Tuesday , 25 October 2016

The Essential Kit for Architecture Students – US Version

Well, as a new academic year is approaching we thought we would put together a list of the essential items that you need as you start your architecture course. Here goes:



First thing is first, get some good pens. I like to have a selection of pen sizes, fineliners, felt tips, along with lots of colour pens too. Great for sketching ideas and colour coding, scribbling etc. We think some of these are pretty good.


Although tracing paper is always a good choice, I have become really keen on using layout paper. It is really thin, and therefore can be used as trace, but somehow you can be less precious and really let your ideas spread accross the page. I am not sure whether it is used in the US, and what it is referred to though. It is also good to have different sizes, depending on the type of project you are working on. Keep all your sketches, never throw anything away, you never know when you might be inspired by past ideas on a project.
These are some of the things we would recommend:

Scale rule:

Essential, keep it with you at all times, they easily go astray.

Drawing (Old Skool):

So, if you are doing old school architectural drawings, which I hope you are (its not all about cad!!) – then you will need a few bits to help you along.
Firstly, drawing pens – we would recommend these, get to know them, look after them, and learn to love them!

Set Square:

Essential piece of drawing apparatus, you will certainly need one: Try this one:

Shapes and stencils:

Depending on how much hand drawing you do, these stencils can come in really handy:

Mini drawing board:

I used one of these at uni, a bit more portable, I used it at home as alot of the drawings I worked on could be done in A3.

Model making:

For model making the main items we recommend would be:


Get a proper one, that is sharp, with disposable blades, the sharper it is, the easier it is to cut stuff, the less likely you are to cut yourself…. at least thats what we hope! I really don’t like the plastic crafty knives/scalpels – but hey, its your choice!

Cutting mat:

Not essential if you can do your model making in the studio but if you are doing it in your halls or rented accommodation, might be an idea to get a mat so you don’t destroy the dining/kitchen table/desk at home!

Cutting ruler:

Another essential item that goes hand in hand with your scalpel. Don’t use your scale rule for cutting, you’ll ruin it, and then it will be no use to you. Get yourself one of these.


For some great books to get you started on your course head over to some of our previous posts to get some ideas.

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