Architecture career trend in India – rising demand for trained professionals:-

India has been at the forefront of great architecture, as depicted in our rich cultural history, from the very beginning. Our monuments that attract a number of local and international tourists each year, are living examples of our prowess in the field of architecture and design. As society has evolved, so has the role of the architect in shaping our social framework. We have moved from iconic designed structures to mere pragmatism, and somewhere limited the existence of our new designs to the scope of work given by the Client.

Prime Minister, has in his Development Agenda, outlined the development of 100 Smart Cities, 40 million dwelling units, 20 million affordable homes, better infrastructure facilities through the AMRUT scheme, a thrust towards urban development and transformation, slum rehabilitation, as well as committed to Housing for All by 2022. We regularly see updates to each one of these agenda points in the daily press. All of these initiatives are essential if we have to position our Country away from a Developing economy to a Developed Economy!

What then does this effectively mean for the profession of architects?

It has been estimated that to build the Government’s Development agenda, there is a requirement of 75 million skilled people in real estate and infrastructure. As reports suggest, there is a heightened requirement of 4 million core professionals (architects, engineers, planners), to build out the Development Agenda. The role of the architect, especially in a growing economy such as ours, has never been more heightened. The onus of responsible development, however, then to a large extent, rests on this next wave of architects and planners.

Some of the key aspects that architectural graduates, planners or enthusiasts need to keep in mind when building their skillset in an evolving environment include:

  1. Be Multi-faceted: Architectural graduates today can take advantage of a number of roles- from design architecture, structural or liaison architects, to urban planning, property development, sustainable development, teaching or getting involved with disaster relief/re-building communities. They require skills such as engineering, design, supervisory skills, managing people/teams/vendors/client expectations, an understanding of key building/designing/construction/smart technology, strong communication and persuasion skills to communicate their vision. They could get involved right from pre-design services, to cost analysis and land-use studies, feasibility reports, environment studies to developing the final construction plans, among others.
  2. In real estate, under the recently implemented act RERA, the architect needs to be involved right from the submitting plans for the registration of the project to signing off on the completion of a phase of Construction. Their role in the development process has become vital as a Developer’s funds flow is now linked to the architect’s sign-off.
  3. Be Business Minded:It is important for Architects understand the larger legal and policy framework. It is equally essential for architects today to understand the business, legal and policy framework within which they need to operate. Mere design and architectural skills no longer suffice. They need to be completely familiar with key real estate and planning concepts and calculations, municipal and local development regulations, legal limitations, the social and urban infrastructure, fundraising/financing and the evolving policy framework. They need to position themselves as partners to the industry rather than mere service providers.
  4. Be Responsible: Architects as evangelists have an added responsibility of looking beyond their scope of work to understand the larger social and environmental impact of their recommendations. Our Country has long suffered from haphazard development and it is now on architects, planners and developers to look beyond their briefs to ensure that we build “smart” and “sustainably”, while remaining cost effective in their outlook. The construction of Smart Cities, will require architects to think sustainably, integrate technology and effective planning to qualify these developments as ‘smart’. The development of affordable homes, will further require affordable and effective construction technology to enable us to accomplish the ‘Housing for All’ agenda.
  5. It is the architect then, who needs to wear two hats of being the social evangelist and the business partner.

As our Government puts an added thrust on urban and infrastructure development, together with a commitment to ‘Housing for All’ by 2022, the role of the architect, has never been more heightened. However, the responsibility is then on these design evangelists to build smartly, sustainable  and orderly. I encourage young graduates today, to participate in this sector and play a role in shaping the future of our Country.

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