From going to college after minimal sleep to crushing a jury that ends in applause, an architect’s transformation from the first year to the final year is an exclusive evolution. Thousands of students enrolled in architecture school thinking that it is all about “sketching”, only to realize that it is the exact opposite.
It all starts with that freshers’ party where the bonding begins, leading to that reunion that instills a feeling of pride and accomplishment. But there is a lot that happens in between, which is what architecture college life is all about!
1. It all begins with A, B, C!
Architects understand the true meaning of hard work, in a rather hard way. Surprisingly, in the first year, students are re-taught how to write the English alphabets and numbers, called “lettering”, just like we did in our kindergarten! Writing them carefully and meticulously somewhat becomes the stepping stone to an architect’s journey as they understand the importance of detailing and patience.
From hand-drawn sheets to software.
Architecture, as a course, is unique in its way. Books turn into sheets and models; and exams turn into juries. Adjusting to this new way of learning and becoming accustomed to deadlines is something that students learn in the first year itself. The first few years of architecture are all about hand-drawn sheets, using instruments that students have never heard of and site models that turn into masterpieces (for some at least!). Nailing the art of not dropping food while working on the sheets and treating them as they meant more than their lives, the gradual shift from sheets to software is daunting!
2. AutoCAD- an architect’s new best friend!
With each year cleared, the level of maturity, time management and design intellect for an architect keep on increasing. The switch to working on software is intimidating at first but with practice, they become a savior during submissions. From AutoCAD to Sketchup to Photoshop to many others, the students slowly start becoming pro-software and the hand-drawn sheets become a thing of the past. Every student has struggled to learn the commands and switch between software; and hoped that Ctrl+Z existed in real life!
3. The intense world of Architecture
There is a misconception that architecture is about designing buildings and creating mind-boggling structures. Well, it is just a tiny fraction of a much bigger picture. The gradual process of learning basic designing, interior design, urban design, product design, town planning, and more, is the definition of “Architecture” as a whole. From learning about the intricacies of designing a bathroom (trust me, it is not easy!) to study the principles of designing an entire town or a city, these essential constituents of architecture are predominant in shaping up the role of an architect. The basics of these taught in college is what usually determines the path for an architect- be it in the form of a Master’s degree or taking it up as a career.
4. The power of sustainability
The world as we know of it is damaged and needs repair undoubtedly. The knowledge and skill of an architect, especially, is incomplete without the understanding of environment-friendly and sustainable structures. Usually emphasized by the professors in architecture school, the need for green buildings is something that should be inclusive in all designs. Educating oneself about software that generates accurate results for climate-responsive designs, and understanding the importance of GRIHA and LEED is crucial in the development of an architect’s skills today. Almost everyone’s design consisted of sun path diagrams, the orientation of the building as per directions, and making an effort to design a climate-responsive structure!
5. THESIS: The grand finale!
It all comes down to this ultimate jury: The final step of the life of an architecture student!
All the sleepless nights, extreme deadlines, and previous juries come down to this final jury. A thesis is like an architect’s first child as they develop the design and theory as per their freedom! From the dissertation to the final design development, is a journey full of ups and downs, endless crying, excitement, and a bundle of too many emotions. The relief post the thesis jury and feeling of becoming an architect, almost, is worth it and the journey feels complete.
An architect’s journey starts from practicing writing the alphabets and ends at a design that is thought of, designed, and developed by the students themselves. An architect is an artist, interior designer, town planner, and designer together as a whole! The teamwork, managing various submissions and time, and working hard with determination is something that architects carry with themselves throughout their life, in every role that they play.