I believe that architecture has the power to inspire, to elevate the spirit, to feed both the mind and the body. It is for me the most public of the arts.When I am asked what I believe in, I say that I believe in architecture. Architecture is the mother of the arts. I like to believe that architecture connects the present with the past and the tangible with the intangible.
Architect RICHARD MEIER, FAIA, FRIBA ( www.richardmeier.com )
The etymology of the word “architecture” can be defined as arkhi denoting chief and tekton denoting builder or carpenter. As the chief builder, an architect has to co-ordinate all the diverse activities which contribute to the creative process of building. Thus, he has to possess an understanding of the larger context in which the building is situated within the urban or rural area as well as the building itself in terms of its concept, functions, materials, structure, and users. Thus the architect’s scope of work could encompass the macro level of urban design to the micro level of product design.Architects are sought-after professionals in the burgeoning real estate and construction industry. Developers, Consultants, leading Architectural firms, and the Government sector are the largest employers.
The course also enables one to acquire experience and start one’s own consulting firm. Architectural practice and education is regulated in India by the Council of Architecture (CoA) which was established by Parliament vide the Architects Act, 1972.Architectural education is primarily concerned with providing students the knowledge, skill and competence in the art and science of architecture. The duration of the program is five academic years. Some of the fundamental courses prescribed by the Council of Architecture are Architectural Design, Building Materials and Construction, Building Services, Climatic Design, Visual Arts, and Structural Design.Through a broad range of general and professional courses, the curriculum strives to enable students to define architectural problems, select and articulate appropriate solutions, and balance human needs with consideration for the overall environment.The first year serves to establish the foundation of one’s architectural education and career. Basic design theory and skills are learnt at this stage.
The second and third years focus on architectural design development with increasing stages of complexity. Fourth year students work as interns in architectural firms anywhere in the world for a duration of one year. This provides vital exposure to the intricacies of professional practice. They return to academics in the final year completing their program with a thesis project in the tenth semester which serves to highlight an individual’s capability to handle a complex architectural project on one’s own.The life of an architectural institution is the “studios” where students are exposed to architectural projects.
The studio coordinators are a combination of academicians and practitioners, who bring their combined expertise of theory and practice to work. Teachers play the role of facilitators helping students to develop their aesthetic and technical skills while working on a range of architectural design projects. Group case studies are an important part of most projects which enable team-work and assist in the formation of leadership traits.Seminars and workshops on diverse architectural and allied matters are conducted during the semester to widen one’s appreciation of the various dimensions of the profession. Architectural study tours are organized twice during the program and cover the significant locations of India’s traditional and contemporary architectural canvas.
At the end of the five year program, a student attains the knowledge and skill to design a wide variety of built and open spaces. Architects have traditionally diversified into a wide variety of fields like urban design, construction management, interior design, product design, landscaping, art direction, and architectural journalism.
But for most qualified architects, the principal attraction still remains the opportunity to start a consultancy and work on one’s own terms.Architecture too, in its greater vision, is life itself, thereby communicating,responding and belonging to the fascinatingly interrelated web of life.
Thus, any serious architect’s approach to his architectural design would evolve from his understanding of life. To me the outer manifestations in space are reflections of the quality of our inner space and vice versa. It is our duty as architects to redefine and expand upon the brief given by the client so as to give him much more besides satisfying the functional requirements in terms of the design’s environmental relevance, quality of space and JOY
In today’s technocratic consumerist, urban life style, I feel concerned about various issues that are making our lives as human beings poorer. Could I design spaces that would, in whatever small way, contribute their share in responding to these concerns in a positive manner?
Architect SHIRISH BERI, FIIA