Why architecture students must learn about cultural diversity

Learning about diverse design traditions will help architecture students experiment, innovate and create solutions that consider the local context

Updated - December 24, 2023 02:53 pm IST

Published - December 24, 2023 10:37 am IST

India has varied design traditions that architecture students must know about

India has varied design traditions that architecture students must know about | Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The inclusion of cultural diversity in design has a pivotal role to play in Architecture. Architects are problem solvers who create safe spaces according to people’s needs. The new trend is to create an environment suitable for diverse cultures and not just for a specific group of people. A culturally diverse space design adapts to evolving cultural requirements. Cultures change with time; for example, the development of office spaces within homes after the pandemic. Architecture students, therefore, need to understand the importance of cultural diversity.

Architecture is the mirror that reflects society and culture. Exposing students to diverse design philosophies and building practices enriches their learning experience and helps them develop cultural sensitivity to create designs that consider the local context, values, and beliefs of the community they serve. This also leads to innovation, as students experiment with new forms and technologies while applying diverse architectural approaches to their work.


In the Indian context, we have diverse design traditions such as the Chettinad, the Mughal, the Nagara, and Colonial styles of architecture. These are rooted in a particular era’s culture, beliefs and values. Studying all this helps students establish a link between past and present and also gain insights into how construction materials and spatial arrangements were influenced by culture.

Creating an environment for discussion and learning from diverse perspectives is critical for architecture education. This involves inviting guest faculty and architecture experts to talk about cultural diversity, setting up a design studio for projects, organising mandatory case studies and encouraging interdisciplinary collaboration for architecture students to interact with departments like history, anthropology, sociology and others.


The most significant benefit is creating cultural awareness and sensitivity, which help students design viable spaces according to the community’s needs. Students also learn to be flexible in their approach as they have to adapt to specific requirements. Finally students also learn to engage with the community that they are serving as architects and to understand, respect and value differences.

The writer is Vice President, KL Deemed-to-be University.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.