While architects feel that regulatory bodies for the fraternity need more freedom and power, the regulatory body says that it is serving its purpose well. Reports Preeti Srivastav
To a profession that holds potential of building a nation and influencing the life of future generation, it is imperative to have a regulatory body looking into the interest of the fraternity and also keeping a check on any possible professional compromises or despotism creeping into the business. Rules and regulations may pose a hindrance to creativity, however, when creativity acquires the status of a profession, rules are just as important. Applying the same principle to the profession of architecture, we have regulatory bodies like Indian Institute of Architecture (IIA) and Council of Architecture (COA) who are looking into the ethical practice of the profession in India. However, there seem to be a difference of opinion between the members (practicing architects) and office bearers of the regulatory bodies.
Prem Nath, Prem Nath Associates, says, “Though the regulatory bodies are doing a good job considering their basic responsibilities, they definitely need more powers. We need a media savvy body that is working full time to make the profession more popular among the masses, so that people know about the benefits of good architecture.
Alfaz Miller, ABM Architects, says, “Regulatory bodies have a lot to improve on. First of all, they need more professionalism and less of bureaucracy. They need to stand for the fraternity and not just regulate it. There are a lot of things that they need to take care of.
Gunisha Sanyal, Hiranandani Constructions Private Limited, says, “We need regulatory bodies to be more realistic. The profession needs to be available at grass root level and only a dedicated body can do this. It is also expected that a regulatory body will be ears and eyes of architects.
Anita Arjundas, Hiranandani Group, says, “The country needs to be aware about architects. I don’t see enough representation of architects in main stream media. Architecture is an important aspect of any nation and government needs to take care of the same.
Condrad Gonsalves, Design Learning Living Direction, says, “Regulatory bodies for architects need vision. They need to go beyond education and license. They need to be active and working towards the interest of the fraternity and the country.
Kiran Gala, Kiran Gala & Associates, says, “Architects too, like any other profession, need a platform to come together, share ideas and get more enriched. And this kind of a work is expected from a regulatory body. We need to voice our concern and also offer solutions to many problems.”
Abhin Alimchnadani, STUP Consultants, says, “The regulatory bodies for architects need a comprehensive agenda. India is a very big market and there is lot of scope for good architecture. The organisation should ensure that Indian architects get their share of Indian market and that it is not taken by international architects.”
Prashant Chauhan, Zero 9, says, “Regulatory bodies for Architects needs to buck up and be little more active than what they are. They should try and get more recognition to the fraternity. Architects need to be more popular among the masses and only an active regulatory body can do it.”
Kunal Kuwadekar, Naren Kuwadekar & Associates, says, “The regulatory body needs to involve architects in their decisions. It should be a more cohesive body. They need to get media savvy and have their presence across all digital mediums to ensure that the profession gets its due credit and popularity.”
Reza Kabul, ARK-Reza Kabul Architects, says, “The Indian Institute of Architects and The Council of Architecture are capable of attaining much more than what they currently are. Their conscious efforts have raised public awareness to the value of architecture and the importance of good design. While it has influenced admiration for the profession, there’s little comprehension of the real value we bring to the equation, culture and society. The regulatory bodies need to be more active with various local bodies such as the BMC to ensure streamlined processes. They need to be actively involved when new city codes are in discussion and give a collective professional opinion as a regulatory body. Certain rules of the regulatory bodies are archaic and need to change with changing times. In my opinion architects should be allowed to advertise. It offers the opportunity to showcase projects and the type of work to a wider set of clientele. Knowing their options helps the client in making a more informed decision while selecting their professional. This norm has been lifted in various countries, with firms being allowed to advertise their portfolio freely.
In response to the questions about the future of the profession of Architecture in India, Ar. Divya Kush, President of the Indian Institute of Architects believes that in view of the increasing pace of migration of rural population to urban areas and massive investment in infrastructure, the profession of Architecture has a lot to contribute in a variety of ways. However to make a creative and meaningful contribution towards a sustainable built environment we have to thoroughly overhaul our education system to make it compatible with scientific and technological advancement around the globe and in this endeavor, Academics and Industry have to work in close cooperation with each other. He assured that the Indian Institute of Architects and the Council of Architecture will continue to promote the course of Architectural Education for a better, sustainable and responsible Architecture.