If you have been building castles in the air, it's time to build them on
ground. Just imagine as an architect you'll live for eternity through the
concrete structures you'll build. Who knows some day even a batch of
architectural students will research the monument you built. If you strike
gold you can even have an entire housing colony named after you. Just like
the Hiranandanis in Mumbai
As an architect you'll be in the business of dreaming up new structures. You
will shape human aspirations and design their houses, theatre halls,
railways stations, multiplexes and commercial complexes. But design is only
part of architecture. Once a design has been selected, you'll draft the
final construction documents and oversee the actual construction.
Architects must understand the science behind the design, down to the
strengths of various materials and the benefits and limitations of competing
design. It will be your duty to make the buildings and constructions
functionally useful and aesthetically wonderful.
This is not a cushy 9-5 job. Here you'll have to keep in touch with your
clients on a day-to-day daily on a strict deadline. That's not all. You'll
also have to handle the legal formalities. Simply put, architecture is both
the art and science of constructing buildings. To deliver projects on time
and under budget, architects must grasp the big picture and sweat the
Within architecture you can branch out into: Landscape Architecture: This is
basically creating a green spot amidst a concrete jungle. You'll study
topics like fundamentals of environmental awareness, small-scale site
planning and principles of ecology, mainly abstract design and elementary
Structural Architecture: You could be building bridges and the likes. It
mainly involves the development of local infrastructures, residential and
commercial sites, utility designs, transportation engineering, geographic
information system and mapping.
Feng Shui: It's the current passion among the
rich and the famous. An environmental science that
describes the observations and formulas developed by Chinese scholars over
4,000 years ago, Feng Shui is about the design of an environment and the
placement of objects within that environment.
Donít bother to read any further if you donít have a good hand at sketching.
As an architect youíll make realms and realms of drawings for approval. You
also have to have a very good imagination (and we arenít talking of your
ability to day dream). You should be able to think in 3 dimensional figures.
You should have a keen sense for aesthetics and a lots of creativity in your
grey matter. Good mathematical and analytical abilities will also help. You
need to be detail oriented. You need to be excellent at project management,
too, because in the process of designing and constructing a building, youíll
need to work with a wide variety of consultants.
You could pursue a degree in Architecture directly after clearing your H.S.C
with science. Or you could also consider a diploma. Youíll be trained in
environmental awareness, human behaviour, problem solving and visual
language skills, mainly drawing, painting, photography and the ability to
explore and communicate ideas graphically.
Last but not the least, you got to have a good tongue. Youíll be breaking
your head with clients, contractors and other architects. And no matter how
hard you believe in your drawing unless and until you argue your point out
to your client itís of no use. Your designs might just end up in the
circular file (dustbin, if you didnít know that already).
Well established architects confirm that though a degree is an added
advantage there is no escaping the practical knowledge gained from working
with at an architect firm. Renowned architect Hafeez Contractor started as
an apprentice at the young age of 14 with Khareghat Associates. His first
design was for Cawasji High School in Khandala.
Colleges merely teach you the theory part, which can be learnt while on the
job feels Hafeez. What they donít teach are the nitty gritties which are
One can also have a diploma in Architecture to begin with. But a Diploma
will not get you lucrative jobs. You can only work as assistants to
Architects and architectural firms.
You'll pass from a design school with towering dreams but wait till you
touch base. The ground realities are something else. You will have to start
your career by assisting a renowned architect or work in an architectural
firm as an Assistant Architect. Don't be shy of approaching architect firms
for an apprenticeship. That's exactly the way to go about it. A portfolio of
your designs with a good resume will help.
You can also find opportunities in construction companies, Real estate
firms, Municipal and urban development corporations, and even some
large-scale companies involved in real estate development. With a few years
of experience in your kitty you can branch out on your own.
MONEY& OTHER BENEFITS
The moolah actually depends on how complicated the design and project is and
also how long it would take for the project to be completed. But as a
fresher you could start off with Rs 4,000-8,000 a month. With a little
experience, you would be comfortably earning between Rs 10,000-15,000 or
more per month depending on the firm.
Once you have established yourself, you can look forward to earning in
lakhs. But if you can manifest you talent, you should expect a meteoric rise
in your career, both in terms of position and remuneration. An established
architect may earn more than Rs 25,000 a month. Once you have earned a name
for yourself you can even earn several lakhs in a year.
Though the construction industry is in a slump right now, the point is that
people will always need a roof over their heads. And you will provide them
with that. Moreover new cities are springing up and there is a demand for
construction to keep up with the increase in population in these areas. New
areas in architecture like Landscape architecture, urban design are coming
And what about human aspirations for aesthetics? It's always there. So,
there will never be a dearth of opportunities.
by Ayn Rand
Norman Foster: A Global Architecture
by Martin Pawley & Norman Foster
A History of Architectural Theory: From Vitruvius to the Present
by Hanno-Walter Kruft
Princeton Architectural Press
A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction
by Alexander, Christopher; Ishikawa, Sara; Silverstein, Murray
Oxford University Press