For moulding, the personality of an individual, the environment plays a vital role. The first week of architecture school is when people start to perceive the world through a different lens. Before that, they were mainly fascinated by the buildings around them. But now, they start to ask questions about how they are made and what makes them unique. This is a turning point in their lives and separates them from the rest of the world.

Architecture not only has a tremendous influence on society, but it may also have a deep impact on its users on a more intimate level. Everything from the arrangement of the workspace to the material finishes may have an impact on the health, mood, and productivity of the occupants.

During the first week of graduate school, students are introduced to a variety of concepts such as spatial arrangement, abstract, ideation, etc. In a flash, everything seems new and begins making more sense. This helps them develop a deeper understanding of the building and its surroundings. It made them think about and comprehend the techniques, as well as be capable of critiquing them.

Concept of Design

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The notion of ‘design thinking’ gradually enters the chapter. Then, learned about design elements and principles. This piques their interest and encourages them to notice more minute features of the design. They investigate the numerous tactics employed by the concerned architect, as well as the causes that prompted them to employ such strategies in the fashion that resulted in that design form.

Structures and Materials

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In addition to the principles, students learn the foundations of structural elements and numerous architectural terminology and seek to employ technical phrases whenever feasible to appear more professional. They study physics, which is concerned with structural stability, forces, and strengths, among other things. Also, prominent buildings, and skyscrapers, are noted for their structural and material resilience. The stability and materials are now included in their list of observable elements while appraising the building.

Functionality

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Now, the aspect called ‘functionality’ of a space is introduced. The reason for the introduction of such space, user experience, anthropology, occupancy, circulation, and various design development processes.

Design initiation

Now, the time arrives when they are first introduced to the design problem. They use a comprehensive approach to design development, i.e., undergo the design and re-design processes. They get to know about the standard references like Neuferts, NBCs, Time-Saver Standards (TSS), etc., which are used for studying and analysing the human scale and space proportion required for different types of spaces concerned for the project depending upon the circulation.

The next step is the site analysis, which makes them observe another factor which is the climatic factor. Site history (if there is any, depending on the site’s location), site features, and climatic conditions play an important role while designing a building as it affects the orientation of a building, the shelter, material selection, etc. 

Students now understand geographical characteristics and why design and construction methods differ in various parts of the same country and other countries. They also comprehend the cultural and sociological aspects of a location to include aesthetics in their design. As students progress through their senior years, the scope of the effort grows larger. This allows them to think on a bigger scale and examine connectivity, site access, orientation depending on various criteria, and zoning.

They are taught about working drawings to comprehend building services, their location, and their relevance in fully understanding the construction process.

Their observation abilities increase greatly after learning all of these. When they see a building or space, they try to think about all the things learned till that point in time, and every day, a new addition is made to the treasure of knowledge they have. This also helps in keeping up the interest in the subjects and acts as a practical implication to what has been taught, like how space could be created from the base till the complete design of the building.

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This whole process has individual steps involved in it and is vital in itself. Architecture exists at its core to create the concrete environment in which people live, but architecture is more than simply the constructed environment; it is also a component of our culture. It represents how we see ourselves as well as how we perceive the environment.

The architect’s potential problems, site threats and opportunities, context, cultural characteristics, and, most significantly, what motivated the architect to construct the structure/space, all aid in understanding the concepts employed when creating. Such discoveries motivate architects to incorporate innovative techniques into their designs.

“A great building must begin with the immeasurable, must go through measurable means when it is being designed, and in the end must be unmeasured.” – Louis Kahn

References: 

  1. Mani, M. (2021). How has Architecture changed your perspective. [online] ForBuddingArchitects. Available at: https://www.forbuddingarchitects.com/post/how-has-architecture-changed-your-perspective [Accessed 8 May 2022].
  2. Vangelatos, G. (2019). How Does Architecture Impact Society? A High-Level Look | Thought Leadership. [online] HMC Architects. Available at: https://hmcarchitects.com/news/how-does-architecture-impact-society-a-high-level-look-2019-10-18/.
Author

Ankita Parekh , an undergraduate student at IIT Kharagpur's Department of Architecture and Regional Planning. When it comes to spaces, she is a visionary. She loves to read and write architectural pieces. She believes architectural content is the key for comprehending the roots of our architectural foundations and building it to the sky of sustainability.

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