essential items for newly admitted architecture students

Essential Items for Newly Admitted Architecture Students: If you are a newly admitted architecture student and are wondering what supplies you should get for a swift start, this post is for you. We understand that it might be difficult to know where to begin. That is why we have carefully put up this post to help you prepare for anything. Continue reading to see some of the essential items that any student of architecture should own.


Essential Items for Newly Admitted Architecture Students

1. Tracing paper and pads 

Tracing paper and tracing pads are crucial tools for architecture students. Available in various sizes and weights, these affordable tools are ideal for all architecture students, whether starting or experienced professionals.


Tracing paper transfers drawing lines onto paper, while tracing pads provide a sturdy surface.

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2. Layout pad 

Architecture students generally prioritize precision in drawing to-scale drawings and furniture layouts. Layout pads are essential for accurate measurements and drawing of floor plans, site plans, and elevations. These gridlines ensure precise measurement and accurate diagrams.

3. Graph pad 

Graph paper is versatile for drawing scaled diagrams, brainstorming, and freehand sketching. Its gridlines organize thoughts and ideas, ensuring precision and accuracy in design refinement and new creation.


4. High quality pens and pencils 

Precision is crucial for architecture students, and using quality pens and pencils is essential for creating clean lines. Cheap ballpoints can skip and blob, while soft pencils leave smudges.


Investing in pens and pencils specifically designed for architectural drawing ensures crisp, clean lines for success.

5. Trace Paper

Trace paper is transparent and allows for easy iterations and changes to drawings. You might have a new idea while sketching and you can easily chuck it over the top and sketch away. Some brands may be oily, so try different baking papers to find the best fit.

6. Meter Plastic Short Measuring Tape (Yellow)

Architectural students rely on measuring tapes for various tasks, including measuring spaces, furniture, and other architectural components. The Stanley 5-m. power tape features a lock-on button for safety and is nylon-coated for durability in harsh environments. Its tough case prevents breakage and damage.


7. T square and set square 

A T square and set square are crucial tools for architecture students to create accurate drawings of buildings and structures. T squares are a T-shaped ruler for horizontal or vertical lines, while set squares are a triangular ruler for any angle.

These tools are also useful for measuring lines and angles, aiding in determining space dimensions and parallel lines. Whether drawing a floor plan or measuring a window, it is essential to have a T square and set square at hand.

8. Scientific Calculator

A calculator is essential for students during theory lectures, aiding in quick calculations and structural assessment. This compact, lightweight calculator features a color-coded keypad for accurate input, is drop-resistant, and comes with a slide-on hard case.

Also See: The Top 5 Best Drawing Tablets for Professional Artists


9. Cutting Mat

This is self-explanatory – get a mat for cutting things on. Save your desk, save the university’s tables from abuse.


They’re relatively cheap and I’ve actually laid a few together to make model making super easy.

10. Model Making Knife

A model knife is essential for cutting model material, and it doesn’t have to be a top-of-the-line model knife. This knife comes in different sizes and shape.

11. Graphic Tablet 

This ergonomic tablet and pen set enhances creativity by bringing hand sketching and editing to your computer. It is portable, 6-inch x 3-inch, and easy to connect with a USB plug-in. The pen is battery-free, pressure-sensitive, and lightweight, providing a natural writing/sketching experience.

12. Sharpies

Sharpies are a popular choice for sweeping gestures in designs, reminiscent of architects like Zaha, Gehry, or Libeskind. The “Couleurs Café” set, named after local coffee shop items, is a favorite among architects and students. These pens are not for eating, but for sketching.

7 Essential skills needed to be a successful architect 

Regardless of what type of architect you choose to become, these essential skills will help to give you a competitive edge in the field.

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1. Design 

Understanding fundamental design principles is crucial for becoming an architect. A specific design process is necessary for creating various structures, including schools, grocery stores, and schools. Key aspects include planning, drafting, sketching, and conceptualization. Practice, basic drawing courses, and reading architectural magazines and critiques can enhance design skills and industry knowledge.

2. Computer 

Technology has become ubiquitous, making it essential to be tech-savvy. Most architects have shifted to digital technology for efficiency and persuasiveness. Common software to enhance computer skills include building information modeling, computer-aided design, 3D printing, and architectural rendering.

3. Communication

Architects may need skills to complete their project like designing, supervising and managing but it comes down to teamwork as communication may make it easier to function collectively.

While you don’t have to be a master orator, you do have to know how to effectively communicate your ideas in a way that gets your message across. As an architect, you will most likely pitch ideas to your clients and give presentations —  the success of a project will heavily depend on the effectiveness of your communication skills.


4. Leadership skills

Leadership skills are crucial in any career, as they ensure a team stays on track and completes projects efficiently. A good architect should possess integrity, honesty, and responsibility. Trusting clients, clients, and co-workers is essential for a successful career.

Architects must maintain relationships with co-workers, clients, and professionals in other industries, ensuring trust in their decisions. They should also be prepared to multitask, work with deadlines and budgets, manage time effectively, and delegate assignments to team members.

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5. Team Work

Building and structure construction necessitates collaborative efforts between architects, clients, and engineers. Architects collaborate with specialists from diverse perspectives, gaining insights that improve cost efficiency and overall project success. Teamwork is the backbone of any architectural project.

6. Creativity

If you decide to become an architect, you’ll be thrilled to hear it involves taking a  creative journey in designing state of the art buildings. Clients may have specific requests to design a building and architects must use their out-of-the-box thinking and creativity to turn that idea into a reality. You will need to use your imagination to create innovative designs and bring your visualizations to life.

7. Project Management

You’ve got to master the art and science of utilizing your skills, tools and techniques to ensure a completion of a project. Although architects are mostly in charge of the design and planning stages, they also have to make sure that engineers or surveyors are doing their job on the project.

Additionally, architects with project management skills can have a good understanding of what a client wants. For example, architects can listen to a client’s preferences or vision of a project before drafting any plans.


Include these essential items in your architecture student checklist for quality drawings. These tools will help unleash your creative side and improve your learning curve. Share your views and opinions in the comments section to help us improve our selection.

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