Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Schematic Design exam

If you've ever wondered what is on these blasted 7 exams I have to take to get a license to practice architecture, here's some info about the last one I have to take, Schematic Design.

This is the only one of the 7 that doesn't have any multiple choice on it; it is only 2 drawings. One is an interior layout, which requires arranging rooms and furniture. The other is a building layout, requiring specific adjacencies between rooms, door and window placement.

 Here's the interior layout. Luckily, there is a forum where you can post your solution and then others who are taking/have taken the exam will critique your solution. For the interior layout, you get a program, which is a list of rooms and the furniture required in each room. Certain rooms require windows, or access to other rooms. There must be a 5' diameter circle for a wheelchair to make a complete turn around in each room. There must be 3' of clearance between furniture and between furniture and walls. That's what all the green circles are.

 The building layout always has two floors. The programs gives a list of rooms, their square footages, if they require windows, which rooms are supposed to be adjacent, which rooms require direct access, and which rooms require visual control. In this floor plan, LD is supposed to have visual control of CR, W and L, that's what the green lines represent.

You're probably looking at this wondering what the big deal is. Part of the problem is that most of us taking the exams work with AutoCAD everyday. The program that the test uses is really dumbed down. Imagine the difference between Paint and Adobe Photoshop. Now imagine you're supposed to edit a photo in Paint, when you would typically use Photoshop. It can be done, but it's slow going.
For the interior layout, you are allotted 1 hour and for the building layout, 4 hours.

After several emails and phone calls, I am finally able to register to re-take this last exam. Now I need to double check my work schedule and cough up the $210 for the exam. (My work pays for the first attempt to take each exam, but not retakes. Although, I'll still get paid for my time off to take the exam.)

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