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Architectural Education in India – Views by Anurag Roy

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Anuag Roy
Anurag Roy is Principal, Gateway College of Architecture and Design, Sonepat, Haryana.
He graduated from School of planning and Architecture in 1976 and completed his Research work on Energy Management in Luxury Hotels in 2010. Anurag Roy has a 
35 years of teaching and professional experience and has presented  many technical papers at National and International platforms including SAARCH 2004.

Following are the views by Anurag Roy, on Architecture Education

AL:  Architecture Profession has changed over the last decade. New technology, new materials and new skill sets have emerged and posed the new challenges for architecture education in India.

In your view, what steps should educators and architecture institutes shall take to prepare students to meet the expectations of the profession and the new challenges?

AR: Architectural Education plays a very important role in shaping the profession. The aspirations and demands of the society are ever changing.  Even with a wide range of options and possibilities of the liberalized global economy, we find ourselves lacking to make rational choices in a context. With the coming of a new product, a newer process needs to be evolved Architectural Education should be designed  to train and equip the young minds to evolve this new process and be able to Drive the Market rather than be driven by the Market forces.

Freedom of thought process and courage to explore the untreaded paths is an important aspect. To inculcate in students the ability to question and probe for rational answers. Interaction with professionals and the industry and also among other institutes imparting Architectural Education. Technology offers us convenient options to interact more effectively through the medium of net conferencing. Such interactions will widen our perspective to choose the right path.

Computers play an important role in our lives. The institutes should work to evolve strategies where this important tool is used more effectively in the teaching learning process. Presently the full potential of the computer is not being realized and utilized. We need to handle our mindset and our rigid Old school thought if we are to move to a brighter future.


AL: Teachers expect students to be creative and innovative, in what ways do you think even teachers can innovate and be creative within the framework of syllabus and guidelines provided by the Universities and the Council of Architecture?

AR: My point of view would be restricted if I have the option to review “ within the guidelines provided by the university…..” Can the framework of syllabus and the guidelines not be reviewed in today’s and the Future context, when there are newer options of materials and technology. Nano technology is going to play an important role in Architecture. It will certainly change the way we perceive spaces. The expression of Architecture will take a Newer dimension. The students and the faculty need to be prepared to be apart of such challenges.

The post of faculty  cannot be considered as a job..It is a Passion.. A teacher has to be a vivid reader of history and the contemporary events. He should be  continuously researching on the issues concerning the profession- the Design theories, Construction techniques and Management in  social, economic or cultural context. A teacher should always be in a mode of LEARNING.

AL: You think modern architecture is losing its social conscience? If yes, how can institutes and educators make students aware of their social responsibility?

AR: Yes, there is a loss of Social purpose in Architecture, though it is not completely deleted. Firstly the students and faculty have to be sensitized to Human behavior so that they are able to create spaces which are relevant and comfort their emotions. The rapid pace with which the lifestyles are changing need appropriate intervention through an architectural statement. Social norms are never static but ever Dynamic and so would be the architectural expression. We first need to think of human and humane values, because buildings are for human habitation. With the use of modern materials and technology, we create spaces in Architecture which are far more dramatic than ever before, but regret they are low on a social purpose and devoid of human and social scale. The façade was always a derivation of the needs of the indoors. But unfortunately today  the exteriors merely dictate the architectural form which is not pure. Social purpose should always be a prime factor in creating Architecture and this would come through sensitization of students and faculty. An Architect has always been considered as a social reformer- he needs to evolve disciplined solutions to the ever changing social norms and aspirations of the society. Have we for once pondered while designing a shopping mall, as why a small baby in pram cries aloud when he visits the mall with his family. We have never shown concern because the jhat-pat economic gains have always been important to our mind.

Doing No harm to the Environment is another social responsibility of the profession. Reckless use of resources through our design creations would somehow lead to human and environmental catastrophe. This should also be a core concern for our faculty and students.

AL: Please share your message for Architecture Educators.

AR: The students have shown so much faith in us to mold their careers and to be a useful citizen of the society. Let us not forget our role and responsibilities. I see a lot of learning in one of the statements of an eminent sculptor. He was Henry Moore,  to the best of my knowledge. When a visitor appreciated one of his “sculptures in stone” and remarked that it was an amazing piece of Art. Henry replied back, “ The sculpture was already there in the stone. I merely removed the extra bits and pieces to bring out this sculpture”. A teacher has to use this thought and remove the extra bits and pieces of the students through his efforts to bring out the meaningful image and character of the student.

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