Architecture is a course that not many people are fully aware of. After joining an architecture college, the whole study and examination pattern changes drastically, we switch from the typically rote learning format to a more creative and observational study techniques. There are a few stereotypically questions and statements that we have heard at some point in our life, “You sketch and draw well, you should pursue architecture after 12th”, though someone that does not sketch well can turn out to be an amazing architect and vice versa. Let’s have a look at the presumptions that almost everyone seems to have while joining architecture and the change of perspective from the first year to the fifth year.
Architecture just involves designing
While entering architecture school we all have a belief that architecture is just about designing the structure and making a building look aesthetically pleasing. Though architecture is a very diverse field where we design any structure incorporating a brief knowledge regarding structural or civil work, plumbing, electrical and landscaping. To develop a sensitivity towards designing any space an architect also learns other subjects like history, anthropometry, humanity and Vaastu to name a few.
Never fall in love with your first design
One of the biggest things we have been taught in the five years of our architecture study is to always look out for all the available options and possibilities and never fall in love with your first design. There will be numerous redoes and tearing of sheets involved throughout the semester or the endless modifications by the client before you achieve the perfect final design output. Also, anyone who is studying architecture or practising as an architect would agree to the fact that we get the best design ideas a week before submission and that’s the time when actual work happens.
There is more to learn outside the classroom
All of our parents at some point were worried about the fact that we have no set textbooks to study from. Also, having just two or three written examinations with plenty of jury’s is something we eventually got used to.
Learning in architecture is not just limited to the classroom; rather we learn and understand new things throughout the day by observing structures, landscape, planning and even human interaction with the built spaces. As we progress in the architecture study, we start to notice the minute architectural details or the aesthetic appeal of a place even while watching a movie!
Study tours were the most crucial and important part of our course. I remember being all touristy and clicking several pictures and selfies while visiting Lotus Temple, Delhi before joining architecture. Whereas the second time during a study tour, I was awestruck with the marvellous structure and noticed the building details, cladding and felt the peaceful serene atmosphere that space created rather than clicking random pictures.
Workshops are something that we all have enjoyed the most. Exploring our creativity and getting hands-on experience with the working of different materials and functioning of activities around a built space kept us all mesmerised.
Pitching Ideas and Public Speaking
We all have dozens of stories regarding our juries and its preparation. The experience of getting criticised by a strict juror when we are most confident about our design or being shouted at for missing out a certain minute detail or presenting a lesser number of sheets was a usual occurrence. Also, once in a blue moon, there would be a juror that liked and appreciated our work.
Somewhere in between all these juries and strict jurors we got the confidence to stand up for ourselves, our work and take positive criticism to enhance and enrich ourselves. These juries were an insight into the professional architectural practice and made us confident of presenting to any client.
Pitching our design project and public speaking goes hand in hand, we learnt that oral language is never a barrier while putting forth our design ideas. The biggest tool or language for architects is the numerous software’s known to them and using them collectively to create the best output.
The huge stationery collection
Our most prized possession is the suitcases filled with stationary which is never enough and we are always planning for the next stationery shopping spree. We all have a huge collection of every stationary or paint in the market from microns to ink pens to alcoholic markers to watercolours to poster colours to oil paints to pencil colours to charcoal pencils to brushes. Majority of us are also guilty of owning a collection of chart papers that we found attractive but never used in any project.
While speaking about the presumptions of architecture, I cannot miss out on a few things that didn’t change during college and will probably never change. These are missing out on putting the north symbol, our parents and relatives having a perpetual dilemma of using the words architect and architecture correctly in a statement, sleepless nights during a deadline and the last and the most annoying, being called a civil engineer by some random person.