College of Architecture Trivandrum

By Prof. J. Jayakumar, Principal
Prof. J. Jayakumar,Principal

Pursued his MCP programme from IIT Kharagpur, Prof. J. Jayakumar is currently serving as the Principal at CAT. His area of interests includes Urban Planning, Building Performance, and Education

Far from the maddening rush of a usual metropolis and amidst serene hill slopes, mesmerizing lakes, historic monuments and idyllic beaches, Trivandrum, the capital of Kerala, boasts of some of the country's finest institutions. Popularly known as CAT, College of Architecture Trivandrum is one such exemplary establishment, which is unequivocally shaping the careers of tomorrow's architects by opening the door for the entrance of modern architecture in the city. Existing in this arena only for 7 years now, CAT with its mission to be "an institute of choice" through promoting a creative, research-driven and learner friendly ecosystem is determinedly advancing towards the path of excellence. Approved by the All India Council for Technical Education and The Council of Architecture, the institute is affiliated to APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University.

"CAT always keeps a pace with the recent changes in technology, materials, standards, and legislation"

"Sowing the seeds of innovation and transparency in our process of educating the students, we are committed to develop a community of learners into lead practitioners in the areas of sustainability and livability of built environment," says Prof. J. Jayakumar, Principal, CAT. Presently, the institute offers a 5-years Bachelors programme in Architecture with an intake capacity of 120 students.
Receiving a large number of applications, the institute follows a fair procedure for the enrollment by considering the National Aptitude Test in Architecture (NATA) score and overall academic performance of the students. "We are standing on the pillars of strong values. Students at our institute are provided ample exposure to grow and realize their artistic goals," shares Prof. Jayakumar. Right from its inception, the institute has been receiving overwhelming responses from the aspiring students and different stakeholders of the architecture education.

The institute today houses students from different parts of the country. "We are constantly putting our best effort to meet the vision of becoming the "institute of choice for the best student". On this account, we at CAT have adopted the diverse pedagogies which serve positively in intensifying the student's knowledge and practical acumen," pinpoints Prof. Jayakumar. The institute emphasizes on diversity while selecting faculty members, and takes on board a few of the highly proficient and accountable academicians around the country. "Our students are motivated to learn in a very challenging and interesting manner instead of making the teaching and learning boring and monotonous," adds Prof. Jayakumar.

As the architecture study is the amalgamation of technical education and artistic feeling, thought and expression, the institute acknowledges an interdisciplinary and interconnected curriculum. "At CAT, we are on the journey of preparing a new genre of architects who would be able to use creatively the evidence collected from real data while developing concepts. This forms the basis of architectural design with an emphasis on formal aesthetics of the 21st century," opines Prof. Jayakumar. The institute always keeps a pace with the recent changes in technology, materials, standards, and legislation. And for this, CAT has extended several collaborations with eminent institutions across the world. "The institute has obtained the Netherlands Fellowship Programme in the year 2015 and completed the faculty Training under NUFFIC
Tailor Made Training conducted by Saxion University of Applied Sciences- Netherlands," claims Prof. Jayakumar.

Apart from the MoU with Saxion University of Applied Sciences, CAT also has associated with organizations such as Glass Academy for accomplishing a list of mottos of the institute. Prof. Jayakumar adds, "The collaboration with Saxion University of Applied Sciences has enabled us in achieving limitless scopes for student exchange, staff exchange, joint research, and training". Aiming for holistic development of the students, the institute along with academics engages the students in co-curricular activities. In the debate and literary club of the institute, personalities from a different background, walk in and share their views and opinions with the students in informal sessions. "We believe that grooming happens every day. From research activities to consultancy works and creative indulgence to academic focus and regular workshops, our students are involved in everything," says Prof. Jayakumar.

The students however for learning the ethics and norms of the profession are encouraged to go through a semester-long internship with well-known architect practitioners and firms. "Real-life lessons are the best source of receiving life-long learning and our students are taught from the same. Anyhow, we have a committee comprising of students and other members of the institute to look after the operation of all such activities taken for the betterment of CAT students," shares Prof. Jayakumar. The institute also has encompassed world-class facilities in its artistically landscaped campus including well-equipped laboratories such as Model Making Lab, Carpentry Lab, Survey lab, conference rooms, hostel and transportation facilities, to name a few. "Being one of the largest architectural schools in Trivandrum, we are rendering a very applicable and convenient platform for aspiring architects. As most of our students opting for the entrepreneurial route, we envision to setting up a Center of Excellence and an Innovation Center in the future," concludes Prof. Jayakumar.