Bachelor of Architecture

Architecture is concerned with the design and construction of buildings in their social, technical and environmental contexts. The advent of the 21st century has witnessed globalization, urban growth, new materials and techniques, information technology and climate change at an unprecedented rate. The four C’s of education, viz., creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and communication are especially relevant to architectural education when laying a foundation for lifelong learning for students. Architectural education also needs to be viewed in the context of an ongoing paradigm shift in the field of higher education shift to a learnercentric approach where the student is an active participant in the learning processes. The challenge lies in designing new approaches to prepare students to be creative, innovative, and responsible shapers of our built environment.

The main aims of the program are as follows:

  • To establish a foundation for lifelong learning
  • To empower learning by doing. The Design studio is considered both a course and a place of study at the heart of an academic environment fostering design thinking that is analytical as well as creative.
  • To apply current educational theories that see learning as a process wherein the learner constructs or builds new concepts, focusing on learner-centric education rather than teachercentric education.
  • To transform the role of teacher to that of a facilitator, guide and mentor and not merely a transmitter of information
  • To encourage diverse learning styles, so that every student discovers the learning style best suited to the person.
  • To enable students to learn to find meanings and connections by critical contemplation of available resources.
  • To produce graduates capable of critically synthesizing architecture, engineering systems, social sciences and with entrepreneurial skills to be future leaders in the field.

The curriculum is designed in the context of the above stated goals, the overall vision of the school, content of syllabus and advances in pedagogy, while also incorporating current Guidelines for Minimum Standards of Architectural Education stipulated by the COA.

The curriculum is envisaged as a two- stage, ten-semester program of five years duration. The first stage of six semesters is of full time studies. The second stage consists of one semester of full time studies followed by one semester of practical training in professional offices and ending in final two semesters of full- time study.

The first six semesters comprise
Stage 1: a period of Foundation and Exploration where basic competencies are developed and students are exposed to a breadth of knowledge in various subjects in architecture.

The next four semesters comprise
Stage 2: where students undergo a one-semester Practical Training and three semesters focussing on Ideation and Synthesis. During the second stage students are encouraged to follow their interests and develop depth of understanding in any chosen field through studios, electives and researchbased studies.

The curriculum provides for choicebased learning at both Stage 1 and 2, where up to 25% of the hours are dedicated to provide various choices for students to explore their own areas of interest in the form of elective subjects and research work. At Stage 1 choice-based learning is introduced in the form of electives offered from Sem. III to Sem. VI.

At Stage 2 students are offered two electives per semester as well as choicebased studios and research work. Core subjects are compulsory and account for 75% of the teaching hours.

The curriculum proposes horizontal and vertical integration of design application and theory in a carefully calibrated manner, keeping Architectural Design as the central discipline.

In the second stage each student is required to deliver a well-researched seminar, write a research-based dissertation and present a design thesis along with advanced level courses and electives. Students gradually learn that architecture has evolved under the influence of occasionally conflicting forces i.e. history & culture, social aspirations, climate and technology. The students of the Bachelor of Architecture programme are exposed to a rich variety of design and planning expertise through full time faculty from several departments of studies of SPA and distinguished visiting faculty. Outstanding professionals serve as our juries.

National and international level workshops, exhibitions and seminars are continually held in the Department, several of which are organized in partnership with international universities and research organizations.

Participating students are exposed to new ways of thinking and imagining.

The Architectural Design Studio is considered as the formative space where all theoretical knowledge is validated, refined and applied as the primary way of experiential learning. Presided by the Architectural Design Studio, major subjects such as Building Construction and Structures and supportive subjects like Basic Design & Visual Arts and Architectural Practice have studios wherein students work on assignments that are designed to enhance the ability to resolve issues and make propositions as would be required in practice, in an environment that is conducive to exploration and evaluation.

The teaching environment provides a space for students to enhance their skills without fear of reproach. Great emphasis is to be placed on developing work ethics and learning by doing rather than learning by rote or copying. Freedom to think and question all ideas is encouraged.

The Architectural Design Studio is at the heart of the process and is the place where learning from all other courses is synthesized. Successive studios are conceived thematically to channelize all theoretical inputs in the semesters. The attempt is to connect knowledge gained from all courses with its practical application in the design studio to achieve a truly integrative experience. Also, a multi-disciplinary approach to studio is adopted which requires that subject area experts be involved in the studio process at appropriate stages to further enrich the studio experience. The study of architectural design is seen as a cumulative process, where past experiences and the learning from the previous semesters form the base, increasing the breadth and depth of knowledge as the student progresses. The studio sequence begins with instruction in design fundamentals and continues with design projects of increasing complexity, finally culminating in the Design Thesis in Semester X.

The studio encourages creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and communication through appropriate pedagogical strategies e.g. brainstorming, mind-mapping exercises, group & individual activities, presentations, peer-learning activities, student evaluations etc.

Through this programme we expect to impart a broad architectural education that serves as a window to multiple career choices and job opportunities depending on personal interests of students. The opportunities range from public, private, NGO and multinational corporate sectors. Students wishing to pursue further studies are eligible to apply to any of the Masters’ and Doctoral programmes being run by the School.

Since the Bachelor of Architecture degree programme of SPA is recognized internationally, a number of our students are accepted for advanced studies in the finest universities abroad. This course is approved by the Indian Institute of Architects and the Council of Architecture.