bring him on the show to talk about preparing for architecture school.

We talk about some of the things he does to get ready for the big bad world of architecture – including travelling, reading and practicing.

Danial also shares his thoughts about famous “starchitects” such as Bjarke Ingels, Zaha Hadid and Norman Foster.

Thanks for a great chat Danial!


Connect with Danial:

IG: @dlau0741


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I hope you enjoy the show! Feel free to discuss anything in the comments below. I try to respond to every comment 🙂

Hey! My name’s Kyle.

From a sample of 25,000 students that applied to enter architecture school:
15.30% of them were accepted.
8.50% of them made it through to the second half of their education.
2.04% of them were awarded a degree in Architecture (post-graduate)
0.78% of them ended up working a job in architecture.

Successful Archi Student is a platform for architecture students to learn off one another to become the LESS THAN 1% of students who end up being successful in the profession.

On the podcast, you’ll hear from practicing architects, other successful students and myself, Kyle, a third year architecture student from South Australia.

Doing so, you’ll learn the tips and tricks to excel past the rest of your cohort and build the skills needed to take your work to another level.

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Episode 24 Transcript. How to Prepare for Architecture School. Getting Ready to Study Architecture with Danial Lau

Kyle  0:00 

This is the successful students podcast episode 24.


What is going on guys? Today I’m joined by a student who’s not an architecture student, but he’s actually a college student who’s keen on studying architecture. His name is Daniel. He’s from Melbourne, Australia, and I’m going to be having a chat with him about preparing for architecture school and getting ready for it. So if you’re a high school student or a student looking to do architecture, I think this video is going to be extremely beneficial and helpful for you. So without further ado, let’s get straight into it. This is the successful artisans podcast episode 24. Welcome to another show today I’m here with Daniel from Melbourne, Australia. How you doing, Daniel?


Danial  1:19 

Fine, thank you.


Kyle  1:20 

How are you doing? Oh, I’m very fine. Thank you. So yeah, it’s a real pleasure to have you on the show. I do appreciate you taking the time out to chat with us about architecture. And originally, you’re from Malaysia. Is that correct? Yeah. Let’s go. You’re now studying in Melbourne, I believe. Would you mind telling me a bit more about yourself and where you are? In regards to your education? I’m currently in college. Yeah.


Danial  1:47 

I just finished my last year in 2019. Okay,


Kyle  1:51 

yeah, you told me you’re planning to go into architecture next year. Yep. Can I ask what inspired you to pursue architecture


Danial  1:59 

well Actually, before this, I didn’t really have the interest in architecture. Like when I was really young, I had an interest in it to become a doctor. Oh, yeah. So yeah. And well, eventually when I was like, around the age of nine, and around 10, then that’s where I’ve made up my mind that I want to study architecture. So, yeah, it’s actually partly inspired by you know, Legos. Yeah. Yeah. Well, it that played a very big role in what inspired me to become an Yeah. And to study architecture.


Kyle  2:37 

Common, quite a common way of getting into architecture playing with Legos as a child and building little blocks and stuff like this. I think I did a lot of that when I was a child as well. So definitely something common.


Danial  2:49 

Yep, definitely something in common. Yeah, and I also I like, go on the internet. I look too many interesting like buildings and There’s one specific architect that actually really inspired me. Which is a BRK Ingles? Yeah, yeah. I love this like concept and methodology of planning buildings and how it’s like hybrid ism and all that. Yeah. It’s like it’s really out of the box. You know, it’s not just the design this specific reason behind the design and yeah, it’s really interesting.


Kyle  3:24 

I’ve got a feeling he’s gonna win the Pritzker Prize this year. So that’s kind of my that’s my that’s what I’m thinking for the future. Yep. He’s doing some crazy things.


Danial  3:36 

Yeah. All these projects are like, it’s like something out of the ordinary. Yep, it’s another projects. Yeah.


Kyle  3:45 

Um, so you’ve been consider out. Like, you’re you’re set on doing architecture that since you were nine or 10. That’s quite a long time, I guess. So. Have you ever lost motivation to study architecture or you’ve come across some challenges? along that journey of kind of being inspired to study architecture for that long.


Danial  4:05 

Well, as the years go by, it does get stronger. You know? Like, yeah, we just like this. Not really my challenges yet, but I’m going to expect some from university. So, yeah,


Kyle  4:19 

go, I guess because you started architecture next year. Is there anything you’re doing at the moment to prepare for that?


Danial  4:25 

Well, I do like, some mini prototypes, like using labels and like I do some sketches of building ideas that I have in my mind. Hopefully, I can realize them in university. Or maybe Julia, and I do some slight reading on that as well. Yep. And researching some projects and see how the thing goes. Yeah. And apparently channel had happens to be one of the methods I’m doing and like we said from the That’s awesome. Yep.


Kyle  4:59 

That’s really good. So you said you’re doing some reading and stuff. Do you have any favorite architecture related books? Or Or is there a blog you follow or something like that?


Danial  5:08 

Um, mostly, it’s on Instagram. Yeah. So I follow like, many of the starchitects, as well as some notable architects on Instagram, and I came up with their projects as well as skyscraper pages and all that. Yeah. Then I have a interest in more like skyscrapers. In terms of like building types. Yeah.


Kyle  5:31 

Yeah, I think I’m kind of on that side as well, of the big commercial buildings or big residential buildings. Anyway, it’s just a lot more fun. But I guess once you actually get into architecture school, you do a lot about stuff in architecture school, but then when you get out of architecture school, that’s when you’re kind of just doing toilet details and the small residential buildings and stuff. But as you work up, you definitely get to work more on that


Danial  5:54 

and it just progresses higher and higher. Yeah,


Kyle  5:56 

yeah, exactly. So come on. and preparing for architecture school. Is there anything that frightens you or scares you about it?


Danial  6:05 

Well, from what I’ve seen and written lots of architecture means it’s more to the project. Like, it’ll take you’ll you’ll need lots and lots of coffee. That’s what.


Kyle  6:18 

That’s what I’m doing right now. Yeah. Yeah, definitely lots of late nights and long days. So coffee is not a bad idea.


Danial  6:26 

I’m expecting a lot of those. Yeah. Oh, yeah.


Kyle  6:31 

So actually, I was going back to the idea of kind of the starchitects and, and big buildings and stuff. I was just looking through Instagram page, and I saw your YouTube channel. Not despite your thing, but I saw that. You’ve been filming some holidays here in New York and stuff and you were filming a lot of Yeah, a lot of all this nice architecture. I saw you and I kinda want to know it. I’ve never really traveled myself. And it seems like it really opened you up to the world of architecture. So it’s Something you suggest other students do to go out and actually experience the architecture for themselves?


Danial  7:05 

Yes, I really do suggest that instead of looking at different pictures, you can go and visit those buildings in real life. So actually New York, the city itself played a very big role in inspiring me inspire me to say I get back. Typically, because of the skyscrapers and all the greats and their streets and avenues and how the people interconnect. Yeah. It really inspired me.


Kyle  7:28 

Where else did you go?


Unknown Speaker  7:31 

You mean like before this?


Kyle  7:34 

I don’t know. I think I think I saw like, you went to Chicago and something else like that. And there was also a building in Chicago. I was trying to think of it. Yeah, I think it’s the artwork where it’s like a little blob thing and it’s all silver. Yeah,


Danial  7:51 

the “bean” they call it Yeah, yeah.


Kyle  7:55 

Yeah, love that.


Danial  7:58 

sculpture. Yeah.


Kyle  8:00 

I’m actually like, I’m really, I’m a strong believer, I guess in in the fact that you should always be doing something on the side to gain more knowledge like outside of university outside of high school or college. So like, going out and experiencing the architecture for yourself, it’s definitely going to be good for you because you’re learning something that no one else is learning on the side. Yep. And it kind of helps you gain those skills that other students won’t have, which will make you more valuable in the industry, I guess. So. I think that’s really good you doing that.


Danial  8:31 

Yep. Definitely.


Kyle  8:33 

Awesome. I’m gonna hit you up with a with a bit of a fire around here. Just a couple of quick questions, I guess. So who’s your favorite architect?


Danial  8:43 

As I’ve said before, it’s BRK Ingles at the moment. And the second I would say is Zaha Hadid. Yep. That’s like a whole different type of architecture. It’s all those fluid and illogical kind of shapes? Yeah. Yeah. And there’s also one that’s actually not an architect by the designer. His name is Thomas hitter with the design of the vessel in New York.


Kyle  9:09 

I haven’t seen I haven’t seen any of his work, but I’ll be sure to look that up.


Danial  9:13 

Yep. Um, he, um, he’s not then he’s calling he calls himself a designer. Okay. But yeah, he designs buildings. And it’s kind of like, a methodology, methodology and approach is similar to the archangels. So yeah. As well as other architects such as Norman Foster and all that.


Kyle  9:32 

Yeah, you really? You really do love all the big buildings and oldest architecture? I guess you can call it.


Danial  9:39 

Yeah, you can call me that.


Kyle  9:41 

Yeah, that’s awesome. So what would be your favorite building then? Would it be one of yarks work or would it be one of their hearts?


Danial  9:50 

I have like I don’t really have a particular building that I really love. But I guess like, the way the history or the like the stories that architects go to when they design and build a building. That’s what makes the building special. So that’s what I strongly believe, like, I do not really favor any buildings, but any skyscrapers that has those special technologies and stuff. Yeah, it really, really catches my eye. But it’s mostly skyscrapers. Yeah.


Kyle  10:20 

Yeah, that’s awesome. But you have a favorite architectural edit book. I know that you’re not like officially into your education yet. And you probably haven’t done a whole lot of reading. You’re only 17 years old, which I think it’s incredible that you’re already doing all this stuff on the side. But would you have a favorite architecture later book?


Danial  10:36 

And I am currently reading from space and order by Yeah, I’m currently reading that. So that’s like the buzz architecture book them really really well. So I would say it’s it’s actually quite helpful. Yeah.


Kyle  10:50 

I think that’s really good. Like, I really want to buy that book though. Cuz I don’t have it yet.


Danial  10:56 

The book if you want. Oh, yeah.


Kyle  11:03 

Is that a book you recommend to other students?


Danial  11:05 

And as an academic, as I’m not really an academic architecture student yet, but to get an insight in architecture? Yeah, sure. Why not? Just go and read. You won’t lose anything anyways. By the way, I’m since I’m from Malaysia, you know, the capital city Kuala Lumpur. Yep. Yep. Yep. There’s like the Petronas Twin Towers. Were just like the tallest in the world right now. Yeah. And currently, there’s like two more buildings under construction. Once recently completed, they call it the TR x 106.


Kyle  11:38 

Yeah, I’ve heard of that. I haven’t seen any photos or anything. But


Danial  11:41 

it’s, um, it’s, it’s almost open. And there’s another one that’s really under construction now is the pnb 118. Okay, which is going to be like the second tallest building on earth. And yes,


Kyle  11:57 

I was gonna say Do you know how roughly roughly how total is I think because the Burj Khalifa is 666 meters. Yeah. Yeah, that’s insane.


Danial  12:08 

But it’s partly because of the spire. So yeah. And there’s also like, that can be one on aid was designed by an Australian film center cut solidus Oh, really? I didn’t know that. Yeah. Yeah, that’s really cool. Yeah. And yeah.


Kyle  12:25 

Well, I’ll hit you up with the next question that I had, because I know that you’re not an architecture student. But I think you’re actually doing really well as a high school student. He hasn’t even started architects yet. So I want to ask you this question. What’s one piece of advice you would give to aspiring architecture students or people like yourself who are wanting to go into architecture? What’s one piece of advice you would give them to be successful?


Danial  12:50 

I would say. Architecture – just follow your passion. That’s the important thing. So if you really are into architecture All those projects, all those hard works are about to go through. It won’t. Like it’ll hurt a bit, but it’ll be worth it. It’ll be worth it. Yeah. So just persevere through the way. And you’ll take the fruits of labor. This I mean, if you really have the passion, you know, seriously, you’ll you’ll feel like you really like it’s part of your, your future career, your future job. And all these things are going to is going to increase experience in the field. So that’s what I really recommend I get interested in those projects won’t really matter that much if you’re really there.


Kyle  13:40 

Yep, I completely agree. That’s great advice. Thank you. So we are running out of time, but before I leave it, is there anything else that you want to mention? Before we part ways?


Danial  13:52 

Well, first of all, I would like to say thank you to this opportunity to be like on your podcast. It’s my first podcast, honestly, like Yeah,


Kyle  14:02 

yeah, it’s absolutely My pleasure. Thank you so much for spending the time with us. No problem. Awesome, dude. And I’ve got one more question is if someone wants to connect with you, and even if you just want someone to follow you, and it’s on Instagram or something, where can they find you? Are you on LinkedIn or Instagram or Facebook or anything like that? The only social media I have is my Instagram. Yeah. And again, my username, maybe I’ll put it on the screen for you.


Danial  14:29 

Okay, sure. Thank you.


Kyle  14:31 

Well, Daniel, thank you so much for being on the show. I know that you got to go really far with architecture. I can’t believe how inspired you are just at 17 years old. You really are an inspiration to other high school students as well. So thank you for taking the time with us. And it’s been absolutely Oh, no,


Danial  14:49 

no problem. And thank you very much for watching today as well. Oh, this podcast will really like increased my experience here as well. So yeah.


Kyle  15:00 

Man. All right. Well, I’ll leave you to it. Have a good Sunday night and I’ll speak to you soon, I’m sure.


Danial  15:05 

Okay. Thank you very much. Have a great Monday next week.


Kyle  15:09 

Thank you so much.


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