We got given a set of architectural drawings and the first task was simple: ask others something about the plan, and see if they can find it. An exercise in reading plans.
A whole lot of questions appeared on the whiteboard.
How many downpipes are there?
What kind of insulation is used in walls?
What's the width of foundation?
What's the roof pitch?
What are the max centres between roof trusses?
Except, as I was looking at the plans, the questions I actually wanted to ask were not to do with the building specification at all, but with the why-s of why would somebody design a house in this way to begin with.
Why are bedrooms 3 and 2 on the South side of the building where they get no sunlight?
Why would they place a hose tap on the side of the entrance if there aren't any other water fixtures nearby and they'd basically have to run a water pipe through the house for a garden hose tap alone?
I kept looking at the plan and frowning, but I eventually said to myself, come on, Maria, just look at the plans and work with it, and that's what I did.
Besides, it's a wrong class for asking such questions anyway :). We learn how how to measure materials, and how to read plans - the why-s and how-s of of this building is another man's territory.
Which is a shame, because I'd still like to know why someone would design a house like that.
PS. I'm starting to come across interesting architectural blogs, too. www.lifeofanarchitect.com/what-makes-you-a-designer is one of them.