Architectural Education in India – Views by Harimohan Pillai

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Harimohan PillaiHarimohan Pillai is a practicing architect, an educator and an activist. He runs his blog and a personal website:, from where he shares his architectural experiences, tips and tricks for clients, educators and students. As a full time educator, he has been associated with various architecture institutes and continues to conduct workshops and talks to benefit both, education and the profession.

Following are his views 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?

HP: Only one step is enough: A teacher must also be a practicing architect. He/she must demonstrate through design and execution how new technologies, new materials and new skill sets are put to use meaningfully and effectively. They must design along with the students on the same theme which they set for students and when students make presentations, they should also make presentations to show how professionally a project is tackled. Teaching is not simply commenting “your toilet doors are not opening properly” and cutting marks…

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

HP: Social responsibility begins with working in the context of the setting of the college, the place where the colleges are located. Colleges should undertake design problems associated with the immediate environment and people’s need instead of working on impractical exotic projects located elsewhere. The projects must also be done in the local language as a medium with English as subtext, if at all any benefit can be accrued for the society around.

AL: Please share your message for Architecture Educators.

HP: Demonstrate to students that you are an ARCHITECT who practices what is preached.

One Response

  1. Harimohan Pillai sir has spoken like a true valuable teacher. He very well brought out the importance of an praticing teacher and the role the architectural colleges should play. It was very insightful.

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