Architecture has been a rollercoaster of memories. Some of them are painful blisters making you wonder what led you to choose this in the first place, some wonderful experiences which you would want to relive every time you think about them, and some hilarious times that question your intellect and integrity. 

One of the most hysterical instances that I recollect from college would be the hassle for stationery as the semesters go by. Be it the last-minute submissions, exams, or even a regular day at college, these supplies are essentials for every design student and so we went to any length to survive in situations of crisis. 

Beg, borrow, pilfer is the most subtle way of life around here. One could never be charged as guilty because the question is who is not? Well as silly as it sounds we’ve all been in such situations and when you think about them now it’s only going to seem funnier.  

Architecture and Supplies

These are two things that go hand in hand. I still remember the orientation in college, most of us in that hall hardly knew what we were signing up for but one thing was for sure, we’d have a sack full of supplies to take back home and that was exciting. I mean who doesn’t love stationery! 

The initial days of college were all about exploring these new supplies, how and when to use them, handling them with care, making sure that the wrapper isn’t off. Well, We’ve all been there, done that. With time, we humans become wise as we call it, or just apathetic towards all that caring and handling. Over semesters there is a lot of losing, borrowing, sharing that happens. With all the sacks that we individually received suddenly seems to be inadequate. 

Supplies going missing in this process of borrowing and sharing seem rather amusing at times. The number of pencils that an architecture student acquires over the years is astonishingly massive, but ironically it’s a virtual phrase because the bought to loss ratio is quite proportionate. 

Over the years of architecture, we as students pilfer these supplies not with complete intention but it’s just a long borrowing phase. This doesn’t end there, it’s an infinite loop, one pilfers the other, while the other borrows from someone else, and this circle continues, so no one really is losing anything. 

Back in the day, we weren’t allowed to use clutch pencils in college, some of the faculty actually made an effort to check and confiscate them. These confiscations also participated in this loop of unintentional acquisition. Well, these stress-busting clutches couldn’t just lie there on the faculty’s desk, could it? 

A Trivial tale of Heists - SHeet1
The unintentional_©Kiranmmayie Suryanarayana

A Designer’s Companion 

The Staedtler graphite pencils, the prized possession of every designer, hands down. The various letters tagging along H, HB, F. I never really bothered knowing what this stood for, just used it with absolute ignorance until like now maybe. 

But these pencils had commitment issues, they just slipped and swapped owners so quickly. A designer never says he has enough pencils because he’s always anticipating the various kinds of ways in which these flamboyant babies vanish into thin air. Not just in college, I believe it’s a very common thing in workplaces too. Stationery never seems to be stationary!

The icing of this loop is when your T-scale goes missing, for all the non-architecture peeps it’s a relatively long scale used to draft or I mean in simple terms to draw, it’s also symbolic of the precision we as architects offer! T-scale going missing is a real deal-breaker, pencils can be bought, pens can be bought but a T-scale can’t be. It’s not about the price of these delicate crosses but it’s about the emotional value, it’s been through long sleepless nights, terrifying exams and your plus one is all possible transports. 


When there is so much at stake one would go to any extent to get back what’s yours. But, unfortunately, you never really do. So the best alternative is to go on a scavenger hunt, to find and pilfer scales lying in classrooms with no supervision, lonely, and in need of a new owner. It was more of a heist, not because buying one is difficult but it was more of retaliation for the unknown snitch. 

At times when you are at the receiving end of the loss, you tend to become Sherlock to find out where the missing cross has gone. Even in a class of just 40, that investigation never seems to be easy. In the end, you give up and get on with a bandit motive but play the victim card. 

This nostalgic toddle made me wonder about the silliest things we did to survive the course, it is these memories that stick with you forever. Hope this made you remember those silly instances. Architecture for me was more of mi casa es su casa. I think most of you will agree with me. 


A recent Architectural graduate who believes that words are a virtual expression of form. Never been a book fanatic but developed a passion for writing through the course of architecture. She believes that a structure can be nurtured to perspective by the words that describe it.