This story was originally published on aias.uncc.edu/news.
Every fall we get a new batch of first-year architecture students. They enter the program with eager and anxious minds, ready to learn and grow. At the University of North Carolina, our AIAS chapter dedicates a kick-off event called Studio 101 to the new first years. At this event we introduce who we are, show them how to use their tools (that come in kits provided by the school), and demonstrate and help set up their drafting boards. In addition to the demonstrations we provide our “survival kits” to the students. The kits are intended to supplement the drafting kits with “hacks” to help improve the first year experience. The items in the kit are as follows:
- A fold out including the current AIAS officer board and their contact info, tips and tricks for studio, the open hours, addresses, and phone numbers for the local craft stores and school labs, and the projected calendar for the year by month.
- A wet one  – For cleaning hands of graphite and to avoid smudging on drafting
- An alcohol swab/pad  – For cleaning camera lenses [before model photos]/ CPU Screens
- Safety pins  – For safety
- Band-aids  – For fixing X-Acto mistakes
- Zip ties  – Holding together cords/basswood
- Q-tips  – For cleaning between keys on CPU
- A fresh one use toothbrush/pick  – For after those long all-nighters.
- Toothpicks  – For applying glue to small models and removing excess glue
The contents are all fitted into a laser cut wooden box that slides closed. Many students end up using all of the contents of the box early on in the semester and the boxes are them use to house pins and even used as a right angle to line up drawings.
One second-year student said she loved her survival kit from last year. “The kit was so helpful and I used everything in it. I even used the box of the kit as a straight edge and to help hold up drying models.”