Architecture and design is one of the powerful sources in our lives. It can be inspiring & empowering in our day-to-day lives. It is common for architects & Engineers to admire the built environments, but what brings the overall human population close to architecture? For some people, it’s the culture & tradition; for some, it’s the shelter; for some, it’s Money. There are timeless examples to show how architecture has served human communities throughout the ages. From small structures to skyscrapers, a building is designed based on a purpose, primarily to help Mankind & thus; it positively impacts our lives.
Education as an Architect
Architecture can be one of the rewarding courses if one understands what they are doing & how valuable it is to be a part of the Architectural community. Sometimes the realization will be quick; sometimes, it might take a while. The presumptions about architecture would be that it is just a study of structures and their history accompanied by written exams.
But as an architect, year after year, it will be scintillating to learn about the different dimensions of architecture. It is not just that, but it also includes an intense skill development such as learning to draw still life portraits, Documenting ancient buildings, learning the basics of photography, sculpture, art installation, art appreciation, Color theory, architectural journalism, drafting, and graphics, planning & designing methodologies. As a budding architect at the beginning of college, working on different tasks and submissions to the maximum of his capabilities will be challenging. It will be the most exciting and transformative period for the students. The experience is composed of creative challenges, growth and unforgettable experience sufficient for the student to shape their professional and personal journey. Every day is associated with learning something new. A good education is also associated with learning life skills and professionalism. In that way, the course helps get you fit for your journey into the real world.
The overall learning follows a hierarchy. The first year involves studying the basic principles and fundamentals of planning, design & the history of architecture, starting from the basic design module, Theory of architecture & fine arts studio sessions. The coursework prepares young professionals to get familiar with architectonic harmony, including Perspective sketching, first plan and elevations.
The design briefs push the boundaries and limits of the student’s imagination and creativity. The students participate in exciting activities for brainstorming and concept development that requires students to think out of the box. Architecture is about bringing the imagination to reality; technical skills are one of the substantial assets in an architect’s life. Learning different software might initially be intimidating, but practice & consistency will help the students know it slowly and steadily. Learning about various styles of architecture, such as sustainable, vernacular, conservation, landscape & urban design, allows the students to learn and adapt their style of practice in architecture deeply. By taking the design concepts to futuristic urban spaces, each module provides a scope to explore various architectural styles and theories.
The Design Studio
Studio culture becomes the heartbeat of architecture students. With the drafting tables neatly arranged in straight rows, most conversations, countless hours exploring ideas, discussing design concepts, and sketching the pictures in the butter sheets take place. The deadlines will never be enough for the submissions. The late-night studios fueled with tea, conversations, lots of friendship, and bonding over the struggle with the design will always be the best memories for an architect.
Critiques & Design reviews
“Redo” is one of the popular terms used in a student architect’s life. Overcoming the creative block is tedious; it may still need to be improved. The more someone gets Redo, the more they learn. That’s an impromptu lesson learnt from the experience. It brings confidence to the students & encourages self-reflection. The valuable feedback from the professors will support the students to acquire knowledge & progress in their design process. The discussion sessions & feedback might be intense, but they will help the students to get professional insight to refine the designs.
The college days of an architect are an excellent space to explore their creativity. Hands-on models with clay, P-o-p, and Dalmia boards help the students visualize their designs in different scales. It holds lots of memory for every student as very few students could consistently do a perfect model while others’ experiences would be a roller coaster.
The Architects, aka Nocturnals
There will be hectic days during the viva submission. Although it will be a lot of struggle to meet the submission requirements despite the creative block, when a student looks back, those are nothing but wholesome memories that were challenging yet fun. Those tight deadlines & sleepless nights might be overwhelming, sometimes causing mental breakdowns, but ultimately, the learning & experience count. Architecture hostel rooms have a special place in the student’s heart, as it is the place with thousands & thousands of memories fuelled by litres of Tea.
Architecture students work on collaborative projects designed to stimulate real-world scenarios, which will be helpful for the students when working in a firm. Time management, presentations, and interaction are the essential skills developed during collaborative studios.
Field trips and Archietours
Architecture colleges always organize student trips that help students study diverse architectural styles. The trip would be about the student’s visit to architectural buildings that hold cultural & historical values. The trips will be all about sketching and photographing the sites. Sometimes it will also include documenting various structures.
Through the university, the students gain professional experiences such as guest lectures, internships & construction workshops, which will help the students to develop professional standards & ethics.
Despite the challenges, the college life of an architect is a highly fulfilling experience. When the student looks back, it will be a wholesome experience, like a roller coaster with lots of highs and lows. It would sometimes be extremely overwhelming for a student to manage academics, studio work, personal life and health. But the amount of learning in all of these aspects is immeasurable. It will be a massive transformative journey that nurtures creativity, passion & profound appreciation for the built environment. It helps develop a strong foundation for an impactful career that gives the architects confidence to shape the world. An architect doesn’t choose architecture. It’s the architecture that determines the architect. If you are an architect, you would know that too!
- Wrigley, T. (2016) how architecture photographers are putting people back in the picture, CNN. Available at: https://edition.cnn.com/style/article/architecture-photography-art-iwan-baan/index.html (Accessed: 07 August 2023).
- Gallery of by the people, for the people: What is public architecture, according to our readers – 4 (no date) ArchDaily. Available at: https://www.archdaily.com/915272/by-the-people-for-the-people-what-is-public-architecture-according-to-our-readers/5cb4c51a284dd18217000084-by-the-people-for-the-people-what-is-public-architecture-according-to-our-readers-image (Accessed: 07 August 2023).
- LDN Architects (no date) Edinburgh University Architecture Studios, LDN Architects. Available at: https://www.ldn.co.uk/architecture-projects/edinburgh-university-architecture-studios/ (Accessed: 07 August 2023).
- Fidanci, E.A. (2022) Best architecture schools #3 – swiss federal institute of technology in Zurich (ETH) Zurich , illustrarch. Available at: https://illustrarch.com/articles/9567-best-architecture-schools-3-swiss-federal-institute-of-technology-in-zurich-eth-zurich.html (Accessed: 07 August 2023).