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Career Prospects in Architecture – Ujwala Chakradeo

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Defining architecture in precise words is a difficult task. Architecture has always been true reflector of prevailing social economic and cultural trends of the society. Not only designs of building but even planning of towns and cities is also found influenced by various social economic and cultural issues like religion rituals and customs, political system trade and commerce, therefore architecture can be rightly called as the mirror of the society. Architecture is one of the earliest professions of the world and has been in the service of humanity from time immemorial. Architecture has been undergoing a process of evolution throughout the successive stages of social development.

Utility, aesthetics and stability are the three basic factors of architecture. Other social influences also play an important role in the evolution of architectural form.

Architecture is Social Art- Architecture and society are closely related because architecture is a true reflector of the society it also reflects the changes that take place in a given society. Social, economic and cultural trends are documented in the form of architecture; therefore built environment is a very good (material) source for the study of the history of society or mankind. Architecture can be said to have evolved when man first started dwelling in caves or when he first felt the need of the shelter. Since man is the component of the society, architecture created by him is the product of the society. Man’s necessity for shelter has given rise to architecture and man’s natural instinct to live in a group has constituted society. Thus the relation between Man, Architecture and the Society is strong, complicated and needs proper understanding. Unlike any other art form architecture is designed for the use of man, thus building is always with people in and around it. Political systems, trade and commerce also have their effect in the type of architecture that gets developed. Advancements made by that society in all walks of life are seen through architecture.

Architecture is also the art and science of built environment. It is art in designing the structure and science in construction of the structure, as per old definition. But now with complications of social life it is science also in designing and in managing the construction site. The ratio of science and art in architecture has always been a topic of debate and discussion; though it can be safely said that the both science and art in architecture are equally important.  Architecture can also be termed as art of space designing. Every piece of architecture envelops a space or at least defines and denotes a space. Space that is god gifted is viewed and articulated by an architect as per his views of aesthetics and as per the requirement of the client.

People have always been designing their dwellings, their surroundings and neighbourhood without architect, or without any professional assistant. Their designs were appropriate to their lifestyles and changed gradually with the changing requirements. The architecture thus evolved is rightly called as Organic architecture, Vernacular architecture and Traditional architecture. This is the true architectural heritage.

Architecture Education

Architectural Education in India is regulated by ‘Council of Architecture’ (COA) – a statutory body of Government of India under Ministry of Human Resources.  Minimum Standards of Architecture Education were framed as a part of section 21 of Architect’s Act, 1972. It is mandatory for every school of architecture in India to follow these minimum standards. Every graduate from the recognized school of architecture has to register him/her self with the Council of Architecture and gets the license to practice as an Architect.

There are about 413 colleges of architecture in India. These colleges are primarily of three types

  1. Government institutions
  2. Having grants from governments  and
  3. Self financing institutions

Architecture education is at cross roads. Role of an architect in the society is also changing. The services offered by an architect are specialized services now. The larger cross section of the society now has to be served by an architect. Architecture profession and an architect are now known to masses.  This positive change needs to be absorbed immediately by the education system so that graduates that are produced are equipped to serve rationally to the society. The number of professionals to cater to this need have to be increased. More numbers of schools of architecture are now needed. The decade of nineties and the past decade has seen the dramatic increase in the number of schools of architecture in India. The intake capacity of exiting schools has also been increased.  The fact that these fresh graduates are immediately employed by the construction industry itself proves that there is  urgent need to further increase the number of schools of architecture.

One who wishes to be successful in life , earn money and be happy can surly choose to be an architect. The profession teaches you to be creative and your hobbies gradually become your professional pursuit. Architecture and creativity are the two sides of the same coin. One has to be lover of art and has to love your life to be an architect. Architectural studios are the place where varying levels and directions of architectural creativity are attempted. ‘space’, ‘design’, ‘model’, ‘submission’, these words gradually become part of your life.

Eligibility for taking admission to architecture

Students with more than 50% marks in aggregate in 12th  examination of new 10+2 scheme of Senior School Certificate Examination or equivalent with Mathematics as subjects of examination at the 10+2 level are eligible

or

Students with 10+3 Diploma (any stream) recognized by Central/ State Governments with 50% aggregate marks are also eligible

Or

Students with International Baccalaureate Diploma, after 10 years of schooling, with not less than 50% marks in aggregate and with Mathematics as compulsory subject of examination are also eligible 

National Aptitude Test for Architecture (NATA)

As per the Minimum Standards prescribed by Council of Architecture (CoA) under the Architects Act, 1972, admission of candidates to first year of 5-year B.Arch. degree course is subject to their passing an aptitude test in architecture. It is advisable to admit students in the 1st year of 5 year B.Arch. degree course on the basis of marks obtained in the National Aptitude Test in Architecture (NATA) administered by CoA. The Aptitude Test in Architecture consists of 2 papers: (i) Test – I – Aesthetic Sensitivity – 100 marks – duration of test: One hour. (ii) Test – II – Drawing – 100 marks – duration of test: Two hours.

The National Aptitude Test in Architecture (NATA) measures the aptitude of the applicant for specific field of study, i.e. Architecture. The test measures drawing and observation skills, sense of proportion, aesthetic sensitivity and critical thinking ability, that have been acquired over a long period of time, and that are related to specific field of study, i.e. Architecture.

How to Apply?

  1. NATA 2016 Registration form can be filled and submitted ONLINE from this website by payment of NATA fees of Rs. 1250.00 (+ Processing Charges) using Netbanking / Credit Cards / ICICI Bank Challan 
  2. Download the Prefilled Registration form and procure the necessary registration documents. 
  3. Select a Test Center / Region (from the website http://www.nata.in) at a location convenient to the candidate and apply. 

Prospects for Post Graduation

The basic training of an architect is to enhance creativity within him/her and also to equip him/her in technical knowledge. Therefore once a person has the degree of architecture he or she can work in any field where creativity is required and/or technical analytical work is necessary. An architect has the knowledge of soft wares and basic programming skills. He or she can pursue career by designing buildings individually, in a team or as an employee in the office or with the government.

Thus the post graduation courses for enhancing education qualification are available in India and outside India as well.

  1. Urban Design
  2. Urban Planning
  3. Architecture Education
  4. Landscape
  5. Master’s in Designing
  6. Environment Architecture
  7. Housing
  8. Eco architecture
  9. Construction management
  10. Project management
  11. Heritage Conservation

The list can be long one and every year new courses are being approved by the Council of Architecture.

With fast infrastructural development in the country the need of an architect is bound to increase many fold in coming future therefore all architects will have something or the other to contribute as per the ability and liking. The development authorities do not sanction the plans and drawing of any piece of architecture unless it is designed and signed by an architect. The concept of the smart city of our Prime Minister cannot be accomplished unless architect is the member of the team
. We cannot retain the quality of our heritage without architect, the costing and estimation of the project is not possible without architect.

Being architect is a boon because the profession offers financial stability with ample of time to lead peaceful lifestyle. The architecture education develops an ability within students to appreciate aesthetics, the gift of God; thus architecture profession is rightly called as a noble profession.

Best wishes to all those who wish to join our family of architects.
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Ujjwala ChakradeoDr. Ujjwala S. Chakradeo | Principal and Professor
W.E.S. Smt. Manoramabai Mundle College of Architecture, Seminary Hills, Nagpur, Maharashtra. | www.smmca.edu.in

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