by Remigius de Souza
(Extracts from Letters and Numbers plus Things to Make)
The change, reformation, restructuring of education has to start from the bottom, because the country's resources and the exchequer pay for it directly or indirectly. Architectural as well as other areas of education are highly subsidised.
Students, during their architectural course, design several projects, dissertations and thesis designs. The worth of this work could be several lakhs of rupees, may be crores. As the system expects it have to be simulation of real architecture, the concept imported from wealthy west. Obviously none of the projects go beyond being paper plans and paper models. None of the projects are ever tested either at site or at workshop. I am not certain if it is ever questioned.
Vital youth energy, five precious years of early adult life and the direct and indirect cost (considered to be about rupees ten lakhs) of making an architect certainly deserves better deal. The only answer presently possible to support the present 'class-room-education' by attaching 'full-scale live models' i.e. by witnessing "materials - construction - services - use - maintenance - aesthetics' of various building types, architecture and planning regularly at site. This should be part of curriculum for all the relevant subjects, for all the five years of present course and should be subjected to regular assessment. The records of these site visit reports should be maintained in the form of monograms for future reference.
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Remigius de Souza
(1 - 4 - 1999)