The current year has been rife with experiences of learning and unlearning for students and faculty members of the Chandigarh College of Architecture (CCA), an institute that has been rated among the top three architectural institutions in the country.
The pandemic posed several questions infront of the institute and in the course of the months, there emerged quite a few answers as well, as classroom teaching, studio work and collaborative projects gave way to online learning.
“It was a learning curve for us, and though we had our share of challenges, it has been an enriching experience in terms of setting new technical systems on campus, hi-tech classrooms, documenting work, projects digitally, with metres and metres of drawings now in pen drives. We are now able to access, share and review work with just a click. There were hurdles, but we have overcome them, with a tremendous amount of quality work and teaching taking place consistently,” shares Dr Sangeeta Bagga, Principal, CCA.
The college offers a dual degree comprising Bachelor of Building Science (BBS) and a Bachelor of Architecture (B Arch) at the completion of three and five years, respectively and CCA conducts a joint studio program with leading international architectural institutions from the USA, UK, Australia and France to provide an exposure of international practices and teaching to their students.
“The exchange programme is a platform, a laboratory to train architects. Despite the restrictions, eminent people from across the globe have been able to connect with the students and share their expertise, with no restrictions of time, space and the response of the students has been amazing. An architecture needs technology and this link will grow. CCA has collaborated with its coveted Roll of Honours graduates through a digital mode to share their journey and personal experiences and to motivate the current students as their mentors on the CCA website,” adds Dr Bagga.
During Covid-19 lockdown, says Dr Bagga, CCA was the first professional institution in Chandigarh to conduct online thesis juries for BArch and MArch thesis and award degrees to the graduates. “We began the Master’s programme in 2018 and were the first in the country to do an exit examination with great success. The students worked on the subject of the pandemic for their final thesis submissions, looking at the themes of urban resilience in post-disaster situations, sustainability, cultural anthropology, campus school environment in the pandemic, with various dimensions of Covid-19 becoming parameters for designs and building programmes. There has been a change in design thinking, as many students have redefined their living spaces, away from the campus, and facilities of the library, research and teacher interaction.”
With most students comfortable with the online teaching, especially for theory classes, Dr Bagga says that in the near future, they will look at students of the Master’s programme coming to campus for studio work.
Meanwhile, in the light of Covid-19, CCA, for the first time in its history, organised an Online Orientation Programme for BArch first year students on December 19.
The online orientation gave students insights about CCA, including academic, alumni, infrastructure, co-curricular activities and presentation by guest speakers.
While Anjali Sagar talked on ‘What is Architecture’, Ranjeet Kaur Johal spoke on ‘Role of Construction and Technology in Architecture.
“We had a slide show showing the 44 students from across the country, the CCA campus, with the student body and seniors of CCA also giving presentations, apart from the faculty members talking of various aspects of the programme. The students were given the orientation kits and we want to wish them new beginnings,” adds Dr Bagga.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines