Sometime back we asked a question to educators, students and professionals about things they would like to see changed about Architecture Education in India. CLICK HERE.
Following message from Prof. Sudipto Chakraborty was posted in a Facebook group as a reply to the question we asked. We are publishing the same with some amendments and kind permission from Prof. Sudipto Chakraborty.
The GOVT must FEEL and acknowledge that architecture is a basic need. Presently, the government is only concerned with ‘construction’ of any kind, as infrastructure, or as ‘housing’, for politics. Architecture has to retain culture, create art, generate commerce, satisfy legalities and go in line with the national policies. This BIG PICTURE is the first thing which we need to understand. Making it short and coming down to academics, I feel : “WHAT IS TAUGHT IN FIVE YEARS NOW, CAN BE TAUGHT IN ONE, MAXIMUM TWO.” This will feel shocking, but I TRUST SO. and I also trust, “IF WE COULD REALLY USE THE LONG FIVE YEARS, we could churn out GREAT ARCHITECTS”. Logically,
1) Architecture should be a maximum four-year course.
2) It must have a balance – between ‘serving the market’ and ‘changing the market’
3) It must be highly technical but finally artistic.
4) There is NO need for ‘architectural engineering’ if architecture course is recast and taught well
5) The syllabus of architecture is NOT THAT BAD already, but the NEGLECT IN TEACHING subjects like structure, services, specifications, estimation, legalities, materials, is THE CULPRIT. ALMOST NOWHERE these subjects are taught properly.
5) Architecture MUST converge to GREEN architecture- not the GIMMICK GREEN but TRUE GREEN. there is nothing to fear, nobody will loose business, green will be a big business instead.
7) In architecture we need bright, inspiring, elevating, polymath teachers. ‘Doctorate by all teachers’ is a highly mistaken approach.
8) There must be a conclave of architectural educators AND STUDENTS or a suggestion-interaction forum like this WHICH CAN TRANSLATE SUGGESTIONS.
During the course of thirty seven years of practice as an architect in independent practice, I had opportunities to discuss with many Principals of architectural colleges and institutions imparting architectural education and also with architects from different cities about the state of architectural profession. I could realize a total lack of understanding of impact of the Architects Act. Almost everybody has failed to realize that architects have acquired the exclusive right to the practice of the architectural profession after registration with the Council of Architecture. They are under the wrong impression that preparing building drawings, in conformity with the “development control Rules”/ the building bye-laws of the municipal/local authority and obtaining building permission from them is the “professional” activity they are expected to undertake and that it is obligatory on their part to follow the orders of the city engineer/the building inspectors. Almost every architect believes in whatever is told to them by the building inspector/ municipal authorities. They never try to read for themselves the actual text of the statute books pertaining to their activities. This kind of behavior has brought the profession in disrepute. General public, now-a-days, believe that architects do not know anything about building design. They only copy from foreign books on architecture and obtain sanction from the building inspectors.
If all of us really desire to change this image, we need to change our old method of working. Each of us needs to be made aware that you are supposed to give advise to your client through your drawings,estimate of cost of construction and the specifications of building materials and workmanship and to receive your fees as prescribed by the Council of Architecture. Obtaining building permission from the municipal/local authority be left to the clients.
Architects need to prove themselves now that they are capable of designing buildings which are safe and can be ‘completely’ built within the estimated cost certified by them. This is the need of the hour. Let all of us work for the purpose. I do have the solution; but someone has to come forward to adopt it and bring it in practice.