Why Study Architecture And the Built Environment

Architecture – both ancient and modern – has never failed to fascinate us. From the Colosseum and the Pyramids of Giza to skyscrapers in modern cities like Singapore, we’ve often marveled at the architectural beauty of buildings.

If you’ve found yourself admiring the essence of buildings and how cities are made, and also thinking about architecture and the built environment, then a career in the field might just be for you.

Here’s a look at all things architecture

  • What is architecture?
  • What is architecture & built environment, and what does the degree offer?
  • Top ten universities to study architecture and built environment.
  • Career roles in this field.
  • Built environment and human happiness.

Fun Fact- Architecture was once an Olympic sport. From 1912 to 1948, architecture was part of the modern Olympics, and medals were awarded for the winners. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) considered art a vital part of the competition, and the first architecture competition was held in 1912 at the Stockholm games.

What is architecture and built environment?

The built environment can be simply called a human-made space or the human-made surroundings, which provide the setting for people to live. This can be a house, an apartment, a green space, a park, or big cities constructed by human beings. This is something that is created as the result of human labour combined with physical elements and energy. Built environment touches all the aspects of our lives, from the house we live into the roads we use to travel and the water and electricity that we use.

The field of architecture and built environment focuses on the sustainable society of the future. It also focuses on the budling process, designing, management, to planning things related to the built environment.

The programme

The course architecture and built environment does not stop with learning things related to architecture. It also incorporates fields like fire protection engineering, cadastral surveying, civil engineering programmes, and industrial designs. The course also provides insights on how cities and buildings should be built, by taking into consideration all the environmental concerns, social and economic change, and how systems of regulation can be improved for better habitat for people.

By studying architecture and the built environment, a student can gain technical skills, academic knowledge, and experience using all the current technological advancements. The topics are related to history, construction theories, design research and communication, construction techniques and building performance, and professional and ethical studies.

Top ten universities to study architecture & built environment

Here are the top 10 universities globally to study architecture & built environment as listed in the QS World Ranking.

Serial No. University Country
1  Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) United States
2 UCL Bloomsbury United Kingdom
3 Delft University of Technology Delft Netherlands
4 ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zürich Switzerland
5 Harvard University United States
6 National University of Singapore (NUS)  Singapore
7 University of California, Berkeley (UCB) United States
8 Tsinghua University Beijing China
9 University of Cambridge  United Kingdom
10 Politecnico di Milano Milan Italy

What do architecture and built environment graduates do?

Graduating in architecture and built environments can open up a plethora of job opportunities. Most of the jobs in this field are design-based and creative. More than becoming an architect or a building planner, there are plenty of other job opportunities available across multiple fields for a graduate in architecture and the built environment.

Here’s a list of career opportunities available for a graduate in architecture and the built environment

  • Architect
  • Architecture Photographer
  • Textile Designer
  • Town Planner
  • Industrial Designer
  • Cad Technician
  • Landscape Architect
  • Fire Risk Assessor
  • Lighting Architect
  • Video Game Designer
  • Historic Buildings Inspector
  • Structural Engineer
  • Spatial and Interior Design
  • Building Surveyor
  • Urban Designer
  • Estimator
  • Restoration Architect
  • Commercial Surveyor
  • Estate Manager
  • VFX Artist
  • Research Architect
  • Graphic Designer
  • Architectural Technologist
  • Product Designer
  • Furniture Designer

Architectural and town planning technicians are said to be the top job handled by the architecture and built environment graduate in the UK. Few other positions included in the list are chartered architectural technologists, architects, and designers.

Built environment and human happiness

City life and significant buildings have always been associated with a better lifestyle and comfort, but what we have forgotten is to think about human happiness. How happy are we living in the biggest mansion that we have made a question that we all should ask? Recent research shows that the people who live in cities with big buildings are comparatively less happy than everyone else. Their rate of anxiety is 20 per cent higher than that of the other population, and the rate of depression is much higher(40 per cent) than that of other populations. This research was done to show how the built environment can directly link to human happiness and how improving or focusing on the built environment can ensure the well-being of human beings.

Research by cognitive architecture has found that human beings are deeply influenced by their surroundings. Human beings have automatic responses for the shapes, patterns and colours that they see, but the conscious mind is aware of only 5 percent of our responses to the environment. This research sheds light on how human happiness and well-being are directly and indirectly linked to the place we live in and the structures surrounding us.

If structures and designs have always been of interest to you, then it may be a good time to think of pursuing a career in the field of architecture and the built environment.

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