Architectural Internship in India – Manoj Mathur opines

Anupriya Saraswat

Anupriya Saraswat

An internship should be treated as a training in maturity. Rather than be viewed as a filler for that which a school cannot teach, internships should be viewed as a space to absorb what cannot be learned without experiencing it in the raw.

Share Post:

Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email

Student internship is a quintessential part of an architectural education. However, it is increasingly becoming an unmitigated ordeal for many within the community. Affecting both students and practicing architects, the workforce imbalance and issues of ineptitude have created an unfavourable – and often exploitative – situation.   Inviting the opinions of architects, educators and students, we strive to start a conversation about what can be done to improve this situation. Below, Prof. Manoj Mathur – formerly, Principal Architect of Mathur & Kapre Associates – shares his opinions  about the issue.


Only a very drastic reduction in the number of prospective interns has any hope of arresting the widening demand-supply gap. Of the number of students graduating every year, the percentage of professionals setting up new practices – or even continuing gainful employment in architectural practices – is likely dropping. Hence, we are in an inverse multiplication, where every successful intern has less than a 100% chance of mentoring one in future – whereas we are looking to a capacity of 200% or more, from the professional end.

Perhaps it is time to broaden the scope of internship. If we agree that the objective of an architectural education is not to set up practices only, but also to prepare professionals capable of doing several jobs, then why insist on an internship under a registered architect? How about an internship in a construction firm under a site engineer? Or in a real estate consultancy under an MBA? Or in an NGO building rural water-harvesting ponds under a MSW? Or in a magazine under a sub-editor? Or under a photographer? Or an urban installation artist?

An internship should be treated as a training in maturity. Rather than be viewed as a filler for that which a school cannot teach, internships should be regarded as a space to absorb what cannot be learned without experiencing it in the raw. Sure, it means that training programs will have to be re-written wholesale. However, the good news is that there is no shortage of ideas. We just have to overcome our Council-compliance fears.


Manoj Mathur was one of the Founding Directors at Mathur and Kapre Associates. He is currently a full time professor and Head of Department of Architecture at School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi.

3 Comments
  1. Umesh Varma says

    Sure Architecture is mother of many arts. Architecture colleges provide a foundation to ride the specialisation chosen by an individual. For instance, Where would a specialist perspectivists would have come from, pre 3D modelling era? Do we produce Architectural journalists and critics out there with specialised Architectural photography skills? Why one should be dependent on HVAC professionals only to get textbook designs for their projects, in stead of thinking out of the box to create energy efficient architevtural designs to accomodate their own ideas for effective HVAC.
    A great initiative indeed, needs to be explored for proper guidance to the generations of professionals to come.

  2. Meena Murthy says

    Wholeheartedly agree. People from SPA are now employed in diverse fields and doing well for thenselves. So essentially the skill sets that we are armed with in college holds in good stead pan various professions . So why restrict the training opportunities?

  3. Sathya Prakash Varanashi says

    Diversifying internship is a Great idea Mathurji..,though reducing students is the real solution which is not in our hands.
    If we have to allow diverse internship,, we need to create diversity in education too ..to prepare students accordingly.

    Prof.
    Sathya Prakash Varanashi
    Bangalore

Share your comments

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

You May Also Like

Administrative Building, at Erode, Tamilnadu, by The Bhargav Group

Unbuilt: Administrative Building, at Erode, Tamilnadu, by The Bhargav Group

The Admin Block is treated in such a way green fields and lush pastures interact with the building add beauty to its environment and a serene entry to the Campus away from the hustle and bustle of main road. The building plinth area covers 6,675 square feet from Site area of 7,782 Square feet. Building area is divided 40% area of mezzanine floor with soil land fill and 60% area of other floor area, with double height space grand lobby enclosed with courtyard space treated with wooden Pergola at the top helps natural light enter into the space. – The Bhargav Group

Read More »
Residential Bungalow, at Raipur, Chhattisgarh, by Azure Interiors

Residential Bungalow, at Raipur, Chhattisgarh, by Azure Interiors

This reimagined family bungalow in Raipur, Chhattisgarh boasts of an elegant ambience that celebrates simple nuances with rich textures and beautiful finishes. Designed by the young and inspiring designer duo Ruchi Gehani and Rashi Bothra of Raipur-based Azure Interiors, the home is a testament to their design acumen and a penchant for bringing balance and vitality to a space through an amalgamation of colour, texture, and materiality. – Azure Interiors

Read More »
The Atrium Project, at Pune, Maharashtra, by OHA STUDIOS

The Atrium Project, at Pune, Maharashtra, by OHA STUDIOS

We were approached by the developers of this mixed-use project to design the interiors of a commercial atrium, residential lobbies and common spaces. The developers were quite keen on exploring something that was different from the traditional atrium designs.

This 2500sqft Atrium – a double-height space in the commercial complex, was the blank canvas that we were to design for. As the entire volume was very rigid and orthogonal with shops at the entry level & offices at the first level, our design concept was to soften this rigidity. Accordingly, we introduced fluid forms into this bounding box. – OHA STUDIOS

Read More »
All That Jazz, at New Delhi, by Mantra One

All That Jazz, at New Delhi, by Mantra One

Mantra One is a leading luxury lifestyle company that has been offering bespoke furniture since 2011. The 10 year old design-house has launched a new line of luxury collection that celebrates unexpected colours and unique material combinations, Mantra One stretches the boundaries of art, engineering and design to create exquisite contemporary furniture. From conceptualization to installation, the company goes the extra mile by offering design consultancy and crafting custom made products to make ‘dream homes’. The collection offers from designer sofas to an array of luxury beds, bars, tables and more.  

Read More »
APDS salon at New Delhi by RLDA STUDIO Architects

APDS salon, at New Delhi, by RLDA STUDIO Architects

The ten thousand square foot beauty salon is a combination of mezzanine spaces (used for speciality treatments and offices) and double height purpose-built cabins interspersed with a series of glass planes with graphic motifs. These elements, individually varied and collectively orchestrated define spaces that provide for the varying degrees of privacy needed in a beauty salon. – RLDA STUDIO

Read More »
In Nature // Sanvina in the Sun!, at Mechkarwadi, near Karjat, Maharashtra, India, by Cluster One Creative Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

In Nature // Sanvina in the Sun!, at Mechkarwadi, near Karjat, Maharashtra, India, by Cluster One Creative Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

We believe that, as architects and designers, our role is exceptionally interim in nature. And by “in nature”, we mean both, the inherent characteristic of a person, as well as the collective physical world around us. After all, for all the glorification we grant to ourselves, we are, eventually, only a means to an end which will exist long after we are gone. Fully aware, and accepting of this interplay of the past, present, and future, we have come to understand that everything we do, is going to interact differently with the evolving sensibilities of the people, the landscape, and the weather, at that point of time, on that given day. – Cluster One Creative Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

Read More »

Subscribe to Architecture and Design Updates