More than just Walls.

I am a fourth year architecture student in India and I am currently hating the education system.  Since it was my fault of not having a vision as to how I should proceed with my education after my 12th, I am really no one to crib. I didn’t get into the national schools. And I really had no hope for international schools as well.

Dropping a year was out of question. While my parents are pretty open-minded and supportive of what I wanted to do, they couldn’t really digest the idea of spending 6 years on an undergraduate program.

So today, while I wait for my turn for my viva regarding the practical training I just undertook as a part of the university’s curriculum, I thought about giving this writing thing a go.

School was mainly about studying. And novels. Loads and loads of novels. The thicker the book and the smaller the font, was just my kind. These, I would relish in 2 weeks max.How can you just put down a book where every page holds a key to the next? I couldn’t. I couldn’t leave them alone even when I had my finals! Needless to say, at the end, my mum hid the books.

That craze for reading got translated into writing better essays, but I didn’t really give the skill much thought, as long as it fetched me marks in my English exams. It did, however, give me the confidence to write whatever I wanted to and whenever I felt like it.

Fast forward to today. After four rigorous years of architecture education, I get stuck after each line. My words don’t flow and my sentences are broken. My reading is slower than usual, though skimming through long papers to get vital information regarding my subjects is something I learnt in university. Either way, it frustrates me. Blame it on the packed schedule or prioritizing work over pleasure, but I couldn’t take out time for reading. And I miss it.

I feel research in any field is important. You choose a topic, you read further into it, you question it and come up with a slightly better answer to it. It’s your personal contribution and it’s putting your ideas out there. And being architecture student, who has a passion for writing, I feel I missed out four crucial years where I could have put acquired skills to work. Which brings me back to the education system. Architecture involves people, and their feelings. At the end of the day, we design for people who will use the space designed for their needs. Unfortunately, most of the times those needs are considered to be straight-forward basic. A bedroom. A bathroom. Etcetera. Stuck in various other necessary technicalities, the true sense of space diminishes by the end of the project (by project, I am solely referring to design projects we get in university). Even if we get technical papers to write, not one of them is taken pretty seriously. It can be pretty demotivating for people who are looking forward to such assignments.

But, one shouldn’t focus on the past and should move on! And that is the sole reason of starting this blog. I have a lot to talk about. Design related. I might be inconsistent, considering last year of architecture school is around the corner. But hey, if this helps the creative juices flow, I’m up for it.

Blog aim: Throw some light on this beautiful and powerful field of architecture and design, showing that it’s not just about four walls.