Introduction: Architecture, I am sure, this word is not exotic in Jammu region unlike it has been. Architecture-Greek originated word means master craftsman better known as mother of all arts. Architect is the Nation builder, the most responsible social & mankind servant. Any development due to take place need to be pro-Architect & vice-versa. An Architect can totally amend the landscapes of tomorrow & henceforth bring about the change in life style e.g. Modern Housing Apartments, neighbourhoods, modern Dubai etc.
Issue: Whereas, core of Jammu & its extension has been shaping up fast with the globally renowned Architectural lines particularly in the Residential context still, majority of the tourism gracious state is in urgency of immediate & concerned Architectural input in new development due to happen in lines with the changing scenario of transportation routes (railway & road). Yet Architecture career is neglected relatively amongst youth expected particularly from the prolific & knowledgeable city people. Prime reason is the availability of less educational institution barring just one i.e. SMVDU (Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University) in the state imparting UG (B.Arch) 5 year course in Architecture. Though diploma course (2-3 years) is available in some of the polytechnics of the state. The other conclusion of neglecting Architecture as career option is the improper knowledge regarding the pros & cons of the said course. Architecture ought to be honoured & understood first like its counter-part career options particularly in the sub urban areas of the country & the state in particular.
Explication:. Presently, Bachelor course in Architecture is available in many varied sub-fields of Architecture like Landscape, interior design, digital design, Planning & Urban design etc However a general B.Arch Course is the mostly pursued as the most applicable one. B.Architecture is divided into 5 years i.e. 10 semesters. Student learns various basic aspects of designing, history of Architectural world (advancement in built form encompassing different civilizations), building services (fixtures, water supply & drainage) & structural aspects of a building in first 06 semesters with the help of rigorous Lectures followed by design studio work. This is accompanied with site visits, study tours for practical exposure. In the summer vacations, students engage themselves in some practicing Architect’s office in their home town to have field experience & to implement class learning. Students do the mandatory internship for six months under some Architect/Architectural organization normally after 6th semester to have the total exposure of the practical field. After -wards, jury is conducted to review the work done by the student in the internship with the help of external experts (eminent professionals from the field). 8th & 9th semester are meant to conduct high level learning in terms of building design (campuses, apartments, hospitals) advanced building construction & advance structures. Ultimately, Student do the requisite B. Arch major thesis project in 10th semester under a particular guide amongst the faculty members chosen systematically for the purpose. In this project, a live / Design project of pre-requisite scale is taken up by the student & an comprehensive design proposal along with the project report consisting of project details, prototype studies, site details, requirements & design criterion/concept is required to be prepared & submitted by the student under the supervision of respective Guide in the course of the semester. Overall work is evaluated by jury members comprising of internal faculty & external examiners (academicians/practicing Architects) in 4-5 stages during the semester. This is the most critical component of the degree course as such this prove to be the vital part for the student to earn their job particularly to start with.
Students from countrywide Architectural colleges interact among themselves twice a year on Zonal & National basis under Zo-Nasa & Annual Nasa convention respectively (National association of students of Architecture). After the successful completion of B.Arch course, student becomes eligible for the award of B.Arch degree & henceforth for the practicing licence from the Council of Architecture (COA).
Well, it is established now that an Architect (Ar.) is a licensed professional at par with the Doctors (Dr.) & Chartered Accountants (CA) for further growth in Professional or academic field. B.Arch is a comprehensive 5 year programme unlike other engineering branches & this 5 year course & Architect’s professional practice is governed by the Council of Architecture, New Delhi set up by the GOI under Architects act, 1972. After B. Arch, one may opt for higher studies for specializations like M. Arch (general), M. Arch (Landscape design), MURP (Masters in urban & rural planning) , M. Planning, M. Arch (Urban design) & Masters in interior design. Common route to pursue such courses is through GATE exams as such all these courses are available in leading institutes of the country like IIT’s, & SPA’s etc. Student of Architecture after B.Arch may also proceed towards product designing (M.Des) through exam like CEED as such institutes like NID-Ahmadabad, IIT Bombay & IIT-Delhi are the preferred destinations for the same. Presently, Students of Architecture are also showing their interest towards management fields after B. Arch like MBA (Real estate management, construction management & project management) where Architectural knowledge shall always be a boon to blossom. Research opportunities are less in Architecture with in India Though Few IIT’s, SPA New Delhi & its few branches, CEPT- Ahmedabad & some NIT’s currently have opened up avenues for doctorate in Architecture but still number is very little.
Prospects: Candidate becomes eligible for personal practice straight after B.Arch unlike any other graduate counterpart as soon as he/she gets the Licence from the Council of Architecture (COA). Normally, one prefers to work under some Architect of repute in some leading town of the country like metropolitan cities for 2-3 years & then ultimately establishes own private practice majorly in the home town. Though it may prove to be an exercise of patience to start with but for a seasoned Architect sky is the limit in private practice in name, fame & financial aspects in today’s ultra-modern world.
Moreover, Those having the rare teaching inclination one may opt for teaching as full time, part time or visiting straight after B. Arch (First class) as applicable under COA guidelines. However, currently it is recommended to start the teaching career after specialization (Masters). Besides teaching, one may continue to increase the personal qualification in terms of Masters & Doctorate through different avenues. Simultaneously, one may continue to practice under institutional consultancy which has added benefits at promotion avenues while in teaching which the ultimate gain is; besides the fee & experience of large scale projects. Various Govt. Departments, establishments & organizations like PWD, MES , L&T, DLF demand Architects for various prestigious posts as high as Chief Architect of the state.
Yes, your B. tech counter-mate might get placed well before you in their academia through campus placements; hardly applicable to prolific Architect’s community & of course these mates graduated one year before than you; yet still without be anguished, believe yourself with utter conviction that your progress & perhaps fulfilment in life is perhaps many years well in advance relatively at the cost of just one more year in the academia. Let’s be very dedicated, motivated & patient so that these moments of distress, regret & comparative assessment at college level may not dominate the real hunger in you to excel as an Architect of tomorrow’s beautiful world of which your Motherland is an integral part.
Conclusion: Though most of the engineering branches are viewed under one lens off late & Architecture is increasingly attempted to be merged with these branches. Indeed, it’s a unique 5- year comprehensive professional course with its very different teaching –learning environment. Though, SMVDU is the only available destination in the state currently; Still, It’s always a high-time to pursue a career in Architecture as built form is always bound to take place as long as life is there on the planet. Pertinently, majority of the state is in urgency of immediate & concerned architectural input in new development due to happen in lines with the changing scenario of transportation routes. Moreover, in the present Job less world, Architecture with its job creating characteristics unlike job seeking ones is the need of the hour e.g. Civil engineers (structural engineers), surveyors, valuers & besides other varied type of engineers/consultants applicable for special type of buildings are commonly employed by the Architect as the Architect is the boss of the operational team for any specialized building to be designed & built. So, pursue a career in Architecture, be a part of this unique Architect’s fraternity, gets involved with the mood & chant of the spaces, shaping up of spaces into the places & glorify your motherland Jammu & Kashmir as it badly needs your strategic efforts as an Architect & planner in coming years. Undeniably, Being the aura of an Architect of the Built form, interior spaces & places is something very-very special & sensitive like its building solutions ought to be.
Ar. Anoop Sharma Faculty in Architecture Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University Katra (Jammu & Kashmir)