-----Original Message-----
From: [email protected]
[mailto:[email protected]]On Behalf Of Anand Bhatt.
Sent: Friday, November 28, 2003 1:56 PM
To: Concerned about habitat and the professions.
Subject: Re: [in-enaction] website: Council of Architecture


Prem, i would combat the inertia etc., if i knew what claim the CoA has on
Architecture. and AICTE only looks after technical education
(with emphasis
on design oriented teaching).


COA has the role of licensing practice - the stated goal is that since
architecture (like law and medicine) is a public practice it needs to be
regulated in order to ensure a minimum standard is offered to the public.
Since the public is not in a position to judge architecture it is best if
this regulation is conducted through peer review.  There are two problems
here.  First is the fact that the stated goal often takes second seat to the
intent to regulate minimum price levels by restricting the supply of
practitioners (although I cannot say that COA has been systematically doing
this).  Second is the fact (and this is a major problem in India) that COA
does not differentiate between licensing and education.  However the
situation seems locked into a status quo, with all the major players
unwilling to look at systemic change.  I do not know if this is a battle
worth fighting without first posing an alternative through informal
networks.


another option would be to start a battary of research laboratories, with
senior researchers, research fellows and 'interns', and make a series of
recognition and affiliations arrangements with established
institutions. so
one has research programmes instead of syllabus. TIFR and others in india
have taken this route (in the pure sciences). and one synthesizes
the design
studio and lecture classes -- this is a long-standing, anachronistic
division, no? other anachronisms have also come into place because of the
present administrative structure; people have long appended
"inter-disciplinary studies", because that was the only obvious
way to look
at non-design aspects of architecture. i just saw a couple of theory
courses, and a (proposed) amalgmated Architecture + Product Design school,
so the boundaries between Architecture and Industrial design have also
blurred. i can of course navigate through their blindnesses and
inertia, but
the way the administrative structures interfere with architecture teaching
must also be looked at. people think it is important to teach Art
Appriciation (and even Architecture Appriciation) to architecture
students,
that is, look at the two from the outside.


Again let us not confuse research with education.  While the two are
complementary and can take place within the same institutional space, I do
not believe they do the same thing - unless you are only talking about
theory courses (and the design/theory separation is also an anachronism).
Research seeks to construct general statements out of particular solutions,
whereas design seeks to construct particular solutions out of general
situations.  The two work best when they resist each other.

so it is at two levels: one, the competence of the people (mainly teachers
and other 'peers') occupying positions in existing academies; and another,
the over-all frameworks by which these academies are brought into
existence.


I agree - so the question is do we try and do something within this existing
institutional space or do we seek to construct alternative spaces for
architectural discourse.


thanks for the manifesto, one question: why integrate the school into an
overall discourse?


I am not trying to integrate it into all overall discourses.  I only state
that the school must also try to tackle its immediate context and take on
the pressing architectural issues of its surrounding locations.  It should
not just be a high academy of abstract and esoteric discourse.  So while
things need to be rooted in a discourse that is purely within the profession
(and I would be one to argue for the autonomy of architecture), there should
be an attempt for engagement between this firm architectural discourse and
immediately contiguous (and perhaps non-architectural) ones.