“One of the key facets of my professional career has been engaging with the architectural fraternity as well as the student community. One of the common queries of these budding architects is how to tread on a career path of Architectural Journalism. During such times, I feel an upsurge of two contrasting emotions within myself – one of elation, and one of dismay…Elation, that there is an unprecedented interest in the subject, and dismay, wondering when the subject would become mainstream in the architectural curriculum in India (as it is in a majority of countries overseas), so that it could be a well-recognised, taught and learned subject, which would give the hundreds of students who want to pursue it, a direction to move forward in their careers!” This is what Bengaluru-based Architect, Apurva Bose Dutta, opines on Architectural Journalism, her profession that she has devotedly followed in the past ten years.
Back in mid-2004, Apurva was fascinated by the elective of Architecture Journalism being offered in her college, (Chandigarh College of Architecture) and she took it up, because it provided her ‘the option of marrying her childhood passion of writing with the technical degree that she was gearing up for’. By the time she graduated with a BArch degree, her affinity for the subject just grew, though there was a growing sense of hesitations amongst others, since the realms of this subject were not defined in black or white, and it was not the ‘typical’ mainstream profession for everyone graduating with a BArch degree in hand.
Apurva’s foundation in Architectural Journalism was cemented with one of India’s foremost architectural journals, right after her BArch degree. She later pursued a Diploma in Freelance Journalism from UK. She expresses , “The journey in the subject entailed a sincere effort to knock and check the many options that were available for this profession, that was not bounded in the precincts of ‘writing in architectural magazines’, but in reality, was one that formed opinions, connected its parent profession – ‘Architecture’ to its people, gave it a voice and explored its many related fields. Over the years, my belief on having such a subject has grown stronger, with also the encouragement from senior architects and publishing houses, who have voiced their opinion about my writing, which they feel has an added quality of distinctiveness, that outlines the technical, detailing and subtlety of aspects related to Architecture.”
The past ten years, having religiously followed this as a full-time profession have brought along umpteen challenges for Apurva,and many a times apprehension of what and whom to follow; but they all have been conquered by her self-determination and a burning passion to follow her belief. That has then led to many awards & recognitions (First recipient of A3F award in Architectural Journalism; Youngest Award Winner for Creative Excellence in Architectural Journalism), responsibilities to create visibility for the subject (Bringing out India’s first magazine issue on Architectural Journalism; Convening a National Conference on the subject; A number of Orations and Lectures on the subject throughout the country), interesting national and international collaborations with publication houses, organisations and companies related to architecture. She remarks, “Surprisingly, while the professional architectural fraternity recognises the immense need of the subject, the curriculums still take it lightly! Though my discussion with certain bodies of Architecture about promoting the subject in the curriculum have been encouraging, it is time for a new chapter to be started in India around Architecture Journalism, which will bring it into mainstream.”