Every student who decides to pursue architecture goes through a process of thought altering experiences throughout their course and practice.

Initially, what seems like a vast discipline involving conceptualization and designing, and its association with the principles, context, materials, and other intermediary factors during the course is then dictated by entirely contrasting factors during the practice. 

In every country, an indirect but rather a huge impact on every profession is of the socio-political factors of the nation and architecture is no less. Especially in a country like India, with immense diversity in every layer of the society which we can determine, the scale of influence overpowers the cause and intention of the architectural approach itself. 

In the present time, with the entire nation withstanding a pandemic followed by a vast shift of perceptions about the public and private spaces, and simultaneously, the society approaching for a global culture over the native leading them to form a conventional taste, a young architect remains perplexed, trying to decipher the state of the society and figuring out what approach to go along with. For an architect spending years comprehending the ethos of architecture and to form their distinctive stances and principles, these altering circumstances become both a challenge and a responsibility to undergo. 

Parallelly, the inclusion of commercialization into every aspect and stage of the process has become a disruption into the primary approach of the architect. Particularly, observing the urban growth and the pattern of architecture which has been incorporated, irrespective of the location, it is noticeable how the structures and their designs have more association with the economy and the need to fit into the realm of perceptions pre-existing in the society than the architect’s approach and the necessary transformation which could have been brought into picture through such opportunities.

A young architect and a brooding nation
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What more could be relevant to this instance than the state of housing in the urban areas? The real estate industry has been a backbone of the economic graph of the cities, however, the typologies have been confined, and the spatial relevance, the state of living and the community existence has been far more compromised. While a very few architects skillfully balance between their principles, the rightful approach and the economic aspects, the rest of them instead become a part of the system to try to fit into the trend and eventually to earn a living. 

For thousands of young architects passing out of universities every year, this situation becomes a turning point, unclear between to stand by the values or to make a living, only a limited number achieve the equilibrium while the rest yearn for the option they did not choose throughout their years of practice.

This subject also brings about the need to identify and understand the state of current development happening in the country. Architecture plays an important role in how the development gets shaped into and while many countries that are developed and have then tried to return after identifying their misreadings it becomes crucial to analyze the trajectory and to bring about the necessary reforms. 

It becomes a responsibility of a young architect to evaluate the development course of a country especially for India where the outcome of the process has a much higher price to pay if backslidden.

While addressing the external factors which constantly keep affecting the approach of designing, a prime underlying factor remains unnoticed. The amount of architects graduating every year and entering into the field, irrespective of the quality of work they generate eventually affects the broader picture. Such architects with their mediocre works getting built slowly end up affecting and transforming the character which the country has to offer and leaves a mark for the upcoming generation to look at, but not eventually exhibiting the true caliber.

The time ahead could be tougher than the present, with more number of factors affecting the architectural process and hence a young architect entering into the field has to be as informed about these consequences as the design process itself.

Manasi Prabhu
Author

Manasi prefers writing over talking to express herself. Being an architecture student, she believes that designs and their resulting comprehensions are a mirror to look within oneself. She is an optimist who is considerate towards her surroundings and more so people. Structures, their stories and photographs fascinate her.

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