SJB School of Architecture and Planning: Mindful Architectural Learning Delivered Via Professional Architects & Active International Collaborations

Dr.MN Chandrashekar,Dean&Member Secretary

Dr.MN Chandrashekar

Dean&Member Secretary

Every educational institute takes time to set up their organization as per the designated requirements mandated by various regulatory bodies. From primary issues such as creating curriculum, teaching and non-teaching staff recruitment, pedagogy, admissions while moving towards more complex concerns such as MOUs, placement training & events, internships, entrepreneurship and so on, can be time treating. However, extraordinary ventures can often turn these events into a pretty good exception just as SJB School of Architecture and Planning (SJB SAP) did scoring brownie points in its fifth year of existence having added all these factors already in to its basket.

Established in 2013, SJB SAP is approved by Council of Architecture, New Delhi and affiliated to VTU, Belagavi. The institute is the only 24x7 School of Architecture in Karnataka, comparable to CEPT, Ahmedabad and other international leading universities. Having tasted success in a short span of time, the institute is already counted among the best architectural institutes in the region. Its standing tall at 2nd among 60 architectural colleges in Zonal National Association of Students of Architecture (NASA), 2017 and being shortlisted as one of the five colleges for Annual NASA 2018 are two best instances. The institute is also highly acclaimed for its international collaborations that open a wide door to global architectural knowledge and learning.

Proactive Progress
SJB SAP selects a creme of 80 students every year through Karnataka CET, COMED-K and management quotas. Students

Students are also actively encouraged to cash-in on their expertise in various 3D & walk through software by assisting practicing architects, many of who are visiting professors in the institute

at the school’s design studio & workshops augment their creative designs with detailed research and rigorous documentation. The school hosts various hands-on workshops including workshops on building components such as masonry, arches, vaults and domes at the designated construction yard; ceramics and clay sculpting and origami and paper construction in dedicated indoor art workshop spaces; and theatre and stage craft with eminent theatre person. Collaborations with University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, U.S.; Rowan University, New Jersey, U.S.; Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University, Wales, UK; Hong Kong University and many others have yielded seven faculty led international tours and summer programs. Four international summer workshops in UK, U.S., Canada and Australia are scheduled for 2018. These faculty-led Architecture Appreciation & Cultural Tours were pioneered by SJB SAP in 2013 and have not only become popular among many well established schools of Architecture, who encourage participation from their faculty and students but also have actively contributed to the rise in international architectural tours, workshops and collaborations. Domestic study tours go beyond the dictates of the syllabus at SJB SAP; collaborations with local architects, organizations and experts ensure that the students add many layers of understanding to the places they visit. Laurie Baker Center for Habitat Studies, Kanthari International, Bangalore and Hampi Heritage Walks, meetings with eminent historians, architects and designers, etc form an integral part of the domestic architectural study tours.
While these collaborations matters enormously, SJB SAP’s faculty brings in equally special attributes to enable high quality learning through such exposures as every third faculty out of 55 is educated from top Indian, American, Australian, UK, and Singapore universities, and holds experience at globally renowned organizations. Students express their gratitude for having dedicated mentors who spend long hours at the college and are approachable anytime. Students are also actively encouraged to cash-in on their expertise in various 3D & walkthrough software by assisting practicing architects, many of who are visiting professors in the institute. Also, housing the most expensive new structure in the campus designed by national award winning architects Gayatri & Namith Architects, the institute’s management has already inspired its students having them as role models. Driven by the desire for outreach beyond academics, the students actively participate in various NGO initiatives like Ugly Indian for city beautification and have repaired a government primary school in the immediate neighborhood. The students were recently highly successful in securing full funding and collaborated with local government officials and elected representatives to turn around a neglected space in the city into a thriving barrier-free public space, which is being actively used. This project was has been lauded by the residents of the neighborhood, media and academicians alike and has become an inspiration for similar initiatives.

Topical Prospects
The first batch of architects who are currently undergoing internship programs at various companies, will soon be graduating, thus paving way for an alumni network from June-2018. With current student strength of 400 in the B.Arch program, SJB SAP is all set to introduce M.Arch and PhD programs under an SJB SAP Research Centre shortly. Apart from already offering ‘Open House’ sessions for prospective students, through the new BGS University from 2019, it will also enable enhanced learning with a Study Abroad option as a part of the five-year B. Arch program.