6 Design Projects Every Architecture Student Should Attempt In College

6 Design Projects Every Architecture Student Should Attempt In College
  • Author: Fazal Umer
  • Posted On: April 5, 2023
  • Updated On: April 5, 2023

Architecture is a rigorous discipline that deals with learning theories of designs and buildings, and then applying them to real-life situations. Architecture students are expected to use their cognitive intelligence to better their understanding of 3D space.

Architectural studies majors are required to assemble a range of projects throughout their school years to sharpen their design-making abilities and ultimately utilize them in their design projects.

If you’ve just entered the school of architecture, it’ll be wrong of you to assume that you’ll kick off your major by building skyscrapers and different types of houses! You’ll need to mold your base first before making any real contributions to the design world. Here is a list of 6 such rudimentary projects that every architecture student should attempt in college:

The Cube Manipulation

The cube is one of the most basic projects that students of architecture have to get through. Cube manipulation tests the ability to imagine and convey structural 3D space in addition to the ability to develop positive and negative figural voids.

Generally worked on 4” X 4” and 10” X 10” cube structures, the project requires the students to exert immense meticulousness and forbearance. The cubes used in the projects are mostly made from thin balsa wood strips and chipboards.

Cube manipulation can be analyzed in different ways. It involves the usage of the same structure – the cube, to be expressed in different forms and how it can be manipulated to become something else entirely.

Paper And Sticks

The paper and sticks project is focused more on making 3D curves from two materials – a thick stack of paper and some balsa wood strands taking into account the negative interface formed by the creation.

First, the stack of paper measuring around 18” X  24” is curved using only wood strips. Then a standard-sized twig is rotated to draw the actual volume of space formed by rotating the twig. Ultimately, the drawing is to be made 3D by just using those 2 materials, and without the help of any adhesive.

The Analytique

An important example of Beaux Art Traditions, an analytique is a drawing or sketch of a simulation, which is decorated by an arrangement of pertinent details or a section of the simulation. Students are required to use already built designs as their base but use 2D image construction to complete the exercise. This architectural project is used to teach the principles of how our eyes move along an image.

The Circle

The circle is also one of the most basic projects encountered in architectural education. The circle project is generally conducted in groups where the first person has to draw a freehand circle. The next person then has to make corrections to the first circle by drawing another bigger circle around it, and so on.

Circles are said to be the strongest 2D shape and form the base of semicircular design forms, commonly found in auditoriums and amphitheaters.

Precedent Study

As the name implies, the architectural precedent study refers to the process of extensively studying classical design examples. The study can be done using models, 2D images, drawings, and narratives.

A precedent study is essential in understanding the basic elements of building construction. For writing professional design narratives for precedent studies, you can hire writers per hour.

The Playspace

Playspace design projects involve the construction of a controlled setup for children to play. This architecture project is constructed from the perspective of children, unlike the previous ones which are mainly meant for adults. For constructing a playspace, students need to understand how children interact with spaces to develop their motor senses.


As an architecture student looking to construct big buildings one day, you should attempt these 6 architectural projects in school. These projects deal with basic principles of design which will strengthen your visual and spatial understanding.

Just as a strong building is constructed out of a strong base, you need to perfect your foundational knowledge before diving into complex real-world architectural projects.

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Author: Fazal Umer

Fazal is a dedicated industry expert in the field of civil engineering. As an Editor at ConstructionHow, he leverages his experience as a civil engineer to enrich the readers looking to learn a thing or two in detail in the respective field. Over the years he has provided written verdicts to publications and exhibited a deep-seated value in providing informative pieces on infrastructure, construction, and design.