Architecture is one of the most popular design courses in our country. Amrutha Kishor, Architect and Founder of Elemental, Kottayam, shares everything you need to know about the profession and the course.
Role of an architect
Architecture has to do with the design of space. It can be anything from an office cubicle to a city. For example, if you are designing a room, we see how much space is there between the furniture, what would be the height of the room, how many openings would be there, how much natural light should come on etc. So, it is a holistic approach and definitely, drawing a plan is part of it, but only a small part of it.
When should a student start preparing for the course?
To become an architect in India, you need to complete the five-year-long course called the Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch). Most of the colleges in India prefer students with a science background in school. But there are also a few colleges that admit students from the commerce stream. To join these colleges, the National Aptitude Test in Architecture should be taken and some colleges may also ask for the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) score. These exams have questions to check one's logical ability, drawing skills and general knowledge. Read as much as possible to prepare for these tests. Also, try to do sample tests online. Many coaching centres also help with the preparations.
Best colleges and courses
The National Institute of Technology, Calicut, is the second-best institute for architecture in the country, states the National Institutional Ranking Framework 2021 India Ranking of the Ministry of Education. Others on the list are IIT, Roorkee; IIT, Kharagpur; School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi; and CEPT, Ahmedabad. Within Kerala, some of the older colleges providing the course are the College of Engineering, Thiruvananthapuram, and TKM College of Engineering, Kollam. During the course, students will also have internships. This is very important because there is only a limit to how much one can learn from an institute. It is only when a person goes to work and start applying what you have studied in the theory classes that you get a complete understanding of the job.
After B.Arch, there are varieties of careers that one could opt for. The conventional way is to work in an architectural firm. Some may choose to take up urban planning or landscape design. There are specific masters programmes for each of these fields. Apart from this, one can also move to animation design, product design etc. Another option is architectural journalism.
Scope for higher studies
Many specialisations could be considered after B.Arch. Some of them include architectural design specialising in sustainability or parametric design, urban design and urban planning, landscape architecture, interior design etc.
Your career path
I did my B.Arch from NIT, Calicut. I had three internships. After my course, I worked in a firm in Bangalore for a year. Then I went to do my post-graduation at the University of Nottingham in the UK. There I also worked in a firm called Allan Joyce Architects for a while before I moved to India to start my firm called Elemental in Kottayam.