Need for Entrepreneurship in Architectural Education

Need for Entrepreneurship in Architectural Education
Sep 2021 , by , in Interviews

Principal Architect Robin Sisodiya, ASRO Arcade briefs Realty+ on the reasons the architectural training should incline towards inculcating business sensibilities along with design education.

With time, there is an evident gap seen between architectural education and practice. The shifting global economies and the emerging use of technology along with the invention of new ones have left both the educators and the budding professionals in the AEC industry to reevaluate their options more towards turning into entrepreneurship.

Changing Scope of Architecture 

Architecture is no longer a term associated with the designing and building of physical spaces. Applications, software, websites and networks, all illustrate the manifold nature that entails architectural practice today. Architecture today is a broadening field with various disciplines, technologies, and products being merged. This expansion calls for the need for a new educational model that teaches one to innovate and compete in an industry that is increasingly becoming outward-facing. 

While school may teach the students to be innovative in design, there is a lack of pioneering content for the business side of the field. This disconnect seems to be more overwhelming when the industry is compared with its progress ten years ago, with emerging entrepreneurship as the most compelling economic force experienced in the world today. 

Keeping Pace with Changing Times

The annual growth of the global architectural service industry has increased by 2.1% in the last 5 years as per a survey. As of 2019 as claimed, 20% of architects are considered to be self-employed, instead of operating in larger firms. Architectural education thus needs to strike a balance between the theoretical and practical aspects of the profession, with a more proactive role in building careers. 

Architectural degrees appear to overlook the soft skills needed to run an architectural practice. The profession’s age distribution is noted to be at the peak between the ages 40 and 44 with only a third of the profession being younger than 40. The existing age distribution means that businesses tend to operate by the way of old models, failing to adjust to the global trends. 

In my experience in the business and heading the team at ASRO Arcade, marketing, management, finance, PR and business plan development are some of the concepts entrepreneurs need to be familiar with. Students now need to be equipped with an entrepreneurial career and necessary competencies to compete in rapidly changing economies and developing unconventional ways of engaging in design. 

The New Outlook 

Teaching varied approaches to architecture will generate future graduates with tools that are out-of-the-box thinkers and job creators. The team at ASRO Arcade is qualified with adaptable tools that simulate a good design. For instance, using computer-generated sensory inputs such as video or graphics, users can create designs that replicate the real-world environment. It is pertinent that the architects no longer frame their professional identity through their building designs. There is a requirement for a level of initiative and preparedness to confront obstacles while venturing from the conventional notions of architecture. 

The profession needs to become more entrepreneurial in its approach and thus expand its opportunities beyond the notable confines of the industry. Architects today need to be expertise in soft skills in lateral thinking and problem-solving. These innate marks of architects need to be nurtured in order to effectively combine design and entrepreneurship.

Hence, it deems to be high time for architecture schools and young architectural entrepreneurs to incorporate lessons into their programs with a focus on recognizing opportunities, testing feasibility, analyzing the competition, and developing effective business plans. While learning about the peripheral areas of the discipline of architecture and understanding unique design innovations, a student needs to take advantage of unexplored occasions within the AEC industry. Being familiar with these skills, one would surely be empowered with students to become entrepreneurs. 

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