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Pursuing an Architecture Degree |
The Art of Designing Buildings

Topics Covered

Introduction to Architecture and Building

The Essence of Architecture

Have you ever paused to admire the beauty of a structure? Architecture isn’t just about erecting buildings; it’s the magic of designing spaces that echo human emotions and aspirations. Through the annals of history, from the pyramids of Giza to the contemporary skyscrapers, architecture stands as a testament to human ingenuity.

Beyond the bricks and mortar, architecture is a narrative of civilisations. Every arch, dome, and facade tells a story – of empires that rose and fell, of cultures that intertwined, and of technological marvels that transformed societies. In the grand courtyards of the Alhambra in Spain, we hear whispers of a once-thriving Moorish civilisation. In the intricate carvings of India’s Ajanta and Ellora caves, we witness the pinnacle of ancient artistry. And in the sleek, shimmering surfaces of the Burj Khalifa, we see the audacious ambitions of the modern world. Each structure, a page, a chapter in the vast book of humanity’s journey.

The Role of Buildings in Our Lives

Buildings aren’t just brick and mortar; they are vessels of memories, centres of innovation, and places of refuge. They are the spaces where we celebrate, contemplate, and seek solace. The skylines of our cities are defined by buildings, speaking volumes about societal progression and technological advancements.

Architectural Marvels Through Ages

From the grandeur of the Roman Colosseum, the intricate beauty of the Taj Mahal, to the innovative designs of the Guggenheim Museum, each structure offers a glimpse into the era it emerged from, reflecting the technological prowess and aesthetic preferences of its time.

Why Study Architecture, Building, and Planning?

Career and Opportunities

Architecture isn’t a one-dimensional field. An architecture degree in this domain can lead to myriad career paths. From designing lavish homes, conceptualising green buildings, to planning entire cities – the realm of possibilities is vast. With the world becoming increasingly urbanised, the demand for architects and planners is skyrocketing.

Architects as Environmental Stewards

In an era marked by climate change, architects bear the mantle of designing sustainable structures. They have a pivotal role in shaping a future where buildings harmonise with the environment, minimise carbon footprints, and utilise resources judiciously.

Fostering Creativity and Vision

Architecture is where science meets art. As students navigate the world of architectural education, they’ll find themselves at the crossroads of logic and creativity. It’s a journey of self-discovery, of finding one’s unique design voice amidst global influences.


Choosing the Right University for Architecture

Parameters for Selection

Selecting the right university is akin to laying the foundation of a building. Prospective students should weigh in factors like faculty credentials, infrastructure, industry connections, and internship opportunities. It’s also crucial to resonate with the university’s teaching ethos and philosophy.

WhatUni’s Role in Decision Making

Platforms like WhatUni serve as guiding lights for students swamped by choices. By offering transparent reviews, course details, and student testimonials, they present a panoramic view of what each institution has to offer.

Deep Dive into Architectural Studies

Understanding Design Principles

Central to architecture is the philosophy of design. Students delve deep into theories, understanding how spaces affect human psyche, behaviour, and emotions. From studying ancient architectural movements to the avant-garde designs of the 21st century, the journey is expansive.

Materials and Techniques: The Backbone of Structures

Every building, no matter how aesthetically appealing, relies on the strength of its materials. Students explore the properties of diverse materials – from traditional bricks and mortar to advanced polymers and smart materials. They also delve into innovative construction techniques that define today’s architectural marvels.

Green Building and Sustainable Designs

Sustainability isn’t a buzzword; it’s a necessity. Modern curriculums emphasise eco-friendly designs. Students explore passive cooling, rainwater harvesting, green roofs, and more, preparing them to champion the cause of sustainable architecture.

Urban Planning: Crafting Cities of Tomorrow

By 2050, 68% of the world’s population is projected to be urban. This underscores the importance of efficient and sustainable urban planning. Students learn to balance aesthetics with functionality, ensuring cities of the future are not just beautiful but also liveable.

The Cambridge Approach to Architecture

Studio Culture: A Melting Pot of Ideas

Cambridge is synonymous with academic excellence. Its architectural program stands out for its immersive studio culture. Here, ideas aren’t just discussed; they’re brought to life. Students critique, collaborate, and create, pushing the boundaries of conventional design.

Learning Beyond the Classroom

Cambridge believes in holistic education. Apart from rigorous academic modules, students are exposed to real-world architectural marvels. Study tours, site visits, and workshops under renowned architects offer insights that no textbook can.

Interdisciplinary Exploration

Architecture at Cambridge isn’t siloed. The curriculum is peppered with subjects ranging from history, sociology to cutting-edge technology. This interdisciplinary approach ensures graduates emerge as well-rounded professionals.

The University of Bath

Embarking on an architectural journey at the University of Bath is to immerse oneself in a rich tapestry of practical knowledge and theoretical rigor. Nestled in the historic city of Bath, renowned for its classical Georgian architecture, the university provides an ideal backdrop for architectural studies. Its Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering is consistently ranked among the UK’s top schools, offering a blend of innovative teaching methods and cutting-edge research.

At the University of Bath, the emphasis is on holistic learning. Students are exposed to real-world projects from the outset, ensuring a pragmatic understanding of architectural principles. The curriculum is enriched by a plethora of workshops, guest lectures, and site visits, giving students a multifaceted grasp of the discipline.

The university’s strong industry connections facilitate valuable internships and placements, ensuring students are well-prepared for professional challenges post-graduation. Furthermore, the vibrant student community, driven by various architectural societies and clubs, fosters a spirit of collaboration and creativity. Bath’s commitment to sustainability and environmental design is also noteworthy, reflecting the current global emphasis on green architecture.

The Architectural Association School of Architecture

Studying architecture at the AA Architectural Association is akin to entering a dynamic hub of innovation and creativity. Based in London, the AA has been at the forefront of architectural education and thought since its inception in 1847. Renowned for its progressive and avant-garde approach, the institution offers an unparalleled environment for aspiring architects to push boundaries and challenge conventions.

At the AA, learning isn’t confined to lectures. The school emphasises a hands-on, project-based pedagogy where students actively participate in design workshops, collaborative endeavours, and public presentations. The institution’s global reputation is bolstered by its impressive roster of alumni, including renowned architects like Zaha Hadid and Rem Koolhaas.

The AA’s diverse student community, hailing from over 60 countries, ensures a melting pot of perspectives and ideas. Such diversity is invaluable in a field where global sensitivities and multicultural understandings are paramount. The school’s commitment to experimental methodologies and a rigorous theoretical foundation ensures that its graduates are not only adept designers but also thought leaders, ready to shape the future of architecture.

The Bartlett School of Architecture

Nestled within the bustling heart of London is the Bartlett School of Architecture, part of University College London (UCL). Established in the late 19th century, the Bartlett has grown to be one of the leading institutions globally, imparting architectural education. Its philosophy transcends conventional boundaries, focusing on interdisciplinary approaches, research-driven learning, and a global perspective.

But what truly sets the Bartlett apart? It’s the marriage of tradition with avant-garde. Students and faculty alike are encouraged to challenge the status quo, fostering an environment of creativity and ingenuity. This spirit of innovation is palpable in the cutting-edge designs that emerge from the school’s studios, as well as the influential research that shapes architectural thought worldwide.

The location, too, plays a pivotal role. London, with its eclectic mix of the historic and the contemporary, offers a living lab for students. From the Gothic magnificence of the Westminster Abbey to the modernist brilliance of the Shard, the city’s skyline becomes a canvas for exploration, study, and inspiration.

In addition, the Bartlett’s robust alumni network stands as a testament to its excellence. From award-winning architects and urban planners to scholars and authors, its graduates are making waves, leaving an indelible mark on the architectural realm and beyond.

In essence, the Bartlett isn’t just a place of learning; it’s where the future of architecture is being envisioned, crafted, and celebrated.

The Future of Architecture

Technological Innovations Shaping the Field

The future of architecture is intertwined with technology. Concepts like 3D printing, virtual reality in design visualisation, and smart homes with IoT devices are no longer realms of fiction. They’re here, revolutionising how architects work.

Embracing Cultural and Social Sensitivities

In an interconnected world, architects will increasingly work on projects in diverse cultural settings. Understanding and respecting cultural nuances, historical contexts, and local sensibilities will be crucial.

The Business of Architecture

Beyond design, the future architect will also need to navigate the intricate world of contracts, client relationships, and project management. Balancing the art with the business side of things will be paramount.


The world of architecture is a vast and enchanting tapestry, intricately woven with threads of art, science, history, and human emotion. With every era, architecture has transformed, reflecting not just the aesthetic sensibilities of the time but also the technological advancements, societal values, and cultural nuances. Every brick laid, every blueprint drafted is not just a testament to human innovation but also a narrative of the civilisation from which it emerges.

In today’s rapidly urbanising world, the role of architects and planners becomes even more paramount. As cities expand and populations grow, there’s an increasing need to design spaces that aren’t just functional or aesthetically pleasing but are also sustainable, eco-friendly, and cognizant of the socio-cultural fabric of the community. The skylines of tomorrow’s metropolises will be defined by the decisions architects make today.

Furthermore, the field of architecture is undergoing a profound metamorphosis, driven by digitalisation and technological innovations. Tools like 3D printing, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence are reshaping how architects envision, design, and execute their projects. These advancements are not just redefining the methodologies but also expanding the horizons of what’s possible.

But beyond the tools and techniques, at its heart, architecture remains a deeply human endeavour. It’s about creating spaces that resonate with people, that tell a story, that stand as a testament to humanity’s indomitable spirit to create, innovate, and inspire. For those who embark on this journey of architectural education and practice, it’s not just about crafting structures but also about influencing lives, shaping skylines, and leaving a legacy for generations to come.

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