Discipline and Profession of Architecture
Who is an architect?
Architects are professionals who design buildings and their interiors according to specifications. They meet clients (or customers) and help them determine their needs or listen to the needs they are already aware of. Sometimes the client is an owner. Sometimes a developer. Sometimes a realtor, a contractor, a consultant. Whatever the case, the first step is always listening to their needs.
1) The ability to see three-dimensional spaces in two dimensions. Basic premise of communication through drawing. An architect should be able to think in three-dimensions in order to effectively communicate in two.
2) The ability to observe a space as more than a simple construct of spatial boundaries. Meaning the ability to pay attention to how spaces make you and others feel and think. Observe everything.
3) The ability to solve problems without a set kit of problem solving parts. Sometimes you have to create the solution to a problem; not just find it.
4) The desire to create new things. Either through drawing, painting, sculpting, music, film, poetry and technical invention, among others.
Technical fine points
1) The ability to draw skilfully.
2) The ability to read/understand drawings.
3) The ability to build things.
4) Knowing Maths pretty well.
Council of Architecture: Governing body
The Council of Architecture (COA) is an autonomous body formed by the Union government under the provisions of the Architects Act, 1972, enacted by Parliament which came into effect on 1 September 1972. The Act provides for registration of architects, standards of education, recognized qualifications and standards of practice to be complied with by the practicing architects. The CoA is charged with the responsibility to regulate the education and practice of profession throughout India besides maintaining the register of architects. For this purpose, the government has framed rules and the CoA has framed regulations as provided for in the Architects Act, with the approval of the Centre.
Indian architects: Scenario
Any person desirous of carrying on the profession of ‘architect’ should have registered himself or herself with Council of Architecture. For registration with CoA, one must possess the requisite qualification as appended to the Architects Act, after having undergone the education in accordance with the Council of Architecture Regulations, 1983. The registration with CoA entitles a person to practice the profession of architecture, provided he holds a Certificate of Registration with up-to-date renewals. The registration also entitles a person to use the title and style of architect. The title and style of architect can also be used by a firm of architects, of which all partners are registered with COA. Limited companies, private/public companies, societies and other juridical persons are not entitled to use the title and style of architect nor are they entitled to practice the profession of architecture. If any person falsely claims to be registered or misuses title and style of architect, such acts tantamount to committing of a criminal offence, which is punishable under section 36 or 37 (2) of the Architects Act, 1972. The practice of profession of an architect is governed by the Architects (Professional Conduct) Regulations, 1989 (as amended in 2003), which deals with professional ethics and etiquette, conditions of engagement and scale of charges, architectural competition guidelines, among others. Pursuant to these regulations, the CoA has framed guidelines governing the various aspects of practice. An architect is required to observe professional conduct as stipulated in the Regulations of 1989 and any violation thereof shall constitute a professional misconduct, which will attract disciplinary action as stipulated under section 30 of the Architects Act, 1972.
There are 280 institutions across India which impart architectural education leading to recognized qualifications. The standards of education being imparted in these institutions is governed by Council of Architecture Regulations 1983, which set forth the requirement of eligibility for admission, course duration, standards of staff, accommodation, course content, examination etc. Of late, there is a big surge in the number of constituent colleges, departments of universities, deemed universities, affiliated colleges/schools, IITs, NITs and autonomous institutions offering specialised courses in architecture. The high standards as provided in the said Regulations are required to be maintained by the institutions. The COA oversees the maintenance of the standards periodically by way of conducting inspections through Committees of Experts. The COA is required to keep the Central government informed of the standards being maintained by the institutions and is empowered to make recommendations to the government with regard to recognition and de-recognition of institutions.
Pay package for an architect will be influenced by i) the institution one will graduate from; ii) level of qualification, whether graduate, post graduate or more; iii) city one is getting employed; iv) discipline one will opt; and v) experience. A fresh graduate from a reputed institution can aspire for a starting pay of Rs 25-30k per month as a consolidated pay.