It’s not what you think! 

Two minutes of silence for all the students who think the architecture course is fun yields a lot of money, has no mathematics and science, is an extremely creative field that is easy to crack, and whatnot! No, that’s not how it works. Architecture is a pleasing profession, at least to an extent, but mostly at the cost of mental health. It is one topic that architects can debate all their life because it has that many unearthed layers. And here is one such architect cautioning the world on behalf of the entire creative family!

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The field of Architecture_©digs.net

The Troubles

Like everyone says the design is wrong, but none offer ideas to correct it; everybody believes that architecture is not an easy course and that it offers no mental peace, but wondering how? Then here is your answer!

  • Long Course Duration

Humans are designed in such a way that we tend to get distracted very soon. There’s no time for distraction in this course, sadly. The course is a 5-year duration period. Yes, you heard it right! Five long years of stress, pain, and dedication, so much that you tend to forget yourself at times. Pursue architecture if and only if you feel you can invest five years of your life solely into the course and can put your heart and soul into it, but without getting distracted. Sounds easy? Consider once again at the end of the article, will you?

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Architecture Studios_©collegedekho.com
  • Deadlines

The course and the stress involved with it will turn you into brilliant multi-taskers, trust me. Multiple submissions occur in the same week and you have to run for your life to make ends meet at the university, not knowing what to prioritize and work on in the first place. Unapologetic submissions are the new normal in architecture!

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Architecture Deadlines_©news.unl.edu
  • Imbalanced Life Cycles 

Pretty sure that this would be the worst part of every architect’s life. Owing to the hectic deadlines, the thought that we are humans first is forgotten. Lack of sleep and proper food is of serious concern. The life cycles of an architect are drastically altered over the course, so much that even meals are skipped to save time for work. The hostel/studio lights are up 24/7, throughout the week, and that’s how you recognize an architect’s room! Procrastination is very common for most of the courses, but here in architecture, the thinking process of what to work on, and how it could be achieved whiles away most of the time. Hence, the actual work appears to be done only at the last minute, sending chills down the spine. Though there are pieces of advice that we hear from fellow architects, seniors, and professors to start well ahead, it’s just easier said than done. For an architect, the night is the daytime, where we slog, and the day is the night time where we lay dead. Tough competitors to the owl indeed!

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Health Issues_©archinect.com
  • Financial Burdens 

Well, the family wealth can be written off to the architecture course offered by any University you pick. That’s how much you have to afford for the degree. The fees, the case study trips, study tours, rural visits, urban tours, the examination fees, and everything else under the sky in the name of money, will strip every penny of your pocket and leave you stranded at the end of the course. Oh, and the materials for the physical models, yes, isn’t it a very creative course, so more varied, extremely creative materials which means more money! The digital presentations, yes, the enormous cost of sheet printouts. A lot of expenses indeed. And if you think you can reap what you sow, feeling sorry for the readers, will get to this point soon!

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Physical Model Expenses_©illustrarch.com
  • No Social Life 

Architects have no social life. Like where’s even the time for it? By a miracle, even if it happens, people tend to get annoyed at parties or dates with architects since they aren’t interesting and always preoccupied with just drawings and renderings and have no concentration or idea of what’s happening around them. No place to offer for even a friend that visits you, the bed and the chair are scattered with sheets and foam board pieces. That is how ransacked an architect’s room looks on the eve of the jury. A complete mess! Zero work balance, where is even the place for mental peace? 

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Architecture Studio in a mess_©architectural-review.com
  • Right or Wrong? 

There is no standard formula for design. It is an evolution of ideas that vary from person to person and is highly subjective. Had the architecture course been more objective and fixed like most of the other courses, it would have at least eased the stress of having to figure out why the audience is never satisfied. The one word that architects never want to hear in their life ever again is REDO. Any count of how many times you’ve heard it in your entire architecture career? Throughout you only listen to people saying the design is not satisfying for them, but never on how to make it satisfying. Surviving the design studio is indeed a nightmare!

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Redo’s in Architecture_©pinterest.com
  • The Outcome 

Ever thought of quitting architecture and putting up a Xerox shop or joining an IT firm? Because even they yield better earnings than what architecture graduates earn. The architecture and construction sectors are one of the most underrated professions that are least bothered about mental health or even the salary. Unfavorable work timings, work even on holidays, no salary hike, etc. After a tedious five-year journey, all that the students expect is a good work atmosphere and a decent salary, to begin with. But, the meager income is never enough for the donkey work that is done. Fresher’s suffering in the name of experience is yet another drawback, not having been taught the practical knowledge that is needed for the field. Don’t architects deserve better?  

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Architects Salary_©arkitecture.org

Conclusion

Mental health is of utmost importance these days. Architecture has even pushed students to the verge of having suicidal thoughts. For all the toil, stress, and sleepless nights, architects deserve much better. No matter what changes are brought to the architectural education system, only when architects realize that life is not just about architecture but something beyond that, will the world become a better place to live in.    

Behind every architect, there is a confused mind thinking as to why they chose architecture.

References:

  1. AuthorIshika Kapoor Ishika is an architecture student, Kapoor, A.I. and student, I.is an architecture (2022) The case of Architecture Education and mental disorders, RTF | Rethinking The Future. Availableat:https://www.re-thinkingthefuture.com/architectural-community/a7366-the-case-of-architecture-education-and-mental-disorders/ (Accessed: October 30, 2022). 
Author

Alamu Priya is a budding conservation architect pursuing her final year of masters from SPA, Vijayawada. An avid reader and writer, she believes that words create a profound impact on people and can be used as a weapon to unveil the magic behind architecture.

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