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SOP Social and Cultural Processes in Architecture and Urban Design

khanifati 2 / 4 1  
Nov 16, 2016   #1
Hello everyone, so this is my second essays for my application. This is the prompt from the admission.

Architecture Ph.D. and Master of Science applicants should structure their Statement of Purpose as follows:
• Part 1: Goals (500 words). A statement describing your general academic and career goals, the field(s) in which you would like to study, and why you wish to attend UC Berkeley in particular (you may want to refer to specific classes, faculty, or research projects that interest you). Your ideas should be clear, specific and persuasive

Please help me to review my writings. Structure, grammar, content anything you find can help to develop my essay. Thank you very much.

At the first time I studied about architecture, there was only one perceptible definition that architecture is a physical matter. I learn the technical aspects; how the building can be built, how we manage our project in time, how much the cost of the building. I never know that there is also social aspect of the building or the real situation or how participatory approaches can happen. I believe that architecture not only a subject that is being discussed nor an object that can be seen and touched. Since then, I always tried to contribute into an architectural activism both practically and theoretically outside of classroom to find an alternative views and approaches in architecture.

I was introduced to the term "Beyond Architecture" when I was volunteering for Arkom Jogja, a non-governmental organization whose work focuses on design collaboration with local communities. In this project we have to facilitate communities to return secure their land and to reconstruct their houses. At the first part of the project we try to redefine that architecture is aimed for humanities. Thus, this project emphasize that architecture belong to communities. How we raise the sense of belonging among them is to involve them to create and design their own place. In this point, architect's conventional thinking to see a project from the stakeholder has to be reversed 180 degrees.

My curiosity to understand beyond architecture didn't stop there. I wander what else I can explore from architecture. I conduct several discussion outside and inside of my academics, with and without practitioner and academician, cross and multi disciplinary with architecture as the major and minor themes. I join several exhibitions which are enriching the way I see things over a space.

Looking back through my past experience, it's such a contrary to compare with my current working environment. Working on projects for upper-middle class clients with emphasis on profitable land development and marketable real life three dimensional image renderings didn't excite me as much as the work I did for the community. This is not the type of architecture I want to do. But contradiction brings out sincere part of me, growing the ability to see the world just as it is. Since my point of view changed I started to develop a genuine admiration towards architectural criticism. Those are several major things that I've learn among many other things that I've experienced. Architecture is a life which always evolves as long as civilization and human still exist. The comprehensive understanding of architecture will remain critical to create, to develop and to make a better future.

These experiences have led me to the decision of pursuing a higher formal education. When I decided to pursue higher educational level I wanted to choose a school that could teach me not just how to be a pack of human labor with a complete skill to make a work, but a school that could teach me to become part of the society that will develop over time to make a better life and to remind to humanizing a human.

UC Berkeley's History, Theory and Society program's approach to Social and Cultural Processes in Architecture and Urban Design suits my learning objectives and provide opportunities to grow. As I found that Professor Nezar Alsayyad had a prospective background to support my research interest, I believe with his interdisciplinary area of research and his direct supervision, I will gain insightful perspectives.
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 10,647 3480  
Nov 16, 2016   #2
Hanifati, we have a one essay per thread rule here at the forum. That means that even though your essay instruction comes in two parts, I can only advice you regarding one essay. The other essay will most likely be deleted by the admin so you should post it separately in a new thread. Just include the instructions in the new thread and we will advice you regarding that essay there.

Now, as for the assessment of your essay, your goal is not really very clear in the writing. You gave background regarding your interest in architecture and its accompanying sub categories and an explanation regarding your fascination in the field. However, there is no clear statement of goals in your overall essay.

The minute you write your introduction paragraph, you should already indicate the goal or reason that you are pursuing higher studies. That should be the foundation of the whole essay discussion. Consider it the purpose, yes, the purpose of your application. Think of where you stand in your career at the moment, does your desire to increase your knowledge have anything to do with your career progression? If so, then that is a major part of your educational and career goals. The fact that you need more education in order to do better work in this field should be the primary goal of your essay. It should be supported by your plans for your future career as well. As of now, the information in your essay is more of a vision rather than a goal. Those are two different aspects of discussion that require two different essay approaches.

The latter part of your essay that discusses your interest in UC Berkley is too short to be definitive of your goals for higher academic achievement. You should look into more details of their program. Something related to their training, internship, or research programs are necessary parts of your essay. An overview of the research you want to do is acceptable but should be discussed in further detail in the project proposal section.

As you can see, the advice that is being given to you for just the statement of goals is already quite long and complicated to execute on paper. That is why we advice you to work on one essay at a time, in separate threads. I look forward to helping you with your other essay as soon as we complete the work on this first essay.
OP khanifati 2 / 4 1  
Nov 17, 2016   #3
Dear @Holt
Thank you for your advice. Because the essays related to one another so I put it into one thread. I will post the other essay in the next thread.

At the first time I write this essay, I want to present myself as a work in progress that I am ready to develop myself and open the possibility to different field of job/study. As you find in the essay that I mention my current work environment isn't the career that I want to continue, and that's become my motive to get a chance to be a community architect just like my experience in the past.

Your explanation makes me realize that I spoil too much about my motive and need to develop more in the career section. I will revise it soon.

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