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  • Swati Sharma

Architecture in College vs Architecture in Real Life

As architects, we all have surely and most certainly been through these two stages of our life:

● Stage 1: The architecture life in college

● Stage 2: Architecture in real life

At this point, we are also aware of the fact that both of these stages of architecture life are completely different from one another. Like every journey has its ups and downs, being a student of architecture and practising architecture as a professional, both have their highlights.

Architecture in College - Exploring Without Limits

In the beginning of your time as a student of architecture, your mind is constantly learning. It is all about exploring the various methods of going on about a project. The most fun part about this is that there are no rules!

● No budget to handle

● No building codes to follow

Wait, what? No rules??

Yes! You read it correctly. Well, in the first two years of course, after that it starts getting lethal (but do not let that scare you).


Focus On Your Learning

All you have to do is focus on is your concept, your design and how you deal with the project as an individual (not to forget the time of submission and the dreaded jury day). You see the emphasis on ‘your’, right? Well, that is because this particular time is precious for potential architects to learn as much as they can and expand their horizon without limits. It is all about big gestures and ideas in college whereas, in real-life architecture, it’s pretty different.

Architecture in Real Life - It All Comes Down to the Rules

Once you enter the field, you need to follow the rules. Each project you get is associated with its particulars. The schedule, the budget and of course, the codes and by-laws. All these components together provide the basic substructure where your work peacefully cohabitates.

Two Different Worlds

Architecture in actuality is all about the procedure and the coordinated effort. For most of the individuals who enter the profession, the main introduction they have is from their time in college, but, that experience is very different from what comes after graduation or perhaps, after getting a job. College is mainly all about the studio, while the other classes, um well, let’s just say they are the fillings in between the time of the studio.

It Becomes Tangible

College is all about the design. The other side of the picture is when your projects come to life. Your project is not just laid out on a crisp sheet or untouchable behind a laptop screen or a weightless cardboard model anymore, it is real. It is as three-dimensional as it will ever be. The fact that your work exists in the real world, that is when you know the real joy of being an architect. Professionally, there is not a greater feeling than seeing a project you worked on come to existence. It’s like when you pass by a building you designed and you see the overhang on the side that is cantilevered out by about 14″ and you think to yourself “I did that.”

Perhaps, more rewarding than it was in college

This might probably be one of the best feelings of being an architect. Architecture in real life is more rewarding and who makes it rewarding? None other than the client. In college, we are on to impressing ourselves or the professors. In reality, there’s no match to the feeling of pride while taking a walk in a completed project with your client. That’s where all the sleepless nights, stressful redesigns and frustrating deadlines are all worth it for a satisfied client.



Nevertheless, It All Works Out Perfectly

To sum up the conversation, both the stages of architecture have their own charm. Along with that both of the stages are mainly about figuring it all out. When you are a student at an architecture college, you are on the road to exploring your style and your association with architecture. In fact, college life is mostly about figuring out architecture itself. Isn’t it? After you graduate you’re off to finding the place where your interest and skill set collides. It is all about determining what you like and what you are good at. Once it’s figured out, your world becomes a lot more rewarding.

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