Creativity Unlimited : Scope of Architecture as profession

A profession in architecture is much sought after now-a-days….

Since the origin of mankind, a roof over one’s head had been one of the basic needs, the other two being food and clothing. Whether architecture as a profession existed in India may be debated but it was the artisans and craftsmen who built temples, palaces and forts that still exist indicating the love of Indians for such magnificent structures. creativity takes courage However, we know that Vastu Shastris (architects) definitely existed who were aware not only of aesthetics but also of the stability, balance and strength of the structures they created. The term architecture may mean the buildings themselves. It also has a historical connotation referring either to the building style of a particular culture or to an artistic movement, for example, Greek Architecture or Gothic Architecture.

With the proliferation of urban settlements and conglomerations, the field of architecture has become an important and much sought after profession. The profession basically is a mixture of artistic creativity and engineering skills. Architects are responsible for the planning, designing and supervision of construction of all types of buildings-residential houses and complexes, educational and commercial complexes, hospitals, hotels, houses of worship and many more. The design of buildings involves far more than aesthetics. Buildings must also be functional, safe, economical and must suit the requirements of the people who use them.

Architecture also relies on technology and materials science to ensure that the structures withstand heavy loads and stresses. Architects take all these aspects into consideration while designing buildings. The job of architects begins with consultation with their clients to ascertain their wishes and needs. They then prepare a set of plans within the limits of those wishes which, upon the approval of the client, are developed into final designs and working drawings. The final design shows the exact dimensions of every portion of the proposed building including the location of electrical facilities, windows, doors and all other features of the building. He also makes  drawings and models that show how the building will look after it is completed. At the planning stage he is required to take into consideration, among others, local and state regulations (for example, National Building Code) concerning construction of buildings, climate, soil in which the building is to be constructed, fire regulations, and financial limitations of the client. At the construction stage, he works closely with civil and structural engineers. They also work with many different contractors who actually build the structure. He generally receives a percentage of the construction budget as his fees.

The role of present day architects is not limited only to the construction of buildings. They are now being increasingly called upon to undertake two more tasks – landscape architecture and regional and urban planning. Every one enjoys attractively designed residential areas, public parks, universities and college campuses, shopping centers  golf courses and industrial parks. Landscape architects design these areas so that they are not only functional but aesthetic and environmentally appropriate as well. They plan the location of the buildings and roads and the arrangement of flowers, shrubs and trees and other features of open space. Natural resource conservation and heritage preservation are other important aspects to which landscape architects apply their knowledge of the environment as well as their design and artistic talents.

Sketch hand

The planning, development and management of human settlement is becoming an increasing complex task. in view of the emerging socio-economic and cultural realities, it is necessary to adopt a new approach to the development of human settlements at all levels. It is not only metropolitan areas and cities but also smaller towns and even villages that need planned development. Urban and regional planners take charge of or assist in planning the location of buildings and public facilities in the development or re-development of a city or metropolitan area and other human settlements. In almost all the major cities and towns in India, there are urban development authorities who seek the assistance and advice of urban planners. Then, of course, architects are also involved in the interior designing activities.

Architects are at the forefront of designing the built environment that will surround us in the 21st century. As professional experts in the field of building design and constructions, architects use their unique creative skills to advise individuals, property owners and developers, community groups, local authorities and commercial organisations on the design and construction of new buildings, the reuse of existing buildings and the spaces which surround them in our towns and cities.

As we all already know, the work of architects influences every aspect of our built environment, from the design of energy efficient buildings to the integration of new buildings in sensitive contexts. Because of their ability to design and their extensive knowledge of construction, architects skills are in demand in all areas of property, construction and design. Architects expertise is invaluable when we need to conserve old buildings, re-develop parts of our towns and cities, understand the impact of a development on a local community, manage a construction program or need advice on the use and maintenance of an existing building.

Society has always looked to architects to define new ways of living and working, to develop innovative ways of using existing buildings and creating new ones.

We need architects who will understand the complex process of design and construction to build socially and ecologically sustainable cities and communities.

EDUCATION:

Students who want to choose architecture as a career, must have a special ability called space relation – that is the ability to put your ideas on sketches. One has to be creative to choose this option. In India, you have to take the respective entrance examinations to get into the course.

The duration of the undergraduate course is five years. While a postgraduate course (M.Arch) is of two years duration. Interested students can also pursue a PhD in architecture. There are 90-odd schools of architecture in India, affiliated to their respective universities.

ideas inspiring innovation

CAREER OPPORTUNITIES:

People who are interested in architecture should possess several aptitudes and interests found in businessmen and entrepreneurs  creative artists and engineers. After the completion of a degree in architecture many job opportunities are available in government as well as private architectural firms. Architecture graduates can start as architectural assistants or junior designers under the guidance of experienced professionals. After gaining further experience they can aspire to become a junior architect, and in due course of time, after gaining sufficient experience and confidence, architects can start independent practice, establishing their own firms. Architects can also take up employment in public works department authorities. Architects are now also being called upon to undertake the task of conserving heritage buildings. Computers have now revolutionized the offices of architects with advent of computer-aided design software such as 3D Studio Max and Auto CAD, the entire concept of designing and modelling. Familiarity with CAD is now an essential requirement for the architects. Although the subject has not been incorporated formally in the syllabuses of many universities, the present generation of architects must learn the art and science of CAD.

POPULAR SCHOOLS:

The following is an indicative listing of the premier institutes in the country that give out degrees in architecture:

  • School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi
  • Sir J J College of Architecture, Mumbai
  • Center of Environment Planning and Technology (CEPT), Ahmedabad
  • Facultyof Architecture, Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology, Nagpur
  • School of Architecture and Planning, Anna University, Chennai
  • Faculty of Architecture, National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirapalli
  • Faculty of Architecture and Planning, Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee
  • Faculty of Architecture, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur
  • Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra, Ranchi
  • Department of Architecture, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar

Check out some more Architecture colleges in India with their corresponding websites- – http://archistudents.blogspot.in/2008/08/colleges-for-architecture.html

(Source: Article by Annapurna Murthy in Education Times – June 25, 2007)

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