Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://localhost:8081/xmlui/handle/123456789/510
Authors: Kaur, Rrabhjot
Issue Date: 2008
Abstract: Though the practice/profession of architecture is as old as the beginning of human civilization, the profession has undergone extensive growth and changes since then. As architecture is linked with people and places, which by themselves are dynamic, the profession has been adjusting itself to the changing needs of the society through ages. However the world is in the middle of the most intense and substantial state of flux, never witnessed in the history of mankind. Revolutionary transformations triggered primarily by dramatic economic growth and the free flow of social, cultural and creative ideas across borders are sweeping across the world and more so in developing countries like India and China, which are the fastest growing economies of the world. This has been made possible by globalization and revolutions in the Information Technology. However, the new dynamism introduced by globalization in the businesses worldwide and the zeal displayed by the Indian industry in search of new markets (as also the economic benefits) is yet to find its reflection in architecture profession in spite of the tremendous growth in construction and real estate sectors in India. The liberal economic policies of the government have put India on fast track of development and growth with its gross domestic product (GDP) touching two digits, with India allowing foreign direct investment (FDI) up to 100% in many sectors including construction and real estate and permission to raise reality mutual funds, real estate and construction sectors have become two of the most preferred destinations for FDI as well as domestic investments, which pegged at $16 billion in 2006-07 is estimated to reach $60 billion by 2010. The phenomenal growth of construction industry with almost 10% increase in annual production of cement, (a prime constituent of construction) is clear indicator of the development activities going on in the country. All this has created a huge demand of skilled professionals in the country. However this boom has not benefited all architects. Not only Indian architectural firms by and large are yet to become multinational companies working in international markets (particularly in the developed world) with the exception of few projects by renowned architects; most of the architectural firms (specially the small and medium sized firms and those practicing in small and medium towns) are finding it difficult to get sufficient number/size of projects and/or provide the services required of them in view of the competition faced from the multinational architectural firms that have started working in India, which have wide experience of handling large projects and knowledge of advanced technology. Globalization has brought with it international competition in trade and services (including architecture) giving rise to unprecedented challenges as well as opportunities for architects. Outsourcing professional services (including architectural services) is another emerging trend, which has the potential of redefining the profession in the coming years. Multinational architectural consultancy firms coming to India have given rise to new challenges, which demand international quality and highest level of efficiency. Entirely new construction technologies and range of new materials, which were hitherto unknown to Indians, have entered the Indian markets. Besides, due to revolution in information technology, information has become universally available and the knowledge of what is happening in any part of the world can reach other parts within seconds. Whereas better knowledge of emerging trends of architecture styles is an advantage, it throws up new challenges as plagiarism has also become rampant. Thus, every professional in post globalize era is challenged to provide best of design/service, prove its uniquenessAA/orth using cutting edge technologies in very short time with nominal fee. A target that is very difficult to achieve without the help of state of art technology, managerial skills, flexibility in approach and a totally committed team work, all of which need to be incorporated in the training ofprofessionals. Whereas on one hand a larger scale/size of real estate development/projects are being handled by foreign architects at exorbitant fees; many Indian architects are finding it difficult to get projects and/or sufficient fees, specially in small towns and cities. This bipolar situation requires a proper understanding of the current scenario of the type of services required from architect and the competence required of architecture professionals to deliver them, and consequently the appropriateness of the architectural education being imparted in the country for the survival and the growth of the profession, Which at present is rooted in age old model introduced by Britishers in early 20th century32. Changing Role of Architect in Society The role of architect has changed drastically from being a master builder of tombs and temples during ancient periods to designer of churches , plazas and palaces in renaissance period to designer of housing after world wars as 'a servant of society', designer of industrialized buildings using latest innovations and technology in post- industrial revolution period, to designer of 'High-tech' buildings for the new princes of corporation and financial institutions and merchant princes, to playing significant role in energy conservation (after 1970 energy crisis) and environmental protection and to a well defined professional delivering a diverse range of services during the post modern period 96. Radical changes consequent upon globalization and IT revolution have dramatically changed the role of architects in the contemporary society. Not only have the types and size of buildings to be designed/built and clients have changed, there has been a significant change in the services to be provided by the architects. Architects are required to work in team and to collaborate with other specialists especially for larger projects. Collaborations among the many parties involved in the design and construction of built environment has become imperative not only at regional or national level but also for extending their limits overseas to avail opportunities provided by globalization. In addition, architects like other service providers in a market driven economy have to be good businessmen and managers for successful practice. Architects are also likely to play a bigger social role in dealing with the concerns of the society such as climate change and improvement in social infrastructure particularly in developing countries like India. Therefore, the architect in future is likely to act as collaborator, facilitator and as specialist in a teamwork rather than a solo artist or a team leader. Whereas, the architects coming out of the schools at present are considered ill-equipped to handle such varied roles, necessatitating a review and reorientation of architectural education in the country. Need of Study There can be no substantiate overhaul of architectural education unless we understand the profession of architecture itself. The major challenge is in providing a curriculum that prepares students for professional practice in most challenging international pressures. It is vital for all concerned to understand the roles architects are playing in the society; the services they are extending; the way they are managing their business, the problems they are facing in extending these services etc. Thus, a study is warranted which look into the present status of architectural profession so that architectural education can be modify to serve the profession better. Keeping all this in mind, a study of contemporary architectural practices in India has been undertaken for doctoral research with the following hypothesis. Hypothesis There exist a yawning gap between the Contemporary architectural practices & its education in the country, so the knowledge structure, skills & abilities required to face the challenges posed by globalization are not adequately addressed / taught in its formal education. Thus...'Existing architecture education system in India needs to be reoriented, if required replaced by an appropriate model as early as possible Significance of the Study No such study has been conducted so far in the country. However, similar studies have been conducted in other parts of the world to aid the healthy development of the profession in general and its education in particular in view of globalization. A study of this kind is most warranted in the present circumstances to understand the intricacies of the profession and to reorient its education for its present and futuristic needs. Benefits of the Study The proposed research will benefit the following: The professional institutes like COA, IIA &AICTE. The findings will help them take appropriate decisions for laying down norms for architecture education and for the healthy development of architecture profession. The academic institutes - to reorient their course content to address current and future needs of profession and society. - The fresh graduates who are struggling for respectable living within the profession and the students - who are preparing themselves for this profession. Aims and Objectives The Aim: This present endeavor aims at investigating the current scenario of architecture practices and the critical issues confronting the profession. Objectives: In order to achieve the above stated aims, the following objectives have been framed: 1. To understand the current scenario of architectural practices. 2. To seek practitioners feedback on critical issues confronting architecture professionals consequent upon globalization, economic liberalization and technological advancements. 3. To explore the appropriateness of the knowledge structure being taught by the architectural schools, values and skills critically required for practice, from the practicing architects, in India. Methodology Exploratory and descriptive research method using quantitative techniques has been implied in this study. Interviews as well as survey techniques have been used to seek the information from practicing architects on the targeted issues. Survey Tools and Techniques: A self-constructed questionnaire has been used to seek the opinion of practitioners on 5-point scale formulated108 on the basis of study of available literature and interviews of practicing architects. A pilot survey was conducted in and around Chandigarh, a land mark architectural city, to check the reliability and validity of the questionnaire. The sample for the pilot study was collected from more than forty registered practicing architects. On the basis of its analysis and the suggestions made by the respondents suitable amendments/ suggestions were incorporated before collecting the data at national level Sampling Techniques: Stratified random sampling techniques have been employed for this investigation. The questionnaire was send through post or emailed to registered practicing architects in five zones of India (North, East, South West, and Central) to collect the sample. In every zone 4 to 5 main cities (with maximum number of Registered Practicing Architects) constitute the sample. Statistical Analysis: Non-parametric statistical procedures have been adopted. Percentage, weighted means and chi-square test have been applied to analyze the data. Software tool SPSS (Statistical package for the social sciences) has been employed for this investigation. Salient findings The study revealed the changing ground realities of contemporary architectural practices. As shown in the table below it was reported in this study that majority architects are not getting fees as per Council of Architecture norms; i.e. their design ability are not suitably rewarded. It is also pointed out that the firms focusing on 'Only design service' will find it difficult to survive; they need to provide more than just design. Providing turnkey services has emerged as an important clients demand. When asked to reflect on the statements 'Larger the firm easier is the survival' and 'Small firms unless specialize will not survive' majority agreed, which clearly indicates that collaborations and ability to work in team have become important for successful survival, Those who wish to have individual identity (remain small in size) must specialize to face the challenges posed by globalization. The Council of architecture norms debars the architects to advertise their services or to participate in tender bids, (which are so commonly seen in newspapers, advertised even by the government departments) whereas in the changing business environment, where all service providers do advertise their achievements highlighting their competitiveness, Why to debar the architects. This study significantly shows that almost half are in favour of omitting these clauses from professional code of conduct. Statement Agree Donot Djsagree Missing Architects do not get fee as per COA scale of charges Firms that focus entirely on design will become obsolete Larger the firm easier is the survival Small firms unless specialize will not Survive Architects should be free to advertise their Services Architects have no option than to participate in tender bids -\yi cc Know Cases 93.0% 0.5% 3.3% 3.3% 52.6% 18.8% 24.9 3.8% 56.3% 18.3% 24.4 .9% 58.2% 8.5% 31.9 1.4% 49.8% 16.9% 31.0 2.3% 46.5% 8.5% 41.8 3.3% When asked to rank the most important skill/ ability to run a successful practice, architects across the nation have ranked business ability foremost followed by sound technical knowledge. They also reported, managerial skills especially budget management, project/construction management, are essential for architects. Only 20% agree that these subjects are adequately taught by architectural schools. The results have been cross tabulated across different age groups and few other variables like region, client served and preference of opting architecture as career. Chi-square test applied to find out the difference of opinion among different categories of architects to find out the relationship between various variables at 0.05 level of significance and reported accordingly.
Other Identifiers: Ph.D
Research Supervisor/ Guide: Pushplata
metadata.dc.type: Doctoral Thesis
Appears in Collections:DOCTORAL THESES (A&P)

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