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Designing Impact: Public Policy Careers For Architecture Students In India – IMPRI Impact And Policy Research Institute

Designing Impact: Public Policy Careers for Architecture Students in India

Dr Arjun Kumar


Architecture, beyond the realms of physical structures, has the power to shape societies and influence policy. For students of architecture, the journey into public policy opens doors to not only creating aesthetically pleasing spaces but also contributing to the broader societal fabric. This article explores the promising trajectories within public policy for architecture students, emphasizing the significance of specialized learning through platforms like IMPRI’s online courses.

The Intersection of Design and Policy

Architecture students, with their spatial understanding and creative problem-solving skills, are well-positioned to influence policies that address urban development, environmental sustainability, and community well-being. The design thinking ingrained in architectural education equips students to envision and advocate for innovative policy solutions.

Key Areas of Impact

  1. Urban Planning and Policy Advocacy: Architecture students can actively contribute to urban planning policies, emphasizing sustainable and inclusive development. This includes advocating for green spaces, mixed-use zoning, and policies that prioritize pedestrian-friendly urban environments.
  2. Heritage Conservation Policies: Preservation of cultural heritage is a crucial aspect of architectural practice. Students can engage in crafting policies that protect and promote heritage sites, contributing to the conservation of historical significance and architectural marvels.
  3. Affordable Housing Policies: As advocates for equitable spaces, architects can contribute to policies that address affordable housing challenges. This involves proposing innovative design solutions and influencing policies that ensure housing accessibility for all segments of society.
  4. Environmental Sustainability Policies: Architects play a pivotal role in sustainable design practices. Contributing to policies that promote energy-efficient buildings, waste reduction, and eco-friendly urban planning aligns with the ethos of environmental sustainability.

IMPRI Online Courses: Tailored Learning for Architecture Professionals

IMPRI (Impact and Policy Research Institute) provides a range of online courses designed to empower aspiring policy professionals, including those with a background in architecture. These courses offer a unique opportunity for students to gain specialized knowledge in public policy. Relevant courses include:

  1. Urban Development and Policy Analysis: This course delves into the analysis of urban development policies. It equips architecture students with the tools to assess existing policies, identify gaps, and propose evidence-based solutions for sustainable urban planning.
  2. Heritage Conservation and Policy Implications: Focused on the intersection of heritage conservation and policy, this course explores the governance aspects of preserving cultural heritage. Students learn to contribute to policy discussions on heritage protection.
  3. Affordable Housing Design and Policy Advocacy: This course addresses the nexus between affordable housing design and policy advocacy. It provides insights into crafting policies that ensure the availability of well-designed, affordable housing for diverse communities.
  4. Sustainable Architecture and Urban Policies: Centered around sustainable architectural practices, this course offers practical insights into developing and implementing policies that promote environmental sustainability in urban areas.

Crafting a Career Path

For architecture students aspiring to pursue careers in public policy, strategic steps are imperative:

  1. Internships in Urban Planning Departments: Seek internships in urban planning departments, municipal corporations, or architecture firms involved in policy advocacy. Practical experience enhances your understanding of policy dynamics.
  2. Collaboration with NGOs and Research Organizations: Engage with non-profit organizations and research institutions working on urban development and policy-related initiatives. Collaborative projects offer exposure and networking opportunities.
  3. Participation in Policy Forums and Workshops: Actively participate in policy forums, workshops, and conferences focused on urban development and architectural policies. Contributing to discussions strengthens your voice as a policy advocate.
  4. Policy Research and Publications: Conduct research on architectural and urban policy issues and publish articles or reports. Demonstrating your ability to analyze policy challenges and propose solutions enhances your credibility in the policy arena.


A career in public policy beckons architecture students who aspire to shape not only physical spaces but also the policies that govern them. The blend of design thinking and policy advocacy offers a unique avenue for those seeking to make a meaningful impact on India’s urban and architectural landscape. The IMPRI online courses mentioned provide a tailored and accessible pathway for architecture professionals to enhance their knowledge and skills, paving the way for a rewarding career at the intersection of architecture and public policy in India.

Dr Arjun Kumar is the Director of the IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi.

Disclaimer: All views expressed in the article belong solely to the author and not necessarily to the organisation.

This article was posted by Tanu Paliwal , a research intern at IMPRI.

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  • IMPRI Desk
  • Arjun KumarArjun Kumar

    Arjun Kumar is the Director of the Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI), New Delhi. He holds a PhD in Economics from the Centre for the Study of Regional Development, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi. With training in development economics, he specialises in quantitative and qualitative research methods, econometrics and the use of statistical software to crunch big data. He has been a Visiting Faculty at the Institute for Human Development (IHD) amongst others and has been associated with several think tanks, research institutes, governments, civil society organisations, and private enterprises. He is President of a Jharkhand based NGO (registered in 2010), Manavdhara- a youth social organisation working for humanitarian causes in backward regions and for marginalised communities. He has also taught Economics at the University of Delhi. His research interests are in the economy, development studies, housing and basic amenities, urban and regional research, inclusive and sustainable development, data and evidence-based policy, and, research methods. He has several research publications to his credit and has experience of being involved in research projects of international and national repute. He is also a member and part of various government and non-government formed committees, groups, and advisory boards overseeing the deliberation as subject matter expert and for possessing strong research acumen. He is an avid writer and frequently writes on various dimensions of economic issues, policies, and their impact for several eminent media platforms.


    IMPRI, a startup research think tank, is a platform for pro-active, independent, non-partisan and policy-based research. It contributes to debates and deliberations for action-based solutions to a host of strategic issues. IMPRI is committed to democracy, mobilization and community building.

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IMPRI, a startup research think tank, is a platform for pro-active, independent, non-partisan and policy-based research. It contributes to debates and deliberations for action-based solutions to a host of strategic issues. IMPRI is committed to democracy, mobilization and community building.


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