Guide to: studying architecture | Daily News


Guide to: studying architecture

N.H.D. De Silva
N.H.D. De Silva

For many years now the Moratuwa Department of Architecture has been producing Architects of top quality, some of the finest architects in the industry. ArchWorld speaks to University of Moratuwa, Department of Architecture, Senior Lecturer N.H.D. De Silva on an academic’s view point on how the field is developing at the student level. De Silva has been teaching for 15 years.

“When you take Architecture, this is a profession and there is a long journey to become an Architect. It is a minimum of 8 years. Hence it is very much more than listening to clients and providing spaces. “The architect who runs an architectural business carries the authority, responsibility and accountability for the work which is placed with him by his clients” – we train students for this goal,” said De Silva.

When it comes to moulding young minds, for this experience and maturity matters.

“At the Faculty of Architecture, there are few departments. But in Department of Architecture we take about 55 to 60 students for Architecture and about 40 students for Landscape Architecture.

Students who have passed there A/Ls could apply for the aptitude test conducted by University of Moratuwa. Normally about 3000 students sit for this aptitude test and the Department of Architecture will be selecting about 100 to 150 students based on their marks. This list will be forwarded to UGC (university grants commission). UGC will be sending the final list of students to Moratuwa University based on their Z score,” explained De Silva


According to our governing body of SLIA “Architectural education shall ensure that all students have competence in Architectural design, which shall include technical systems, requirements, rules, regulations, standards in terms of health and safety. Further they shall understand the cultural, historical, social, economic and environment context for Architecture; and that they comprehend the Architects’ role and responsibilities in society”.

“Thus understanding your own culture, rituals, behavior, way of living - basically to keep your ears and eyes open for everything is vital. Grasping the uniqueness which may not be understood or perceived by a normal layman. For me it is very critical that during their studies, students go out of the studios and gain experience,” stated De Silva.

As in any discipline the students need to be prepared for the world outside

“Once you become an Architect for any project, the client relies on the architect’s experience, judgment and integrity/honesty in the discharge of his/her work. To do this in small scale or big scale we need to train students accordingly. Consequently throughout their 5 years we expose students to practical or real world situations. Most of their designs projects are developed based on real time circumstances or current/ national/ international issues to be addressed by an Architecture student. Lecturers work really hard in developing these projects to cover up all the requirements to be fulfilled by the students. They handle major practical design projects in their 3rd year MDP and 5th year CDP,” elucidated De Silva.

Excellent and final design evaluation is done by international and local panel. Maintaining requires RIBA standards.


“When it comes to the subjects taught at the University of Moratuwa, it is a very long list and mainly those subjects cover up all the avenues and possibilities needed as an academic to become a fully-fledged Architect. Those syllabuses are validated by Royal Institute of British Architects every 5 years. The fundamental requirements to be in the profession shall be the skills and abilities which shall be mastered through education, training, and experience,” added De Silva.

Most students love design projects.

“We train students for 5 years and they go out for their practical experience and professional exams to become a Chartered Architect. After becoming a chartered Architect, opting for another profession is very remote. But this is my personal view.

As a senior lecturer I feel the syllabus is not heavy but comprehensive. We are training professionals. Required standards need to be maintained. The fundamental requirements to be in the profession shall be the skills and abilities which shall be mastered through education, training, and experience, verified by written and oral examination,” informed De Silva.

For the lecturers at the Architecture Department of Moratuwa, teaching architecture is a passion.

“Architecture is anyway a matchless profession. Until today I have never felt it uninteresting or I have never been tired in my practice. Teaching Architecture is a privilege. Further if you could teach something to somebody, I feel it is a blessing. So I am thoroughly honored to teach Architecture, my own profession to students at a leading university,” summed up De Silva.

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