Architecture is a collateral descendent of art and technology. Maybe, that’s why it is one of the most misunderstood professions. The beauty and depth of architecture are sublime only to the ones who study it! It’s no surprise that people have misconceptions regarding it on various fronts. We architects and students have been trying to erase them for quite a long time now. In this process, however, some of the aspects get neglected, and few are recreated.

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Here’s a list of 10 such misconceptions and their solutions as well.

10 Common misconceptions laymen have about architecture - Sheet1
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1. You are ARCHITECTURE, no?

First and foremost of all upcoming attacks architects (or students. to sustain is being called ‘ARCHITECTURE’! (We spend 1/3rd of our career correcting it to ‘architects’!. “No aunty/ uncle, we study the course of architecture to become architects.” It is as simple as that but guess, that’s the problem.

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2. My nephew is a civil engineer, and even he designs buildings just like you!  

Technically, if he/she is a civil engineer, they shouldn’t design buildings (that’s usually not a part of an engineer’s job description.. However, even if he/she does ‘design buildings’, they can’t be, rather won’t be able to design it the way we do! Architecture is not engineering!

3. Architecture is just for cities

Well, common people might misinterpret this. Architecture isn’t just for the urbanization of cities. Rural parts have experienced architecture as well. As every built space is architecture, we’re referring to ‘good/ conscious architecture’ here. There have been a bunch of architects who’ve volunteered for the designing of rural parts and betterment (not urbanization necessarily. of the suburban parts of the region.

10 Common misconceptions laymen have about architecture - Sheet2
Nicholas church by Blackwell architects ©www.archdaily.com

4. Only ‘Iconic buildings’ are ‘architecture’

This a genuine misconception for laymen and at times for architects as well! We usually refer to ‘iconic’/ ‘out of the box’ structures as architecture. Every designed structure (irrespective of its iconism. in architecture. Fairly, every built structure is architecture. The term ‘Architecture’ is quite broad and sensitive to be interpreted limitedly.

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5. Your charges are pretty expensive; can’t you make it a bit cheaper? 

After spending five crucial years qualifying for a bachelor’s degree, further two to three years for a master’s degree, later even for Ph.D., we finally call ourselves ‘architects’. That ‘Ar.’ before our name costs us sharpening design skill endlessly, incomputable amount of money, eye strain for endless hours working on software, uncountable visits to the doctor for fixing back pain, and deadly sunstrokes on sites. Yet, we are accused of charging worth our skills! “We beg for justice, which thou laymen must give!” (Might sound dramatic, guess what? That’s what we want!.

6. Architecture is all about women! 

We live in a structured world of genders. Professions are stereotyped as masculine and feminine too! The same thought has been put into this profession as well! The fact that women have a higher number of admission isn’t false, but to perceive this profession as ‘women-oriented’ is a misconception which has to be flushed out of our brains.

10 Common misconceptions laymen have about architecture - Sheet3
Women leader ©www.ecomena.org

7. Women aren’t paid equally as men…

‘Pay gap’/ ‘gender bias’ has been intriguing scholars and the commonwealth for years now. The severity might shoot up and make wars one day! (Not literal wars, but who knows?) Women have been accusing themselves by claiming not being paid ‘equal to men.’ It’s all about having your niche and establishing your identity, irrespective of your gender. Women do at times face more hurdles as compared to men but that doesn’t justify the accusation. Which woman would accept less pay in her knowledge? Or would she?

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8. Architecture is all about drawing and designing!  

The fact that architecture requires fine/ moderate drawing and designing skills is plausible. However, ‘only fine drawing skills’ aren’t prerogative to this field. A lot of math, calculations, writing skills, structural sense of design, and soft skills (convincing abilities, trusting your guts, taking the risk. are equally required! We’re borderline all-rounders!

9. Only degree holders can practice architecture! 

With the law passed by SC of India under the ‘Architects Act 2020’ in March ’20, architecture has gone through a radical change. With architects writing petitions and asking for justice, it is of no astonishment that anybody can practice architecture with relevant skills and no degree certification. The civil appeal says, ‘Section 37 of the Architects Act is titled ―Prohibition against the use of title and prohibits individuals from using the ―title and style of architect. The legal bar created is therefore limited to the use of ―title and does not prohibit the ―practice of architecture’ (pg 8, Civil Appeal No 1819 of 2020 [Arising out of SLP(C. No 18752 of 2014])

The misconception of ‘only B.Arch degree holders can be architects’ is busted but ‘only degree holders can put Ar.’ is true!

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10. Architecture is just about aesthetics! 

Aesthetics has been playing an important role when it comes to art/ architecture or designing in general. The bummer is, it’s not only about visuals! Architecture is far more influential than visual appeal, it alters the way we think, feel, and dwell in space. It is about the tangible and intangible aspects of existence!

10 Common misconceptions laymen have about architecture - Sheet4
Purple city ©Pinterest

On an ending note, I hope we are well aware of current issues and responsibilities we have to play on the field. Let’s look up to making this world a better place to live!

Author

Sharayu, name of a holy river siding edge of Ayodhya is unknown to many yet exists with significant gravity. A metaphor to this fact is conscious architecture.Being a third-year architecture student pursuing an interest in writing, reading, cosmology and mythology, she aims to augment awareness for the same.

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