Architecture is an accident in my life. Honestly, till my 12th grade I didn’t know about a career option like architecture. Earlier it was all engineering and management based courses that most of my friends opted for. I always rejoice the moment I came into architecture. After schooling, my career option was leaning towards the field of building construction because I found it to be the most fitting work and lifestyle for me. All of the elder generation cousins ended up having a monotonous career wherein they go to a job, fit in the routine and come back. Of course most of the architectural firms work like corporate IT sectors which is an obvious result of supply and demand .The only thing that I had clarity was not to do a job that is monotonous or forced on me. Schooling gave me an interest on philosophy, physics and the history of our culture, human settlements and evolution. Architecture is a necessity of civilization or necessity of a sustainable environment.
“Architect –chief creator” means a person involved in the process of designing, conceiving and bringing out the built environment which in turn doesn’t affect the existing eco-system to a considerable extent. An architect actually has to understand the science behind a built environment and re-interpret it according to the context.
The first question everyone faces after taking up architecture is “ What is architecture?”. The common idea that everybody had at that stage was “architecture is something that deals with building” and then the next question comes “what does a civil engineer do then?”. All the broader aspects that are involved in the creation of a home had to be perceived and dealt by an architect. Architectural process involves a great amount of collaborative effort starting from a mason to the boss who is sitting on the top of the hierarchy. Everyone have to put their thought and work in harmony to bring out an environment. So all the fields involved in the process of construction is completely inter-dependent on one another. But only an architect has to carry the work load of all the other aspects to synchronise with the design which is why an architect is called a Chief Creator. Karpagam Architecture, one of the top Architecture colleges in Coimbatore helps the students in learning the depth of architecture.
Frankly speaking out, even a 5 year course might not suffice for someone to get to the core of what architecture really means. Architecture cannot be taught within 4 walls and it has to be realized by feeling a space. It took me 5 years just to get the answer for the question “what is architecture?” and now I have rephrased it to myself “what does architecture mean to you?”.
College is a very congenial journey for me. From my first semester itself I have started to work on NASA competitions. Before going to my internship, we as a team comprising of 2 core members ended up working for up to 8 NASA trophies, 2 inter college trophies, BINUCOM, Urban and Rural Surveys, 2 inter-college symposium and have attended so many lectures and seminars. In our college, Karpagam Architecture, one of the best colleges of Architecture in Coimbatore, it was a supportive environment so that we had a lot of extracurricular things to do other than academics. It was mainly through these competitions I have broadened my spectrum of where architecture is involved in reality. The habit of reading books made me steal a book from my sister –THE FOUNTAIN HEAD by AYN RAND. In that, Howard Roark still lives in my heart. The vigour and passion that he had for his profession had inspired me to a great extent. Frank o gehry’s work gave an idea about the relationship between built and unbuilt spaces. If we put Frank’s building into a fantasy world it will fit the context. Mies van de rohe taught us the basic idea that sometimes doing less will look more. We also had professors who will support us for all our extracurricular activities and at the same time to take care of our academics.
Internship was a place where I learned to unlearn things that I learnt. Generally college and office are like 2 different galaxies that they are light-years away from each other. Somehow the whole fraternity should try towards bridging the gap between the two extremes. I interned at WRIGHT INSPIRES under AR.PRATHIMA SEETHUR for a one whole year where I learned a lot about functional space planning, reduction of carbon foot prints, climate responsive design strategies, site discipline etc. She taught me the different ways to look at the same problem and to solve them. My internship was a great eye opener for me which is why I joined as a junior architect again with her and am still working under her. Ar. Krishna Rao Jaisim taught us not to repeat or reiterate what exists but to re-interpret it according to the context. He played a pivotal role in the field of construction for about 40 years and now teaching and inspiring people all around the world. I owe it to Karpagam Architecture, one of the best Architecture colleges in India for enabling me shine during my internship period.
Coming back from the internship we had our dissertation and thesis waiting for us. Every time I choose a topic or a design I would normally try doing something that I had not done earlier. My whole internship was about the tropical modern architectural practice and cost efficient building techniques. While choosing my thesis topic I was hitched to the thought of proposing a design that doesn’t even bestow any traces of my internship. In fact every wild thought can be put in its fullest only in thesis. In my view thesis is done to represent a thought or a vision which may or may not be realized in future. My idea was to design a floating cruise terminal in a hypothetical context wherein the land mass had extended its boundaries and reached its zenith. I genuinely believe in the idea that marks are not the yardsticks to determine the progress and learning of an architectural student. Of course even I was studious and was very considerate about what I score and would always keep an eye on how much I score but yes, I realized that architecture can only be learnt through practice and experience. In the middle of my design my jurors told it is impossible to design this for my experience. I was doubtful at that time but I don’t regret it now because what I made that day was just a blunt effort. Like my jurors told I didn’t have enough time to design fully yet I designed till the last day of submission and I am grateful for my juniors who helped me out throughout the process. End of the day, the time you go through the process is what it really matters. After finishing my college I made progress in my thesis further and submitted it to all the international architectural magazines and websites. Luckily after long time slowly my thesis started getting recognized through few architectural pages and got published. Design ends at a point where you end it but its perennial likewise the process of going deep and realizing what architecture means might take a lifetime. Karpagam Architecture, one of the best colleges for Architecture in India is the destination to shape the individuals to perfection.