The college is located in the city centre & is very well connected with public transport. It is very close to main market areas dealing with building materials which are frequented by architects for their selections & purchases. This accessible and convenient setting offers several advantages. The location allows busy architects & consultants practicing in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad to be involved in college academics easily. The colonial setting of cantonment area offers an environment which is blessed with abundant tree cover and architecturally rich buildings. The cantonment area and its adjacent old city area has deep historical roots where heritage walks, architectural photography and study visits can be easily conducted during or post college hours. The campus is well planned with multiple colleges and institutes in a ring around a central sports ground. This allows for an interactive and multi-disciplinary learning environment with healthy recreational and sports infrastructure.
The architecture college intake is 40 students per year in B. Arch and 20 students per year in M. Arch. This allows a student/teacher ratio of 1:10 or even lesser in core subjects-namely: Design Studio and Building Technology. This ensures individual attention and participative discussions.
The teaching methodology is based on student-centric learning. Student-centric learning is personalized, engaging, competency-based and not restricted to the classroom. Students take greater responsibility for their learning and support each other’s progress.Every student gets the skills he or she needs to succeed and contribute to both the profession and civil society.
Each design studio takes up real-world issues existing in our cities, neighbourhoods and buildings and resolves them through architectural interventions and solutions. Design studios are both challenging and innovative. This allows the expression of outcomes based on multiple viewpoints. Current and relevant topics are carefully chosen by the design faculty through meetings prior to the start of college. They then develop a teaching plan based on SPPU syllabus and timetable, which is communicated to the students
Innovative topics like High Rise Architecture, Airports, Embassies, Commercial and Business Centres, Hospitals, Bus terminals, and Railway Stations are a few real-world topics along with Industrial Buildings. This prepares them for the final year thesis topic in which each student researches the relevant issues individually along with case studies. They then propose a creative design solution with a detailed analysis showcasing its development and evolution. This is evaluated by senior architects in the form of a viva-voce and its successful completion ensures awarding of the B.Arch. degree from SPPU. The college has also received PCERF awards for individual student entries.
Mentoring and counselling is the other side of the coin for student-centric learning at our institute. Students are critiqued based on individual strengths and weaknesses. Special guidance is given keeping in mind the different socio-economic backgrounds they come from. Class teacher is assigned the role of supporting, encouraging, and nurturing the student’s growth & development in their journey through the architecture course. This includes communicating the progress of the students to their parents through midterm reports, holding open houses to involve the parents and ensuring that the student has all support to optimize learning outcomes.
Students and teachers both participate in a multitude of activities, seminars, and workshops above and beyond the syllabus such as the one conducted by C-balance NGO. This was an in-depth workshop conducted for the faculty to update their knowledge on the climate change issue and how architects can play a major role in addressing this issue by being part of the solution and not the problem. The faculty was then nudged to tweak their teaching plans and methodology accordingly so as to integrate sustainability into the design studio. At the end of the semester, outcomes were reviewed by the NGO to continuously improve the process.
The faculty is encouraged by management and senior faculty to conduct research, and write papers on related and relevant topics as is seen from the International Conference held by the college. Many faculty have joined a Ph.D. program to become subject experts in their research area. This emphasis on continuous learning and development of all individuals prepares future-ready architects who are capable of taking on any and all challenging assignments.
This student-centric approach with emphasis on continuous improvement and especially mentoring continues even after graduation. Many of the alumni who are successful architects come back to college and share their experience and knowledge through lectures and interactions. A select few who have excellent communication skills and work experience have even been invited to teach on the visiting faculty to give students the latest hands-on knowledge and skills. They in turn are now also mentors to the current batches in addition to the existing faculty of the college.
The outcomes from this approach give our students leadership skills, working methodology and ability to solve complex real-world architectural and environmental issues. Students work in groups & individually. Group work develops team working abilities while individual work helps them sharpen individual skills. Both aspects are important to step into the profession.
In line with the campus goal of providing a clean, safe and secure environment, elaborate security & maintenance arrangements are done using CCTV and personnel. It is also a Wi-Fi enabled campus allowing free access to the internet through a High Speed WAN to encourage digital learning. This access is given through the student’s personal mobiles and computers to encourage student-centric learning beyond the classrooms. Campus amenities are made available to all institutes and facilitation services are offered to streamline events. This approach gives a unique character to the campus as an umbrella organization whose association with the institute continues lifelong.