Architecture is first fragile, then established, later decayed and finally replaced. More than buildings, Architecture is the essence of life. As a holistic meta-discipline, architecture has evolved through an ongoing creative, constructive and collaborative effort by the human community in the quest for survival and development. The discipline is much more than mere building technology and has its own language, grammar and expression. It is a distinctive pedagogy with its own unique identity.
Manav Rachna International University (MRIU) offers cutting-edge B. Arch (Architecture) and B. Sc Interior Design Programs along with post-graduate M. Sc-Interior Design programs. It is noteworthy that MRIU is among the very few approved NATA (National Aptitude Test in Architecture) Centers and has to its credit the coveted NAAC 'A' grade status. The Bachelor of Architecture (B. Arch) program at MRIU is approved by the Council of Architecture.
Students in the 1st year of B.Arch degree course are admitted on the basis of marks obtained in the National Aptitude Test in Architecture (NATA) administered by CoA (Council of Architecture). The first year is the foundation year where the focus is on developing basic architectural design skills. The following two years focus on advanced skill development. The fourth and fifth years allow students to focus on areas and practice domains of their choice. During the fourth year, students intern for one semester with approved architectural offices anywhere in India. During the tenth semester, students undertake individual capstone projects. The Architecture Program is centered on 'studios' where students are expected to resolve life-like design problems on their own. During breaks between semesters, students are required to sign up for study tours or courses organized as part of the summer and winter programs.
The Interior Design program at MRIU develops imaginative, responsible solutions to problems created by social needs and economic constraints, as well as the material and physical limitations of the built environment. The post-graduate M. Sc Interior Design is workshop based supported by seminars, lectures, tutorials, and fieldwork.
Learning at the Faculty of Planning and Architecture (FPA), Manav Rachna International University is an experience full of joy and creativity. Students are groomed to cultivate visual acumen endlessly and taught to experience buildings first-hand. The exclusive group of emancipated faculty is in favour of a more free form of interaction between teachers and learners, exposing students to the aesthetic, technical, social, political and ethical dimensions of the built environment.
The challenge for the Teacher of Architecture is to channelize students' unbridled energy and expectations and propel them into the world of Design while facilitating both learning and unlearning. There is a lot to be learnt in the first year itself and often it is the first year that leaves a lasting impression on the budding Architect and forms the basis of lifelong learning.
"The quest for excellence in Architecture is aimed at reaching out to the people in order to provide them with a better quality of living environment. This qualitative concern is at the core of research endeavour. The qualitative objectives in education and profession require a questioning mind and a critical attitude," says Ar. Jatinder Saigal, Professor & Dean, Faculty of Planning & Architecture, Manav Rachna International University.
In order to regain the lost spirit and to ensure Quality in Architecture, research endeavour needs to be encouraged by society, government, professional bodies, educational institutions, research centres and Architects. In fact, it is Research alone which will provide us an insight and clarity in choosing the path ahead for evolving Architecture that is rooted in our philosophy, culture and Arts. This does not mean that we have to go back to the past styles and ways of building. Research will challenge us to create an Architecture that is appropriate to our space, time and people, and in the process, invent a new future.
"There is a feeling that inspite of more than six decades of professional efforts since Independence, Architecture is not understood as an important discipline by a vast majority of people. One of the reasons is that Architectural discourse has been restricted to English speaking circles, media and social groups. In order to reach out to the people, we have to use our own national and regional languages to communicate. So it will be proper if we are able to publish the research studies in Hindi and other regional languages," explains Ar Jatinder Saigal. He is of the opinion that there is a need to inspire fellow Architects, Educators and Researchers to contribute their thoughts, ideas and studies to further enrich the discipline of Architecture.
Through professional interactions by the Architectural community using other communication media, it would be possible to develop an ongoing Architectural discourse at national, regional and local levels to spread awareness about Architecture.
At MRIU, there is a constant effort to help take Architecture to the next level by organising teachers training programmes, conducting Research programmes and seminars on critical issues. The aim is to help Architecture evolve towards its next stage of development so as to enhance its contribution towards the evolution of a more humane and sustainable society.
Unlike many branches of education, Architecture is one of the most distinctive provinces which require creative attitude. The primary concern is to produce three dimensional spaces to accommodate a number of human activities. Hence, the process needs to have a balance between formal and socio-behavioral aspects on one hand and on the other hand, the designer's ability to search, think , analyze, apply and perform various other mental activities.
In any school of architecture the most important issue is to have an appropriate relationship between design education provided and skills required for successful practice. At MRIU, the curriculum is so designed as to bring about a congruency between design education and the role of an architect which is essential to provide better environment for the needs of contemporary societies.
Interested students may visit the website www.mriu.edu.in for further information.