APPROACH | Episode #1

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Approach. An Initiative by Students of School of Environmental Design and Architecture (SEDA). A student led newsletter aiming to initiate a discorse beyond architecture studios and architecture itself. Presented to you by the Batch of COVID-19. Navrachna University, Vadodara


-Hrithik Thumar, How will the Corona virus reshape architecture & landscape industry?


-Yugma Barad, Bombay Slums: Restructuring the overall city fabric.


-Pareen Gajjar, Landscape: Is it just something about the “greens�?


-Hiya Raval, Enchroachment as an Encumbrance.



-Hemaxi Luhar, Adaptive Resuse of Historical Structures.


-Purvish Thakkar, Phenomenology in Architecture.


-Pavani Joshi, Hagia Sophia: The finest example of political influence & power.


-Canna Shah, The importance of integrating art sculptures within architecture.

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How will COVID-19 reshape Architecture industry? The COVID-19 crisis has forced the world to rethink its approach towards designing future spaces keeping the well-being of the global population in mind. Though we are not sure about the future but we can study it’s effect on architecture as a profession, a firm and an individual.

Article by Hrithik Thumar


Architecture is defined by its humanity. This is especially true in a year defined by the Corona virus pandemic and global calls for social distancing. As the world is slowly reopening and with easing lockdown measures everyone is adapting to new realities. Imposing drastic adjustments to our lives, the corona virus has introduced a new “normal”, altering our priorities and changing our perceptions. Driven towards questioning and evaluating our future will look like, we can examine current trends, tactics and concepts that have played huge roles during the pandemic. These new trends may have long lasting impacts on the way cities are designed. Assessing the current scenario, the impact can be positive and negative. From a positive perspective overnight we found ourselves in a virtual mode of working, and very quickly we were able to not only maintain operation but also thrive. It has opened up our minds to think long-term about the way we work and how that needs and can change. Also the architects and designers are leveraging their technologies, facilities, and research skills to aid in the fight against the pandemic. Many have turned to what they know best: design and innovation. This time of crisis has forced the world to rethink its approach towards designing future spaces keeping the well-being of the global population in mind. It may lead to some paradigm shifts on some well defined global principles which are relatively unchanged till now such as urban densification, transportation, social distancing and many more. Whereas on the other hand, the lockdown has also left its adverse effects on the architects and designers as projects at all levels have come to a grinding halt. While the projects in the drawing stage have been halted because of the lack of confidence of the project investors, the ongoing projects are also stopped because of displacement of labor in this state of emergency throughout the world, budgets and economic turmoil. As the international supply chains will remain restricted, finding newer markets for the supply and achieving self-sufficiency will be necessary for the foreseeable future. Architects see the pandemic as an opportunity are fundamentally rearranging their priorities both from a project and a design perspective. There is an industry wide shift towards building healthier cities and with that it is becoming a lot easier to convince clients of the vital importance of sustainability, safety and resilience in master planning as well as other commercial projects. Also, we will see a 06 | APPROACH

-continued demand of people craving their own open spaces, gardens and land. Also if we talk about the indoor environments, there will be an impact on the way offices and houses are designed, used and created. Although this period of uncertainty will be rewarding for the brave. Those who are bold enough to push the boundaries of design with health at the epicenter of creativity. COVID-19 has changed the way we used to visualize, ideate and implement things. A lot of construction activity will happen outside the site and newer construction techniques will be implemented. Pre-engineered structures would be preferred over the conventional ones and machine-based processing will be encouraged. People will explore more voice-activated controls along with automation eliminating the need of physical touch. Worldwide people are working from home due to which large office buildings and skyscrapers have been abandoned. Now that work is being done remotely some are re-evaluating the need for such spacious and expensive spaces. Also people are confined within their homes, so the automobile usage has been on all time low leaving a positive impact on the environment. Another design approach that has been popular is adaptive reuse, the process of using existing structures to serve new purposes. Along with modular construction it’s proven to be very effective in creating emergency facilities. From creating make-shift emergency facilities to reorganizing one’s home that’s better suited for working remotely flexible design has also proven to be essential. It will be interesting to see the long-term impact on approach to architecture. This could pave the way for a different type of architectural business, with social endeavor and public wellbeing at the centre. Architects and urban planners are going to have to carefully rethink the structure and functioning of our cities. Now that more people understand just how essential the basic needs really are, it should be easier to successfully implement sustainable projects of all sorts. At present the challenge is rather to rethink concepts such as densification and adapt them to the present set of conditions. It’s also important to use available space more flexibly than in the past.


“Suddenly, like a huge gust of wind that blows in the unknown, we are in a situation that is forcing us to reconsider our surroundings.�

The pandemic is a wake-up call for architects to reconsider the way that spaces are created. The current scenario in the architecture industry suggest that it is opened up new design and innovation opportunities while it took a great hit on realistic construction world. This pandemic will reshape the possibilities of building and in many ways our lives, as we know that there will be a period of uncertainty before everything get back to normal.



Bombay Slums: Restructuring the overall city fabric. Informal settlements play one of the important roles in structuring the city growth, be it slums or chawls or the rural areas on the suburbs in contrast to high end living conditions. A city undergoes various layers of superimposition of incoming public for work opportunities, facts & figures, politics, which leads the city to be contrasting and sprawl further.

Article by Yugma Barad


It is often argued that urban growth of the developing countries is fuelled by the urban/rural migrants in the cities and towns where majority of the bulk of population constitutes in the low line areas/ slums or chawls. However, urban growth rate has been slowing down due to the stagnating rate of the rural urban migration and declining natural increase in the population. So, what is slum? How did it change the city and what is the outcome today after the city going through minor and major pandemics? So, the concept of the slum is ambiguous in nature, which varies extensively in the global, national and regional context. Generally speaking, slum is a huge concentration of people living together in a small 8’ x 10’ cubical area with severe lack of public services, water and hygiene issues and dreary livelihood. Also, not only the migration of the urban poor but the construction of high-end buildings and infrastructure near the village areas making it a minority and making it a place like a slums or low line areas also be one of the reasons resulting into such living conditions. Cities which are in ‘sanitising mode’ do not welcome the urban poor migrant that has been held as a fallout of ‘exclusionary urbanisation’. (rahaman, 2017). Now given this backdrop, using the census data of 2001 and 2011, the study hereby examines the nature of slum growth corresponding to urban growth in India, from which the study reveals that slum growth has also declined in major areas of the country, which is not the case with one of the largest cities of India: MUMBAI. (rahaman, 2017). By the turn of 20th century, Bombay (Mumbai) had become one of the largest cities in the world. But the city lacked a proper drainage system which led to an outbreak of bubonic plague in 1896. The Bombay improvement trust set up in 1890 to create sanitary housing for the urban poor demolished more houses than it could build and so the poor went back to living around the edge of the chawls built by the trust in what would now be called as slums. Also, they are an outcome of the exponential increase in the city’s population after the upsurge of mills and industries during 19th-century British rule in India. Due to insufficient housing for the migrant working population, slums and pavement dwelling conditions came up at the doorsteps of factories, mills, and workshops within the city in the 1940s. Coming to the present day condition, 42 per cent of Mumbai’s population lives in slums, all of them just cramped into 9 per cent of the geographical area.


So why does every second resident of the financial capital of the country dwells in slums? Reason being simple, as there are no affordable housing options in the city, which also leads to the question of why the city is not being able to produce affordable housing, to which it arises an important reason that as long as the cost of the land that is going to factor in the cost of the house, unaffordability is going to be there. Mumbai being an island city, also it makes one of the densely populated cities in the world and the land being scarce it has most restrictive land use constraints. Also, it has a political side of looking at it. Upon independence, India had pledged to be a socialist republic which means the government had taken upon itself some exclusive responsibility of promoting social welfare projects including affordable housing or social housing. Come 1991, the year of liberalisation, the government dumps that responsibility and role and talks about facilitating the private sector. It began depending on the privatisation as a means for undertaking development projects. Where that has been a major disaster leading to the current state of the city, where housing rates have hit the roof, where slumification of cities has begun to threaten the quality of life. (DAS, 2018) The idea of slums meant a community living wherein people are habitual in working together, since it is a place of work and stay together. However, it has changed the idea since the people are getting away from the community living and started having an idea of isolation as an upgradation to the standard of living where now there is comparatively lesser interaction among the people which tends to make the houses away from each other which results into more spreading of the slum area and then tends the city to sprawl further (sanyal, 2018). Coming on to the recent episode of Covid-19 pandemic, since slums are becoming the focal point of the covid-19 outbreak, where now there are cases where a single house is a containment zone and where also an entire lane is a containment zone which would further led people to maintain social distancingURBAN PLANNING

“The slum is the measure of civilization.’”

-reflecting in the ‘maintain distance’ housing typology and living pattern which would lead to sprawling of the slums and thus resulting into further sprawling of the city. Informal settlements are essentially abandoned by urban elites, which means they rarely receive the care and attention they need. Governments must be sensitive to the fact that there may be low levels of trust in informal settlements, as well as alternate systems of power and influence. Proper affordable living-working housing schemes should be laid out and implemented as early as possible as an upgradation to the city life and pattern and also to cut down the contrasting difference between the rich, middle and the poor. The land in the city been scarce, it should be properly optimized on the urban level for planning including proper transit planning for the people to connect from their living to working places (one end to the other part of the city) which might treat the issue of slums having working-living together conditions. Although Covid-19 spread across the globe on airplanes and cruise ships, borne by the wealthiest residents of the world. All respiratory pathogens are very successful in crowded, densely populated environments. The trajectory of a lot of diseases in that they end up in the slum communities of the world and then they linger. And hence, the typology for the living-working spaces. Idea of verticality rather than a horizontal spread of the spaces would save lot of land and thus having an idea of compactness through verticality serves it better, thus, no letting the city to sprawl further.



Landscape Architecture: Is it just something about the “greens”? There’s a misconception about what landscape architecture is all about its not just the plants we grow but something beyond this. So what is the importance of landscape? What is it about and what are the challenges and career focuses? Landscape is something which endures over time and always plays and vital role in bringing the city lives back also there’s no debate that this profession will be the future’s need.

Article by Pareen Gajjar

Introduction If you are a landscape architect, people think that it’s your job to prune their roses and mow their lawn. One may also hear, “There can’t be too much work for landscape architects” or “They are just educated gardeners.” But this is not what landscape architecture is all about, it is about creating great cities, streets, parks and public spaces – ones that inspire healthy living and wellbeing while protecting the natural environment and people. Landscape architecture is about creating safe, sustainable and resilient landscapes. Landscapes that evolve but endure over the time. History People usually think that landscape as a profession is new compared to other professions but for centuries, landscape architecture and architecture are completely linked with each other, organizing the environment for the society and people. The name “landscape architecture” was invented by a Scotsman in 1828. It uses the ancient skill of garden designers (to compose landform with water, vegetation, structures and paving) and applies this skill to the man-made landscape. We are promoting a landscape art on a scale never conceived of in history’. Some of the oldest and most famous gardens like those at the Palace of Versailles outside of Paris and Villa d’Este in Tivoli, Italy come to mind. These and many others were designed far before the term ‘landscape architecture’ was introduced. Facts For most people, spending time outdoors in well-designed public spaces is one of the highlights to city life. So why do we devote so little of our attention to their design? We have studies showing that people tend to be healthier and happier, and can enjoy longer lives, in areas where they have access to nature, including green urban spaces. Outdoor spaces are some of the least expensive to create and can pay some of the highest returns on investment—in terms of community life, health and wellness, and the generation of economic activity in surrounding areas. As more people—from young professionals to retirees—move back into cities, green public spaces and vibrant streetscapes are often cited as key factors for attracting residents and businesses. Despite this, we do not give outdoor spaces the same value and financial support that we give to buildings10 | APPROACH

-and interiors. We calculate the square-foot value of buildings and interiors but don’t do the same for a square foot outdoors. Landscape architects understand the natural environment, the built environment, and the interface between them. And they are ideally prepared to take leadership in shaping outdoor spaces and framing public awareness about them. About Profession However, there is a misconception about the two individual terms that are, “Landscape Architecture and Landscape Design”, they both are very different in their own ways. A landscape designer typically has more knowledge in different aspects of gardening and specialized plant knowledge. Whereas the landscape architecture career requires at least a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture, although a master’s degree offers more specialized knowledge and skills for career advancement. A landscape designer does not require a licensure, and responsibilities can vary based on knowledge and experience. Landscape Architecture designs the public realm. It can often be difficult to pin down what Landscape Architecture does; it is abroad discipline with numerous paths. It is a highly creative discipline with a deep foundation in ecology and design, history and culture, context and philosophy, urban planning and planting design. In the end, we in landscape architecture design and plan the spaces where we spend our public and private lives outside. The scope of the profession is broad and can be subdivided into several sub-categories including professional or licensed landscape architects who are regulated by governmental agencies and posses the expertise to design a wide range of structures and landforms for human use. Another comparison between this two fields i.e., landscape architects and architects are highly trained professionals who need a bachelor’s degree in their field. Professionals in both fields need to be aware of environmental regulations and building codes that might affect their work. The key difference is the type of design work that they focus on. Architects design structures such as houses or office buildings, while landscape architects produce plans for the outdoor areas around structures. Advantages and future of Landscape Landscape architectural design has slowly evolved to take into account the amount of effort and resources necessary to maintain our landscapes. LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE

“If everything exists within a landscape, then the landscapearchitect must learn to design everything.”

The future of landscape architecture will demand we use our knowledge of living systems to create environments that reduce or eliminate the use of natural resources, while still creating places of value and beauty for humankind. Landscape also provides benefits in economic growth such as, Tourism, Branding, Attracting Investment, Attracting Residents and Productive Capacity. People value different landscapes for different reasons. Some landscapes are appreciated for their high aesthetic natural values. Other landscapes are appreciated for their unique or special character which has arisen from the interaction of natural and human influences over time. Such landscapes can become an integral part of the identity of local communities. They provide a strong sense of belonging to ‘our place’ for residents and regular visitors alike. Statement So, the most common answer to the question - What is the biggest problem you face working as a landscape architect? The answer would be the lack of recognition for the landscape architecture profession by other professionals and clients. Of course the irony here is the dire circumstances of climate change will push landscape architects to the forefront of the design world, delivering us the legitimacy we have always craved. Landscape architecture combines art and science to improve not only the environment, but our everyday lives. You have the opportunity to make an impact on the world’s experience of outdoor spaces as a landscape architect, and have endless ways and places to do so. It’s only up to you now. Are you up for the challenge?



Enchroachment as an Encumbrance Encroachment is something that has the power to influence whatever it encounters. it is what carriesa sense of slowly intruding into a public place either literally or figuratively. now the plight is to see how fervent does the encroachment issue go and what can we do about it.

Article by Hiya Raval


Among the many problems that India is facing today, one of the current burning issues is Encroachment. The illegal act of extending roof structures that intrude narrow streets and construction of houses and shops on public property is carried out for one’s personal benefit. Technically, there is no fundamental or legal right to encroach upon a public road or a street or a highway and raise a construction of any kind. Nowadays, removal of encroachment has become a necessity especially for the people living in mega cities like Mumbai and Ahmedabad. Traffic is one of the major issues faced due to encroachment particularly during the peak hours of the day. It is leading to congestion on internal roads and that is not due to the increase in a number of vehicles but due to illegal construction on roads blocking the vehicular movement. People usually tend to walk short distances because of traffic issues but there is again a threat posed to the pedestrian movement due to the extended structures be it shops or residences as well as the vendors or street hawkers on the road side which are engaged in practices of quiet encroachment where they occupy urban spaces as a means to reproduce themselves. In some of the very compact and narrow lanes, due to the built up on the edge of the road there is no ample space left for the parking of vehicles because of which people tend to park on the road often resulting in traffic jams. Taking current examples in Ahmedabad, one of the most developing areas being South Bopal, which has rapidly expanded with residential and commercial complexes in the past few years has also proliferated rampant encroachment by roadside vendors and washed out roads make it tough for commuters during peak traffic hours, particularly in the evenings. Also, the 200-year-old market of Manekchowk is losing sheen because of authorities’ inability to check encroachments and lack of ownership among locals who don’t take pride in having a planned market. The bustling area of Chowk comprises several markets. Both the sides of the roads are occupied by encroachers including fruits, vegetables, clothes and household article sellers. Though the road passing through the market itself is narrow, some of the regular shops of the area have also extended their shops and displayed their items on the road. 12 | APPROACH

Due to this, frequent altercation keeps happening between commuters and the shopkeepers for removing articles. Street vendors are occupying around 90% of the road in some areas of the market and the situation is such that no one can even think of driving a car through this area during daytime. With very little space for commuting, there is virtual chaos and regular traffic jams have become the common feature of this area. To solve the problem of encroachment here, AMC officials have approached leaders of street vendors and squatters many times, but every time encroachers have declined their offer to shift them to an alternative place and are not ready to move. However, AMC has become a mute witness to this growing problem of encroachment and the demolition drive has become a pretension. The removed shops are set up once again the next day after the drive is over. The traders have met authorities a number of times to get the area freed from encroachers but nothing has been done. Still there are some areas where effective steps have been taken to demolish encroachment. Talking about Ahmedabad, a few times ago the estate department of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) had started an anti-encroachment drive in the Vadaj and Navrangpura areas of the city. The Civic authorities removed two makeshift sheds and 10 street carts while seizing some 64 objects that were blocking traffic movement along the road. The Teams of New West zone had removed 2208 sqm of plinth construction, 1431 sqm of commercial sheds, 118 cross walls and 76 pukka construction. In the sixth zone of the city 94 kms of zones were freed from encroachments. The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) in its drive against encroachment on roads removed some 3833 structures in the new west zone between sarkhej cross roads and the APMC yard. The drive aimed to remove encroachments and free up the space for pedestrian and parking. Demolitions were carried out in Makatampura wards in Juhapura. URBAN DESIGN

“One cannot make architecture without studying the condition of life in the city.”

It is said in a Geographical review that Urban encroachment on rural land will be a serious problem only near major metropolitan areas, where most of the built-up area is already concentrated. Also, encroachment issues defer in developing and developed cities as well as in planned and unplanned cities. So, we can see that encroachment problems are not faced rather we can say are almost negligible in planned cities like Gandhinagar and Chandigarh and that is because there are already allotted spaces for commercial buildings, parking spaces etc whereas in comparison to them, Ahmedabad, Delhi, Mumbai etc face severe issues of encroachment. This is very much because these are not planned cities and as the population keeps on increasing, the city expands haphazardly thereby occupying urban spaces and major portions of public roads leaving very little space for the commuters. And so, the management of urban spaces has become essential. Therefore, if this widespread encroachment on public lanes is removed, these spaces can be used for public welfare like cycling and jogging tracks, there can be a proper allotment of parking spaces, footpaths can be constructed further enhancing the pedestrian movement and pavement blocks and garden spaces can be created for tree plantations which is a necessary step as pollution in today’s time has reached its alarming stage.



Adaptive Reuse of Historic Structures. As cities become more alike over time, historic buildings have become unique attributes that cannot be replicated. Adaptive reuse is a way in which one can understand the values attached to heritage buildings, the importance and the challenges associated with it.

Article by Hemaxi Luhar

Introduction Change over time is unavoidable. While bringing down the old structures and building new might feel progressive, adaptive reuse goes against this definition of progression by making room for the new but at the same time retaining to the old. If we simply let our buildings age, they have no meaning instead why not use them as a part of storytelling and use them to inspire our future. Adaptive reuse is the process of repurposing buildings that have outlived their original purposes for different uses or functions while at the same time retaining their historic features. It can be implemented on any building, although it is most used when working with historic buildings. Historic Buildings Adaptive reuse is a challenging process as one needs to preserve the existing character and the original fabric as much as possible and perform it for a new purpose. Many adaptive reuse projects bridge different worlds like, old factory becoming museum, churches becoming restaurants and more. Adaptive reuse is an important strategy for the preservation of heritage architecture as it transforms historic buildings into usable locations. Historic buildings also add value to the cities as it attracts tourism and should be conserved as they link communities with their history. Sometimes replacing historic structures with a new structure might feel alien to the existing neighborhood hence in addition a historic building not only provides a sense of connection but also makes one curious to know about their history, people and culture that produced them.

-use or waste more materials. There are economic advantages to reusing a historic building such as land acquisition is often less expensive, there is very little, or no demolition required hence this helps in decreasing the cost of the project. Other factors are to be able to use materials or recycle materials already on the location which allow for additional money to be saved and making it possible to create beautiful aesthetics complete with rich textures and unique features. The entire adaptive reuse process, from start to finish, protects the environment while also reducing unnecessary waste. Process of Adaptive Reuse Adaptive reuse usually happens when there is some potential in the quality of the building and its environment [4]. Any adaptive reuse project begins by doing complete examination of the building, to ensure the structure can function in the future. One can look for unique attributes and characteristics that make the building special. These features can be highlighted in new and exciting ways. When looking for these unique elements one should see both beauty and value in it instead of demolishing it. This is what makes the building unique and this is a special quality of an adaptive reuse building. Case Study: Alembic Industrial Heritage and Re-Development – Karan Grover and Associates The Alembic factory in Vadodara used to manufacture chemicals and for years this building went under multiple interventions and now it has been turned into art studio and exhibition space. The idea was to maintain the true spirit of the building in terms of materials and physical

Significance of Adaptive Reuse To understand the importance of adaptive reuse, one must first appreciate the value of historic buildings and architecture. The most attractive feature about adaptive reuse is not using the process of demolition much. In the process of adaptive reuse there are environmental benefits as it helps in reducing energy consumption which usually comes with demolishing a structure and building a new one to replace it. This is what makes adaptive reuse an important component of sustainable development. Adaptive reuse is a great example of how one can use creative options like recycling, reusing, and repurposing from existing resources. Adaptive reuse is not just about saving buildings, it is also about ensuring communities do not14 | APPROACH

quality of the space. The plaster has already peeled off and they continued with the same language to preserve the architectural character of the building.


“Preservation is simply having the good sense to hold on to things that are well designed, that link us with our past in a meaningful way, and that have plenty of good use left in them.”

The only new architectural elements are the partition walls in the studio space. Another major architectural element is the roof – trusses. Fortunately, the trusses were in a good condition. The roof (interior) is exposed to express the quality of the structure that it once was. Conclusion The key factor behind adaptive reuse is the ability to keep stories and memories intact. It not only preserves valuable places and buildings and contributes to sustainability but also preserves the uniqueness and the history of societies. It is also a strong example of cultural character as it provides a sense of connection to society and landscape. In a world where mass production is normal, adaptive reuse goes against it, building upon already existing stories, adding new chapters without rewriting an entire book. Transforming the old into new, adaptive reuse has a growing place in our communities.



Phenomenology in Architecture Gravity is measured by the bottom of the foot; we trace the density and texture of the ground through our soles. Standing barefoot on a smooth glacial rock by the sea at sunset, and sensing the warmth of the sun-heated stone through one’s soles, is an extraordinarily healing experience, making one part of the eternal cycle of nature. One senses the slow breathing of the earth.

Article by Purvish Thakkar

to the eye but does very little to engage with the other senses. Introduction Phenomenology is the science of phenomena distinct from that of the nature of being. Phenomenology can also be understood as the study of structures, experience and consciousness (Norberg-Shulz, 1980). Phenomenology can be explained as a means of going beyond “narrow, empiricist psychological assumptions about human experience” (Dermort, 2000). Phenomenology of architecture is theoretically constructed on the paradigm of observed and interpreted human experiences and behaviors towards physical sites through the analysis of sensory influences. Phenomenology’s approach acknowledges the complexity of double-fold levels of knowledge: ontological or objective, foundational characteristics of the life-world, and epistemological, where lived experiences become a primary source of self-knowing, developing richer, authentic perspectives through our emotions, sentiments and memories. Literature Review Merleau-Ponty pioneered applied phenomenology, founded on the nature of perception expounded by Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger, who theorised that conscious experience from the first person’s point of view, derives from perceptual dimensions. Perceptions, the instrument connecting our physical bodies through sensory organs (i.e. sight, sound, taste, touch and smell), enables us to experience the world intelligently and intimately, form the foundation of our creative receptivity and the subjective intertwining of each person’s self with others. Seamon elaborates the development of consciousness through perceptual awareness as the lived aspect of innate material experiences, and researchers’ need to be constantly involved in some aspect of the world as their object. Finnish architect Juhani Pallasmaa focuses architectural phenomenology discourse as an intellectual form of ‘inner language’ of spaces, by philosophically examining the experiences preceding from authentic “emotional forces” through introspection. This field of research, he states, is fraught with the challenge of ocularcentrism: looking at the surface, rather than seeing tounderstand the metaphysical. Juhani Pallasmaa, makes a case against the dominance of vision overall senses in the way we perceive the built form in his book, The Eyes of the Skin. The author terms this bias as ‘Ocularcentrism’. His argument uses a critical lens to examine architecture that appeals16 | APPROACH

Divided over two parts; the first is an elaboration of Modernist Design and how its isolation of the body and other senses makes our memories and imaginations homeless from the architectural experience. The eminence of vision has led to an ocular-centric architecture that aims at creating a striking and memorable visual image of a building. This does not allow us to experience our being in the world, and instead makes us mere spectators of an image that is projected into the eye. A historical narrative of how an image has gained predominance and sight becomes the most privileged of all senses over time. The second part brings the body to the centre stage. “I confront the city with my body; my legs measure the length of the arcade and the width of the square; my gaze unconsciously projects my body onto the facade of the cathedral, where it roams over the mouldings and contours, sensing the size of recesses and projections; my bodyweight meets the mass of the cathedral door, and my hand grasps the door pull as I enter the dark void behind. I experience myself in the city, and the city exists through my embodied experience. The city and my body supplement and define each other. I dwell in the city and the city dwells in me.” ―An excerpt from The Eyes of the Skin Architecture is not merely an object for visual seduction. It is an extension of nature in the man-made realm. Similar to a forest, that engages and heightens all our senses to create and envelopes with stimuli, architecture that is life-enhancing must address all the senses simultaneously. attention to the process of design with the advent of computer technology. The digital process of design may certainly help create new possibilities and push the boundaries of construction but it tends to flatten our magnificent and multi-sensory imaginations. A physical model brings the designer in haptic contact with the form creating a simultaneous act of being inside and outside the built form. Historically, the human body has been an essential aspect of deriving the proportions of space in architecture. Buildings are not only objects that we inhabit, but we also respond to them in an equal measure. ARCHITECTURE & ALLIED

“Thus ‘phenomenology’ means αποφαινεσθαι τα φαινομενα -- to let that which shows itself be seen from itself in the very way in which it shows itself from itself.”

Conclusion The essence of change itself encourages us to keep searching for humanity’s “wonderful possibilities”, however, architects’ intellectualised removal of personalities from the process of designing, much favoured in the modernist movement of the 20th century until the recent decade, has resulted in an emotive void, hampering aesthetics from becoming an integral part of the intelligent, intimate cognition of places, landscapes and topography. Phenomenological architecture visited in this research shows the importance of metaphysical interpretations of “pure looking”, where the aim is to appreciate the simplicity of structural design, light, shadow and space as the context of perceptual experiences that move, change and even fundamentally orchestrate landscapes, revealing fully the human spirit. Phenomenological association between human perceptions, space and form can be studied in various architectural concepts. Acknowledging phenomenology’s application beyond the domain of theoretical scholarship is crucial; human perceptions must not be neglected but instead integrated into spatial architectural designs bearing our sensory experiences. Pallasmaa believes that for buildings to embellish meaning and embody memories, they should do more than reflect practical environmental realities of planning geographical and physical spaces to fit surroundings. By abstracting our emotional connections and perceptual awareness, phenomenological architecture expresses the sanctity of human contexts, capturing empathy, joys, sorrows and the shared experiences of people’s lives, their feelings, memories and consciousness.



Hagia Sophia:The finest example of political influence & power. The finest example of political influence & power. To be used as a trophy of political and religious wars is nothing new for Hagia Sophia, but such a thing happening in modern times doesn’t seem right. We have to be more sensitive towards world heritage sites and their rightful place in history.

Article by Pavani Joshi


Recently Hagia Sophia, the great landmark of Istanbul lost its status of a museum from the past 80 years and got converted into a mosque. It is a 1500-year-old structure, one of the most important world heritage sites.  It was founded as the church inspired by the east and the west. Located at one of the highland sites in Istanbul its strong influence is visible from the Bosporus Sea. This decision faced a lot of opposing from all across the world declaring ruthless and harsh behavior of the government. Now here the question is, why only this particular structure and the city which is 3000 years old, is being used for the sole purpose of politics?  Let’s look at the brief history of the structure and the location of today’s Istanbul. They both have a story to tell. Surrounded by the Bosporus Sea from three sides, the land being admired by humans started its adventure long back in the time of neo-gothic age. It served as the capital of three known biggest empires in the world. The land established by Greek King Byzas based on the prophecy of the Oracle of Delphi, which states ‘the new country you will establish will be across from the land of blind’ ii indicating the overlooked location across the Bosporus Sea and it’s called Byzantium. After being part of the Roman Empire for several years, around 300 BC, because of the vast development of the Roman Empire in the eastern part, the Romans declared it as the new center of art and culture, called Constantinopolis’ from the name of its founder Constantine. Because the city developed with the marvelous beauty of God & unique location, people used to say, ‘He who concurs Constantinople conquers the world.’iii With the great geographical location of connecting two larger continents, it became an important location and the land that everyone wanted to possess. A half-century later Christianity became the official religion of Rome, & Constantinople became the capital of eastern Rome of the Byzantine Empire. In the time of Byzantine Emperor Justinian, the empire flourished. The culture got a true identity where Greek-Roman and Eastern culture melted together with Christianity. During this time Emperor decided to rebuild the old burnt church of Theodosius II with extraordinary size, which was damaged during the Nika revolt. He appointed two architects for the task: Isidoros & Anthemius. The structure was constructed from the materials from all over the region for almost six years. In 537 BC, the church got inaugurated by the Emperor saying ‘let’s praise the Lord for providing me the opportunity to construct such a wondrous place of worship’iv and named it18 | APPROACH

HAGIA SOPHIA, which means holy wisdom.’ For another 50 years, the work of mosaics and rebuilding of a 7-meter higher and lighter dome with a pendentive system went on. It has phenomenal mosaics representing the catholic symbols and figures of emperors, the Virgin Mary, and Jesus. It served as the Greek Orthodox cathedral till the 14th C with several repairs and renovations. In the glorious time of the Byzantine Empire Constantinople became one of the strongest capital. So many times, emperors tried to conquer it, but not until the Ottomans came! After the Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire in 1453, the first thing Mehmed the Conqueror did was going to Hagia Sophia and converting it into a mosque, to impact the people for adapting the new king and to make them believe in a new religion. This led to cover the symbolic mosaics with plaster, and the minarets were added. Later on, the city went through lots of development and the name changed to Istanbul. Several restorations by Ottomans under Mimar Sinan for the Hagia Sophia dome took place. By the end, many mosques were constructed in the city. Till the early 19th Century, The Ottoman Empire was ruling over the region of turkey with Istanbul as the capital of their empire. After World War-I, because of the consequences of war, under the leadership of a military commander, Mustafa Kamal Pasha led the Turkish National Moment by forming the republic of Turkey. This ended almost 600 years of ottoman monarch rule. Mustafa Kamal became the first president of Turkey. He introduced many new laws and reforms demolishing old religious traditions and transferred it into a secular constitution for making the turkey more acceptable among European countries for positive modern development. It led to the conversion of the Hagia Sophia to a museum, as an act of secularism respecting both of the religious & the heritage value of the monument. The capital moved to Ankara, and Istanbul was developed as the major economic city and tourism hub. The people and community developed there were more liberal, open-minded, and free to new modern beliefs. In 1996 the Hagia Sophia Museum came under the monuments protected by UNESCO and was declared among the major world heritage sites. While serving as a museum it was open to exploring yet very well monitored and preserved for the visitors and students. The plaster cover over the mosaic was removed, which revealed very beautiful mosaics from the Byzantine era. Analytical learning happened by studying and researching the marvelous structure. The glory of the structure is preserved till now and I was blessed to witness that. POLITICS OF SPACE

Turkey’s Nobel prize winner, author Orhan Pamuk stated “To convert it back to a mosque is to say to the rest of the world, unfortunately, we are not secular anymore, there are millions of secular Turks lıke me who are crying against this but their voices are not heard, They are not raising their voices because there is no free speech in Turkey to challenge this, and they were afraid of standing up for Atatürk’s decision,” This decision received a lot of backlashes all across the globe.

From over the last ten years, the government’s political approach has been changing and it is contradicting what Ataturk set in the constitution, in terms of approaching foreign policies, the nature of the customs, and making policies more and more rigid. More Islamic influence and the dominant single leadership of a new president has been seen. Apart from being modern, it seems they have gone back to before 19 C. by their idea of imposing religious rigidity on people. Under the same notion, they passed the law a few months back about changing the museum of Hagia Sophia back into a mosque. The history is repeating to show the religious supremacy. They declared that it will be a pride for the Muslims and it is the right place to use the structure. Apart from the suggestions of UNESCO, they stated that it’s a country’s property and they are free to do anything they want. “Hagia Sophia’s doors will be, as is the case with all our mosques, wide open to all, whether they be foreign or local, Muslim or non-Muslim,” visaid President Erdogan. The Hagia Sophia lost its museum status and on July 24th & the first Friday prayer was held and the mosaics were covered with fabric. A lot of people from turkey were happy & a lot of them were against it. Some of them declared it as an act of covering up against down economic conditions. Apart from the contradictory decisions turkey has been made regarding the cultural heritage, Egypt did the opposite to that. Recently, the leading newspaper article from the Middle East stated about developing Christian sites in Cairo for respecting the culture and attracting tourism through their state religion is Islam. Their ambitious plan is to preserve South Sinai’s Saint Catherine area. Hagia Sophia has been the major important landmark that has witnessed the rise and the fall of the land of Constantinople. The structure is so marvelous and huge that it can create an impact on one’s mind when you are standing below it. UNESCO stated that the government hasn’t noted any strategies on how they are going to maintain this world heritage site after keeping it all open. At one point when it was a museum, people were visiting from all across, things were well maintained and students were learning. It was the place for both religions and had their values and parts to share under the same roof. The structure used to represent more as an open university for different faiths and culture than just a museum. Apart from the cats which used to live there, things have changed a lot. Just imagine the opportunities if the structure gets converted into an architectural university itself rather than being used as a winning trophy! POLITICS OF SPACE


The importance of integrating art sculptures within architecture. It’s known to us that art and architecture blending together on an interdependent platform create mesmerising and platonic structures. Art Sculptures act as a medium to narrate a story of history and culture, defining the place and people of region, further accentuating the architecture and aesthetics.

Article by Canna Shah


The lines between sculpture and architecture have always been blurred. The similarities shared by these two helps in drawing a parallel, yet the differences question their significance. Architecture, like sculpture, is concerned with three-dimensional form. Sculpture has long been closely related to architecture through its role as architectural decoration and the level of design. Both have a critical responsibility to address the physical space and consider tenets of form, scale and material. And although the central problem in the design of buildings is the organization of space rather than mass, there are styles of architecture that are effective largely through the quality and organization of their solid forms, such as ancient styles of stone architecture, particularly Egyptian, Greek, and Mexican. These styles of stone architecture tend to treat their components in a sculptural manner. Moreover, most buildings viewed from the outside are compositions of masses. The symbolic relationship between sculpting and architecture makes it eminent that either form adds to the essence of the other, thus, complementing the experience and the overall connect of the place.

Anish Kapoor’s works can be described as monumental and minuscule, bold and restrained, shaped by and shaping space; it is his versatile nature that makes Anish Kapoor palatable to almost every taste. By using a space to literally and/or figuratively reflect back on itself Kapoor always has a sense of self, purpose and place. In contrast yet correlation to this physical reflectance of its surroundings Kapoor’s various reflective mirrored pieces use perspectives and views of a space that are existent in order to achieve a higher understanding and appreciation of the space.

Certainly, by definition, architecture must also confront some utilitarian duties in addition to pure aesthetics. But new technologies and engineering have arguably freed the discipline from most of these conceptual limitations. The development of modern building technology also causes the growth of spatial sculpture. That many 20th-century sculptors can be said to have treated their work in an architectural manner. There is no doubt that architecture is an art. The question that remains unanswered is if the artistic ideas and influences exchanged between sculpture and architecture are a two-way street.

“Sky Mirror” installations do exactly that and when placed at angles, juxtaposing concave and convex, a normally enclosed and claustrophobic cityscape opens up and reveals new perspectives to passersby. A simple gesture with relatively simple materials becomes artwork simply by reflecting its habitat, just as “Svayambh” does at a much more visceral and tactile level. The “Marsyas” installation provides a very different yet arguably similar feeling. Its scale is a large factor in it being its own rooted and monumental space yet it still feels and acts as if it is a reflectant product of the space. This can be argued from several different viewpoints; its scale matches that of the space in which it lives, reflected a monolithic nature of the room and structure overall.

Investigating Architecture through Sculpture

Symbiotic Relationship between Sculpture and Architecture

Working with a more structural palette, literally “bending” the walled contours of the space allows for a play between a concept of a realistic norm and an actual idealism. Within his breadth of work Serra creates visually interesting and monolithic sculptures that bend both metal and mind. Serra’s view of space and the world can be inferred from his sculpture, manipulation of space and material create a surreal sensation and yet a concrete sensation of adherence to the earth. The sheer scale and size of his pieces both create their own space yet play off of the given space to create a harmony that resonates in both those versed in and new to art.

There exists a symbiotic relation between sculpture and architecture even if sometimes architecture and sculpture occupy the same spaces. They remain two totally different disciplines. On the other hand, there exists a constant movement between the two particularly when we consider the realm of monumental sculpture. Moreover, the architects were able to push the technical constraints which allowed them to release the forms, to be freer, and sometimes approach the steps of the sculptors.



“If one is talking about sculpture then scale and skin is everything,” - Anish Kapoor

Sculpture provides greater creative freedom; it is an experimentation ground. This freedom allows the appearance of new shapes and concepts that will eventually influence the architecture. If sculpture may impose its own limits, it remains nevertheless dependent on the constraints attached to the place it invests and the employed material, especially when the sculpture is implemented in the public domain. Antoni Gaudi made the outside façades of the Sagrada Família appear like huge altarpieces, with a clearly catechistic and evangelizing purpose. In contrast, he wanted the inside to be a space of reflection and prayer, and this is why we find no large altarpieces but instead just a few sculptures with pronounced symbolic importance. Conclusion The integration of sculpture within architecture, or even vice-versa, adds an expression of the emotional, historical and/or social significance of it. In conclusion, one of these forms of art treats the other form as the medium or a language to express the connection and accentuate the experience of the space, if for sculpture in architecture, and convey the idea, if for architecture being integrated in sculpting.



References Adaptive Reuse of Historic Structures

Enchroachment as an Encumbrance

1. Jackie Craven (2019). Giving Old Buildings New Life Through Adaptive Reuse 2. Dave Clark (2008). Adapting an older building for a new case 3. Paula Pintos (2019). Alembic Industrial Heritage and Re-Development / Karan Grover and Associates 4. Shabnam Yazdani Mehr (2017). Adding more by using Less: Adaptive Reuse of Historic Structures 5. Charlene Gonzales (2016). 3 Benefits of Adaptive Reuse for Building Projects 6. Schmidt Associates (2018). Why is Adaptive Reuse Important in Today’s World?

1. Arch20 – Unknown - An Introduction to Landscape Architecture 2. Charles Waldheim – Sep 30, 2014 - Introduction- Landscape as architecture. https://www.tandfonline. com/doi/full/10.1080/14601176.2014.893140 3. Unknown - Difference between Landscape Architect & Landscape Designer, May 30, 2020 4. The University of Greenwich - Garden and Landscape guide – Gardenvisit - The Importance of Landscape architecture. 5. Unknown – January 8, 2018 - Why are landscape Features important?http://www.environmentguide. 6. June 5th by Gary J. Lai in Editorial - The Future of Landscape Architecture https://ahbelab. com/2018/06/05/the-future-of-landscape-architecture/ 7. Target Jobs- The Fountain Building, Howbery Park, Benson Lane, Wallingford, Oxford shire OX10 8BA UK- Landscape Architects – Job Description. careers-advice/job-descriptions/ 280535-landscape-architect-job-description 8. Unknown - What Do Landscape Architects Do (including Their Typical Day At Work) – July 27, 2020 9. Damian Holmes – August 22, 2018 - How can we better promote landscape architecture?https:// 10. Department of Landscape Architecture – 2019 California Sate Polytechnic University, Pomona - About the Profession. 11. The Spruce - Lisa Hallett Taylor – August 8, 2020 - Landscape Architect vs. Landscape Designer: What’s the Difference?

How will the Corona Virus reshape architectural landscape and industry? • 5 Ways Architects and Designers are Responding to COVID-19 - Metropolis • 8 Ways COVID-19 Will Change Architecture - Architizer Journal • Architecture Deans on How COVID-19 Will Impact Architecture Education. - Archinect • Architecture post COVID-19_ the Profession, the Firms, and the Individuals - ArchDaily • Four architectural designs from history to remember in a post-Covid-19 world - • Impact of Covid-19 on architecture industry - Insights,Corona Virus Impact, Covid 19 Impact, Architecture Industry - Commerical Design India • Survey on the impacts of Covid-19 for sustainable construction. -LafargeHolcim Foundation • ‘Build, Build, Build’ says PM on U.K. Virus Recovery -BBC Worldwide • WILL COVID-19 ALTER THE ARCHITECTURAL LANDSCAPE - Ansal University

Bombay Slums: Restructuring the overall city fabric das, p. (n.d.). DAS, P. (2018). SLUMS. MUMBAI. rahaman, m. (2017). nature of slum growth in indian cities. sanyal, t. (2018). the chawls and slums of mumbai: story of urban sprawl. Why Mumbai Still Has Slums and how this can be improved, explained by Professor Hussain Indore Wala ( Inside Dharavi, Asia’s Sprawling Slum, The Mystery of the Two Negative Tests ( com/watch?v=r4HN2RqLmH8) Skyscrapers and Slums: What’s Driving Mumbai’s Housing Crisis? ( 22 | APPROACH

The importance of integrating Art Sculptures within Architecture Images Sculpture formed by natural terrain Modern and Contemporary Art Collection in Dallas Marsyas, installation by Anish Kapoor at Tate Modern gallery in London Sky Mirror, installation by Anish Kapoor at Wellington Circus, Nottingham Pablo Reinoso “Talking Bench”, installation in Tigre, Argentina Sculptures at Sagrada Familia by Antoni Gaudi Bibliography JOHNS HOPKINS CHILDRENS CENTRE. johns-hopkins-childrenscenter/ patients-and-families/bloomberg-childrens-center/art-architecture.html. ARCHITECTS, HMC. The Intersection of Architecture and Art: Finding Beauty in Buildings. https:// Dijkema, Jan. “HOW ART ENHANCES ARCHITECTURE.” Ocober 2, 2019. Dutsev, Mikhail Viktorovich. “The integration of art in contemporary architecture.” Portugal, 2014. LeMaire, Greg. ARCHDAILY. September 8, 2011. https://www.archdaily. com/150365/investigating-architecturethrough-sculpture. Modernsculptureartists. “Relationship Between Sculpture and Architecture.” july 4, 2019. monteadmin. “The Importance of Integrating Art within Architecture.” April 15, 2015.

Hagia Sophia The finest example of political influence and power

Landscape Architecture: Is it just something about the ‘Greens’?

Photograph taken by author during her visit in 2017 (Akşit 2015) the prophecy of Delphi about the origin of the land and the region page no. 9 (Akşit 2015) about Constantinople (Akşit 2015) On the day of integration of new church of hagia sophia by emperor Justinian. Photograph taken by author during her visit in 2017 (Mikhail 2020) the middle east newspaper article Twitter’ : Turkish Presidency @trpresidency Jul 11 Twittter’: @AudreyTruschke Jul 1

1. Arch20 – Unknown - An Introduction to Landscape Architecture 2. Charles Waldheim – Sep 30, 2014 - Introduction- Landscape as architecture. https://www.tandfonline. com/doi/full/10.1080/14601176.2014.893140 3. Unknown - Difference between Landscape Architect & Landscape Designer, May 30, 2020 4. The University of Greenwich - Garden and Landscape guide – Gardenvisit - The Importance of Landscape architecture. 5. Unknown – January 8, 2018 - Why are landscape Features important?http://www.environmentguide. 6. June 5th by Gary J. Lai in Editorial - The Future of Landscape Architecture https://ahbelab. com/2018/06/05/the-future-of-landscape-architecture/ 7. Target Jobs- The Fountain Building, Howbery Park, Benson Lane, Wallingford, Oxford shire OX10 8BA UK- Landscape Architects – Job Description. careers-advice/job-descriptions/ 280535-landscape-architect-job-description 8. Unknown - What Do Landscape Architects Do (including Their Typical Day At Work) – July 27, 2020 9. Damian Holmes – August 22, 2018 - How can we better promote landscape architecture?https:// 10. Department of Landscape Architecture – 2019 California Sate Polytechnic University, Pomona - About the Profession. 11. The Spruce - Lisa Hallett Taylor – August 8, 2020 - Landscape Architect vs. Landscape Designer: What’s the Difference?

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