A statement of purpose is the only document that allows you to directly sell yourself to the admission board. It is also used to test your writing since graduate school involves a lot of writing, it should therefore be free from grammatical and spelling errors, be in a formal language, concise and clear, avoid cliches and repetitive language and be in a confident and positive tone.
Born in XXX, 19XX, I grew up in XXX, a pretty old city famous for its private gardens and natural river systems in XX Province. Few cities in China, or even in the world, can match it in the cultural richness and history. The unique architectural style – whitewashed walls with dark grey tiles and the winding brooks create a fascinating scene and gave me an indelible impression. Although I lived there only for my childhood and most parts of the old city is under reconstruction today, I still often recall the little paths paved with bluish pebbles, the old houses beside the rivulets, and especially, those beautiful exquisite gardens in my mind. This experience fostered my first, though naive, understanding of urban and architecture.
Later I moved to Beijing with my family. In a contrast to XXX, Beijing is a big city with many new buildings, most of which are of modern styles. Here one can see clearly the impact between old and new, eastern and western cultures. Also in this period, I began to interest in drawing. Through 5 years exercise of Chinese painting, not only did I won many honors ( both national and international, some of my work was exhibited by UNESCO in 1983 ), but what was more important, I got to realize that there are professions of creative work that calls for imagination and craftsmanship.
With an interest in creative art, I chose architecture design when I graduated from senior middle school in 19xx. I entered the Department of Architecture in XXX University, the leading institute of this kind in China, with an outstanding record in the highly competitive National University Entrance Examination.
At XXX Univ., I went through five years of vigorous training and thus acquired exquisite skills in drawing and design. During the course designs, I got to familiar with many modern architecture theories and tried to synthesize the understanding of space and environment in my early years with these modern thoughts. This progress was reflected in two projects I took part in – the XXX Residence Area of Higher Education Bureau and the College of Science, XXX University. In those designs, I successfully solved the problems of environment, context and space arrangement. Meanwhile, I learned how to cooperate with colleagues and communicate with client effectively.
At the same time, I further developed my interest in various kinds of art such as music, painting, planar design, advertisement, animation, and so on. All of them, whether classic or modern, native or foreign, helped me understand different cultures comprehensively.
In 19xx, I got my Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture with an excellent record (top 15% among some 80 students ), and entered the graduate program at the same university.
After the first year core course of graduate study, I received a GPA of 3.7 and ranked 2nd among the graduate class of more than 40 students, who were all very smart and diligent and entered our graduate program through highly competitive examinations.
In choosing my research topic, I realized that although architecture design is a kind of imaginative and creative work as defined as an art, it calls for a rigorous scientific approach at the same time. Furthermore, it’s also important to combine modern technology and science with architectural design. In order to develop my scientific mode of thinking, I decided to do some research work that can fulfill these requirements. My graduate research was engaged in the acoustic and interior design of XXX Theater. Here I learned systematic research methods and developed the ability to work independently. In the acoustic model test, not only did I help the workers in making the model, but also installed the whole set of instruments for the experiment and finished the test with satisfying results all by myself. Through these research and design practices, I learned how to integrate art with science, and my understanding of architecture and technology went one step further in the progress.
All these experiences had left an indelible mark on my intellectual development. Now I feel confident in my skill of design and doing relative research and can appreciate a society’s culture, which is also reflected in its architecture. But I feel it is still important for me to reflect my own cultural and social background in my own designs more skillfully, and with advanced methods. I am convinced that the further development of my professional qualifications requires more advanced training like yours, and the advanced study under your seasoned guidance will endow me with a broader vision and more profound insights. I also believe that I am well qualified for entering your graduate study, my experience and broad interest will definitely make a considerable contribution to your program.
INTENT OF STUDY
Although one can say its development is fast indeed, the problems related to architecture are serious in China. For instance, Beijing, which is defined as a modern metropolis, is losing its feature. If you come to visit Chang’an Street, the central area of Beijing, you’ll find unreasonable large-scale buildings and constructions with different styles standing beside the street, few of them have a good relationship with the overall environment and their neighbours. This is because many designers hadn’t taken the environment into account, and also many lack the ability to solve complex problems in such an important area.
To change the current unsatisfying situation, I feel it necessary for me to learn more advanced methods and skills in design. If possible, my major interest will reside in the research of the relation between architectural design and environment, culture, human behaviour and psychology. That is, how architecture design can create a cheerful environment and living conditions for people, through what means can new construction get along with existing ones and fulfil the requirements of providing a good environment for civilians, and how can architecture design reflect a society’s cultural background.
With my broad interest and knowledge in culture and art, together with my academic experiences and record, I believe I can accomplish the research work perfectly. It is an architect’s responsibility to provide amenities and convenience for people. Through the study and research in your group, I hope I could become a qualified designer and master the advanced methods and ideas about architecture, space, environment and culture, thus can improve the condition of the people in China.