Architecture – the word itself holds a lot; to say, to feel, to act that just can’t be explained by merely a few paragraphs. But we need to start somewhere, Right? The same way I did when I came into this field of enormous adventure and fun, which never ever lets you get bored with a number of things to do, different work, different experiences and new learnings each time you study a topic.

Architecture is something I never ever thought of taking up as a career. Actually, up till my 10th grade, I didn’t even know what to do. But there was always this thought of having more practical based learning rather than something called rote learning or having subjects that are theoretical. A girl child being good at studies is often held with the assumptions of being a doctor at first is what I experienced personally; but in my junior college, I decided to be a mechanical engineer.   

Elements of architectural learning - Sheet1
Spatial experience _©

Things often don’t turn out the same as you wish but always better. Although it has a great backstory, it’s just what I call God’s plan for me; joining this beautiful field of architecture. Well, with no keen passion, I didn’t even know most of the major things that this field holds i.e., the amount of time and hard-work you require to be an architect is immense. But no worries, I realized it in the second week of my first year. While joining, my major worry was the jury part, questions popping up like how will I do this? What will happen? Will I be able to do it? Questioning my capability even before starting; listening to some friends already in this field and watching videos online. 

To be honest, everything just turned out to be so good. At the very start we didn’t learn directly about buildings, plans, designing and other stuffs including the technical part rather “how to think”. Differentiating between imagination and visualization to understanding how important is observation, is all the journey about. Building creativity from curiosity to experiencing each space; that brings us to “space”, the word you are going to hear the most if you enter this field. “Whenever you talk about space or the quality of spaces, talk about experience”, said one of my professors. The feeling someone has being there, is something to be taken care of while designing. Also, I firmly believe that “Space makes people, and people make space.” 

Pro tip: learn people to learn space. 

One can never get bored studying architecture. I strongly believe that. But everything has its own pros and cons. The hectic schedules, the sleepless nights, the immense pressure of deadlines, the extreme workload which includes drafting a number of technical things, the plans, sections, elevations, etc. It sometimes gets so tedious one can often get irritated. But then all hard-work pays off and after completing this number of sheets, you’ll definitely feel the achievement and you can also applaud for yourself. Because, why not?? 

Elements of architectural learning - Sheet2
Drafting _©
Elements of architectural learning - Sheet3
Architecture student _©
Elements of architectural learning - Sheet4
Time clock _©

It’s just been a year and a half being into architecture, but still everything feels so refreshing. In first year, we made numerous models and that was the most enjoyable experience for me. Model making is a great exercise. Learning about abstraction was another part of the story. In our semester 2, we took a dance form and abstracted our designs from that. We worked in groups and also in numerous other tasks and one thing that architecture taught perfectly is teamwork

Elements of architectural learning - Sheet5
Model Making _©
Elements of architectural learning - Sheet6
Teamwork _©

We learned about heights, about depths, about the values they hold, the feelings they portray. Various subjects will provide you with various knowledge, learning about different materials of construction, used according to their environments, climates, uses, availability. Learning about our environment and how to make it sustainable and not to harm is what E.V.S (Environmental studies) as a subject in architecture teaches you. Architecture definitely teaches us to appreciate and understand the meaning one single word holds.

Learning various art forms right from dance, music to photography and video making, architecture is an aid in exploring various other fields. It changed my perspective to look at things, specifically made my observation high and now I can never look at a building in raw but stating various architectural terms such as massing, volumes, the colour psychology, blocks, curves, patterns, the feeling of textures, the cantilevers, the openings, what not! It completely changes your vocabulary and the way you perceive things before and after being into architecture.

The great part that history holds, a lot can be spoken on this topic as it’s my favourite part. The mysteries, the stories, the previously built structures, that holds a great value till now, everything seems so exciting. A person who loves travelling would enjoy more and more being a part of this field.  

Elements of architectural learning - Sheet7
History of architecture _©

The workshops, the design studios give you unforgettable experiences. You learn, you enjoy, you make. We had a biomimicry workshop and we learned from nature in that workshop. Leaves, fruits, vegetables, plants, etc., were our helpers. We abstracted and designed. Nature always has a lot to teach you. Nature is the best teacher! 

Elements of architectural learning - Sheet8
Biomimicry in architecture _©

A good design always starts with a great idea! The greatest learning for me so far. The idea that lives forever in the structure up till the hearts of the people. Design process will always be more beautiful than the actual design. Because it holds your hard-work. People will always see the end result and give critics accordingly but only you will know your real perseverance, determination and hard work.

Site analysis is what I loved and enjoyed thoroughly. Design process, compositions, live workshops, presentations, model making, packed schedules, nights full of work, juries, competitions, everything will be worth it. Learning of software has started now. It is an important part of this field, way more helpful, and truly enjoyable. Right from sketches, to drafting, to proper technical drawings done with hands or with the help of softwares, everything will be explored and one will definitely have their own hacks and tricks to deal with everything architecture offers you.      




Shaista Khan is a budding architect from Mumbai in her 2nd year. A firm believer, a dreamer, a girl with full of energy and positivity with never give up attitude. She always looks at the bright side of things and currently exploring herself by giving life to words by her writings.