“Students,” said the professor, “I wanted to let you know about a workshop we are planning in a couple of weeks …” Doesn’t this sound familiar? I am pretty sure everyone has witnessed the same announcement in one way or another, more than once in their architecture schools.

So what are workshops and how are they helping students shape their thinking around different topics related to architecture?

In architecture education, multidisciplinary learning is a key component. It requires an in-depth understanding of science, arts, and problem-solving since it involves analyzing surroundings, planning and designing a structure, as well as constructing a live building with functioning parts. By engaging in active discussion and engagement, workshops have aided students in sharpening their problem-solving skills. They bridge the theoretical and practical worlds.

These five reasons will convince you that hands-on experience is an important part of an architecture degree.

1) Receive Fresh Perspective

An architecture degree covers a wide range of topics. Workshops address common problems or issues that professionals may face regularly. By sharing their insights and thoughts, participants can provide a fresh perspective on the problem.

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Discussion as a key for learning_©Labs Services – Interactive Workshops

2) Engaging Setting

Research has shown that only 20 percent of the information presented at a traditional lecture is retained. This number is increased by 75 percent if students are allowed to participate in hands-on projects. Taking part in hands-on workshops allows students to interact with the material and engage in the learning process. As a result, students are more motivated to learn and explore. 

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Engaging Setting_©Better Bamboo Buildings

3) Develop New Ideas

You may find inspiration as you listen to other people’s ideas. New ideas or new approaches may occur to you that you hadn’t thought of before. Listening to others share their ideas may be your ticket to getting things going. You could end up coming away with your next big idea that you can incorporate into your projects.

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Different Approach_©RIBA Journal

4) Take risks and try new things.

Workshops offer creative minds the chance to think outside the box. They provide a great opportunity to improve reasoning skills and work with a variety of ideas. Architecture students are allowed to be unorthodox and innovative by removing the boundaries of books and lectures.

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Working with modern technology_©Justin Knight Photography

5). Interaction with industry experts. 

Through workshops, students have the opportunity to meet industry experts. Working professionals are a valuable source of advice and inspiration for developing one’s approach to the field. Working professionals can help build relationships within the community.

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Guiding Young Minds_©Royal Academy Of Arts

The field of architecture is evolving with the discovery of new techniques and materials daily. The traditional curriculum can’t keep up with the trend. Workshops and seminars can play defining role in helping students and professionals with developing problem-solving skills for real-world situations.

After reading this if by any chance you thought, ” Why have I not considered participating in the workshop yet?” or perhaps you are planning to join one as part of your extracurricular activities. You are on the right article. Probably…?

Here are a few of the hands-on workshops you might want to attend this year –

1) Auroville Earth Institute

Auroville Earth Institute is situated in Pondicherry. The center is recognized as one of the world’s top centers for earthen architecture. As a building material, they promote raw and stabilized earth. Among their specialties are Earth-Based Building Technologies, such as building arches, domes, CSEB blocks, bamboo architecture, and much more.

For more head to Auroville Earth Institute.

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Real World Construction Experience_© Auroville Earth Institute

2) Laurie Baker Centre

Thiruvananthapuram is home to the Laurie Baker Centre for Habitat Studies. They share knowledge of alternative techniques in architecture and the construction of buildings. Environmentally friendly, affordable, and green technologies are adopted. Mud, bricks, bamboo, and recycled materials are some of the materials used in these techniques. 

For more head to Laurie Baker Centre.

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Sustainable Construction Practice_© Laurie Baker Centre

3) Dharmalaya Institute

Dharmalaya Institute for compassionate living is situated in Bir, Himachal Pradesh. It was founded by Didi Contractor. She uses neo-traditional Kangra techniques adapted from the region. Emphasizes adobe techniques, mud plasters, and other natural building methods.

For more head to Dharmalaya Institute for Compassionate Living.

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Working with various construction material_©Dharmalaya Institute

4) Made In Earth

Made in earth studio is located in Bengaluru, Karnataka. Provides knowledge on the use of clay and lime in buildings. Organize workshops on a variety of building techniques like adobe, wattle, daub, rammed earth, and others. Known for creating their natural plasters. 

For more head to Made in Earth.

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Working as a Team_©Made in Earth

5) Hunnarshala Foundation

Hunnarshala Foundation is located in Bhuj, Kutch. Activates local communities for their empowerment and upliftment by using eco-friendly building technologies. In addition to CSEB, they offer adobe, rammed earth, mud concrete, mud and lime plaster, pink oxidized cement flooring, and more. They are known for their low-cost construction and disaster reconstruction.

For more head to Hunnarshala Foundation.

In situ work experience_© Hunnarshala Foundation

References 

1) Srilalitha Ravuri. Rethinking The Future. 10 Reasons why hands on workshops in architecture colleges matter. [online]. Available at: https://www.re-thinkingthefuture.com/architectural-community/a5044-10-reasons-why-hands-on-workshops-in-architecture-colleges-matters/

2) Archgyan. 2020. Earth and Bamboo Workshops in India. [online]. Available at: https://archgyan.com/blog/architecture-workshops-in-india-archgyan/

3) Katarina Smatanova. Workshop as a tool in architectural education. Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/305529606_Workshop_as_a_tool_in_architectural_education

Author

Mrinal is a curious, open-minded person who is keen to explore the world around her. She is a nature lover who enjoys traveling, reading, sketching, and photography. She believes that words are portable magic. She yearns to share the tales of Cities, Architecture, Nature, Cultures, and People through her writing.

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