Arens, Robert  

Architecture

3.42/4.00

26 evaluations


ARCH 241


Sophomore
B
Required (Major)
Jan 2008
Professor Arens is a great instructor. He knows his stuff. There's a lot of reading in his course and there's a lot to know. If you keep your mind in the game and study and read the books and lecture notes, you'll be fine. Course is graded on a curve. You'll go far in his class in terms of knowing what is out there in the real world of architecture.


Sophomore
B
Required (Major)
Mar 2008
His practice lectures are boring.If you have worked construction you know how little he knows and tries to cover up by talk like an arrogant snob. He is boring and never finishes on time because he repeates everything five times to fill up for his lack of knowledge.


Senior
B
Required (Major)
Feb 2009
Robert Arens' class was the most difficult thing I have ever experienced in my entire life, and I'm glad for every minute of it. The stereotype of architecture students pulling frequent all-nighters to work on odd abstract somethings is no longer a stereotype when it comes to Robert's students. He expects a lot of work, and he expects high-quality work. Robert is one of those teachers you hate to disappoint because he's that good and cares that much. I had Robert for the Fall, and the work had a highly abstract element to it, which did not come naturally to me, so I learned a LOT.


Sophomore
A
Required (Major)
May 2017
Robert Arens is a very talented speaker, and really knows how to engage a class, but the thing is... his lectures are pretty disorganized and kind of preachy at times. Our 241/242/207 series was a combined effort of Arens, Osborne and Trudell, and honestly, the sections that he taught were the ones that I disliked the most, probably because the whole thing seemed like such a performance instead of a genuine learning experience. A lot of people felt differently and probably thought he was really knowledgeable, though. As with all professors, just ask older students, get a wide range of opinions. Some people (me) think Robert Arens is a fake-deep snob, but other people think he's the bee's knees. Who knows.

ARCH 251


Sophomore
N/A
Required (Major)
Dec 2006
Robert is always well-prepared for class and very knowledgeable in materials and methods of constructions. His approach of treating arch 251 as a constinuation of 241 helps you synthesize the two together since you don't have to "switch gears" from 251 to 241. He knows how to communicate the intents of a project and is great at recognizing student difficulties (he took the time to give us tips on how to work efficiently). He seems to emphasize drawing and hand-drafting, which is a nice break from Form-Z. He is one of the more practical professors. There are a lot of professors out there who emphasize the creation of space without considering how one would actually construct it in real life. I had a positive experience in the class, though I wish our last project's requirements were not so limiting.


Sophomore
B
Required (Major)
Mar 2008
Professor Arens is a great instructor, don't listen to the rating below. He does know a lot about construction, but he explains and simplfies it so second year students can understand (obviously the majority of second year students have never worked on construction) so he explains the concepts in understandable terms. His lectures are mainly to explain the assigned readings which are much more technical than his lectures. His studio is also good, you learn a lot and is very well-organized, he also makes you push yourself and meet more than the minimum requirements. He knows a broad variety of architecture since he has worked all over the world. Overall.. good experience


Sophomore
A
Required (Major)
Mar 2008
Robert is a great professor. He knows what he is doing and is easy to talk to, whether it be about studio or practice. His studio is awesome, he usually works on one project the entire quarter starting abstract and developing it in stages. Regarding 241, for anyone who actually wants to be an architect the class (an overview of materials) will be interesting. The earlier comment is rude and incorrect in that even if you work construction you will still need to study and understand the material to get an A in the class.


Sophomore
A
Required (Major)
Mar 2008
Robert was a very knowlegable and helpful professor. he had great experience in the field and encouraged all the students to not only design but consider the contruction methods as well. his 241 lectures are interesting and well organized, but require a lot of work to get an A in the coursed. overall he cares about his students and pushes them to work hard and go beyond what all the other second year studios are doing. he is one of the best second year instructors and i would highly recommend him!!!


Sophomore
A
Required (Major)
Mar 2008
as a side note I find it funny that out of seven previous ratings there is one totally random which contradicts all the other comments. clearly this student is either making a joke or felt they deserved a better grade. only two words are necessary to sum up robert's class: REAL DEAL. there's no holding hands or cutting corners in his course. he will show you exactly what is expected of you in the professional world and he expects the same effort in each of his student's work. awesome experience!


Sophomore
N/A
Required (Major)
Mar 2008
Robert's a great guy. He is committed to his students and he is committed to making his studio and other classes a learning experience intune with the current demands of the profession. It is certainly hard but you will leave it with an excellent and well developed project as well as new and unique skills. His practice course does a good job of making the material presented engaging. He has lot of experience that he tries to pass on to his students and he understands when students have difficulty and tries to help.


Sophomore
N/A
Required (Major)
Dec 2008
I'm honestly so sad that I could only get Robert for one quarter. He really knows what he's talking about and really listens to you. He gives constructive criticism and is really articulate when telling you what he thinks. He's a cool teacher that is both laid back and strict. He will talk to you like a friend, but for sure let you know that he is your professor because the work load is a lot more than other studios. I didn't find the work too straining because i loved being in that studio so much. Take him if you are lucky enough to beat everyone else for a spot. You'll have to use a priority.


Sophomore
N/A
Required (Major)
Dec 2008
Robert connects with the students like no other 2nd year studio teacher. He is, and always will be, a mentor and a friend. Materiality.


Sophomore
A
Required (Major)
Apr 2009
robert was an amazing professor. because of how much i learned and grew in his class, i finally felt like architecture was something i could be good at. he pushed me like no other teacher has before and i will take away so much from his class. he truly cares about his students and would make a point of personally making sure you were okay. i would highly recommend him if you would like to take on a challenge and learn a lot about yourself as an architect.


Sophomore
A
Required (Major)
Jan 2010
Robert is a fantastic professor, not to mention an experienced one. He came to Poly after working for Daniel Libeskind and teaching at a couple different universities, so he has a lot of practical AND theoretical experience under his belt. This becomes more than apparent as soon as one takes his studio courses. While he\'s brisk in the 242 lecture class, his studio course is much more intimate and he makes a point to direct you personally, both in your immediate project and as a prospective architect in general. Be prepared to put in the time, though. I spent almost the entirety of Halloween weekend in the studio (noon to seven in the morning both Friday and Saturday, plus some some on Sunday), but it was well worth it. Robert makes you want to work hard and produce your best work, plus his chill personality fosters a great atmosphere for the studio in general. I felt his grading was more than fair, because he wasn\'t afraid to give a majority of As to those of us who put in the time, but neither did he hesitate from cracking down on the slackers.


Sophomore
A
Required (Major)
Mar 2010
In my opinion, Robert is the best second year studio teacher by far. He is very knowledgeable and very insightful. He spends a lot of one-on-one time with his students and coaxes them along their projects. He gives you a lot of work and his studio is intense but it is all well worth it. If you\'re not afraid of hard work that pays off, I definitely recommend taking him.


Sophomore
N/A
Required (Major)
Dec 2010
Probably the best teacher in second year architecture but expect at least 4 true all-nighters and having deadlines for projects.


Sophomore
B
Required (Major)
Apr 2015
I was pretty disappointed with Robert's class after having heard such great things about him. I didn't really learn that much in his class (I learned more in 252 with a professor whose first year it was teaching at Cal Poly)--with Robert's experience this should not be the case! His critiques weren't very helpful and could often be wishy-washy. Additionally, he waited until after he had assigned grades to email people telling them what they did poorly during the quarter. If he had told us this earlier, we could have fixed it then and there! Many of the emails contained very similar messages with sentences copy and pasted into different people's evaluation (not very personal). Everyone in the class was pretty upset with Robert by the end of the quarter.

ARCH 252


Junior
N/A
Required (Major)
Oct 2010
By far my best decision since being in the poly architecture program has been taking this studio. Robert has a perspective and teaching process different than any other professor I have taken. More than anything, this studio taught me how to produce meaningful work, that is able to draw on inspiration much beyond a projects program & I now understand the importance of being personally motivated to further your designs. However, in the scheme of second year studios it is a challenging class. You must be willing to put the time in to make progress on your projects every day. This means a lot of time devoted to studio. Sometimes it is unclear how Robert feels about your work but it is important that you generate questions and lead your desk crits. His suggestions can provide you with a general direction but you must be responsible for driving your own project. Stay motivated, you will be appreciative of all the work once you\'ve completed it.


Junior
B
Required (Major)
Oct 2010
Robert Arens will be one of the best studio professors you will have in your entire cal poly career, not just for second year. The class is demanding, you wont get much sleep, you will live in your studio and you wont have much of a life outside of it, but you will learn so much as a designer. For our quarter he focused more on 3-d modeling programs instead of hand drawing, which has really helped third year because most of the professors want you to use some modeling program for your projects, and it definitely helps to already know a program and not have to struggle through learning one. Check with him to see what he will be focusing on, and whether that is something you are willing to spend a lot of time on. But MAKE SURE you are prepared to put in the time and effort for this class. Plan your schedule accordingly, and make sure that this class is your main priority. If you put in the work and time (and yes, he knows. There is no BSing him), you will learn so much. Do all the readings, keep up with the work load, and make sure you can balance your other classes as well.


Sophomore
B
Required (Major)
Oct 2010
The grades I gave mean absolutely nothing. In arch 252 Winter 2009, it was a roller coaster of a year. Robert is a well educated teacher easily one of the best of 2nd year. Here is what to know. You WILL work you ass off. To the bitter end. You will be awake when you should be sleeping. And you will be sleeping when you should be awake. The projects were interesting and engaging and very thought out. He basically will break them into steps as you complete them as you go. Things to know before taking this class: Do not take any other challenging classes, because you will devote your life to this one You will easily pull close to 10-15 all nighters and that is a conservative estimate. You will easily learn the most out of this studio and be grateful after its over He holds you to the highest level of your abilities. No excuses come to work and be worked. He holds you to a very high standard. Don\'t let him down.

ARCH 253


Junior
B
Required (Major)
Aug 2006
First of all I chose to take Arens because it seemed like he knew his stuff and he loved architecture. And I was right. He is caring, organized and pushes you to think and rethink all of your designs. He gives you alot of personal attention but will rarely pet you on the head and say how great you are. But he will only give constructive criticism. He is a tough grader as he expects excellence. Beyond that, we were exposed to several readings, discussions and even a fun design built project... Anyway, some cons are he has his favorite students and is pretty harsh in his crits...but if you can handle that, you are in for a great design learning process.


Junior
A
Required (Major)
May 2015
Taking Robert Arens has been one of the best decisions I have made in college. His critiques are helpful in the design process without being overbearing. Unlike other professors Robert objectively promotes each individual approach to the project, allowing for greater variety in the end. Always a positive and playful presence, Robert created one of the most collaborative studio environments I have been a part of. By the end of the quarter I was fortunate enough to have a strong connection to not only my studiomates but also to Robert. Although he expects a lot out of his students, he will push you to have a unique and well developed project. He truly cares about each of his students and doesn't play favorites, allowing each to reach the potential that he foresees.


Junior
B
Required (Major)
May 2015
My experience in Robert Arens' studio was absolutely one of the most impactful and memorable times in my college education. Robert is not only one of my favorite professors I've ever had but one of my favorite human beings. He is such a passionate silver fox of a man whose love for architecture is seriously infectious. Fall quarter of my second year, I heard pretty horrific stories about his studio - mainly how little sleep everyone got and how relentless Robert's critiques were. This tyrannical and detached reputation that initially turned me away from wanting to take his studio was nothing more than the result of students with bad attitudes (who were admittedly at their witsí ends) expressing their frustration. After taking him in the spring, I can only say positive things about Robert and his teaching philosophy. I was struck by not only the sheer amount of wisdom that he possessed, but by how willing he was to share his knowledge with us and listen to what we had to say. I think Robert gives some of the most genuine feedback at Cal Poly, and itís his ability to immediately wrap himself up in your project that enables him to generate a productive and meaningful discussion. The way I see it, if youíre willing to infuse some real passion into your project and develop your description verbally and physically, youíll be fine. A little positivity goes a long way. If youíre worried about all-nighters, donít pull them. Itís really not that hard. Plug in your headphones, manage your time efficiently, and get your shit done.


Sophomore
A
Required (Major)
Jun 2015
Robert is an ideal second year professor. He gives a lot of feedback, opinions and structure. He checks in with his students to see what they are able to handle based on their course load, but then when you reach an agreement he expects you to stick to it. He is very thoughtful and careful in everything he does, and you should really take advantage of the practical knowledge he has.


Sophomore
A
Required (Major)
Jun 2015
Robert is a great professor for second year. He is really knowledgeable and will give plenty of feedback. I think the best part of the class was that he really listens to the students. Its a demanding studio but he understands you have other deadlines and exams. He'd sit us all down and as a class would determine when things would be due.

CD 825


Freshman
C
Required (Major)
Nov 2016
Business majors: A degree for the intellectually impaired, HA HA.