“We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.”
Buildings not only exist as the jewels in a city for adoration purposes but are the essential lungs vital for endurance. Prior to getting into the study of architecture, architecture is limited to the design of façades and nice looking buildings for most of the students. The entrants are enticed with different forms and fasciae which lure them into it and more than often become most powerful baits in the foundation years. The temptations and big ideas around which the whole design process evolves and thus end up creating architects who rejoice building a jungle of shapes and not cities of delight.
As quoted above by Mr. Winston Churchill, the buildings play an essential role in shaping not only the occupants but also the communities around. They essentially shape us, our thoughts, our actions and our behaviour. For a quick illustration, the serene landscapes are known to make people calm and composed whereas dingy and dark streets are known to evolve pickpockets and felons. Hence, the architecture plays a very important role for the civilisation and different eras have their distinguished architectural styles, which reflect on their culture, society and life.
Proportions, fenestrations, landscapes, urban pockets, land associations, heritage elements, architectural vocabulary, typologies, energy efficiency, embodied energy, services, construction elements etc. are all very intricate rudiments of architecture, which has its own complex web of intertwined elements, typologies, necessities and systems. When a student enters the field of architecture, barring the component of aesthetics any other aspect is generally not understood clearly. In fact, the definition of aesthetics is also nebulous to begin with. Therefore grasping these elements becomes a challenging and complicated exercise for them in the foundation years.
The influence that these elements have on the design comes as an abrupt blast for students to which a few succumb graciously and a few fail to capitulate to. Those who understand these nitty-gritties evolve in sensitive architects and those who don’t end up creating shapes and profiles with no understanding of built environment around. The budding architects should have a complete understanding of these elements as they have a very direct impact on their design, the design which in turn would influence our built environment around. It’s the complete information which inspires people and it has to be ensured that the students acquire the same. The importance of appropriate exposure of these different facets should be duly understood by those who control the pedagogy of architecture.
I am an architect with sustainability at my heart and thus in design, and it was a seminar on sustainable architecture by renowned architect and environmental design consultant Mr. Brian Ford, in my first year which had this lasting impact on me. It was in this session, when I first got to understand how important our roles as architect are. He explained that our heritage building and traditional architecture already have an evolved system in place. This made me curious and thereby enticing to study traditional architecture in detail and get an understanding of passive systems. It built my overall capability as an architect and evolved me into a sensitive designer. However, it was merely a matter of chance that I was able to attend this conference which influenced my school of thought.
This often makes me wonder how many fortunate students are there who actually know that with which aspect of architecture they have an inherent rapport; the one similar to what I share with passive traditional architectural vocabulary and sustainable building systems. It is the result of this passion which drives me to work, the work which I actually call now a hobby, a desire, something which I enjoy the most. As per the study of most famous works around, I have evolved to an understanding that it’s the passion which results into best of the world’s architecture.
However, under the present swift pace of creating architects, the pedagogy of architecture has overlooked the importance of making people find their line of passion; the things which interest them most, the facet of architecture which could give them ultimate pleasure. There is an unequivocal need of conferences, workshops and seminars which explains these different aspects. The events which showcases them the aspects of architecture in detail and leave them curious, curious enough to explore for themselves, to identify their identity as architects and eventually to discover the elegance which would create a world we would be proud to live in, a place which reflects the importance of architecture and thus the architects.