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Architecture: From the Pyramids to Fountainhead

24 Dec 2018

Architecture is a general term that describes physical structures such as buildings, monuments, bridges etc. It encompasses the science of designing buildings in from the initial designing, style, methods of construction. An Architect is one who has mastered the art, science and technology of constructing of buildings and other physical structures that could be a building or non-building structures.

The earliest surviving written work on the subject of Architecture dates back to the early 1st century AD. It was written by Roman Architect Marcus Vitruvius Pollio. His multi volume work is entitled De Architectura, describes the perfect proportion in Architecture and also of the human body. His work led Leonardo the Vinci to draw the famous Vitruvian Man, which is also known as the "Canon of Proportions". The drawing is based on the correlations of the ideal human body proportions based on geometry as described by Marcus Vitruvius, where he described the human figure as being the principle source of proportions among the "classical orders" of architecture. So what do we understand by the “Classical Orders"? In Architecture the "Classical Orders" is a assemblage of parts which follow an uniform established proportions, which are regulated on the basis of what each part has to perform. From the Ancient Greek and Roman civilization to the modern day, the orders of Architecture are styles of Classical Architecture which are very distinguishable by their proportions, characteristic profiles and details. These are most readily recognized by the type of columns that are employed to construct the building. The three main orders of Architecture are the Doric, Ionic and the Corinthian which originated in Greece and the Romans added the Tuscan, which happens to be simpler, then the Doric and the Composite which happen to be more ornamental than the Corinthian.

Architecture has gone through various over 100 of years owing to several factors like, tradition, region, and styles trends and so on. The Neolithic people from Levant, Syria, northern Mesopotamia and Central Asia were great builders. They used mud –bricks to construct their homes and villages, and the exterior of the houses were painted and plastered with elaborate scenes of animals and humans. Long houses built with wattle and daub were common in Europe. There were elaborate tombs build for the dead. There are numerous such tombs in Ireland that exist till today.

Egyptian Architecture is one that is most important milestone with its magnificent display of some of the most impressive and exquisite works of art in history. Imhotep was an Egyptian architect and scholar who was probably the designer of the step pyramid build at Saqqara for the 3rd dynasty Pharaoh Djoser. It is believed that he also must have been responsible for the use of first known stone columns to support a building. 

There are several other types of architecture that developed over the centuries namely Gothic Architecture, Neoclassic Architecture, Baroque Architecture, and Renaissance Architecture and so on. 

Modern Architecture or modernist architecture is based upon new innovative technologies of construction. It has a more analytical approach to the functions of a building as well as the use of materials like glass and steel, reinforced concrete, and many other newly developed materials, as well as other scientific approach towards building great structures that can withstand the onslaught of natural calamities like earth quakes and tsunamis. Modern Architecture is also open to new structural innovation and tends to eliminate unnecessary ornamentation. 

Architects have a very lucrative career path. Architects are very well paid. To become an Architect one needs to have a strong background in math, which includes algebra, Trigonometry, and calculus. Courses in physics, design and drafting will be of added advantage. It ideally takes 7 years to become an Architect; however, one can opt for a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science course in architecture within three years. There are Building and planning Degrees which can be completed within three years. 

The best way to start is to prepare from High School itself if one aspires to become an architect. Opt for a Bachelors Degree followed by a Master’s Degree, join internship program to get hands on experience and finally become a certified Architect on completion of the Internship. To be a successful Architect one should have good design and drawing skills, a logical and methodical approach towards designing and construction, good analytical skills, excellent math skills, good computer skills and the effective communication and negotiation skills. 

Studying Architecture is challenging but very rewarding as well. While most architecture students become licensed Architects and practice professionally in the field, however there are other alternatives available like roles in spatial designer, graphic designer, surveyor, conservationist as well as environmental work. Apart from this one can also pursue other career options like Advance Interior Designing, housing policy etc. There are several journals and Magazines on Architecture and one can also work as specialist for these journals and publication. Architecture is a vast subject and one can also choose to become a teacher post becoming an architect and work in the colleges as professor s and instructors. Many people also choose to work independently as consultants and contractors running their own consultancy firms. Architects also can opt for career options in Movies and Entertainment industry as set designers.

Several colleges all across India offer courses on Architecture. One can also take advice from the Career counselors to get a sound idea about the courses. There are several Career Counselors that one can go to including Online Career Counseling as well. 

Apart from these there are many Career Guide Services available online and one can go through those websites to get a good understanding of the Course. Many Career seminars also are held to help students select the course most suitable for them. The counseling also helps students understand their strengths and weaknesses and can work accordingly to better themselves.

One can log on to the links listed below which will provide one with a good understanding of the courses available and how to go about cracking the exam:

Career Guide

Future Bright Program


By: Madhuchanda Saxena



Posted By - Assistant Editor


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