-------- Original Message --------
Subject:        Just for Information
Date:        Wed, 14 Feb 2007 22:22:30 +0530
From:        Rajat Ray <shalgram@gmail.com>
To:        Architexturez. <admin-in@architexturez.net>

 

Please Note the attached files found in very recent E- circulation.

============================================================================

AMITY UNIVERSITY  (UP)
AMITY SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE & PLANNING
Campus Sector-125, Expressway, NOIDA-201-301
Telephone: 0120-4392155. Mob:- 9871696233 / Email:- vishwamitter@amity.edu


                                            3rd February-2007
Prof. Vishwamitter
B. Arch. (Hons) I I T – Kharagpur
M. Arch (Urban Design) Va. USA
M. Plg. (Urban Plg.) Wisconsin USA

 

Dear Professor / Architect


I am attaching herewith a detailed background paper on the subject of
ARCHITECTURE: WHY IS IT MOST MISUNDERSTOOD? for your personal attention.
I am writing this background paper with a deep concern about the role of
Architectural education in preparing future Architects for much changed
environment of knowledge since the days the syllabus contents were
handed over to schools and still being taught in the same old format.
Neither the syllabus contents nor the teaching methods have undergone
much if change.

My background paper gives a detailed scenario of issues of concerns.
Schools of Architecture have increase manifolds since the syllabus
contents were devised. Architect teachers are just not easily available
with right kind of qualification and experience. Can we enhance the
image and professional authority of Architecture making Architecture
more authentically appreciable? Do we need to turn the syllabus of
teaching into a recycle bin and think afresh as relevant to the present
times?

I will appreciate if you find some time to think over the background
paper and make your valuable suggestions including my concept given in
the paper to be dumped to a recycle bin if you so like. I would
However welcome your kind mind on this matter.


With best wishes

Sincerely

 


(Prof. Vishwamitter)
          Director              
============================================================================


Architecture: Why is it most misunderstood?

Prof. Vishwamitter
Director
Amity School of Architecture & Planning
NOIDA (U.P)

                INTRODUCTION
Architecture is a unique profession that interprets human psyche,
intentions, philosophy and dreams and translates them into
three-dimensional artifacts of built forms to support the purpose and
function of human existence. It is a profession that touches the very
fabric of life, and it may not be difficult to realize that this
profession is as old as the beginning of human life on this planet. In
its most archaic context, when the life was lived in forest grottos and
caves etc. a necessity of shelter (adopted or adapted enclosures) was
driven by a desire to have a secure space that could ensure a safety
from the elements of nature and unanticipated ferocious behavior of
animals in the mysterious and unexplored environment around. This
pattern of living represented a phase when individuals or groups of
people lived their lives as food gatherers and had not acquired
knowledge of building materials for making enclosures built to their
specific requirements. A dramatic change, however, occurred when people
learnt the need to live in communities with a focus on food production
in the hinterland. A nomadic life of food gatherers changed to a
sedentary life of food produces. Consequently, a settled permanency of
people on ground ensured a cooperative and mutual interdependence, (this
typically evolves a need to have a social, economic and organizational
systems in place) in a bid to produce more. This marks a very important
stage in the emergence of a concept of architecture as known today - a
phenomenon of human organizations, production and construction
simultaneously appeared to herald a dawn of human civilization.
Architecture, since then, had been on a steady path of progress. It is
however interesting to know that as architecture passed through various
stages of development, it had always remained a subject of great
interpretations, primarily because of human skill of inventiveness of
three dimensional forms and an inherent inquisitiveness for enquiries to
explore the potential of human mind itself.

IS ARCHITECTURE AN IDENTITY?

As the reality stands, it is certainly an independent identity as a
profession, however it is always misunderstood or at best the least
understood. It is baffling that a professional activity that is as old
as humanity itself is yet not able to find a firm place of authenticity
and authority within the societal context. Following are identifiable
reasons for this state of affairs:

1 Preferences of people within the expectations and attitudinal level of
society itself.

2       Non-aggressive and highly dispensable authorities of the
architects within the priorities
  set by the society (unlike, law and medical professions), which makes
architects to work under a cover of options, that best suit them for the
practice activity of the architecture.

  Some recognizable respectability to the profession of architecture has
certainly come in with the establishment of the Council of Architecture
in terms of responsibilities and accountability of architects. Often
some architects express dissenting voices about the norms and standards
imposed by the Council of Architecture. However, what is not appreciated
is that it is the prime responsibility of the Council to ensure that
professional practice and academic teaching of architecture perform
within the prescribed norms and standards. It is time therefore that
architects line up collectively to hold the dignity and sanity of the
professional mission that the council is entrusted with by the Act.

It is amazingly unbelievable that architecture still suffers from the
biases of people themselves although architecture is of prime concern to
all. The bias starts at the level of the admission of the students to
architecture course. It is alarming to find that a majority of students
join the course of architecture because of non –availability of
alternative choices, or perhaps no other choice at all. I think we all
understand what it means in terms of acceptability or respectability of
architecture as a ‘no or low’ preferred choice.
     There is certainly some reason and room for introspection by
architects themselves to undertake a self – searching (and also a soul –
searching) evaluation as to why the profession of architecture does
not appear to be  (or appeal to be) a high option among the students as
a preferred choice for a career.
        
  What we need to appreciate is to know:
(1)What architecture is,
(2)What architecture is not, and
(3)What architecture ought to be?

We may look into these enquiries to establish architecture as an
inalienable and unmistakable identity of its own to create its relevance
that people can relate to.
  IS ARCHITECTURE AN ENTITY?

Architecture incorporates a multiplicity of roles played by other
professions (Civil, electrical Mechanical, Mathematics, Economics,
Sciences, sociology, philosophy and environment/ ecology etc) that
sometimes, it becomes difficult to know whether architecture alone is a
professional identity and entity by itself, or is it a professional
identity within or around the periphery of other professions.
The veil of this mysticism, however, disappears when it is realized that
the identity or entity of architecture depends on the dynamics of the
multi-faceted variety of inputs provided by these supporting professions
that makes architecture as it is and what finally appears on the ground.

This is, or may be, one reason that subjects architecture to a variety
of responses and interpretations. It is as result of these
interpretations that architecture has reached various stages of
glorifications of styles and characters within their regional or
geographic contexts. Interestingly enough, every level of architectural
achievements (Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Gothic, Renaissance, modern and
post-modern etc.) represent a unique inspiration of builders and master
architects who have interpreted their local philosophy into an immortal
three dimensional artifacts. All these artifacts were raised to achieve
a functional requirement of the purpose for which they were built
through a three-dimensional thematic expression that represented glory
and dignity of its purpose and function.   Unfortunately, we tend to see
the glorification aspects of architecture as displayed by the external
facades, and perhaps do not see the reasons as to how these facades were
made to appear as a necessity. Flying buttresses of the Gothic Churches
were distinctly an innovative way to express the functional form of a
structural system. More than this issue alone, it was a determined
effort to experiment a realization of an idea to achieve height of the
body of the church that is so artistically glorified by the dignity
given by the structural necessity as an evident possibility. Pyramids of
Egypt and churches in the Renaissance period were a product of a similar
philosophy – functions incarnated into a form with a glorified dignity.
In all such examples, it needs to be appreciated that builders and
architects of the period have interpreted the intention of the
functional purpose through dignity or glorification for the purpose of
the message of a function assigned by a society. Closer to home, all
monuments of the Mughal period, more specifically, the Taj Mahal, fall
in this category. I would therefore like to add here quickly that (good)
architecture starts with an understanding of the functional necessity
and immortalization of the necessity through an interpretation or
expression of glorifying it with dignity. I am using the word dignity
with a specific purpose to ensure that a subtle philosophy of the
purpose emerges and the architectural form justifies its existence to
support a true intention of the functional necessity. If this approach
involves experimentation or an innovation to be introduced in achieving
the goal, this will be a precious product of architecture at its best.

ARCHITECTURE: IF NOT SCIENCE OR MATHEMATICS, WHAT IS IT?

Architecture has two legs to stand on its own. Science and Mathematics
(what I would like to categorize as Building Engineering) constitute one
leg. Architectural Art* (what I would like to categorize as a thematic
expression in three – dimension) constitutes as its other leg.
  Both legs must be strong, healthy and well stilted with the body and
equally muscled to give a static
and kinetic balance to the body. However, if one leg suffers infirmity,
the body will have to depend on the other leg as an alternative to
achieve stability. In my view, and we can make an effort to experience
it, limping on one leg is much more difficult, inconvenient and
cumbersome. The same thing happens to architecture. Too much dependence
on artistic content has crippled the functional (use it as a substitute
for ‘normal’) ability (use it as a substitute for ‘stability’) to
perform like a healthy body. This, I believe is the root cause of
architecture being misunderstood.
* Architectural Art should be considered as distinctly different from
the basic arts, such as, Fine Arts or Commercial Arts, for the reason
that it is not a shadow view in 2-dimensions. Architectural Art
specifically deals with the thematic expression of buildings as
three-dimension artifacts, built forms or volumetric structures standing
on ground.

Architecture has its roots in Mathematics and in Physics, and in the
historical sense; these two inputs were inseparable from architecture,
or perhaps indistinguishable. In classical Greece, Byzantine and ancient
Rome, reference does appear in history that architects were expected to
possess knowledge of Mathematics. Pythagorean mathematics and philosophy
of golden numbers had their great influence on architecture. Closer to
home, Vastu knowledge of architecture, arts, philosophy etc., had its
logics in mathematical and numerical evaluations of establishing
criteria for planning and design of buildings within the cosmic and
gravitational influences of physical environment of the planet.

  Even in the modern times, we have architects who have attempted to
make architecture through the knowledge of Mathematics/geometry.
Buckminster Fuller and P.L.Nervi are the outstanding examples, but
somehow, they seem to have become a part of modern history of
Architecture, rather than a guiding force for architecture to become a
way of practice based on mathematics and physics. Some writers on
architecture, particularly on the subject of Mathematical Principles of
Architecture have observed that crucial aspects of understanding
architecture relate to two large parts which can be categorized as ‘The
Tangible’ and ‘The Intangible’. Tangible aspects relate to what is
discussed above, and the Intangible parts are those what our modern
thinking about architectural approach is – architecture as a product of
Arts, outer geometry that defines the Form of the building, contouring
of the building against the sky, aesthetic interpretations, colors,
sizes, outward expressions and character. It seems that architecture, in
the final judgment, exists more for the pleasure of people on the
streets than for people actually living in.


ARCHITECTURE FAULTED BY DEFAULT

I am aware that as we talk about these issues, a controversy may already
be hammering on the minds about the definition of architecture. Does the
definition of architecture vary with every changing context of a culture
or of transitions in history?  I do not want it to be an interpretable
controversy because an answer to this query will be as fallacious to
define ‘Urbanization’ in simplistic terms as
an ‘anti- rural’ process by designed implications. We should not defend
our product or make an effort to define a main issue by its fallout
effects. Wholesomeness of a product lies in looking at its wholeness
rather than its unintended fragments. In several senses, the evolution
of architecture and urbanization is deeply integrated to each other.
Urbanization evolved with the movements of human beings living in
isolation from each other or in scattered groups within the dark and
insecure forests and caves to the more shiny and airy outer environment
to become organized groups on a definable space of land, what could be
perhaps the first effort to organizing space into a socioeconomic
community group. Architecture, as we know today, is an outcome of the
same process. An organized community space (we may call it a hamlet or a
village) ensured a continuity of a collective social organization and
the evolving shelter concept was sustained at an individual or family
level. We may look at it as an attempt at evolving organized
architectural spaces for a family living as a cohesive group within the
spatial pattern of the evolving village. .

However, architecture re-emerges with new expressions, what could also
be called as a new evolution of architecture with a new spirit enthused
by an advent of industrial synergism. What emerges after this is all
that is recorded as a history of architecture between the periods from
Renaissance to Post modernism through the contemporary phase. The
architects are searching and seeking forms of architecture that are
unique to their own way of thinking. This practice started with our
Master architects, such as, Walter Gropius, Le Corbusier, Oscar Nimeyer,
Alvar Aalto, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Mies Van Der Rohe etc., who
experimented with new industrial building materials to give expressions
to the building materials with a typical mark of their own personality.
Now with an inheritance of these modern examples of the new
technological age, students of architecture in various educational
institutions are inspired to study their works as a part of their
curriculum. An impressionistic imprint of the works of Masters on the
minds of the young students is just a natural acceptance of their ideas
in their studio works.

In the new corporate culture of multi-nationalism, prospering commercial
economy, the emergence of Malls and new ways of entertainment, Styles
and Fashions have all contributed to their requirements of architecture
that specifically enhances the signature value of the activity that
promotes a symbolic identity of it. It is here where architecture,
howsoever good or symbolic it may be, is absolutely going astray. In
fact, architecture is only relevant to the promoters’ commercial or
economic aspirations and not to people or the place. How can one think
of all glass building in a hot climate, or a totally sealed building in
a hot-humid climate. We must not live on an argument that what
architecture ignores can be compensated by the use of Technology or
industrial products, such as air conditioners (hot or cold) and air
exhausts etc. One is made to believe that architecture is a ‘ Product’
to look at from various angles and distances and that necessarily puts
it on priority to be treated as an artistically designed ‘ Form’ that
sells. I think these trends must be reversed before architects offices
become ‘Design Parlors’ rather than professional design offices. We have
not been able to get out of the stigmatic designation of architects as
‘Map-makers’ colloquially known as ‘Naksha Navees ‘(N.N ) , and if the
present trend continues, we may at best be relabeled with a new status
of ‘Building Beauticians’( B.B )

WHAT ARCHITECTURE IS NOT?

Architecture is never good by imitation; architecture of a place is
never adopted, nor adapted. It is however, open to techniques and
technology for supporting the intentions and spirit of architecture of a
place. A form of architecture is not good if it is alien to the Human
spirit; a building material is not good if it is alien to living with
comfort. Translation of architectural forms borrowed from other
locations defeat the purpose of meaningful architecture. A tendency to
imitate, what could perhaps be best described as Photostat Architecture
(PSA), does not need the services of a qualified architect, One needs to
know some skills to duplicate ideas as close to an idea of producing a
fake currency. Nobody ever thinks that such a tendency is desirable
except for the one who is benefited. I find it difficult to think of
classifying architecture into category as’ or ‘bad architecture’. If it
is architecture, it has to be good. Architecture does not exist by any
other option including imitation. The spirit of architecture at any
time, and in any period of history, has been to achieve excellence of a
purpose that it stands for.

Since architecture is a dynamic process of human intentions, it has
never remained shackled with period styles of the past; however, the
newer contributions do retain their regional flavor unless an architect
indulges in PSA activity for imitation.


A regional thinking of ‘place-based-architecture’ is not to confine the
vision of architects; in fact, it is a primary parameter to start the
process of vision making in search of thematic architecture for the
region. It is also not intended to stop the spirit of experimentation in
architecture.

WHAT ARCHITECTURE OUGHT TO BE?

Primarily, architecture serves the purpose of human beings in all
spheres of their activities                    and that should be enough
to presume that scope of architectural purpose and its manifestations is
not limited. Intentions and aspirations of human beings have no
boundaries, so are the architectural responses in a variety of physical
forms. Pyramids are the embodiments of Royal resting places, Taj Mahal
is an embodiment of love enshrined in a magnificent tomb, Eiffel tower
is an example of excellence of Industrial technology and towering design
in Engineering that represents the glorification and spirit of France,
leaning tower of Pisa is another example of engineering excellence that
makes it an unmistakable identity and pride of Italy. Opera House,
Sydney glamorizes architecture in its dramatic reflection on the water
edge to become a symbol of architectural excellence of Australia, Bahai
temple represents a powerful theme of space covered by a lotus-shaped
dome that sublimes the spirit of the faithful, and symbolizes the Indian
diversity and openness to other faiths of the universe.

It is obvious that a variety of ways exist to represent and materialize
a theme that reflects architectural concepts. Architecture cannot be
universalized. Architecture can at best be considered an abstraction of
an idea materialized. It is basically a vision and version of an idea
that is enthused with a spirit of a theme reflected in a form that could
be considered an architectural response as a reality on ground. It has
therefore to be appreciated that though visions and versions for
architectural realizations are unlimited as a wealth of human
imaginations and perceptions, the final response depends on the ability
of man to put the vision into a reality that has an existential context
of space and time.  Architectural percepts are also engineering
concepts, because if architecture is the soul and body reflecting a
version of a vision; engineering is the physical energy and strength
that reflects the vision as a reality on ground. It should however be
not concluded that architecture is limited by engineering possibilities.
Good engineering also seeks avenues to express itself as relevant to
human aspirations and society at large. Both have at least one thing in
common. When confronted with challenges, both respond to overall well
being of human kind. Both convert their challenges into opportunities
for achieving the high goals of human dreams with excellence. When the
goals of architecture are achieved, or when an architectural concept
stands firm on ground, it really makes no difference whether you call it
a marvel of  ‘Architectural Art’ or a wonder of  ‘Building Engineering’
as in the final analysis both meet at the same point of excellence.

It is in this context that I find it difficult to digest an idea that
architecture is not engineering or engineering is not architecture. It
is firmly believed that Architects are often expected to be equipped
with an artistic sensitivity, and I often hear that architects lack a
competency of structural knowledge. I have often found that architecture
students find engineering courses extremely boring in their classrooms.
One may accept that there may be a deficiency in teaching communication
on this subject that is certainly not the cause for an architect to be
more of an artist and less of an engineer. We do need to consider a
difference between  ‘general (common or basic) arts’ and ‘architectural
art’.

                DOMAIN OF BASIC ARTS Vs. ARCHITECTURAL ARTS

Like a Fashion Designer or an Industrial Designer, and a sculptor, an
architect is required to possess a similar ability to put an idea on
paper by a graphic representation, so that the final goal of the
pictorial representation conveys the message of what is going to stand
on ground. There are certain sensibilities and sensitivities involved in
this process as closer and common to what an artist does, but this
similarity in no way entitles an architect to be considered more of an
artist than an engineer. This similarity ends right at the point where
it starts and that should be end of it all. If anything else, or I had
my way, I would perhaps be happier to be considered closer to a
physiologist or a biologist, because in any efforts to create an
architectural concept, it is the biology or physiology of mind and
brainpower that plays a crucial role in creating a good concept of
architecture. On the other side, it is physiology of eye as visual sense
that appreciates the good qualities of architecture and engineering. In
some phases of architectural developments, arts and sculptures were
added on to the main body of a building, and that should not be
considered a basic need of architecture. At best, it could be philosophy
of a particular faith reflected on the fabric of a building used as a
canvas and has nothing to do with architecture per se. In fact, I feel
that the phenomenon of visual physiology a highly scientific process of
human biology. Visual phenomenon is strongly tied up with space, time
seasons and neuro- perceptive senses of the eyes. The depth and distance
of a building from the eye, time of the day that decided the brightness
and shade and shadow effects, season that manifest in variety of colours
of the fauna to the retina and assimilation of information generated by
a building for the eyes and mind are all scientific processes that are
integral part of architectural experience.

In view of the issues and thoughts expressed, and having realized that
softer approaches to analyzing, evaluating and understanding
architecture have not helped architecture to stand on its own, as much
as, many other professions are able to do, I am impelled to accept that
even after the professional services of an architect have been formally
commissioned, the necessity of an architect remains a ‘disposable and
replaceable’ option with the client. This apathy stands dismally dwarfed
in comparison to other profession like Medical, Legal, Civil services,
Management, Information Technology and other corporate professions.
Before any controversy creeps in, I take it mandatory to clarify that
these statements should be seen in the context of a difference between
the status of a profession and stature of it as perceived by the
priorities of public at large.

ARCHITECTURE NEEDS A 360 CHANGEOVER.

Evaluation of self as an architect; or a self-evaluation by architects
themselves is called for on priority. It has been a long period of
context since days of the Renaissance that we had been romanticizing and
reminiscing architecture as a piece or product of artistry. A lot of
views since have laid emphasis on the contents of expression and
interpretations of the visual appearance as a visual tonic provided by a
magical dramatization (often associated with humanization) of built and
unbuilt spaces. The architects have made untiring efforts to evaluate
architecture through a softer and non-substantial yardstick that is more
like an etymological jargon full of pathetic pedagogy rather than a
quantifiable or measurable version of the same. It needs to be realized
that architecture is not a fable to be talked about or narrated as a
story; it needs an authentic realization and convincing visualization of
its purpose on ground. A 360 degrees overhaul is only possible if we are
ready to have a close re-look on the state and status of the profession
from various angles

We may seek some answers through the analysis and evaluation of the
following stages of the making of an architect.

1.Contribution by the Academic Institutions
2.Contribution by the Professional Environment
3.Contribution by the Professional Regulatory Body

A revisit to the above stages to have a glimpse of the ground reality
will be very educative for understanding some of the issues as brought
out earlier.
The training of architecture students is conducted through a highly
fossilized academic curriculum that has remained tenaciously unchanged
at least for the last 70 years or so. Not only have the main subjects
remained the same all through, even the teaching methods or techniques
have not changed at all. Incorporating a subject like Computer into an
architectural curriculum is by no means a modernization or updating of
the quality of the curriculum.

The difficulty lies in the nature of the subject itself. As observed
earlier, architecture includes a host of allied professional courses,
which cannot be ignored if the training of an architect has to be
relevant to the profession of architecture. Nevertheless, there remains
a big question mark about the antiquity aspect of training, which has
neither been liberalized nor liberated from the shackles of the past
practices of teaching.
Some of the reasons could be attributed to:

1.There is no prescribed requirement for an architect to undergo an
additional training required to become an academic architect much on the
pattern of B.Ed. program for general education.

2.Qualified architects prefer to be in profession/industry if the
prospects of Profession show      booming prospects; nevertheless, many
architects prefer to be in teaching when the boom declines. In both the
cases, academic architecture suffers whether there is a boom or a
decline in the profession.

3. A new trend seems to be appearing that is promoting a pattern of
Outsourcing of teaching manpower what appears to be becoming a Wandering
tribe of part-time visitors to architectural schools. They are able to
make as much as a regular lecturer is able to earn and they do not have
to be committed to a formal schedule at the place of visit. No school of
architecture can achieve any concrete development of its programs and
standards with the new pattern of ‘Fosterage’. This tribe of architects
is hard pressed for time, and they often adopt short cuts to teaching
methods, such as, a  ‘PSA’ teaching technique through direct projection
of information from the books and reading every line verbatim to
complete the formality of teaching.

4. Often voices are heard about the required qualification and
experience of architects who                     enter the teaching
profession. Generally, practicing architects are considered as the most
              suitable for this assignment. The council of Architecture
being alive to this situation defined parameters of qualifications to
ensure that right kind of architects with right kind of qualifications
enter the profession of academic architecture. However, it remains a
concern of architect teachers that they are not as well paid if teaching
alone is prime preoccupation. As a result of this, there are problems
that are experienced both by professional architects and academic
architects. Whatever, be the gravity of the problems, it needs to be
accepted that academic architecture cannot be left to a part time
status, nor can it flourish with the architects without higher
qualifications beyond Bachelor of Architecture
5.Academic architecture is not an issue of who is competent to become
architect-teacher; there remains a paradoxical situation as to who
should be eligible to become an architect. Pre-entry qualification
relevant to the field of architectural training cannot be watered down
to a point where anybody can be allowed to become architect with
mathematics as the only essential subject without an adequate background
of science appreciation. This approach makes the status of architecture
as the root cause of the subject being most misunderstood. Implicit
within this approach is that architecture is still being considered
primarily an art-oriented subject. An architecture syllabus of any
school, it will be obvious that there exist in the core curriculum a
host of subjects like Acoustics, Lighting, Climatology, solar
architecture, Architectural structures, Building materials and
construction, Building services, water supply and sanitation, Air
conditioning, Ventilation, Intelligent buildings and Computer
applications etc; none of them will be classified as basis of art in
architecture. Let us not forget tomorrow. Technology that sets the
trends for any development in a country can expect tomorrow’s architects
to think of the realities of art vs. science in newer context of
emerging technology.

Architects are themselves to be blamed for the architecture not being
understood properly. An architect presents himself as all in one
professional. Look at his visiting card on both sides very carefully. He
can do almost any thing that comes near the realm of architecture –Urban
planning, urban design, landscape Design, valuation, estimation,
contractor, Real Estate Site Management, Interior Design, Vastu and
Feing shui etc. Let me not forget some of them do mention their
professional capability as structural engineers also.

CONCLUDING OBSERVATIONS

Unless, we address ourselves to the host of issues mentioned earlier
with a determined commitment, the status of architecture will remain
where it is today. A total outlook of educational institutions, students
and parents, profession of Architecture and architects, will all have to
undergo a radical transformation. In this process, it is heartening to
note that the role of the Council of Architecture has changed itself
from the role of a watch- guard to a vanguard so as to be in command of
the professional innovations for achieving excellence. A major role has
to be to bring the profession to a level where it is not subordinated to
other professions because of its own inherent vagueness and deficiency.
This can be achieved if we make sciences and Mathematics as the basis
for professional training. Even if some people dream to relate it to
arts, let them at least think architecture as an application of
scientific art in building engineering so as to be measurable and
quantifiable in specific terms of evaluation. We can surely realize that
Architecture as a volumetric container of space has an indisputable
Possibility of being evaluated into measurable dimensions of sizes,
lengths, breadths, heights, scales, proportions, areas, angles, slopes,
depths, mass, densities, edges and circles are all an outcome of a
mathematical or geometric possibility as may be relevant to
architecture. There is no doubt in my mind that every thing that goes to
make a building or goes into a building is measurable in absolute units.

There had been several efforts made in the past as is obvious from the
historical periods to the modern days. Greek and Gothic architecture are
the few period examples that one can be inspired of to relate
architecture to meaningful measurements of visualizations. Similarly, in
the most recent times visibly quantifiable architecture has been
produced by help of geometry, science and mathematics by eminent
personalities like Buckminster Fuller (Geodesic Domes), P.L.Nervi
visibly perceivable structural forms, Le Corbusier for visibly
rationalized forms in geometry, and his mathematical basis of ‘Modulor’
are reasons enough to believe that architecture can be made a subject of
mathematical and scientific investigations. All it needs for an
architect to shed his exclusive dependence on the emotive-cum-intuitive
basis of romanticism with achievements of aesthetics of architectural
form that cannot be sustained by mathematical or scientific logics. A
good structural knowledge base, an economic quantification of space
utilization and optimization, a good interpretation of natural functions
of a building into a logical architectural volume, a good and sound
knowledge of local environment (geology, ecology, vegetation, climatic
interpretation and reflection in buildings, etc;) are extremely
important to understand as quantifiable variables that impacts the final
form of architecture as it emerges. It seems to me that most parameters
of architecture are rationally quantifiable, and if not, let us subject
them to a research program. Beyond the reasonable limits of logistics,
architecture becomes a luxury, and sometimes a wasteful vulgarity that
can be easily disposed of. Lack of logistics and a justifiable
rationalism, cannot be substituted by or compensated by an induction of
luxury in architecture. This is not to say that architecture needs to be
non-responsive or non-changeable profession. Innovation and
experimentation should be encouraged with a determined focus on making
architectural achievement a subject of logical interpretation as
mathematics and sciences are. It is continuous process of
experimentation that enriches the knowledge, and architecture should
remain alive to this responsibility.

Architecture may remain in evolution, and in fact, it should remain so,
but every evolving stage must be capable of being interpreted into
understandable or perceptible quantities. Let nobody ever feel that
architects make only maps, imitate or produce beautiful buildings as ‘NN
or BB’or’PSA’ category of architects. A new generation of young
architects must take up this challenge in this new age of science and
technology, communication, exploration and investigative reasoning. The
students of architecture, particularly those who want to make
architecture as serious career option, must be seriously concerned about
the quality of education they receive, the quality of physical
environment {including educational infrastructure) they get as a
learning environment. The teachers themselves, inasmuch as, the
profession of architecture must also play their role in promoting a new
culture of teaching and assimilation of knowledge by the students.