The School of Planning and Architecture had a modest beginning in 1941 as a Department of Architecture of Delhi Polytechnic. It was later affiliated to the University of Delhi and integrated with the School of Town and Country Planning which was established in 1955 by the Government of India to provide facilities for rural, urban and regional planning. On integration, the School was renamed as School of Planning and Architecture in 1959.
The School is a specialized University, only one of its kinds, which exclusively provides training at various levels, in different aspects of human habitat and environment. The School has taken lead in introducing academic programmes in specialized fields both at Bachelor’s and Master’s level, some of which are even today not available elsewhere in India. The School, in striving for excellence, has always been in the lead in extending education and research to new frontiers of knowledge. Human habitat and environment being the basic concern of the School, the spectrum of academic programmes is being continuously extended by providing programmes in new fields and emerging areas for which facilities are not available, as yet, anywhere else in the country.
Bachelor of Architecture programme aims at attaining a high level of contextual excellence in architectural design. Both theory and studio exercises are viewed as the core of the programme with crucial inputs being provided by experts specializing in the fields of arts, humanities, engineering and technology, and professional practice of architecture. A strong foundation of multi-disciplinary enabling skills related to space, construction environments and aesthetics are offered to the students. Among others, these skills include drawing, architectural presentation, research and writing, computer applications, technical and managerial aptitudes in problem definition and solution seeking.
The curriculum is structured for five years and is divided into two stages. The first stage consists of three years of full time study followed by practical training in professional offices or at construction sites for 20 weeks. The second stage consists of full time study for one and a half year, whereby each student is required to write a research based dissertation, prepare for a seminar and present a design thesis along with the advanced level of compulsory and elective theory courses. The students gradually learn that architecture has always evolved under the influence of at least four, occasionally conflicting, forces that is history and culture, social aspirations, climate and evolving technologies. National and international level workshops, exhibitions and seminars are continually held in the Department, several of which are organized in partnership with international universities and research organizations. It is hoped that participating students get exposure to new ways of thinking and imagining.