Why Architecture? Why designing and creativity are the important tools of one’s personality?

Architecture was the result of human urge to make himself safe. We can imagine the caveman making his cave as strong as possible against his enemies, the wild animals and from the vagaries of nature. But the fast evolution of human intelligence and his getting civilized sooner than the other living beings on the earth gave rise to his imagination for creation of beauty, convenience and comfort. Some of us must have seen the nest of the weaver bird, the baya woven artistically and functionally a very good nest. It has different chambers in it and hangs from a branch of a tree in a way that it can fly away and into it easily. It is said that the bird fixes fireflies (jugnu) in its nest so that the interior gets light too. If a bird can do this, why not human beings? Designing and creativity are inborn in animals, birds and human beings. But of course the idea is ‘Safety First.’ Japan is an earthquake prone country. The houses are designed in a way that in an earthquake they afford maximum security and minimum loss of life and property. But what about Khajuraho, Ajanta and Elora art; the Sphinx in Egypt, still the historical monuments round the world such as the Taj Mahal, The statue of Liberty, The Tower of Pisa, The Eifel Tower and even the famous Big Ben clock in England. Man’s creativity has left its footprints on the sands of time and it is still on a steady march. The Indian scriptures are replete with examples of human creativity and ingenuity for designing. The Laksha Griha or the lacquer palace the Kaurava’s built to burn the Pandvas alive is a good example. Then the ancient temples too are seen as human urge of creativity. However, not only Hindu’s but also temples and other monuments of man irrespective of race, culture and nationality are scattered round the globe. Obviously, safety, beauty and comfort have always prompted man to create new buildings etc. Ram Setu is believed to have been built by the famous engineers Nala and Neel in the Ramayana era.

Once in a lecture in a University before scientists, I had asked them whether all discoveries and invention of science will have been made in a certain time span, say ten thousand years and the answer was a firm No, for as long as the earth and civilizations survive, discoveries and inventions will continue to be made. There never is scarcity of space and the urge for it is undying. They will go hand in hand with man. There is no part in the world where there are not human habitations and the people don’t live in houses. The circumstances of the place, its seasons, weather, people’s economic conditions determine the type of houses. The houses have doors in a way that the man walking on two legs can move in and our straight. Suppose man was a flying creature, could it not have been possible to make the entrance in a different manner to facilitate his entry and exit? Well! It cannot be denied. In the countries where it snows, houses tend to have sloping roofs so that the snow would slide down and the roof would not be burdened but in climates where there is no fear of snow, the houses can have flat roofs and now there are swimming pools on rooftops. Many enterprising beings have rooftop gardens and grow their own vegetables. These days solar panels are installed on roofs. Can we deny that there is no paucity of space in the world and that the creativity instinct and skill can be limited? No, they never can.

Man earns his bread by the sweat of his brow. That is to say, he must work and work to earn his living. There are thousands of basic needs for people and there are likewise thousands of professions to meet these needs. The press offers many suggestions about professions to the qualified. Gateway Engineering College, one of the myriads, offers multiple choices for its students to follow and study. Architecture is not a simple mumbo jumbo. It has evolved into a fine field of study and Architectural Engineering is fine-tuned to train engineers and send out to create to meet the needs of industry in every country. Architecture has to follow the needs of from designing a hut to a palace, from a small one skilled person run factory to large factories employing thousands. Hospitals need different types of architecture. The theaters, the eateries must differ from each other. Then they must also be beautiful besides being safe and functional. They must afford maximum comfort too. In a space capsule, the astronauts are provided as much comfort as is feasible. Only the engineers must have imagination. As human population is increasing, so are its needs. They create space and designing will follow suit.

The scenario clearly shows that there are multiple career opportunities. It will not be wrong to imgine that thousands of jobs will be created. All establishments whether governmental or outside of govt. Architects will be required. The cities are expanding and so are villages that are getting urbanized fast. Space for building houses is shrinking. Like Mumbai, only vertical rise is possible as the space is limited and the population is increasing. Naturally, till today there is a limit of the number of storeys that can be constructed in apartment houses. Then the problem of electricity access and the total absence of obstacles in flying over the cities are to be kept in view. Architectural changes are demanding work. The engineers with innovative vision will be needed and jobs will come begging. New technologies are coming to the fore and Architectural changes are required. The underground tunnel lab Cern that discovered Higgs Bosson partical was a great feat of Architecture. The underground and the undersea paths and transport channels need architectural technology and new challenges have to be faced almost daily. The concept of driverless vehicles, multipurpose vehicles that can move on the roads and fly into the sky, the planes that can land on the water surface or even on housetops are already in the pipeline. They are coming soon. Naturally specialization in architectural engineering will be required and the engineering colleges will offer these courses. We can assume that there will be no shortage of job opportunities.

The engineers that built the monuments referred to in the write up were all path breakers. Le Corbusier who designed Chandigarh can never be forgotten. Lutvin who designed Delhi too was an architect. Sardar Sobha Singh who built most of South Delhi was a man of vision. Then Homi Bhabha, APJ Kalam and many others in India are examples of designers and then the architecture needed to house the establishments. You just think and will find that every country can boast of her engineers. The Indian great living legend is Raj Rawal who designed the Hall of Nations and Human Habitat at low cost in Bombay. Then the students in India opting for Architecture Engineeering need have no fear of joining this branch. It has a bright future.

Prof. M. S. Verma