Each one of us has our own stories to tell yet there are parts in our stories that we can all relate to. These parts bring us together as our very own architecture community where we share and grow together. They say that great architecture comes from stories that bind it together, similarly, each one of us is the way we are today because of how this journey has moulded us. 

Stepping into an architecture student’s diary, each one of us will feel nostalgic and relatable. It’s a memory of our hard work, struggles, learnings, and togetherness that we shall cherish for the rest of our lives.

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Start to a new journey_https://www.alamy.com/

The beginning

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Exploration of ideas_https://design-milk.com/daniel-mullen

The first step into a new world of ideas, creativity, and a head full of dreams. How intriguing would that have been? Ever thought of looking back to how it all started? Entering a classroom of fresh faces not knowing how to make an impression we sat there eager enough to make new friends. Looking at the door, waiting for the teacher to enter we were all excited to learn about a course we chose “Architecture”. 

Looking at each one of us the teacher asked – What is architecture according to you? Wasn’t it the first moment where we didn’t know what to answer? Little did we know that we were at the beginning of something new. We decided to let it unfold itself with time.

Design school

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Neatly maintained sketchbooks, different grades of pencils, watercolours, tapes, tools, and all other stationery we began with creating drawings and models. For some, it felt like a competition but for the others, it was a new addition to their learning. Practicing different kinds of lines, learning to write Alphabet, playing with different colours and compositions we felt like we were back to Kindergarten. We learned in-depth about grids, perspectives, scales, and measurements. 

These principles of design were not just in books. We started relating them to real images. Our understanding of buildings began to shape as we observed more keenly through these small details. The world around us appeared to be sitting in a framed picture with sorted geometries and grids we couldn’t overlook.

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Applying concepts in the real world_https://www.jihadkmail.com/

From designing a product to a piece of furniture to a small little space we realized designing was never as simple as it looked. This was where our journey with redoes began. It was the only way we did better the next time. We learned how to measure our own space, how to organize it, and how to modify it. We understood why it was so crucial to consider anthropometrics in design. 

Earlier we studied spaces only according to our own bodies, but shortly we started seeing them as a universal approach that would fit one and all. This paved way for us to understand standards, proportions, and an equitable approach to design.

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How they see it v/s how we see it_www.instagram.com/leewardists

The history of architecture evoked a traveller within us wanting to explore new places, learn stories from the past, and how their influence led to the progress of all that exists today. We began to connect spaces to their origins, their people, and their stories. 

On the contrary construction was a whole new topic to decipher. Bricks, bonds, concrete, textures, and finishes – there was a whole pallet filled with them. Drafting them on sheets to doing site visits, we gained knowledge about its application and usage and their behaviour with each space. 

Our perception of architecture slowly widened as we realized that it was not mere drawing lines but a process that was interconnected in itself. It was not only about the skin but about the roots that connect it to what makes its existence possible – people.

People – the heart of a space

“Eventually everything connects – people, ideas, objects. 

The quality of connections is the key to quality” -Charles Eames

Humans as we say are the reason for the greatest innovations. They are also said to be the heart of any place. Their existence defines the purpose of space. Our perception of spaces changed as we understood how people influenced them. Designing for a larger group of people, we moved from creating single-user spaces to multi-user spaces. This included both private and public spaces. Private spaces included residential and housing projects. These were still limited to a smaller group of people. 

The real challenge was to understand public space. A layman sees it as a space defined by its usage and purpose. But our perception of public space changed over the years. 

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People focus spaces:Heart of the City Public Space Design – RSP_rsparch.com

Public space is meant to be an experience for an individual. It is a social connection between people that binds them together. It is what fills the voids between buildings. Any public space, be it a street or a plaza or a pavilion or a market brings people together. This becomes a part of their lifestyle and also becomes a part of their identity. This builds a sense of ownership towards people and imbibes social values and responsibility within them. 

We read public spaces as a humanizing element in architecture which further becomes a strong characteristic feature in the eyes of the beholder. They thus become spaces where we live, work, play and learn. Our notion of a public space widens with time into various categories. 

Public spaces as we see are either quiet or engaging, open spaces or closed intimate spaces, shared spaces or owned spaces, free or restricted spaces. We gauge the success of any public space through its neighbourhoods, its relationship with built environments, and the importance of its users. We move on to understand how these spaces collectively form a setting – a rural and urban both of which are topics of greater depth. We generate our very own research on how we decipher existing settings and the modifications that can naturally be accommodated in spaces. 

Our outlook towards spaces and people changed more sensitively and sympathetically. We became more aware of our surroundings and responsive towards the context. We started looking at space through a very rational approach and more like a user of the space than a designer itself. We learned to acknowledge the differences in people and their lifestyles and how everything fits together as a single fabric. 

Buildings – how do we perceive them 

Architecture in the very beginning meant designing large good-looking buildings or one that would attract the eyes of the viewer. Over time our perception of the same changed. The focus shifted towards creating more liveable and breathable spaces rather than just attractive spaces. For once aesthetics took a back seat while the quality of it was more focused on. 

Buildings for a long period were influenced by their contextual nature. But soon the drift between traditional and contemporary design came into the picture. This gave way to rural and urban settings. 


In an urban scenario, Skyscrapers shaped the way cities drastically transformed. It’s a mark of industrialization which led to the emergence of high-rise structures. We saw them as tall glass façade structures which also stand to be one of mankind’s greatest achievements. We understood the technology that goes behind constructing these structures. Economic growth and cultural growth were the outcome of these structures. However, with deeper knowledge, we see that we’re not creators of simply a concrete jungle fitting a monotony in every part of the world. 

We learned to become more sensitive with the spaces we create and what the outcome towards its users would be. The contextual response became a key aspect of designing structures. 

“Architecture should speak of its time and place, but yearn for timelessness” – Frank O Gehry

Culture – its relationship with spaces

A very core aspect of an individual’s life is where he/she is from. This defines their origin. What they take from it and how they evolve through it forms a culmination of thoughts, values, and ideologies which then become a part of a social setting – a culture. 

Through ancient times, culture is what has allowed for identities to grow and for different settings to coexist. This is one of the most crucial aspects of defining an individual’s lifestyle. 

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How cultures build unique identities_https://theculturetrip.com/south-america/bolivia/articles/meet-freddy-mamani

Culture concerning architecture plays a very crucial role in shaping spaces as we see today. It has allowed people to celebrate their way of being. Architecture responsive to the cultural ethnicity of people is a validation of the existence of their contribution to society. These varied groups of people have been defining spaces their own way and have contributed enormously.

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A lot of architecture that exists today is an influence or inspiration or techniques borrowed from buildings that have adhered to their cultures and backgrounds. The success of a space is defined by  acceptance of its people, social and cultural values, and surroundings. We gaged the depth of this relationship through exploring various cultures, engaging with people, learning and documenting their life which influenced our design pattern and changed our outlook towards spaces. 

As we move forward with time, we try to inculcate these practices in the future. We must take learnings from the past and build in the present for the future generation.

“Design creates culture.

Culture shapes values

Values determine the future”

 – Robert L Peters

The ending 

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The Beginning Starts With the End | The OMY_(bandcamp.com)

Through the end of this journey, we look back at all that we learned. We learned to acknowledge different environments such that it became a major part of our design process. With all the education we got through the years, it never feels enough. Architecture too, like humans grows with time. Architecture allowed us to look beyond what exists. It made us more cautious and aware of our surroundings. It is a forever learning process that adapts itself with time. 

What one could only say is, the end is the beginning. 


Shreya M Jain is currently studying in 4th year of architecture. She believes that architecture is a reciprocation of one’s thoughts and feels that it creates a dialogue between people and its surroundings. Through her writing she wishes to share how time and space can create meaningful impressions in an individuals life.