If you’d asked me that question, I’d say it’s one of the most outrageous questions I have ever encountered. Why, because I felt like it, because it fascinates me. End of story. But, I remember from back when I was doing my O-level, my English teacher had said to us that when writing an essay and presenting an argument, ‘because my mother says so’ is the most pathetic form of rebuttal one could come up with when faced with the daunting ‘why’ and the like. Jurisprudence of common sense suggests that there has to be a reason for everything. The darker undertones of this pervasive demand, seeping and staining our social fabric, shouldn’t be taken so lightly, however, it would be wrong to accuse a genuine search for explanation of something that holds your name up high, and serves as a lifelong recluse. You are not to be blamed for curiosity.
Lying behind the why, is the what. What could be worse than to have prospective students getting caught off-guard by anxiety, as witnessed last year by many; default defined as crisis drags on if the choice and temperament are not catered for simultaneously. For this reason, the official website of NUST, and the school’s official blogs, [Blog-1& Blog-2] are stashed with reasoning enlightening the thought behind this field and the weightage of NUST as a lifelong title, plus the affiliation with the Middle East Technical University (METU), Ankara, Turkey which set the stepping stones for its curricula. The school has established linkages with METU for faculty and student transfer, besides training of faculty in various courses such as software, history of architecture and architecture criticism. The first collaborative effort was accomplished by developing the curriculum of the architecture school, providing book lists, and a list of equipment for the model shop. The Library at present is subscribing to journals from the US, UK, France and Italy, and getting larger and more user-friendly by the day.
There’s also the confusion that grips the masses appertain to the definition of architecture. Is it art? Or is it that thou engineering hath bequeathed its bounties upon it? I came across a statement online which said that if you draw a line somewhere between art and science, you’d spot architecture there. But that wouldn’t appease some of the adult minds out there who might want to have clearly spelled-out replies, later to be used in situations where they can flaunt, ‘jee mera bacha engineer ban raha hai’, having implications like how “I have a degree in computer science” is synonymous to “I have an IQ of 700”. Meaningless but impressive. Well for that, it isn’t an engineering degree, rather a design one. A friend currently enrolled with me, first thought of it as being all about building a building; ‘chaar deewarien aur aik chat’. But after being introduced to the design aspect, it changed our interpretation fully.
The skills that an architect possesses are relevant to all aspects of the built environment, from constructing new buildings to conserving old ones. The range of work architects are required to undertake is so varied that each architect could give you a completely different description of what they do and why. The one thing that is consistent in architectural work is that it is concerned with people. So it’s about a lot more than just buildings, it’s about the world we live in. While a building once completed merely ages, a landscape grows, evolves and matures, changing with the seasons. It is easy to define Architecture but the word has far deeper meaning than it implies. While you study Architecture, you get to study various fields of human endeavor, including Art, History, Material Science, Physics, Engineering… anything and everything that can help improve the living environment of human beings. It is the most diverse subject you can find. And yet, this field attracts the most creative and romantic of minds in the world. Eventually you realize while studying and imploring further into the depths of it, that you are the subject yourself. Let’s see if the architect Doug Patt agrees with me or not;
I ventured into NASCOM organization in Islamabad one day which houses a three-digit number of computer engineers; per contra it only has a single-digit numbered architect(s) employed there. The fact that it wasn’t related to architecture was a satisfying albeit momentary relief. To tell you the truth there are hundreds of firms out there, and this field gives you the opportunity to go abroad as well, yet google alone is sufficient to show you the worlds of disappointments linked with it and to show how it isn’t quite the utopia you thought it was. As for me, you know as they say; “If you can’t see the bright side of life, polish the dull side”. Passion as it was, the field of my choice was anything but on the dull side. Not only are there many different forms of architectural practices, ranging from small private firms to public or corporate offices, but also an architectural degree can be the platform for a wide range of related careers. Some architecture graduates gain further qualifications in such specialist fields as planning, landscape on conservation, while others move on to work in interior designing, or to become teachers or animation and graphic gurus.
Most importantly, it would be to assault you when and if I say that you can be an architect if you have that streak in you. If you think about doing medicine or engineering a hundred times before taking them up as a university major, you might want to think a thousand times before you join SADA. The intimidating amount of hard work drags you to the verge of committing suicide almost every day and suffocates you internally with the very question that why continue? Only true resolve and ambition will bounce it back to your grey matter, asking, why not!
Sources: studyoversees.com, architecture-student.com