Why are architects being excluded from the ₹111 trillion five-year plan?
Real Estate

Why are architects being excluded from the ₹111 trillion five-year plan?

Despite the infrastructure agenda set by the government with the National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) of ₹111 trillion, why is the future of architecture not brimming with hope and aspiration? questioned Pratap Padode, Editor-in-Chief, CONSTRUCTION WORLD. Just providing toilets in every home without linking them to a process of overall health and cleanliness is not planning. Architects and planners are trained to visualise problems within the larger urban framework, but we are excluding them in our current rebuilding quest.

Why can’t our young architects gain access to this opportunity?

Why are we not creating a skyline that we can be proud of?

Why do so many of our best architectural structures date back to pre-Independence times?

Why can we not collaborate on building our beautiful nation?

To delve into this and more, CONSTRUCTION WORLD, as part of its series of webinars prior to the 16th CWAB (CONSTRUCTION WORLD ARCHITECT & BUILDER) Awards, organised a webinar on ‘Designing the Future of Architecture’ on August 6 to discuss the trends that will impact the future of architecture and how we can create a stronger new generation of architects with Habeeb Khan, President, Council of Architecture; Sheila Sri Prakash, Founder, Shilpa Architects Planners Designers; Prof Christopher Charles Benninger, Principal Architect, CCBA Designs; Sanjay Puri, Principal Architect, Sanjay Puri Architects; Prof Rajeev Mishra, Principal, JJ School of Architecture; and Jairam Panch, Managing Director, Turner India.

Khan kicked off the discussion defining his concerns. “When we talk about architecture, there are two vital components – profession and education. How and what will be the future of architecture is something that is the outcome of the decisions and policies we make. Nowadays, we talk of sustainability, green and eco-friendly architecture. But, we need to start working on it with a 360-degree turn of the concepts we have at the moment,” he emphasised.

“We have to work on the roadmaps of the future development of our country. Nations are not only built by architects, but by the collaborative efforts of our co-professionals like engineers, thinkers, politicians and citizens,” he added. “The most visible outcome of this process is by the architects. We architects’ have to be sensitive in what we are doing. Individualistic practice is history, collaborative efforts and working in teams is the future of architecture. We have to look at other aspects other than real estate, metros, railways, bridges, roads, etc. We have to look at a very important sector – the rural sector and agro sector, wherein the architects can very meaningfully contribute. Empowerment of the rural economy will take care of a lot of problems which the urban sector is facing these days. We have to try to empower our local economy, through craftsmen, builders, labours and promote ‘Go Vocal for Local’ in the future of architecture. The method of teaching architecture has to change, as technology will take over in the future. We architects’ have to try to incorporate new technologies in our work as soon as possible to be future ready,” he concluded.

Architect Khan’s keynote was followed by an empowering discussion. Excerpts:


Sriprakash: How can architects become more powerful in the creation of the Build Environment to ensure that it is responsive and responsible?
Khan: First and foremost, we architect as a community, need to stay united – as power cannot be given to you, you have to earn it. Next, we need to educate the society about the intangible contribution that the architect brings and the importance of an architect in a society. The Council now has regulation in place which governs the profession. We are working on it and in a year or so, will come out with better laws which will help in streamlining the process.

Sriprakash: Under the circumstances we are in today, how do see the future of campuses? Are there any changes in the people and management of those campuses?
Prof Benninger: The issue of architecture comes from three factors – government, education and society. But let me touch upon an important issue, architects pay GST 18.5 per cent while lawyers and accountants pay nothing. This is a disadvantage for architects. The government needs to get serious about architecture. With more and more architecture colleges and students being part of them, there is a huge crowd passing out of those colleges, out of which only few continue to being part of the profession in future. Let us quantify the best and have an examination after two years of service, as the future of architecture depends on them. The most important thing which will help us architects in the future is to get serious about our own profession and its rules and regulations. Thereafter, we can focus on greater ideas like sustainability and green planet.

Sriprakash: What is the importance of technology in architecture in today’s time?
Puri: Technology is here to stay, and it is changing the way we are working. It is making life easier for people to connect across the globe. While we already have sharing platforms and creating platforms like Autodesk, the recent development is Virtual Reality (VR), in which we can experience the project life-size in a VR model. Another technology to talk about is 3D, which is slowing entering the market and will take us to another level. We need to be updated about all the technological changes and incorporate them in our work. The biggest advantage of technology is that it reduces time and cuts down on cost.

Sriprakash: What is the quality of education in the architecture school in our country?
Prof Mishra: I would like to point out that the students are not at fault, it is just that the kind of exposure they get from the kind of professors in architecture colleges. The kind of people who are selected to teach in these architecture colleges are not exactly good. Unless we improve the selection procedure to select the right kind of candidates to teach the students, we will face issues. The architects coming to teach should have at least two to three years of ground experience. They should be exposed to the footing of the building, as to how the footing of the building is cast. Unless they are exposed to practice, they would not understand the needs of the students. We need to invite more practicing architects in architecture schools to become the guiding torch for students. Also, the recent change about the Exit Policy, brought in by the Council this year, is also going to be helpful, specifically because a lot of students go into other streams related to architecture later. This new policy will help in creating quality architects.

Sriprakash: What are the new technologies that will help architects and project managers to be more efficient, especially in bigger projects?
Panch: In the race to be No. 1, most of the architects have become individualistic rather than working collectively to bring a change in the community. Collectively, architects can be more powerful. Initially, there were lesser number of architecture colleges in India, but today we have so many of them which create quantity over quality. The working architects must come together for the students of architecture, to enhance their knowledge and give them practical knowledge; while the architecture schools need to focus on project management and delivery and not just be one-dimensional in just designs. In terms of technology, we should take up technology as much as possible. The practicing architects should incorporate BIM in their work to have much better design aspect.

The webinar ended on an enthusiastic note.

Do stay tuned for our upcoming webinars: ‘Women in Architecture & Construction’ on August 13, and Design-Build Trends on August 18, and of course, the CONSTRUCTION WORLD ARCHITECT & BUILDER AWARDS on August 20.

Image courtesy

Despite the infrastructure agenda set by the government with the National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) of ₹111 trillion, why is the future of architecture not brimming with hope and aspiration? questioned Pratap Padode, Editor-in-Chief, CONSTRUCTION WORLD. Just providing toilets in every home without linking them to a process of overall health and cleanliness is not planning. Architects and planners are trained to visualise problems within the larger urban framework, but we are excluding them in our current rebuilding quest. Why can’t our young architects gain access to this opportunity? Why are we not creating a skyline that we can be proud of? Why do so many of our best architectural structures date back to pre-Independence times? Why can we not collaborate on building our beautiful nation? To delve into this and more, CONSTRUCTION WORLD, as part of its series of webinars prior to the 16th CWAB (CONSTRUCTION WORLD ARCHITECT & BUILDER) Awards, organised a webinar on ‘Designing the Future of Architecture’ on August 6 to discuss the trends that will impact the future of architecture and how we can create a stronger new generation of architects with Habeeb Khan, President, Council of Architecture; Sheila Sri Prakash, Founder, Shilpa Architects Planners Designers; Prof Christopher Charles Benninger, Principal Architect, CCBA Designs; Sanjay Puri, Principal Architect, Sanjay Puri Architects; Prof Rajeev Mishra, Principal, JJ School of Architecture; and Jairam Panch, Managing Director, Turner India. Khan kicked off the discussion defining his concerns. “When we talk about architecture, there are two vital components – profession and education. How and what will be the future of architecture is something that is the outcome of the decisions and policies we make. Nowadays, we talk of sustainability, green and eco-friendly architecture. But, we need to start working on it with a 360-degree turn of the concepts we have at the moment,” he emphasised. “We have to work on the roadmaps of the future development of our country. Nations are not only built by architects, but by the collaborative efforts of our co-professionals like engineers, thinkers, politicians and citizens,” he added. “The most visible outcome of this process is by the architects. We architects’ have to be sensitive in what we are doing. Individualistic practice is history, collaborative efforts and working in teams is the future of architecture. We have to look at other aspects other than real estate, metros, railways, bridges, roads, etc. We have to look at a very important sector – the rural sector and agro sector, wherein the architects can very meaningfully contribute. Empowerment of the rural economy will take care of a lot of problems which the urban sector is facing these days. We have to try to empower our local economy, through craftsmen, builders, labours and promote ‘Go Vocal for Local’ in the future of architecture. The method of teaching architecture has to change, as technology will take over in the future. We architects’ have to try to incorporate new technologies in our work as soon as possible to be future ready,” he concluded. Architect Khan’s keynote was followed by an empowering discussion. Excerpts: Sriprakash: How can architects become more powerful in the creation of the Build Environment to ensure that it is responsive and responsible? Khan: First and foremost, we architect as a community, need to stay united – as power cannot be given to you, you have to earn it. Next, we need to educate the society about the intangible contribution that the architect brings and the importance of an architect in a society. The Council now has regulation in place which governs the profession. We are working on it and in a year or so, will come out with better laws which will help in streamlining the process. Sriprakash: Under the circumstances we are in today, how do see the future of campuses? Are there any changes in the people and management of those campuses? Prof Benninger: The issue of architecture comes from three factors – government, education and society. But let me touch upon an important issue, architects pay GST 18.5 per cent while lawyers and accountants pay nothing. This is a disadvantage for architects. The government needs to get serious about architecture. With more and more architecture colleges and students being part of them, there is a huge crowd passing out of those colleges, out of which only few continue to being part of the profession in future. Let us quantify the best and have an examination after two years of service, as the future of architecture depends on them. The most important thing which will help us architects in the future is to get serious about our own profession and its rules and regulations. Thereafter, we can focus on greater ideas like sustainability and green planet. Sriprakash: What is the importance of technology in architecture in today’s time? Puri: Technology is here to stay, and it is changing the way we are working. It is making life easier for people to connect across the globe. While we already have sharing platforms and creating platforms like Autodesk, the recent development is Virtual Reality (VR), in which we can experience the project life-size in a VR model. Another technology to talk about is 3D, which is slowing entering the market and will take us to another level. We need to be updated about all the technological changes and incorporate them in our work. The biggest advantage of technology is that it reduces time and cuts down on cost. Sriprakash: What is the quality of education in the architecture school in our country? Prof Mishra: I would like to point out that the students are not at fault, it is just that the kind of exposure they get from the kind of professors in architecture colleges. The kind of people who are selected to teach in these architecture colleges are not exactly good. Unless we improve the selection procedure to select the right kind of candidates to teach the students, we will face issues. The architects coming to teach should have at least two to three years of ground experience. They should be exposed to the footing of the building, as to how the footing of the building is cast. Unless they are exposed to practice, they would not understand the needs of the students. We need to invite more practicing architects in architecture schools to become the guiding torch for students. Also, the recent change about the Exit Policy, brought in by the Council this year, is also going to be helpful, specifically because a lot of students go into other streams related to architecture later. This new policy will help in creating quality architects. Sriprakash: What are the new technologies that will help architects and project managers to be more efficient, especially in bigger projects? Panch: In the race to be No. 1, most of the architects have become individualistic rather than working collectively to bring a change in the community. Collectively, architects can be more powerful. Initially, there were lesser number of architecture colleges in India, but today we have so many of them which create quantity over quality. The working architects must come together for the students of architecture, to enhance their knowledge and give them practical knowledge; while the architecture schools need to focus on project management and delivery and not just be one-dimensional in just designs. In terms of technology, we should take up technology as much as possible. The practicing architects should incorporate BIM in their work to have much better design aspect. The webinar ended on an enthusiastic note. Do stay tuned for our upcoming webinars: ‘Women in Architecture & Construction’ on August 13, and Design-Build Trends on August 18, and of course, the CONSTRUCTION WORLD ARCHITECT & BUILDER AWARDS on August 20. Image courtesy

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