Because you never know enough: what architecture adds to your intellect

Five years of relentless labor and learning while taking the first steps to pursue architecture are rewarding, revelatory and remodeling. The entire structure of a student’s knowledge and capabilities rests on the foundation of their faults and their consequent rectification, the exploration of ideas, and their perseverance despite multiple instances of failure. The maximum is learned through hardships and mistakes, and the trite teaching holds. Apart from providing information, the journey bestows its treaders with new perspectives and the freedom to swim in uncharted waters of thoughts and concepts. Each day adds to your archive a new lesson, a new experience or a unique solution.

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As a fresher, the presumptions about architecture can be many. One of the most prominent notions shattered to pieces with time is that architecture involves just designing or the artistic facet of built forms. The further one moves in the course, this belief is changed drastically. Realization dawns that what is to be learned is as technical as it is creative. It is a territory that encompasses both art and science. Being adept in only one of the two aspects can never suffice.

Students also come to discover the umpteen career choices they knew nothing about; there is a lot more to architecture than just being an architect. Realms like architectural journalism, architectural photography, conservation architecture, and architectural psychology are on the rise, giving students opportunities to seek and create their niche in the world of architecture.

A fundamental characteristic every pupil is taught to acquire is that of observation. Observing things around us, questioning their existence and functionality and being wary of our environment and the changes in it prove pivotal in growth and learning. The offshoot of the same is an awareness of the modern techniques and ideas introduced in the world every day. Being in tandem with the changing and evolving trends in architecture contributes to being better at what we are supposed to do. Opening our mind’s eye to unfamiliar ideas unlocks doors to the treasures of novel fields and stones left unturned, continually keeping us on track for the quest of learning.

Another quite obvious development through the span of the course is the ability to multitask and handle copious work effectively. The volume of work and diligence demanded by this profession can be overwhelming. This pressure molds the students exposed to it and makes them adapt to the same. Consequently, one’s capacity is forced to expand, and so does their skill. As a result, what develops in a student is the quality of discipline. Students understand the importance of having a proper schedule as well as being adaptive as per their needs. Juggling between different assignments without compromising on the quality of any is a necessity that advances into proficiency.

This sphere of artistic expression frequently provides room for its learners to spread the wings of their imagination and creativity unhesitatingly. Students are motivated to push their limits and delve into new concepts. We learn to take risks and let our thoughts manifest, irrespective of how bizarre they may initially seem. Simultaneously, we grow a thick skin to take criticism and even face rejection. Hindrances are an intrinsic part of this hit and trial, teaching us that not every solution would be approved and that this should not stop us from taking chances time and time again. 

Project work does a lot to hone teamwork skills. One might end up in groups with strangers or people with varying mindsets and perspectives. Being able to collaborate and coordinate harmoniously and solving disputes – in unavoidable circumstances – rationally and peacefully goes a long way. This improves one’s ability to understand and work with people that might be very different from them in attitude and approach, making them more flexible and better team players. And if we know how to agree to disagree, nothing is stopping us.

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Architecture impacts the planet to an extent much higher than we pay heed to. Architects hold the responsibility for a lot more than what people fathom. This very accountability is what students are made to realize. The power that architecture has can be used to build or to break the environment. And its judicious and sustainable development is indispensable in today’s scenario. One learns to be a conscious global citizen by studying techniques that aid the footsteps towards more planet-friendly practices. Architecture must grow without it being a burden on the ecology. If anything, one should complement the other.

There is a lot of knowledge students take with them after the completion of this venture. It gifts its students the eyes they need to see details that others overlook; the mind one needs to manifest thoughts and ideas deemed implausible; the understanding of what is required where and why; the agility to create milieus that have the strength to make people feel a certain way; the resilience to get through failure unfazed. We develop both life skills and technical skills and, nevertheless, creating innumerable memories. If utilized prudently, the college years can prove to be a coffer of insight and education and countless unforgettable experiences; some trained us professionally and some trained us for life.

Author

An architecture student, who loves to be able to translate the most mundane things into something magnificent, using her words. Trying to find her place where the tangible forms and intangible emotions meet.