Architecture journalism, like any form of journalism, is about reporting the latest advances in the design and construction industries. It bridges the gap between architecture and the general public. Architectural Journalism and Architectural Communication are alcoves of writing about architecture and design, documenting anything related to architecture falls in this category. This includes the articles and reports we read in design and real estate magazines about buildings, space planning, architectural conferences, architectural colleges, articles appreciating and criticizing designs, covering upcoming trends in the industry as well as information about professional architects and firms. 

Evolution of the Field

The decades-old existence of expertise in architectural journalism overseas can be comprehended from the fact the book Architecture Criticism Ideology talks about a 1982 conference of architects and architectural critics in New York, which led to growing awareness about the importance of architectural writing and criticism for better architecture; as stated in. In India, the field is still slowly evolving. Many architects have come out in the open and categorically stated that they require an objective analysis of their designs, rather than magazines just eulogizing them. Architecture Studios across the globe are now keen on hiring Journalists to give their work a good word in the media.

Documenting designs is a practice that existed as early as Ancient Egyptian times, the architecture, methods of construction, and lifestyle of people were recorded in the form of reliefs and scriptures found on the wall of shrines, and a Serdab, a cellar of the Egyptian architects about their designs. During the Mughal Empire, architectural communication saw a new form. The garden designs and building architecture were commonly geometry-based, and the documentation and illustration of the architectural achievements were painted in a Miniature Painting style and also depicted on colorful carpets. Ministers were appointed during this period to document the achievements of kings and the beautiful architecture of the period.

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Career Scope

According to Apurva Bose Dutta, a leading Architectural Journalist, this field is still growing; and, over the years the growth has been great. “As many as 11- 12 architectural colleges in India already have it as an elective, but yes, much needs to be done to regularize the curriculum, to bring in faculty who know the ‘subject’ and know what to teach. It cannot be just a ‘fashionable’ subject”, Dutta pointed out.

By constantly talking about it, writing on different platforms with an invested audience, and promoting it through other channels, Apurva has been contributing immensely to architectural journalism in India.

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Qualifications and Skills Needed

A way with words, professionalism, persistence, and confidence, thorough knowledge about buildings, investigative and analytical skills, effective communication skills, and a college degree in architecture or a related discipline and a degree/diploma in print media are essential qualifications to grow in the field of architectural journalism. Internships in print media are of great advantage to aspiring architectural journalists. One of the best ways to enter the field of journalism is to get involved in an internship with a magazine directly out of college, or during the term of a college career. An internship will help you get a foot in the door of the field you wish to pursue. Those who have gone on to become famous architecture journalists or reporters today often started with an unpaid internship, by freelancing for free with a magazine or other publications.

Best Countries for Architectural Journalism

The McGill University, School of Architecture, Canada offers a course in Architectural Journalism, and universities in the United States like Harvard, Cornell, MIT, Yale, Columbia, North Eastern University, Boston, etc. also offer journalism-related courses in arts and architecture. Colleges in the UK offer several architectural journalism courses that provide top technology resources and quality facilities, and many studies list the UK as the best country for architecture. 

Three Must-Join Architectural Journalism Courses 

  • Goldring’s Arts Journalism program at Syracuse University, New York

The Goldring Arts Journalism and Communications course is one of the first online programs in architectural journalism to be offered by an accredited journalism school that shapes journalists to communicate about arts and culture. This program is a great opportunity for aspiring architectural journalists, as it collaborates with the School of Architecture, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the College of Visual and Performing Arts. The program also provides access to a collection of courses by writers, editors, academics, and artists.

Course link: https://newhouse.syr.edu/academics/degrees/masters/arts-journalism-masters

  • Epistle communications X Architecture Chat

Mentored by Tanya Khanna, the online program offers career exploration in architectural journalism. From the basics to building portfolios, they take you through a wide range of resourceful information.

Course link. https://architecturechat.com/courses/architecture-journalism-online-course/

  • The Architecture Times

The Architecture Times offers a three-month online training program in Technical Writing and Documentation. The program provides short certificate long-distance courses for aspiring architectural journalists.

Course link https://www.thearchitecturetimes.com/details.php?blog=india-first-architectural-journalism-certification-course

  • Writing/s in Architecture: Building Bridges through Words

Writing/s in Architecture: Building Bridges through Words by Ar. Apurva Bose Dutta https://www.acedge.in/courses/writings-in-architecture (Hosted on ACEDGE Ethos platform). This 6-week long course elucidates the discipline, writing styles and techniques, interactive sessions, exercises, and an assignment.

Indian colleges that have Architectural Journalism as an Interdisciplinary course are – Rachana Sansad Academy of Architecture, PVPCOA Pune, CEPT University, SPA Delhi, and McGAN’S Ooty School of Architecture, to name a few.

Author

Sowmya is an architectural journalist and writer. In this column, Sowmya takes you through stories on eco-architecture, biophilic design, and green buildings from across the globe.

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