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Architectural Design & Planning as a Career Choice

Nidhi Dixit

Hello everyone, if I mentioned to you these names like Statue of Unity or Mumbai Airport building or Auroville Town (Puducherry), what feelings come to your mind immediately? Yes, these are some of India’s most impressive and recent architecture developments. India has produced some of the world’s best Architects like: Brinda Somaya, Balkrishna or B.V.Doshi, Chitra Vishwanathan, Bijoy Jain, Bimal Patel, Khusru Irani, Sonam Wangchuk (Engineer practicing sustainable architecture), Christopher Charles Benninger etc.

In fact, Balkrishna Doshi who is a Gujarati and based in Ahmedabad was recently awarded the prestigious Lifetime Achievement award by the Royal Society of Architecture, London. Bimal Patel, another famous Gujarati Architect is designing the most eagerly awaited project in Delhi – Central Vista, expected to be ready 2025? Sonam Wangchuk, is another legend who inspired the famous character of Rancho in Hindi movie ‘3 idiots’!

So let us talk about the construction fraternity and each one’s role in this wide community which can create magic together. The role of architects is very important and crucial. It goes beyond just designing buildings. They play a major role in ensuring the health, safety, and welfare of individuals and society. They improve the lives and business activities of their clients, the lives and quality of living of individuals, cities, and towns. With the boom and ongoing developments in the construction industry, this field offers a wide scope for jobs. Collaboration & lifelong learning are key in this industry.

So who are key players here?

  1. Architect: is a designer who understands to mix technology and art together and helps the client achieve his/her construction dreams within the legal boundaries of the city or the village. To become an architect, you need to complete a 5 year degree Course in Architecture. An Architect can practice just like Doctors and Lawyers with a licence from Council of Architecture ( It’s a field where you need patience to build your career. Consider the architect as the captain of the Ship who sails with his construction colleagues and helps the Client reach right destination.

  2. Civil Engineer: is an Engineer who helps the architect build his vision with his structural calculations.

  3. Mechanical, Electrical & Plumbing Engineer team: is usually a team of Engineers which helps the architect with Air-conditioning, Plumbing and other mechanical system execution support.

  4. Builder/Developer: is the client with money or investment who initially owns and executes the project.


This is an important course in enriching the ability to create new designs in keeping with the latest trends and technology that is prevalent in the field of construction. It helps the development of innovative and creative skills.

  • Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.)

  • Bachelor of Planning (B.Plan.)

Difference between B.Arch. and B.Plan. – Bachelor’s in Architecture is a 5 years’ programme of 10 semesters whereas Bachelor’s in Planning is a 4 years’ degree programme of 8 semesters. B.Arch. deals with singular building, in 2D and 3D. Whereas, B.Plan. course is focused on planning aspect. B.Arch. course creates a foundation for Architecture, Construction, and finishing Architecture courses in the future. By completing the B.Arch course it is possible to start working in the field of architecture immediately after completing the program. In B.Plan. course we study the basic concepts, knowledge, and skills needed for urban and regional planning. The bachelor of planning program provides a strong base for those who wish to pursue further studies in planning and for those who wish to take up employment in the various government or private agencies engaged in planning activities. The Bachelor of Planning (Urban and Regional Planning) is an innovative degree that combines the study of planning with a major in another discipline. The degree will allow you to develop your knowledge and skills as both a planner and a specialist in another area such as International Studies, Finance, Urban Studies, or Design.

Admission to Architecture: The basic eligibility for pursuing both B.Arch. or B.Plan. is that the student must have done class 12th with a science stream, with Mathematics as a compulsory subject from a recognized education board. After 12th science stream, you can appear for National Aptitude Test in Architecture (NATA). More can be found on

The study of architecture includes working on the designs of buildings, preparing the blueprint of the construction and all other physical structures of building and land. The course content includes various aspects of engineering, aesthetics, different streams of humanities and so on. The syllabus is a rich blend of theory subjects, practical training, studio work, project work and research training. Some key subjects are as follows:

  1. Architectural Design

  2. Building Construction

  3. Theory of Structures

  4. Model making and Workshop

  5. Site Planning and Landscape Studies

  6. History of Architecture

  7. Art and Architectural Appreciation

  8. HVAC (Heat, Ventilation, Air-Conditioning), Mobility & Fire Safety

  9. Green Systems Integration

  10. Contemporary Architecture


Scope of Masters Post Architecture graduation: Just like doctors, in architecture too there are various domains of expertise you can pursue such as:

  • Master of Planning (M.Plan.)

  • Master of Architecture (M.Arch.)

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Architecture (Ph.D. Architecture)

Some differences between M.Arch. and M.Plan. are as follows: M.Arch. requires study in architectural disciplines like urban design, landscape design, architectural conservation. M.Plan. on the other hand involves higher studies in regional planning, town planning, environmental planning etc. M.Arch. takes in students who have completed B.Arch. whereas to pursue M.Plan., the candidates need to have completed their graduation in physical planning, geography, sociology etc.

Entrance Exam (PG): Graduate Aptitude Test in Architecture (GATE)

Here is a list of some reputed institutes in India offering Bachelors & Masters programs:

  1. Maharaja Sayajirao University, Vadodara

  2. Centre for Environment Planning & Technology (CEPT), Ahmedabad

  3. Sarvajanik College of Engineering & Technology (SCET), Surat

  4. Ranchana sansad, Mumbai

  5. Bharti Vidyapeeth, Mumbai & Pune

  6. School of Planning and Architecture (SPA), Delhi

  7. Dr. Bhanuben Nanavati College of Architecture for Women (BNCA), Pune


There are various areas where one can work post the B.Arch. as below:

  • Design Architect: Developers, Architecture firms, International design firms, Research Firms

  • Liasoning Architect: Firms dealing with govt. Authority clearance of projects usually a project management firm or Architecture firm.

  • Landscape Architect :

  • Digital Architect: Work on non-traditional tools of construction using parametric rules of design.

  • Urban Planner: Work on City & town planning

  • Rural Planner: Work with villages and rural design.

  • Environmental Planner: Work with various govt. authorities considering environmental aspects.

  • Green Building Consultant: Work with Architects with special focus on sustainable design and energy compliance.

  • Industrial Architects: Focus on industries and Factory layout.

  • Banks: Clearing of Project loans

  • Govt. Department: Town planner, Architect, urban planner, rural planner

  • Smart Cities & Research fellowships: Most of govt. programs encourage fellowships for architects in various roles.

  • Movie Set designer: Movie producers and designers hire architects to rebuild temporary sets and visualize the scenes.


“I believe making and breaking boundaries are both human endeavours. I believe boundaries are created by us – degree, study, experience – what lies beneath is a constant urge to learn and explore new horizons. Explore the magic created by fusion of Art & Technology.” – Nidhi


M.Arch (Environmental Design & Planning)

Faculty at BNCA College of architecture of Pune, Founder: Arcallusion consulting

Nidhi has been a master in the domain of Sustainability that offers consultancy in sustainable design & analysis. Her gamut of work includes Building energy simulation analysis, Green building certifications and Green Product certifications for past 12 years now. She practices Urban Energy Modelling & Life cycle analysis of products. Conducting cross disciplinary training at Indian universities is something she has been attempting to inspire students to take a leap towards sustainability through profession & passion.

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