First of all one must deal with the issue of regulation - for it is
necessary that schools be regulated to ensure a minimum standard.  The
problem is that the COA approach takes a template driven checklist
approach - it treats the problem as being definable in advance rather than
an evolutionary decentralised approach through which the problem is
understood in the first place.  In many other parts of the world which
support the latter approach regulation is based on the following:
1. The whole certification process takes a period of 12 to 18 months, with
the members of the review committee being defined in advance.
2. It starts with the school identifying its goals.
3. There is then a 12 to 18 month interaction between the school and the
review committee directed towards translating the goals into documentable
measurable processes.
4. The final review then seeks to measure only two things - first (and this
is interpreted with the maxiumum latitude) is the work of the students at a
sufficient level that they may be called architects, and second (and this is
rigidly audited) how is the school performing with reference to the goals it
has set for itself.

Some other lacunae in the COA approach:
1. It assumes that the only people who need to pass a qualifying standard to
enter the institution are the students.  This springs from a narrow
power-driven preoccupation that the students are the only learners in a
school.  It is only when a school has faculty who view themselves as
learners that it can aspire for excellence.  We do not set any standard for
faculty - in the rest of the world it is a 'publish or perish' attitude.  We
also do not set standards for the people who review schools on behalf of the
COA - again we should insist that they have prior individual demonstrable
skills in theory or design sufficient to be able to take a philosophical
stance with respect to education.

2. The COA standard treats curriculum and syllabus as equivalent terms.
Syllabus is a narrow term which only defines course content.  It does not
define the value system or theoretical concerns from which courses are
defined.  Taking this narrow view drives one towards an interest in
preserving status quo.  Curriculum is a broader term that seeks to take a
more holistic attituded towards education.  The three major constitutents of
curriculum are values, pedagogy and content - and if one was to rank these
perhaps content would be ranked the lowest.


-----Original Message-----
From: [email protected]
[mailto:[email protected]]On Behalf Of Anand Bhatt.
Sent: Wednesday, November 26, 2003 5:40 PM
To: Concerned about habitat and the professions.
Subject: Re: [in-enaction] website: Council of Architecture

i think the data is as on 01.04.2003, and at the same time they have counted
the year as 1.1 > 31.12. the number "82" is understandable, the CoA gets its
members after the academic year, so people apply in August-September.

the women statistics are interesting, the "top-premier" institutes (as A+D
Spectrum awards calls them) i have tought at have a 50/50 ratio, so it shold
be interesting to compare the registered CoA members versus enrolment ratios
in the colleges. i remember some BBC documentary about  american
corporations in the UK, they preferred to employ women for various
reasons -- i guess the same applies here. i did investigate the demography
issues (also organised one seminar at delhi) with the women-architects, they
didn't have concrete suggestions (do this, or do it like this!).

i am rather more interested in the age group figures (almost 50% of
practicing architects are 20-35) and the ten most architect populated cities
(the metros + bangalore and ahmedabad amount to 50% again, Kolkata is
surprising, for its population and the number of student enrolments in the
environs). there is already some grumbling about "fee cutting" etc., at the
council, and given these concentrations in the market, it is not surprising.
a quick addition based on
(schools offering Architectural Education) says the concentration will only
get worse.

the CoA, further, has a single curriculum scheme
( where the schools can deviate
by just a fifth, and most don't innovate even this much. so we are pumping
about 4,000 new professioals with near-identical skills in the market. the
CoA, IIA and others are taking an aggrasive, legalistic line against fee
cutting, we should see court cases. the noise i hear seems to suggest
architects want to monopolise the building industry (only certified
architects can make buildings, they are citing some obscure Alabama,
USA; law in their defense), and there is already a skirmish against the
Building Designers Association (non-architects) in Maharastra. i hear the
professional organisations (CoA and IIA) were barred from interjecting by
the courts.

given the logger-heads, the concentration and monopolistic urges... i would
rather argue for a very heterogeneous curriculum, perhaps three or four
different models, at the CoA. and a very fast rate of change -- the present
model hasn't been significantly upgraded since the late 70s -- much like
they do in IT courses. and also, an open-ended collaborative construction
process (somewhat like Open Source) so as to pressure academies into
inventing new applications, functions and fields for the profession, on the
one hand; and on the other, to institute rather more democratic methods in

prem, brian, everyone, thoughts? elaborations? problematizations?

p.s., i was toying with a website called OSAS (the Open Source Architecture
Server) before Brian gifted the domain Architexturez to me. I wouldn't mind
reviving the idea as a section inside architexturez, if we can come to some
basic directions about pedagogy.

p.p.s., just re-read Communism of Ideas... from


----- Original Message -----
From: "Prem Chandavarkar" <[email protected]>
To: "Concerned about habitat and the professions."
<[email protected]>
Sent: Wednesday, November 26, 2003 4:28 PM
Subject: RE: [in-enaction] website: Council of Architecture

I am not sure if this interpretation about women architects is accurate -


is also possible that women are conditioned not to be risk takers and
believe that they should only opt for 'safe' options such are regular
employment.  Most people opt for self-employment out of choice - so is the
'have to toil' characterisation true?

I find the first statistic on year-wise registration interesting - why is
there such a sharp drop in the last one year of architects getting
registered - is it because data for 2003 is incomplete and measured only


a small part of the year, or is there (given that we are approaching the


of the year) another reason?


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