There is more than one reason to choose architecture as one’s professional career however not many students have a thorough idea about it until they join the course. It is commonly believed that architecture is only about planning, designing, and constructing buildings but there are additional activities to get engaged in this field. This change in perception takes place in an academic institution that has always been the best learning platform throughout the world. The academic lessons have been the best medium to convey and guide the students about architecture and its importance in our society. This article will be throwing light on a few educational learning that we have gained from the architecture institute, the knowledge that we have gathered, and how it has changed our point of vision on architecture.
1) Architects are Jack of all Trades
Most of us at the beginning of our first year generally thought that architecture has a confined boundary where one has to design only buildings. However, the reality is quite different as anyone in this field is competent in designing from all streams such as furniture design, product design, graphic design, logo design, jewellery design, or urban design. This can be witnessed in Italy, the design hub of the world where architects are meant to design anything. It is one of the valuable academic lessons where we are exposed to the real role of an architect in the professional world.
2) Importance of Engineering in Architecture
Architects can become extremely creative while designing a building and usually one has to face challenges when it has to be constructed on-site. In such a situation, an architect should have a strong base idea on engineering so it becomes easier for them to discuss with the engineers. During the academic course, we are taught about steel structures and concrete structures where we deepen our knowledge on different types of foundations, columns, slabs, beams, and roofs that are constructed by different methods. As a result of which in the future our inventive design idea is pragmatically executed on-site without any obstructions.
3) Significance of History of Architecture
The history of architecture has always been a key theory subject in academic lessons. During the first year, we assume that studying history is a tedious job. However, over time we gradually develop our understanding of the construction techniques, methods, and materials used in different centuries from various parts of the world. These ancient construction formulas are being used by the current generation with improvised construction technologies. The Reichstag building in Berlin is one of the examples where we could witness the construction of the glass dome on a historic building by using modern techniques. The amount of knowledge we gather from the historical monuments becomes one of the important reasons to conserve it and preserve its culture.
4) Adaptation of Environment-Friendly Architecture
It has been a decade since the climate change movement has begun by United Nations. Architecture plays a great role in climate change issues such as global warming. As it has become a matter of concern, drastic measures are being taken such as encouraging the architects to use natural ventilation, cooling, and heating systems such as stack effect, solar chimney and use of solar tubes and skylights for natural lighting, use of eco-friendly material that has low carbon emission. These are a few examples that we are taught in our academics under the subjects of sustainable architecture, green architecture, and vernacular architecture.
5) Prioritization of Sketching and Hand-Drafting
In the first year of the academic lesson, we are asked to sketch and draft the design drawings in hand as the use of computers was strictly prohibited. This is because sketching helps us in the free flow of design ideas, understanding the building proportions, the construction techniques, and materials used in the contemporary buildings and historic monuments, and the architectural elements and features of different styles of architecture. Sketching also improves our sense of visualization as we begin to capture scenes from a better angle while rendering an image on a computer and also by clicking a photographic shot in camera.
6) Comprehensive Understanding of the Role of Idea while Designing
It is essential to have an idea while designing so we should not be distracted by any other thoughts. It defines each line we draw and enumerates meaning to the design. This can be seen in world-famous buildings designed by well-known architects such as The National Gallery in Berlin where Mies Van der Rohe has followed the idea of minimalism. Thus, there are only four steel columns in the building with an open-plan enclosed by steel-framed glass walls that make the building look lighter. So we should always follow and explore our idea by sketching and making conceptual models.
7) Incorporating Inclusive Design in Architecture
As an architect, we are meant to design for everyone. So we should always think about the well-defined target users such as people from different age groups, genders, and cultures. A barrier-free environment is an example of an inclusive design where the targeted users are differently-abled people. Here, the guiding block and warning block that is used on the street is designed for the visually-impaired, and crosswalks and public toilets are designed for wheelchair users. These academic lessons cover the crucial topics of architecture that broadens our vision while designing.
8) Use of Advanced Technologies in Architecture
Advanced technologies are being implemented extensively in the field of architecture. There are technologies such as BIM (Building Information Modeling), 3D printing, and VR (Virtual Reality) that makes it easier for the architects and the clients to understand and visualize the design project. There is also a concrete 3D printer that can build 10 houses in approximately 24 hours. These houses are built on a real-life scale, thus the construction work becomes easier and less time-consuming. Students are introduced to these technologies especially, BIM software such as Autodesk Revit, ArchiCAD during their academics learning.
9) Value of Time Management
In the architectural academic lessons, the courses have been structured in a format that all the students gradually learn the value of time management and how to deal with it. There is more than one submission per semester which is accompanied by deadlines. To meet all the deadlines neither we should never procrastinate nor work in the last moment panic. During our academics, we also learn to behave professionally by maintaining discipline and managing our time efficiently. As a result, we are a step ahead before entering the professional world.
10) Career Diversity in Architecture Discipline
Besides the role of a designer, this field also provides a platform to an individual to work as an urban planner, a conservation architect, a landscape architect, a research architect, a teacher or a professor in the academics field, and an editor or a curator in the field of architecture journalism. In the academic institutes, we are introduced to such various subjects and its need in today’s world of architecture. So by the end of our graduation, we are well aware of different types of career options and get the opportunity to espouse our goals according to our interests.
Architecture colleges or schools have always been the best learning forum for any architecture students around the world. It is the first place where we are welcomed and become a part of the growing architecture family. We widen our horizons and deepen our knowledge in architecture not only from our professors but also from our seniors and juniors. We also learn from our experiences and mistakes. The academic lessons always played a vital role in the life of an architect as it teaches that architecture is more than designing a building.