- A curriculum for architectural education evolves from the nature of man and of society, and of its aims and aspirations, its expressional potentials. It states the relationship between man, his institutions, his techniques and its interpretation in spatial and physical terms.
- A curriculum is a statement of intentions, which in its structure states that the relationship between disciplines and courses, clarifying objectives, stating emphasis and points of view.
- The aim of architectural education is to train the mind to perceive the context of man and society in its best potential, to interpret it through, developed skills of expression into a sustainable and qualitative living environment.
The context of Indian society brings together the inheritance of an ancient culture, its history, thought, philosophy, arts and architecture and its varied and multiple expressions, and the challenges of a contemporary society with an evolving new social order, thought, philosophy, new techniques and potentials of new expressions.
It demands continuity with the ethos of the past, its sense of place, along with the capacity for continual rethinking and the need for transformed expressions of the present time. This is made more poignant in an economic order of dramatic variations that demand architectural attention.
The significant development of the past few years and the indications for the future which must be reflected in the curriculum include:
Environmental concerns: an increasing awareness of the fragility of the man made environment and issues of balance of the manmade with the natural order. issues of optimal use of natural resources, and sustainable development.
Range of technological options: the validity of appropriate technology and use of local techniques and their continued relevance and in developing economics , and on the other hand the access to sophisticated high technology and its use for present day building tasks in a globalising urban environment.
Range of cultural dimensions: the rootedness of Indian society and value systems on the one hand and the effect of global universal culture on the other hand.
The impact on value system: in a fast changing, and largely materialistic society the need to develop human values that recognise the role of architectural professional as enabler, a form giver, with an ability to take positions.
The changing role of the profession: changing towards managing and coordinating varied specialized skills and professions and yet to give a humanizing quality to the built environment.
These reflect in increasing concern with course on environmental balances, appropriate technology, advanced technological systems, courses on indigenous cultural roots and global impacts, and professional management systems. In design process these imply coordination of multiple dimensions of specialized inputs and modern media and methods.
The curriculum in stating a set of relationships and emphasis, and of methods, aims to develop an individual rooted in his/ her context of society and place in India capable of the disciplines and skills through which to interpret them into a qualitative physical environment. It aims at an individual committed to excellence and relevance.
The major concerns the next few years need to address are:
- Sensitivity to environmental balances between the manmade and natural systems architecture rooted in place, climate and the social conditions of India.
- The concern with technological expressions that uses most appropriate choice of the material and technique whether tradition or modern to the nature of the task, and makes the most appropriate use of resources and process at hand.
- The development of architecture for the Indian conditions that continue from the Indian tradition and make a modern day transformations.
- Architecture strongly related to the definitions of the urban conditions.
- The education of an architect capable of the visions, value systems and competence to bring together the multiple dimensions of the architectural task to integral qualitative built environment.
The curriculum states three major streams
The first is oriented towards Man, Society and Expressions, and deals with the development of culture, thought, philosophy, arts and science and their impact on the world. It deals with the areas of Humanitis and Social sciences as well as Arts and Crafts.
The second is oriented to Technology, and deals with the understanding of man, of the physical world, of materials, their properties, behaviour and techniques through which man has shaped his physical built environment of the elements of the physical world that he must control and harness to give physical comfort. It deals with Materials, Structural principles, Constructional sysyems and services and Environmental sciences.
The third the central discipline is oriented to Synthesis, of the forces of man and society, of the nature and needs of social institutions, interpreted through physical environment. This is the field of Design Synthesis. It deals with the development of design sensibility and skills, the development of value systems and identified positions, through the study of History and Theory of Architecture, development of Basic design language and Skills, and the use of contemporary media and methods
From the First stream, knowledge is gathered about man, his needs and their myriad expressions, from the Second stream understandings are developed about the nature of the physical world, climatic phenomena, and building possibilities. The design studio brings these understandings together in developing expressions for the needs of human institutions in space and form that answer to the integrity between part and whole and conducive to a qualitative living environment.
The course structure and relative emphasis between sub disciplines vary depending on their position within the course.
The first 2 years emphasise the development of background, sensibility, skills and its disciplines,
and are considered as the Foundation years.
The third and the fourth years emphasises the interrelationship between the disciplines and their resolution into integral totals increasing complexity and are considered the Developing years.
The final year emphasises the development of individual, his/her maturity, and establishment of directions and is termed as the Exposition year, during which the student develops his/her theoretical understanding and skills or design synthesis to personal choice of directions and to a high quality of manifested resolutions.
The course is of five years (ten semesters) duration. The year consisits of two semesters of approximately sixteen weeks each. Each semester carries a contact load of 24 credits, where 1 credit is equivalent to 1.0 lecture hour per week in theoritical subjects or 1.5 studio workshop or laboratory based courses.
Each semester consists of, in addition to the Design studio, of not more than six subjects and each subject is normally of atleast 2 credits. In addition to subjects that form the Core of the curriculum the course offers 12 credits out of the total 240, as Electives. These Electives are offered within each of the disciplines of Humanities, Arts and Crafts, History and Theory and Technology, so that a student can develelop his / her interests in these areas and design the emphasis / structure that he / she wishes to follow.
Student performance is continually evaluated through programs, projects, tests, quizzes and periodic assessments of sessional work. Generally atleast 60% of the assessment is through this system and not more than 40% weight is assigned to end of semester examinations. All core subjects are examined at the end of the semester through juries or crits, viva voce or examination papers. Electives are normally assessed through assignments or papers.
In order to clear a subject, the student must obtain atleast 50% marks in all the assessments in the subject. While grading is done by the teaching faculty in all subject areas, the end of the Third Year and Fifth Year are examined additionally by an External examiner