Architecture has always been one of the strong suits of India, and imagine being the mastermind behind such a marvellous building. We got lucky to have an interview with Mr. Ishan Garg, a student of the SPA. In conversation with Ishan, we got to know him as a considerate and well-learned man. Ishan believes in simple living and high thinking. With this motto in his heart and dream in his eyes, he is studying in SPA. With his incessant spirit and the right guidance, he is determined to become a successful architect in the near future. This interview with Ishan proved how diligent he is. He is completely open, helpful and co-operating. With the willingness to share his experience and achievements, he also tried to provide essential knowledge to the future SPA aspirants. This article will be of utmost use to them. It was surely a very informative interview and can help many students who want an insight peep into the institute. So let’s start with that: –
Neuronerdz: Tell us more about yourself?
Ishan: I am an Architect by profession and currently a graduate student studying urban design at SPA Delhi. I am from Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, who loves exploring the places of cultural and historical importance. I love photography, reading, travelling, and graphic designing, which is in line with my professional works as well. My works are inspired by the concepts & teachings of Buddha & Da Vinci. For me, they have been the lighting guide in moments of darkness.
Neuronerdz: How did you opt for pursuing a March, in the face of the multitude of options available such as an MBA or any other choice? At what stage of your undergraduate study you decide on doing a Masters?
Ishan: Urban Design is a course where you deal with People, Public-Private Spaces, Cultures and many other such vibrant elements all together. I always inclined these elements. During my Internship and Job also I was working with Urban Designers that also helped in orienting myself.
Neuronerdz: Where have you done your Bachelor’s from?
Ishan: I graduated in the year 2017 from NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY, Patna, Bihar.
Neuronerdz: What was the procedure like? Were there different rounds of interviews? Or some sort of skill tests that you faced during the admission process?
Ishan: The procedure is still completely offline except for the fee payment. You download the form, attach SOP and abstract of your thesis or any research paper (anyone, if mentioned), submit it either by post or by hand. You will get shortlisted most probably and will be called for an interview and a written exam. You need to carry your portfolio and CV to showcase your work (academic, professional or Personal) for an interview. For the written exam, they might ask you 3 questions (Written, Sketch) to know you better. If you are a GATE scholar (CEED for Industrial Design), Great! you will get the stipend from the MHRD. (Note: In some branches, GATE/CEED might be one of the criteria for selection, but not in Urban design)
Neuronerdz: How did you build your profile to suit the requirements of the University? What were the key points or the perks of your profile that helped you through your admission?
Ishan: I made a very crisp portfolio of selective projects that helped me in getting an internship at a very reputed firm. I was working with the UD team which oriented my interest in this field. While doing my thesis (which itself was UD oriented), I was working for Patna Smart city proposal as a graphic designer. I wanted to have professional experience before deciding if I need to postgraduate. I worked with Sir Ranji Sabikhi (a well known Urban Designer in India) for 2 years. All these things developed my understanding of urban changes and crises happening in the Indian cities, which helped me in expressing my interest in UD in both interview and written exam.
Neuronerdz: How tough would you rank were the interview questions? Like on a scale of 1 to 10, how tough?
Ishan: 7, having a background knowledge and your interest will surely help to crack the interview. Don’t panic, Interviewers here are very interactive.
Neuronerdz: What was your groundbreaking question? The question that got you into the SPA?
Ishan: Q: Where do you see yourself after 5 years?
A: I Will be having my own office in Meerut.
Q: Meerut? Why?
A: Today you can see cities like Gurugram, Noida, Faridabad that are catering to the heavy needs of Delhi, are encountering rapid unplanned growth in recent days, causing uncontrollable Urban crises in such cities. Since Meerut also comes under NCR and is about to face similar situation considering NCR’s growth, It is a great opportunity for the Urban Designers and Planners to take this responsibility and work for better livability and functionality of a tier 2 city like Meerut. Maybe this one.
Neuronerdz: Which branch will you be graduating from the SPA?
Ishan: M. Arch (Urban Design)
Neuronerdz: What do you feel about the SPA? How is SPA any different and how has it changed your life?
Ishan: In Urban Design (UD), we study built urban environments at varying scales, from zonal to the regional level. We also focus on Indian Cities and the crises they are facing or may be facing in the future. UD course here is recognized internationally and is having partnerships with various abroad universities, therefore, workshops, student exchange programs and guest lectures by experts are very frequent. A very interesting thing is that there are 25 students in our batch and each student belongs to a different state, we have a lot of things to share, experience, and learn from each other!
Neuronerdz: How is the campus experience any different from your usual experience? Every institution has its unique campus experience. Can you please put a light on the campus life in SPA?
Ishan: Though the campus is a bit scattered and old still its students make it vibrant. The planning and Architecture blocks are 200m apart connected by a service lane that is always active by its students. You might find some studios working overnight as well. There are 2 hostels, 1 within the SPA campus at ITO (for PG girls and UG 1st year girls) and the other at Maharani Bagh (MB), a co-ed hostel situated 10 km from the institute. The architecture and hostel life of MB Hostel can’t be explained in words but can only be experienced! We celebrate almost every cultural festival of India here, play sports, DJ throughout the year. within a common courtyard! Since there are very limited seats in the hostel, thus some students find accommodation in nearby locations like Vikram Nagar, Laxmi Nagar, Lajpat Nagar. You can also live in the hostel If your friend is ready to share his/her hostel room giving written consent!
Neuronerdz: Being a part of the country’s most prestigious architecture institution where do you see the future and scope of architecture in India?
Ishan: The number of private architecture colleges in India is opening every year. Some of them are even compromising with the quality of education. Also, our honourable supreme court has recently said: “No bar on architecture work for not being qualified and registered under the law” which is again a serious concern for the students of architecture and architects in India. After graduating, architects also struggle for a fair basic salary which hurts morale as you dedicate 5 YEARS for a course like architecture! Our council (COA) and the government of India need to think over it and take immediate action. In SPA Delhi, some of the most preferred options after graduating are Job, Masters, Startups, Own firm, freelancing, Event Design, Architectural Journalism, etc like many other good colleges. Our new campus is under construction at Vasant Kunj, hope it gets completed soon, will make student’s life much convenient and time-saving.
Neuronerdz: Will we see the opening of new SPAs in the upcoming days in the future and what upgrading would you like to see in them?
Ishan: Recently, SPA Vijayawada and SPA Bhopal have come up, and they are doing great! MHRD is planning to open more SPAs around other Indian states. A field like architecture that is more Artistic compared to technical should have dedicated campuses for better skill development and functioning. Today many private colleges in India and abroad are well equipped with better Labs where they learn advanced software and use gears like 3D Printer, Laser Cutter, drones, Robots, etc. for intense research and futuristic approach. Therefore, curriculum and labs need to be upgraded soon in SPA as well as in other Indian Colleges.
Neuronerdz: Just a piece of your experience and advice for the future aspirants?
Ishan: The courses here require intense involvement and dedication by students. Better be sure about the course you wish to choose. Faculties here are amazing! Being the oldest college to offer a UD course in India, if you wish to study it and would like to serve India in the future, you will have a great learning experience here. Recent government policies and proposals like Smart Cities, HRIDAY, etc. Open up more opportunities for Urban Designers in India. There are other remarkable colleges like CEPT Ahmedabad, SPA Bhopal, JJ College of Architecture, Mumbai, etc. where you have the option to study UD. All the best. Take Care.
The points highlighted by Ishan are surely very useful for the aspirant. The information and insight provided by Ishan are very not only authentic but rare to find. Interview with Ishan has extended the spheres of imagination. It has sown a seed of hope in the eyes of many students. We thank Ishan for his time and efforts to help people and hope that Ishan comes out with flying colors in his future.