In the new curriculum, architectural design emerges as the core subject, supported by lateral inputs from other allied subjects. Each year of study at the school concentrates on a thematic base, addressed programmatically in the design studio and supported by theoretical understanding and related technological knowledge. Rural and urban settlement, social housing, community structure and cultural fabric, urban process and architecture of the city are some of the themes, synchronically connected with each other at various levels of the five years of study. Students are encouraged to develop their individual design approach with an understanding of making of architecture through the analysis of history of ideas, theories and cultural agendas, which constitute the base for an architectural outcome of a particular time. Faith in creative architecture, therefore, gets linked with the historical continuum in order to reinforce this process of introspection. At the end of the five years of study, students undergo a metamorphosis, from thinking in the metrical space of wholesomeness, from concepts of dogmatized popular architecture to those of diverse forms, which will drive their imagination to build – the sole dream of an Architect.
Basic design – Perception – Communication
The first year is devoted to the exposure of the students to essential elements of form, space and the principles, which govern the organization of form and space in the built environment. The course also seeks to equip the students with basic perspective, analytical and communicative skills. A series of co-coordinated lectures, seminars, studio projects, workshops and independent group studies are also conducted in order to develop the design attitude through appreciation of art and architecture. A study visit is also undertaken with the objective of preparing detailed analytical presentation of a historic building. At the end of the year, students start understanding the concept of space and are able to communicate through drawings, sketches, models, etc. They identify materials and their attributes in design. Emphasis on evolving the design process and how this process leads to a design solution.
Shelter – Rural Settlement – Environment
For centuries, man has built shelters in response to the environment, employing readily available building materials and technology, and in link with prevailing social customs and local climate. Such shelters, irrespective of their form, magnitude or setting, have not only provided physical and psychological security, but also moulded man’s attitudes and the structure of the society. Since an understanding of a shelter is the key to an understanding of any society, a fundamentally crucial issue, regarding shelter and environment, emerges as an appropriate theme for the second year of study. The built-resource study tour to study and document dwellings and their support systems in historic or contemporary settlements, in rural settings, also helps to reinforce this thematic base. The effort, here, is to let the students know about the physical attributes of the environment. The process, therefore, recognizes the need for region-specific design alternatives for the making of a shelter, which addresses aspects like, site, location, landscape features, climatic conditions etc.
Urban Process – Community Study – Cultural Fabric
The third year programme focuses on the cultural dimension of the built environment as thematic extension of the previous year’s study. Community study tour in the third year to study and analyze an existing community to bring out relevant general and specific issues. The study also intends to trace out the historical layers of the urban process of transformation, evolution and consolidation of the built and cultural fabric of the community level. Issues of conservation and adaptation also form an important aspect of overall concerns of the study. In the design studio, students are introduced to the complexities of various forces that contribute to the resultant built-form in an urban setting. A great deal of emphasis is placed alongside on systems, services and technological options. At this stage, a wide range of electives is also offered to the students to explore areas of their specific interest. Theory of art and architectural design, introduced in third year, enhances the process of study, analysis, conceptualization and development of design as the logical base to arrive at the tangible physical form.
Social Housing – Architecture of the City – Urbanism
This year is devoted to dealing with complex issues of urban environment for analysis and design. Planning and design of housing forms the first part of the design studio. Students start structuring their design process by using operational codes of territoriality, mapping of activities, behavioural pattern of spaces, hierarchy and networks at autonomous as well as contextual levels. Climatic concerns also add to the process of evolving the spaces as the generator of built-form. The second part of the design studio concentrates on the reading of the city at various programmatic levels. Issues, relating the present mode of urban design and development are raised in both conceptual and contextual levels, which helps students to construct their critical position. Specific attitudes regarding public realms and their interfaces, overlapping of activities and circulation, determination of densities and its impact on urban form, renewal and reinforcement of urban fabric, ecological and other concerns, that help to form the morphological overlay of the city, are addressed in the overall urban design proposals. Understanding of systems and services, physical and social infrastructure in a larger urban scale is also integrated in a wholesome manner.
Students also formulate their theoretical standpoints in architecture by drawing upon the formal research work, done in form of a dissertation that begins in this year. Under the guidance of professionals with related specialization, students identify the theoretical framework of their individual research. The dissertation is structured around the methodology of research through comprehensive documentation towards systematic exploration, of their chosen topic, in depth.
Consolidation – Synthesis – Professional Exposure
This year serves as a transition into the professional architectural world. Ninth semester is devoted to architectural design thesis, which allows the students to bring about a synthesis of knowledge, skills and ideas, nurtured in the previous years. Students pick up a subject of their choice for the thesis, which they carry out under the supervision of their individual guides. The school has in its visiting faculty, an impressive group of thesis guides, from amongst professionals with academic interests. The primary objective of the thesis studio is to disseminate new principles of architecture through extensive design research and development, comprehensive case studies, and above all, establishing discernible links between the analysis and synthesis. Apart from the thesis, a six-months professional training is offered in order to give students relevant exposure to the fieldwork and the management of an architectural organization.