Arts, Audio/Video Technology & Communications

How to Become an Architectural Writer in India: Growth Options and More

If you are interested in knowing how to become an architectural writer, you are at the right place! Award-winning architectural journalist Ar. Apurva Bose Dutta discusses all about the courses, growth prospects, salary and more.

1. Role of an Architectural Writer

Architectural writing is an umbrella term that includes several specialisations such as architectural journalist, architectural critic, architectural theorist, architectural historian, etc. As the name suggests, architectural writers have to write on architecture and allied fields. While both architecture and writing are quite conventional paths, architectural writing gives you a chance to explore new realms.

Here is a list of basic things that you should know about how to become an architectural writer. Read on to find out more about this unconventional career path!

How to Become an Architectural Writer

Contents: Jump to Section

1.1 Is Being an Architectural Writer a Good Career Option?
2.1 Courses Taken: Subjects
2.2 Entrance Exams
2.3 Academic Qualifications/ Options
2.4 License Required
2.5 Internship/ Work Experience Required
2.6 Cost of Tuition and Training
2.7 General Age to Start Professional Career for Architectural Writers
2.8 Governing Bodies
3.1 Specializations/ Sub-Professions
3.2 Companies & Institutions that Employ Architectural Writers
3.3 Growth Prospects
3.4 Entrepreneurship Opportunities
3.5 What is the Salary of an Architectural Writer in India?
4.1 Top Universities in India
4.2 Top Universities in World
4.3 Famous Personalities

1.1 Is Architectural writing a Good Career Option?

Architectural writing is one of the ideal career options for people who have a flair for writing but also have a deep-rooted interest in architecture and design. So, if you are willing to explore new career options, you should definitely give this a shot!

1.2 Difference between Architectural Writer and Journalist?

An architectural writer, journalist or critic will always specialise in writing on architecture and its allied fields, whereas a journalist is an umbrella term for several fields. For example, there can be fashion journalists, sports journalists, news reporters, writing on a variety of topics such as technology, health, trends, fashion, economy, etc.

2. How to Become an Architectural Writer in India

2.1 Courses Taken in College: Subjects

Architectural Writing, Communications, Architectural History, Architectural Theory

Although there are no specific courses offered at the Bachelor’s or Master’s level in India in majority of architectural institutions in India, many architectural colleges offer an elective in architectural journalism and criticism that would focus on architectural writing.

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Other subjects, such as architectural history and architectural theory, can also have components of writing. Since an architectural writer writes on architecture, they must study all the subjects in architecture to get a technical understanding of the subject.

Additionally, a few journalism institutes also have subjects pertaining to writing in the built environment.

2.2 Entrance Exams

No specific entrance tests.

It’s important to know about the entrance tests to understand how to become an architectural writer in India. Since architectural writing is a specialisation in architecture, hence there are no separate entrance exams for architectural writing. The exams that are conducted are mostly for architecture courses.

2.3 Academic Qualifications/ Options

B.Arch/ Diploma in Architecture

Usually, students of architecture pursue courses such as bachelor’s in architecture wherein they learn about architecture in great detail and can later choose to specialise in architectural writing. Apart from this, there are several other diploma courses on architecture.

In case you are looking to enhance your writing skills, you always have a lot of courses available for that, both online and offline. However, even non-qualified architects who have an interest in the subject can write on architecture and design.

2.4 License Required

No

While several career options such as Chartered Accountancy do require you to pursue a license from the government to start a professional career, it’s not the case in architectural writing. You can start your career without applying for any license. For architects who want to pursue architectural writing, the registration for acquiring the title of an architect with the Council of Architecture is mandatory.

2.5 Internship/ Work Experience Required to Enter the Field

Not required, but it always helps.

Internships are a great way to have an idea of the job role you will be taking up and it also helps in understanding the industry. Hence, you can try to find an internship in a related architectural firm or media house, wherein you have an opportunity to test your existing writing skills and pick some new skills as well.

2.6 Cost of Tuition and Training

Not specified

Architectural writing is a specialisation in architecture, akin to the other specialisations. Therefore, the fees you are required to pay is usually for pursuing architecture in architecture colleges. In India, the average fees for some top architecture colleges ranges from ₹ 20, 000 – ₹ 1 lakh per academic year for a 5 year bachelor’s in architecture program for government institutes. For private colleges, the range is around ₹ 1.6 lakh to ₹ 10.5 lakhs per year.

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Additionally, interested architectural writers might also want to take up some writing courses but the course fee will depend on whether they are doing short writing courses or longer ones. Many who are not trained in architecture might also want to pursue architectural writing, their fees will again be different. For those who want do pursue a postgraduate degree in architectural writing, the fees will again vary.

2.7 General Age to Start Professional Career for Architectural Writers

22-24 years

Professionals will have to be proactive to carve their own path and find new opportunities. You can start your career in the field of architectural writing once you finish your graduation. Thereafter, you can sit for your college placements or even apply to the reputed architectural firms or media firms.

2.8 Governing Bodies

Council of Architecture

Various firms and job roles have a governing body that overlooks the working of the industry. Similarly, the Council of Architecture is the governing body for the architectural industry. In case you want to be a registered architect in India, you will need to enrol yourself under the Council of Architecture.

3. Professional Opportunities/ Career Growth for an Architectural Writer

how to become a journalist in India

3.1 Specializations/ Sub-Professions

Architectural Journalist, Architectural Critic, Architectural Historian, Architectural Theoretician

Now that we have an idea of how to become an architectural writer, we need to look into the growth prospects. While architectural writing itself is a specialisation in the field of architecture, a few other specialisations are architectural journalists, architectural critics, architectural theorists, architectural historians, etc.

3.2 Companies & Institutions that Employ Architectural Writers

Media houses, firms, organisations and institutions pertaining to the architectural industry

Several organisations such as media houses, firms, educational institutions, communication firms, connected to the architecture, design, and building industry or those interested in these disciplines roll out job vacancies for architectural writers.

3.3 Growth Prospects

Publication Head, Communication Manager, Curator

The growth prospects in this field depend on the interests of the individual. You can work independently or in the core team of a publication house, or as a communication head of an architectural/ design/ product firm. Moreover, you can become a curator for architectural organisations, or associate with any organisation that wants to integrate writing and architecture.

With time, as you gain experience, you are promoted to senior positions and trusted with more responsibilities.

3.4 Entrepreneurship Opportunities

Work independently

The field of architectural writing offers abundant entrepreneurship opportunities. You can always choose to work independently and get into diverse collaborations with media houses, organisations, firms, and institutions.

3.5 What is the Salary of an Architectural Writer in India?

Rs 3-3.5 lacs per annum for freshers

The starting salary for freshers willing to start a career in this field ranges between Rs 3-3.5 lacs per annum. However, it gradually increases as you gain experience. On the other hand, for professionals with 5-10 years’ experience, the average salary mostly depends on their position and the specification they have chosen for themselves.

4. Further Resources

4.1 Top Universities in India

While pursuing a degree, it is always advisable to chalk out the best college options available. Although architectural writing is not a mainstream course, some of the colleges that focus on architectural writing in their curriculum are as follows:

  • CEPT, Ahmedabad
  • Sushant School of Architecture, Gurgaon
  • Jindal School of Art and Architecture, Sonipat
  • School of Environment and Architecture, Mumbai

4.2 Famous Personalities

A few famous personalities you can look up to while wanting to know more about the field are the following who took up writing as a full-time profession:

  • Ada Louis Huxtable
  • William Curtis
  • Janes Jacob
  • Alexandra Lange

Architects such as BV Doshi, Le Corbusier, Juhani Pallasma, Kenneth Frampton, Charles Correa, Christopher Benninger, Yatin Pandya, Prem Chandavarkar, and Gautam Bhatia are also known for their writing, although writing has not been their primary profession.

4.3 Useful Links

Listed below are some of the links that will give you more insights on how to become an architectural writer:

So, that was all from our end on how to become an architectural writer. Let us know what you think about this career option by commenting below or tweeting @CareerNuts.

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