Architecture as a career

B Krishnakumar Sharma
What is Architecture?
Architecture is the only form of true applied ART, since its only here that one can touch, feel and experience the creation. It is the art, the science and the business of building.
Architecture is the combination of Art & Sciences to design-build-environment-conducive to Human living and sustainable to planet Earth. It is not about the creation of newness but rather about the fulfilment of needs and expectations which provides a sense of place and support of all types of human activity. It, thus, frames our understanding of place and makes our buildings a living part of our world.
Architecture is connection with the past. However, it is not for relics but for the revitalization of historic buildings, repurposing them for a new generation. Architecture can communicate memory, but it can also communicate values and a sense of place. It is about creating a legacy that reflects and symbolizes culture and traditions.
Without architecture we really cannot have a society, because any society needs to have a built environment through which it can perform its various functions. And at the same time, perform them comfortably, in physical, social and environmental terms. So that is what architecture is. It has many forms and shapes that are derived from the culture of that community- from its history, from its geography and the material and technology available.
What is an Architect?
An architect is the one who practices the profession of Architecture. The word architect is derived from the Greek word arkhitekton i.e., chief builder. Technically, an architect is a person or entity registered to Council of Architecture Act, 1972, licensed or otherwise authorized to use the title “architect” and to practice architecture in a province or territory.
Who is Architect?
An architect is a professional who is qualified to design and provide advice – both aesthetic and technical – on built objects in our public and private landscapes.
They are licensed and professionally trained in the art and science of building design.
Architects create homes, office towers, schools, churches etc. They are talented people with a flair for design, an awareness of social trends, keen business sense, solid engineering skills and an understanding of the law. The word “versatile” may have been invented to describe Architects.
The Architect leads a team of specialists including structural, mechanical and electrical engineers, as well as others in reconciling all the goals for a building or other structure.
Role of an Architect in our society: Just as a woman plays different roles being a daughter, sister, wife and mother to make a successful family, an architect has many roles too to make a project effective and safe for the society.
Architects serve as trusted advisors, their role is holistic, blending diverse requirements and disciplines in a creative process, while serving the public interest and addressing health and safety matters. They are the one who can help mankind and other living creatures before the earthquake and prevent them from becoming ‘victims’.
Architects gets involved in restoring parts of a city, preserving the rich cultural heritage resources, re-developing of slums, developing low cost housing projects, industrial parks, designing shopping centres, recreational spaces etc. to cater to the needs of the growing demands of the urban population and to preserve our cultural and ethnic identity.
Scope of Architecture and Architects: If a fascinating, tough, inspirational, creative, innovative and future-shaping career appeals to you, then consider architecture. Architecture is a discipline where one can have multivalent interests. One could be a philosopher, a geographer, a historian, a scientist, an artist, an engineer; you can be poetic about it.
There are examples aplenty where qualified architects have diversified into acclaimed writers, movie makers, artists. Some of the notable figures who have entered into various fields are as noted below:
Benjamin Netanyahu: Israel’s current Prime Minister holds two degrees from MIT, one in architecture and another in management.
Jaime Lerner: a Brazilian politician. He is renowned as an architect and urban planner, having been mayor of CURITIBA. In 4 years, he transformed Curitiba (Brazil) into “Most Innovative City in the world “. He implemented the Bus Rapid Transit System (called “Speedy Bus”)
Piloo Mody:  He was a politician. He graduated with a master’s degree in architecture. He served in both houses of the Parliament and was instrumental in promoting the Architects’ Act, 1972.
Arundhati Roy:  An architect and also an Indian author best known for her novel ”The God of Small Things (1997)”, which won the Man Booker Prize for Fiction in 1997. Roy also won the National Film Award for Best Screenplay in 1988 for ”In which Annie Gives It Those Ones.”
Jobs where Architectural degree would be useful includes: Interior Designer, Landscape Architect, Conservationist, Industrial Designer, Lecturer/Professor, Production designer, Theatre/Television/Film, Structural Engineer, Town Planner.
Lastly, with the concept of environment-friendly and green buildings fast catching up today, the focus is on building spaces that are ecologically sound. This, together with the booming real estate and construction industry, has fuelled the demand for architects.
Today’s Architect may practise alone or be part of a small, medium or large firm. Some Architects are self-employed. Others may be on salary, as employees of government, real estate developers or large corporations.
About the Examination:
The purpose of conducting NATA is to provide a single scheme of examination for holding aptitude test and to facilitate prospective students all over the country to apply for admissions in architecture seats in institutions spread across the country and to avoid appearing in multiple examinations.
It is a one-day online examination all over the country, which comprise of two parts: Part A comprises of Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ) to be answered online and Part-B is a paper based drawing.
Please visit the website coa.gov.in and download NATA brochure for more detail about the exam.
· Application Form Start Date: 16.01.2018
· Application Form End date: 02.03.2018
Eligibility Criteria:
NATA Eligibility:
a) 10+2 or equivalent passed/appearing
b) 10+3 Diploma (any stream) passed/appearing recognized by Central/State Govts;
c) International Baccalaureate Diploma passed/appearing, after 10 years of Schooling.
Eligibility for admission into B. Arch Course:
a) Qualified a recognized aptitude test in Architecture (NATA or Equivalent)in 2018
b) Have gone through any of the following curriculum with marks as prescribed as below:
-10+2 or equivalent examination of Central/State Govts. with 50% aggregate marks and with mathematics as compulsory subject of examination. OR -10+3Diploma (any stream) recognized by Central/State Govts. with 50% aggregate marks and with mathematics as compulsory subject of examination. OR
-International Baccalaureate Diploma passed/appearing, after 10 years of Schooling with 50% aggregate marks and with mathematics as compulsory subject of examination.
Application Procedure:
Application can be filled up online at the NATA portal: learning.tcsionhub.in
(B Krishnakumar Sharma is Senior Architect, PWD, Manipur)

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