“Tell Me and I Forget; Teach Me and I May Remember; Involve Me and I Learn”
This is the Philosophy of Symbiosis School of Architecture, Urban Development and Planning (SSAUDP), which was established in 2017 in order to focus on skill-based education in India. The aim of this department is to bridge the gap between industry and education. With its founding principles of academic excellence, hands-on practices, and research aimed at addressing real-world problems.
The idea of a multi-skilled architect exists since Vitruvian time, as architects used to play the role of master-builders. The complexity of Architectural Practice today requires professionals with a wide array of skillsets – for example, visualization, creative problem solving, computer drafting skills, communication skills, interpersonal skills, management skills, more importantly, multitasking skills and so on. However Architectural education today seems to focus just on graphical skills and form manipulation skills. Architecture though being a skills course in itself has come a long way from the conventional education system. Today an architect requires digital skills along with the traditional skills of sketching and drafting. These skill sets, although essential to design, envisage only a part of an Architect’s role in the practical contexts.
There is a high demand for architects with the skills and attributes needed to successfully manage different projects. Those skills attributes are not limited to planning and designing but extended to include a diverse set of employability skills or 21st Century Skills.
The International framework of 21st-century skills is divided into three skill sets and twelve components laid out.
- Skill Set 1: Learning and Innovation with the components:
Critical thinking and problem solving, communication and collaboration, and creativity and innovation.
- Skill Set 2: Digital Literacies with the components: information literacy, media literacy, and information and communication literacy.
- Skill Set 3: Life and Career Skills with the components: flexibility and adaptability, initiative and self-direction, social and cross-cultural interaction, productivity and accountability, and leadership and responsibility.
The school focuses on learning by doing, which helps budding architects get involved in every single aspect of the field. The unique feature of the curriculum is the internship after every year, whereas in conventional colleges internships are conducted only in the fourth year. This kind of experiential learning opens up doors to a plethora of other fields that are in demand nationally and internationally.
The school has extensive contacts with government and trade organizations, private consultancies, different industries, and small and medium-sized companies. It also offers live workshops, webinars, and seminars with national and international eminent architects.
Also recognizing multiple intelligences and mapping the skillsets of the students is a very important aspect that is carried out diligently when the student is admitted. It helps the teachers commiserate with a variety of individual cognitive strengths, develop the skills of the students, help them to do multitasking, and implement varied tools to evaluate their skillsets. This also helps the students understanding their own potential and choose the right career for a bright future.