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‘Teaching architecture must become a primary career option’

Apeejay Institute of Technology-School of Architecture and Planning alumnus Atri Mishra says architects must focus on the minutest detail

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Atri Mishra, an alumnus of the Apeejay Institute of Technology-School of Architecture and Planning (AIT-SAP), cherishes the time he spent at the college campus. After completing his Bachelor’s degree from AIT-SAP, he went ahead to pursue Master in Architecture from School of Planning and Architecture, Bhopal. At present, Mishra is working as an Assistant Professor at Dr. D Y Patil College of Architecture, Akurdi, Pune. He is also doing his PhD from NIT Patna in Sustainable Heritage. In an interview, Mishra talks about the importance of hands-on experience while learning architecture.

What inspired you to choose architecture and the Apeejay Institute of Technology – School of Architecture & Planning?

My father is a civil engineer and I was inspired by him. Since my childhood, I have been interested in art and design. I chose Apeejay because after looking at various options, I found that the faculty at AIT-SAP were highly experienced. They were also associated with well-recognised brands in the architecture industry. Plus, AIT-SAP is strategically located in Greater Noida that provides students with a lot of exposure. 

Kindly share some of your learnings from AIT-SAP?

We were taught how to first build a concept and the importance of concept thinking while designing; what impact does a design leave? This proves to be really helpful when I am teaching my students. I try to take the same approach while teaching them about different elements and designs that I have learnt from my mentors. We were taught by Agnihotri Sir who used to explain to us in detail about how a design and amalgamation of different elements bring a difference to a particular space. How architects need to have a keen eye for detail and spatial awareness as they are involved in conceptualising, mapping and supervising projects of various scales. So while teaching, I try to incorporate similar things.

Any fond memories or things that you loved doing while you were at AIT-SAP?

I believe I learnt something new each day in the time that I spent at AIT-SAP. And in architecture, one of the best things is that you learn by doing: you get a lot of hands-on experience. Our classes were held in the studios but at the same time, we used to have classes in the playground, the hostels, and so on, wherein our faculty used to teach us about the various aspects of design related to different spaces. I remember there was construction work going on behind our college and we used to visit there to understand the kind of material being used. In fact, since AIT-SAP is located in Greater Noida – this is one of the best parts about the college that it provides you with so many opportunities to explore and learn.

Why did you take up teaching architecture as a profession?

It was again inspired by one of the teachers who had mentored me during my Master’s. After completing my Bachelor’s, I was working on several projects. But when I went for my Master’s, I got inspired to take up the teaching profession. I realised architecture is such a field where you can keep learning and learning and when you are teaching get the opportunity to again learn from scratch. I also wanted to work on different projects and teaching allows me to do so. I feel teaching architecture must become a primary career option. It requires full time engagement of a person    

What pedagogical approach do you follow to teach your students?

Like I said, when you teach students you have to be thorough with your concepts. I am inspired by Bjarke Bundgaard Ingels – a Danish architect. He narrates his concepts very nicely when he is designing anything. I really admire his work. In the same way, our faculty at Apeejay taught us the importance of concept thinking before designing anything. Moreover, the arches or shapes that I used to create, my faculty never discouraged me. Rather, they explained to us where those designs would rightly fit in. Similarly, I don’t discourage my students from designing anything. 

Harshita is Assistant Editor at Apeejay newsroom. With experience in both the Media and Public Relations (PR) world, she has worked with Careers360, India Today and Value360 Communications. A learner by nature, she is a foodie, traveller and believes in having a healthy work-life balance.

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