Indian Arch 2014

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Acknowledgement SSAP (Students’ Society of Architects and Planners), IIT Kharagpur take immense pleasure in presenting before you Indian Arch 2014. Humans as we are, we often get so lost in the beauty of something that we fail to realize, the even more beautiful process that goes into its making and evolution. If the magazine you are holding in your hands has impressed you, it is the result of minds pouring in with inputs of diverse genres. SSAP thanks NASA India for resting their faith in us and allowing us freedom to wrap our creativity around the pages of Indian Arch 2014. Indeed it has been a wonderful experience, starting with the very first meeting that was called to commence the proceedings, till the last night-out that we pulled together for seeing our magazine finally getting conceived. It is not the first time that we are taking pride in binding good pieces of literature to form a worthy publication, but then working under the banner of Indian Arch - a journal with its own legacy – was a different experience altogether. Opportunities which not only made us discover things within us, but also made us yearn for getting a personal touch of the wise architects of our time. We are indeed grateful to all the teams who have contributed to the magazine’s literary status in the form of articles, works and sponsorship and helped in maintaining a reading appetite amongst people. Indeed we were privileged to have Prof. Christopher Charles Benninger, one of the pioneers of modern Indian Architecture, put in his blessings to the young architects of our generation by agreeing to write the foreword for the magazine. Special thanks to Philips India for associating with us as the major sponsor for the issue of Indian Arch 2014, without their support publishing wouldn’t have been possible. We would also like to extend our gratitude to our esteemed alumnus JP Agarwal, and the Batch of 2010 for their support. We are grateful to our esteemed professors, Prof. Jaydip Barman, Prof. Biplab Kanti Sengupta, Prof. Haimanti Banerjee and Prof. Mainak Ghosh for their continuous support and guidance. We are also grateful for the help extended by members of the Executive Council, President NASA India Vivek Venkateshappa, Vice-President NASA India Waqar Abid A.Z, Secretary Dilip Konala Reddy, Treasurer Kumarajja and Advisor Samruddhi Chaphale. A word of acknowledgement needs to be paid to the efforts of the Zonal Presidents for co-operating with the colleges in getting the matters for the magazine delivered. We thank all the people associated with ARP IIT Kgp (“the kgp junta” as we call them here) for their continuous thumping on the back to keep our moral and spirits uplifted. Indeed one thing which people over here can do best is not to let your spirits slack. However difficult the situation maybe, they know how to use the age old Indian saying ‘Saam, Daam, Dand, Bhed’(as pronounced in Hindi) to our advantage. Finally, we would once again like to express our gratitude to all the people associated with this magazine’s publication.


My path to discover architecture began in one instance on a Christmas Day in 1956, at the age of fourteen, when an aunt gifted me The Natural House by Frank Lloyd Wright. I had never read any book cover to cover prior to this magic gift. After our mid-day festival feast I picked up this testament, and I think that I have never put it down. I have never stopped reading it over and over in my mind. This was the catalyst of true inspiration. It was a mirror into which I gazed and I could understand my world, and envision my entire future! They say that Parvati peered into Krishna’s throat, and stood back aghast, beholding the entire universe within her tiny infant!



n my youth I discovered that architecture is not an occupation, but it is a spiritual path! It is a journey of self-discovery and a search for truth. It is full of roadblocks and barriers, but there are revealing moments of transcendental ecstasy along the way that are omens calling out to us, and drawing us further on into our search. Unlike painting, or fiction writing, architecture and space-making have to be realized, addressing difficult contexts, working with difficult people and employing complex technologies appropriate to a variety of time-place frameworks. Dreams of the night turn to fantasies upon awakening, while dreams of the day are promises to be kept and made real in the contexts of space, time and people!

Similarly, like a soothsayer, Wright spoke out to me. He told me what I had to be, who I am, and empowered me through his ideas to be that selfdetermined “me.” What I read were not ideas, but the truths of the world I lived in, and concepts of the new world I wanted to create. Space, people and time all gelled into one reality. Architecture, society and history all found their own balance in my mindset. Simultaneously, I realized that “inspiration” is that catalyst of self-realization that informs us of an inherent truth of ourselves, previously unknown. Great teachers make us realize who we are; who we want to be; what our mission on this earth is; and they empower us to seek out through hard work that future vision. Great teachers gift us the possibility to inspire ourselves, long after they have left us! Any person we meet along the difficult road of life, be it in a mud hutment or an isolated village, can be a true teacher, and any pattern we see in the land, in river formations, or in human settlements along life’s journey, can be inspirational revelations gifting us wisdom! From Wright I learned if you are an architect your true inheritance is the works of those who went before you. It is the truth confirmed by the great oeuvres of history. Our legacy is the stream of work


built over the years, decades and centuries that was honestly created, and is integral to their contexts. From Wright I learned that one’s legacy is the challenge to be honest to one’s works, and to build into yourself an integrity that is expressed in your work. When you reach this evolved state of being, true art will be your natural gift to civilization, and your endowment for future generations. My good luck was in having great teachers, mentors and gurus. My great fortune was having wonderful students, friends and a great lover. I searched for them and I found them. I stumbled upon some and some found me. From them I inherited a passion for architecture and a love for life. Self-realization is like a nuclear ball of fire that is lit within us; it is like a Phoenix that emerges from nowhere burning ever brighter and higher, making our souls larger and taller! I feel my school days in America were in sound institutions of education, but surely not places of learning. There were no windows opening from one into three more windows; and from three windows into twenty more; and so forth. Schools imparted skills and we mugged up information and regurgitated it back in our exams. We did not acquire knowledge or wisdom. The places of worship we attended were sound institutions of religion and worshipping, but surely they were not places where life-long spiritual paths begin. They took us through the rituals and the traditions, and the rules of what is said to be “good” and “bad.” They did not equip us to navigate life’s geography of understanding, compassion, and charity. None of these institutions inspired me! So I set out on my own journey, and a long search of self-discovery, meeting wise people, absorbing their wisdom, and visiting strange places revealing many patterns. These engagements with new contexts, new societies and appropriate technologies revealed to me the essential good in mankind, and pointed to a path that uncovered insights about the nature of the universe, and yes, that great universe that lies deep


within each one of us. I gradually understood the meaning of “the good life,” and the life I wanted to live. I wanted that life to be led by all other creatures on this earth, be they plants, animals or people. The good life is about balance, about laughter, about sharing, about smiles, and about compassion. This is the true meaning of society, wisdom and architecture! By the age of sixteen I’d collected a small archive of architectural books, and had read everything Frank Lloyd Wright had ever written. At age eighteen I stumbled upon the life and mission of Le Corbusier. Like magic, another window into the universe was opened. Again, from one window, three more were opened! From each of these three, still more were revealed, and in a geometric progression wisdom was laid out before me in a continually unraveling pattern of understanding. The formative gurus of my youth are left unknown in the annals of history, but were selfless didactic geniuses, sharing their great wisdom generously and with immense passion. They saw design as a pathway to discovery, not just as a process to make a building! They themselves were designaholics who created wonderful pieces of architecture, inspiring us to work all night only to have our designs torn apart in the morning! Their names do not forsake me in the depths of doubtful nights, or in my studio of puzzles and conundrums, where I sense their presence looking over my shoulder, shaking their heads in disapproval, or nodding to me, hinting that I may be headed in the right direction. It is the smile in your guru’s eyes when you excel, and the annoyance in his voice when you fail that ignites a flame within you, and makes you your own teacher on day! Names like Harry Merritt, Robert Tucker, and Joseph Zalewski haunt me, as they gifted me the art of critical thinking and the proactive approaches to leading a creative life. Blair Reeves, a humble man, was the generalist teacher gifting us love for good taste, introducing us to Charles and Ray Eames, the Bauhaus, Mies van der Rohe, the modern spirit

through the world of design.

self-realization. I know that it is through creation and through the realization of my works that I reach These gurus inspired us to find our true passions. They a state of transcendental ecstasy; maybe a brush encouraged us to follow our instincts in the search with nirvana. for the truth. They encouraged honest arrogance, and scoffed at hypocritical humility, while insisting One cannot “think designâ€?; one can only draw it! If we behave as gentlemen. Each student must seek one picks up an ink pen, or a soft pencil, touching out such gurus and glean truth from them, whether them to paper ignites truths that begin magically they are sitting in a tea stall on the roadside, or on flowing out, as if some unseen messenger is leading a podium in Harvard University. one in a sĂŠance. The same is true in the crafting of the written word into sentences, into paragraphs My youthful days were golden years of self-analysis, and into complex concepts. We design with dots, exploration, discipline and rationality. This is where lines, volumes, discovering ideas and concepts. I learned that there is only one kind of good luck In the same way we plan cities, or we create little in life, and that is to have great teachers. I have chairs, and tiny details too. documented that good luck in my writings, noting my famous gurus like Walter Gropius, Kevin Lynch In the end we architects cannot even draw design, and Buckminster Fuller, but the most important because we must build it; then only it holds the teachers were the ones who cared little for notoriety possibility of becoming architecture! or fame, caring only to leave behind a trail of honest students, a wee bit more capable to be good human I love the universal inter-connection, which is the beings than when they had found them! act of creating at all levels: a room is a small house; a house is a small neighbourhood, and a I now know that architecture is a long journey of neighbourhood is a small city, and a city is a small


Architecture is an exciting and challenging subject which demands persistent efforts through the entire course. It is often considered one of the most challenging courses offered considering the varied disciplines it includes. One needs to work hard throughout their career in this profession.



hat is the first thing that strikes your mind thinking of the annual students’ magazine, Indian Arch?

Indian Arch, the annual students’ magazine, provides an excellent platform to address the largest forum of architecture students in the Indian subcontinent. Moreover, it is of the students, by the students and for the students and reflects a vibrant community of aspiring architects. In fact, I took the time and effort to come to Hyderabad and attend the annual NASA convention for the exciting prospect of interacting with these students. In this interview for Indian Arch, I would like to express my views on the architecture community and the education system. As the president of COA what are your views on the current scenario of architecture in the Indian subcontinent?


Architectural education is ever expanding. There has been a drastic change in professional practice over the decade and the education must complement the needs of the profession. In my opinion, education and professional practice are two sides of the same coin; you cannot neglect one at the cost of the other. They must go hand in hand. Currently, there seems to be a gap between the curricula and the professional needs. The education is more theorybased and needs to be revamped to address more practical issues. I strongly feel the need to reduce this gap. The Council is taking all measures on this front. Architecture has now gone global and advanced western technologies are available to us. Yet, in the Indian subcontinent, we address a different context-different issues, problems and challenges. In my opinion, our theories and education should address the issues relevant to our context. We must look back at the enormous wisdom and knowledge we have inherited from our centuries old traditions and practices which are more relevant and contextual. These must include considerations for the environment, climate change and green building techniques. Thus, our education must balance the traditional knowledge with current technologies. Are the students industry-ready as soon as they graduate? if not, how do they become? The students are not industry-ready upon graduation as they have very little exposure to professional practice. Earlier, the design studios were joint studios where academicians and professionals together gave instructions on the drawing board. Now, the drawing boards have vanished. The tech savvy students work on their laptops at homes or hostels where the one-on-one correspondence is lacking. Even students with practical training are not sufficiently equipped. As far as the curriculum is

concerned, the council prescribes a comprehensive one encompassing virtually every aspect of architecture and technology. However, institutions often proceed with their own curriculum which are not updated and lose relevance over time. We have sufficient faculty who are young and dynamic with exposure and experience in the field. We need to design a more profession oriented curriculum for which the Council is taking important measures.

everything varies. How can you have buildings with glass and aluminium panels everywhere? How can you make the buildings air conditioned and then talk about saving energy? Our traditional wisdom suggests we need to regulate our architecture to have healthy, liveable environment. We need to integrate modern technology in these developments. Any advice you have for the students, to stay inquisitive in the realm of architecture?

Do you feel the dearth of acknowledgement towards the legacy in Indian architecture, in students, in their Advice is a bad-vice. But students have been an attempts to be futuristic and technologically sound? enthusiastic community, inquisitive, curious to know new things. They need to prepare themselves for the In theory, we learn about climatology, appropriate profession for which I advise them open up their technology, indigenous architecture and materials minds and learn as much. Keep your eyes and ears but we neglect them in our design practices open and observe things around you. Observation continuing to ape the west. Every location has its own and practice are essential tools in gaining knowledge associated attributes. The people, lifestyles, climate, and gives you the required edge in this competitive geography, soil, air, pollution, flora nad fauna world.


message from hod It gives me immense pleasure to state that this year students of the department of Architecture and Regional Planning, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, have been entrusted with the responsibility for Indian Arch publication -- a record of ephemeral ideas and creative expression for budding architects in India. This is an annual venture where young minds stir myriad ideological leanings through national and international participation. It was in this very department at IIT Kharagpur that the conception of NASA -National Association of Students of Architecture was germinated and since then the department has always strived for excellence in architectural education. Responding to the continuous changing needs of the profession and emerging technological inputs the periodic updating of architectural course contents, encouraging student participation in national or international architectural design competitions, facilitating international internships and thus training students for global work domain, helping young schools of architecture with academic inputs, taking part in the decision making process related to built environment at national or regional levels etc are some of the top priorities of our action programs . Over the years, Indian Arch has been enriched with various innovative students’ thoughts, different professional view points, interviews from eminent architects, exemplary academic projects, highlights of zonal activities, etc. This year too, attempts have been made to make it most comprehensive in nature. This issue of Indian Arch strives to fulfill one of the most important responsibilities that we at IIT believe in, which is to create an environment which is reflective, self evaluative, curious and open to new ideas and thoughts. Hope, our students endeavor receive your cordial support. Indian Arch publication should reflect Indian architecture in transition with her rich architectural heritage from the past and emerging international inputs in style, technology and profession at the two extremities. I would like to express my appreciation to the entire architectural students’ community in India for their active cooperation in this event. I extend my special gratitude to the sponsors, without whose help it would have been difficult to complete the same successfully. Wish you all the best!

Dr. Jaydip Barman

Professor & Head Department of Architecture and Regional Planning Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur


From The SSAp Advisor'S Desk It gives me immense pleasure to note that students of Department of Architecture and Regional Planning, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur have taken the responsibility of compilation of Indian Arch, the annual magazine of NASA. NASA has always provided a creative and dynamic forum for undergraduate architecture students all over the country for academic interaction. The journal “Indian Arch� has since its inception provided a platform where innovative and non conventional expression of ideas have been encouraged. This platform can be used very effectively to exchange academic ideas within different schools of Architecture in the country and other renowned persons from the industry. This is a carefully nurtured portal where contemporary and futuristic views are always expressed and creative ideas are generated. Getting into the task of compiling a journal like this, triggers teamwork among the students. I congratulate the editorial team for showing the creativity and perseverance that is required to publish a journal like this. Surely, this has been possible due to their other classmates who have been a constant source of support and inspiration for them. I also take this opportunity to thank all the sponsors who have extended their support. I wish NASA convention and magazine publication a grand success.

Prof.Haimanti Banerji

SSAP Advisor Department of Architecture and Regional Planning Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur


NASA Advisor Samruddhi Sanjay Chaphale ADVISOR, NASA INDIA )30TH JANUARY 2013-29TH JANUARY 2014(

A R C H I T E C T U R E A N D D E S I G N is an implicit divine therapy that fosters an aura of boundless fanatic imagination which speaks up one's own language of creativity and the understanding behind it . We all are a part of this creative world which evolves by resolving the various equations that come with the growing time and people around. Architecture is an interconnectivity between time, space and people and hence it has to reel around the whole philosophy of GENERATION and not stay interim per say. We are blessed to have a plethora of geniuses and creators from the times of the great civilisations of antiquity who have laid the foundation for us to follow and grow. It’s their contribution to architecture which has generated the overall concept of evolution; be it in any form regardless of it being bizarre or realistic. Inspiration is thus what architecture teaches us: it could be infact derived even from the minutest of the ant who strategically builds her house by applying team work, hard work and an integrated design solution. Pragmatic in nature; yet an evolution of an intangible thought process (however random be it in nature): ARCHITECTURE is indeed a design expression in the form of a translation from THOUGHTS TO PAPER .Not just this but architecture is indeed a translation from time to time and space to space. This leads to a clear understanding of how culture influences architecture .What architecture aims is at emerging the right feeling in a given space .It has a direct connection to what one feels – it could be the feeling of serenity in Tadao Ando’s Church of light, or the feel of social gathering in Chandni Chowk .Both of these illustrations are poles apart but what I mean to say is the context and picturisation of the same is what leads to the required architecture and arouses the curiosity to experience and appreciate the essence that the space reflects. Talking about the Indian context: Few families might want


to have their meals in the living room all together in a low seating arrangement, thus the concep of “wada” emerged which has a huge hall like living room to assist this practice of having food. Also there were times when kids in every colony might want to play most of the time in and around the houses; thus the concept of pole housing came into being. Later with the increase in nuclearized living people preferred independent living yet they did not let go the cultural and ethical values which used to make the space livelier. So this has led to contemporizing the antique architectural styles that we are blessed with. Few elements like an inbuilt bench, Tulsi Ghar, low seating for meals, Chabutras, Pooja Ghar are still there but in a minimalistic and modern fashion. Thus context plays a very important role in day to day life and in architecture too by not just satisfy the growing needs but also by leading to logical and innovative design solutions with regards to time, space and people. Being the 56thupon this aspect in order to save the emerging concept of CONTEXTUALITY to cease from the young and creative minds .This will not only let the architecture students think but also react in the form of ideas that define context in their own ways. I am sure that with this year’s theme –Contextuality –time space and people, the students must have been definitely benefited with the immense research and design work that they were involved in through the various trophies that NASA India conducts. I hope it has helped the students in different ways and I wish all of them a very good luck for their future endeavours.

NASA VP Waqar Abid A Z Vice President, NASA INDIA

Human existence or otherwise stems from context, and the theme of the 56th ANC is to honour and recognise how it evolves from ‘Contextuality’. Not one thing can exist in isolation, be it a human, animal or a built form. We need support, resources and facilities amongst others to sustain ourselves. To understand context, would be to understand the ways of nature and to ensure that the creation incorporates itself and stays constant in synchronisation with all that is around it. The opportunity to be the Vice President of an organization as vast, as vibrant and as unique as NASA India is truly an honour. What began as a dream has now evolved into a legacy, what started as a society has now grown into a family.

ment, HOD, Unit Secretary and all the core committee involved in the magazine making which seems to give a lot of learning experience to all of us. A heartfelt thanks to all the co members of the Executive Council and the Zonal Council hoping that the 56th Annual NASA Convention will be a grand success too. “Be the change you want to see in the world”, rightfully said Mahatma Gandhi. We are at the turn of the century and absolutely nothing is moving forward without architecture in its full glory. And I invite you all to be a part of this change.

NASA, which holds the amazing ability to bring together such an interesting audience together and give them a platform to compete, interact and learn. This year a large number of students from various architectural colleges came together in their own separate Zones for the Zonal NASA conventions. Zone 1 with two conventions one of them being the “Zero Money Convention”. Zone 2 and 3, who had a combined Mega Zonal NASA which was a fantastic success. Zone 4, Zone 5, Zone 6 with their respective conventions in a successful way with a lot of learning, competition, and interaction amongst the students, architects, and the various artists present at the convention. For the much awaited and celebrated NASA day, the 13th September, this year, in most colleges all over India seminars, guest lectures were conducted as a part of a very intensive awareness program. The motto of the Indian Arch 2013-14 was to provide students with a lot of learning and various thoughts regarding the theme of this year and I’m really glad to say that the students of IIT, Kharagpur who got the BID this year have pulled it off really well. I would like to thank the Manage



the editorial team


he long winter night outs, the radio-like-vintagesounds of Pink Floyd blasting through each other's headphones, and us glued to our laptops - This could pretty much summarise this whole experience of making this magazine to what it is now, in your hands. Hadn't thought that this would come suddenly to an end, and would leave an Indian Arch sized void in our everyday. A year filled with anything, would make that something a very integral part of your life, however strenuous it be. But it was something we loved. Every part of it. Now when, in some time, we would sit together, every moment would be filled with the nostalgia and crisp conversations of everything Indian Arch. Maybe, it will recur. Yes, definitely will recur. There were lots of time, when the sickening feeling of humse naa ho payega started to get the best of us. When no longer how much we tried, we just couldn't get THE perfect layout; when we didn't recieve any replies from them whom we had mailed for articles. Low times they were and we had a lot of them, remixed with blame-games, ego-clashes but always it was both the responsibity as well as our friendship that kept this 'Arc' of ours floating.

Abhishek Kumar


Ankita Diwan

Pun, yeah, we used that a lot. Punny time we had.But finally humse ho gaya. Ruthwik (a.k.a Miyaan) was like an interface, a buffer more appropriately, to every bad situation (We all know about missing deadlines, don't we? ;) ). Brave man he is, bearing the brunt from seniors, our dear Professors and even all of our frustration, sometimes! He has a knack of averting the path of trouble away from the team. Miss Ankita, or Anky, was the kid factor - the bubbly girl who always managed to do something terrible, but always remained a sweetheart! Most often than not she was the reason we bulls were not grinding our horns into each other! Abhishek continues to be the bossy saviour. We were in desperate need of help, we were not able to get anything done, with the meagre team force in the start. Just then we saw something in the sky! A plane? A bird? Not it was Tropy, as we fondly call him - made sure that we always remain motivated and worked relentlessly, throughout the duration. Tropy was our Hitler in need, but not a Hitler indeed! Accompanied by his antagonist - Keval da! He can be blamed for everything wrong that has happened with the magazine! Kidding, of course! :D Always he had

Apoorva Reddy

the perfect excuse of doing away with the work of the design team. And would incite others to follow his suit. This stand-up-comedian of ours kept us sane, made us realize that there are something more to life than magazine- like sleeping. (He can sleep anywhere.) Apoorva, was the most silent, calm and meditative of us all. Her no-moh-maya attitude, made her efficient; She would often complete all that she had been given, only to be given more and more. Apoorva, you speak hindi with an awesome accent. Makes our day, whenever you do! And as they say, you are the average of everyone around you, I was a bit of everyone. And so were they! And if I start writing about myself, then aap bologe ke bolta hai! So keeping it short - it was really awesome working with all of them. None of this magazine would be any possible without their time, their dedication, nagging, snores, treats, fights. Our utmost appreciation, gratitude and respect goes to the countless people who made this magazine a reality - our esteemed professors, our dear seniors, our parents and God, whose blessings stay with us all the time.

Pratik Indian Arch Team.

Pratik Patra

Ruthwik Bellam



18 23






40 43







Arjun Mukerji


36 16



















Prerna Palekar

Neelam Manjunath

Somnath Sen

Apurva Bose Datta

Sahil Bipin Deshpande

with Bob Borson


DESIGN FOR DAYLIGHT with Vivian Loftness





Ar. Jan Gehl

GEHL architects


THE HUMAN DIMENSION a sustainable approacAh to city planning


or decades the human dimension has been an overlooked and haphazardly addressed urban planning topic. A common feature of almost all cities is that the people who use city space in great numbers have been increasingly poorly treated. Limited space, obstacles, noise, pollution, risk of accident and generally disgraceful conditions are typical for city dwellers in most of the world’s cities – regardless of global location, economic viability and stage of development. This turn of events has not only reduced the opportunities for pedestrianism as a form of transport, but also placed the social and cultural functions of city space under siege. Fortunately, several cities realize the value of putting humans first in order to create more lively, safe, sustainable and healthy cities.


Wanted: lively, safe, sustainable and healthy cities

The human dimension – a necessary new planning dimension


Even in New York City there is obviously a need for city space



After years of neglect of the human dimension, here at the beginning of the 21st century we have an urgent need and growing willingness to once again create cities for people. New global challenges underscore the importance of far more targeted concern for the human dimension. Planning with a human dimension demands focuses on the needs of the people who use cities. The vision of ensuring lively, safe, sustainable and healthy cities has become a general and urgent desire. All these four objectives can be strengthened immeasurably by increasing the concern for pedestrians, cyclists and city life in general. A unified citywide political intervention to ensure that the residents of the city are invited to walk and bike as much as possible in connection with their daily activities is a strong reinforcement of the objectives: lively, safe, sustainable and healthy cities. Cities must urge urban planners and architects to reinforce pedestrianism as an integrated city policy to develop lively, safe, sustainable and healthy cities. It is equally urgent to strengthen the social function of city space as a meeting place that fulfills the aims of social sustainability and an open and democratic society.

The desire for a lively city is strengthened when more people are invited to walk, bike and stay in city space. A lively city has a number of positive side effects as a city with life also can contribute to a more safe, sustainable and healthy city. The desire for a safe city is strengthened generally when more people move about and stay in city space. A city that invites people to walk must by definition have a reasonably cohesive structure that offers short walking distances, attractive courses of space and a variation of urban functions. These elements increase activity and the feeling of security in and around city spaces. There are more eyes along the street and a greater incentive to follow the events going on in the city from surrounding housing and buildings. The sustainable city is strengthened generally if a large part of the people transport system can take place as green mobility, that is, travel by foot or bike. These forms of transport provide marked benefits to the economy, resource consumption, the environment, and the need for good city space. Another important sustainable aspect is that the attractiveness of public transport systems is boosted if users feel safe & comfortable walking or cycling to and from buses and trains. Good public space and a good public transport system thus become two sides of the same coins. We are seeing growth in public health problems because large segments of the workforce in many parts of the world have become sedentary, with cars providing door-to-door transport.

walking or biking

A whole-hearted invitation to walk and bike as a natural and integrated element of daily routines must be a non-negotiable part of a unified health policy. The desire for a healthy city is strengthened dramatically if walking or biking can be a natural part of the pattern of daily activities. The city of Copenhagen as well as New York City have realized visions of a more human dimension in city planning by prioritizing bicyclists and pedestrians.

Better conditions for cyclists : more cyclists – case: Copenhagen

Interplay between city life and the quality of city space - case New York City

The City of Copenhagen has been restructuring its street network for several decades, removing driving lanes and parking places in a deliberate process to create better and safer conditions for bicycle traffic. Year by year the inhabitants of the city have been invited to bike more.The entire city is now served by an effective and convenient system of bike paths, separated by curbs from sidewalks and driving lanes. City intersections have bicycle crossings painted in blue and special traffic lights for bicycles that turn green six seconds before cars are allowed to move forward. Such initiatives make it considerably safer to cycle around the city.

Although pedestrian traffic has traditionally dominated the streets of Manhattan in NeYork City, it has been difficult to find a spot for sitting, watching, enjoying city life.

In short a whole-hearted invitation has been extended to cyclists, and the results are reflected clearly in patterns of use. Bicycle traffic has doubled in the period from 1995 to 2005, and in 2008 statistics showed that 37% of personal transport to and from work and educational institutions was by bicycle. The goal is to increase this percentage considerably in the years to come. As conditions for bicyclists improve, a new bicycle culture is emerging. Children and seniors, business people and students, parents with young children, MPs and mayors ride bicycles. Bicycling in the city has become the way to get around. It is faster and cheaper than other transport options and also good for the environment and personal health.

In 2007 an extensive program was launched to encourage greater versatility in city life. The idea was to provide better options for recreation and leisure as a supplement to the extensive purposeful pedestrian traffic. For example, on Broadway expanded sidewalks have provided room for cafe chairs and places to stay, while a number of new car-free areas with many opportunities to stay have been established at Madison Square, Herald Square and Times Square. In all these cases the new opportunities were adopted at once. Almost day-by-day the new invitations have enriched city life and made it far more multifaceted. Even in New York City there is obviously a need for city space and great interest in participating more in city life now that there are more opportunities and solid invitations.


Four goals – one policy

Cities by people and for people

Concern for the human dimension of city planning reflects a distinct and strong demand for better urban quality. There are direct connections between improvements for people in city space and the strong desire for lively, safe, sustainable and healthy cities.

What is remarkable about the development in Copenhagen as well as in New York City is that it reflects a growing understanding that cities must be designed to invite pedestrian traffic and city life. These cities want people to walk in city space, they recognize the importance of pedestrian traffic and bicyclists for sustainability and health in society, and they acknowledge the importance of city space and city life as an attractive, informal and democratic meeting place for their residents in the 21st century.

In developing countries, the plight of the human dimension is considerably more complex and serious.Most of the population is forced to use city space intensively for many daily activities. Traditionally city space has worked reasonably well for these uses, but when car traffic, for example, grows precipitously, the competition for city space intensifies. The conditions for urban life and pedestrians have become less and less dignified year by year. Compared with other social investments – particularly healthcare costs and the car traffic infrastructure – the cost of including the human dimension is so modest that investments in this area will be possible for cities in all parts of the world regardless of development status and financial capability.



Planning with human beings as the point of departure – and not the number of cars, the number of square meters or technical specifications of different transport systems – can create more sustainable cities, environmentally as well as economically and socially.


Why Should Architects Think Beyond Buildings? -Mahender Vasandani


ndia is a rapidly urbanizing nation. Not only will the number of cities in the nation grow but the current cities – the big ones and the mega ones – will grow bigger still. A 2002 McKinsey Study shows that India will have 68 cities with a population of 1 million by 2030. That is an increase of 26 cities, or 62%, over the existing base of 42 cities with over a million people. The mega cities, with a population over 10 million, will grow as well. There will be more people living in the cities: close to 600 million in 2030 as compared to the existing 340 million. In another generation, the Indian cities will be even more urbanized with almost half the country’s people living in cities. Imagine that!

Think about the increasing urban population in our cities and impacts on our cities in terms of their livability and their capacity to serve its citizens well when urban populations explode! Let us take just one indicator of urban economic growth: the car! Compared to an average of 15 cars per 1000 people in 2011, there will be 110 cars per 1000 in India by 2030! Some cities, like Mumbai, are already fast reaching or exceeding those projections. This is a great symbol of rapidly expanding Indian economy and the rising incomes of its people.


Mahender Vasandani, President, M Square | Urban Design Mahender Vasandani is passionate about designing and creating exceptional towns and places. With over 35 years’ experience in architecture, regional planning and urban design, Mahender has special skill sets to lead and manage complex projects, conduct charrettes, prepare urban area transformation and sustainable township, and develop urban design policies, guidelines and regulations for governments. He has certificates in Executive Business Management from the Kellogg School of Business, and in Real Estate Development from MIT. Mahender has dual Masters degrees in Architecture and City Planning (Urban Design) from University of Pennsylvania. He got his Bachelor of Architecture from IIT Kharagpur.


But what’s the upshot of just this one indicator of the country’s projected economic health? As the country expands economically, there will be more people owning and driving cars on the limited (or even expanded) road capacities, there will be more areas of our cities taken up for car parking, and there will be more traffic and traffic congestion on the Indian roads in the years to come! Fortunately, Indian planners across the cities have been addressing the growing traffic congestion problem by building more intra- and inter-city roads, more metro and mono rails and more transit service. A recent Business Today (December 22, 2013) article reports that in the next ten years, as per Government of India policy, cities over 2 million population will each have a new metro line. Along with the growing economy and transportation needs there will also be increased demands for better physical and social infrastructure such as water and sewer systems, solid waste removal, clean water, and open space and other amenities along with more housing (especially the affordable type), commercial and institutional buildings. The demand for architects will thus be virtually limitless for decades, and the architects will be amply rewarded for their skills to put together welldesigned buildings that meet clients’ needs, are energy-efficient and are cost-effective for longterm maintenance. But how many of the same architects will also be concerned about the urban context of their buildings? Would they just help redevelop buildings in urban areas one project at a time, or would they also be concerned about the urban context of their buildings? As more cities build metros, would metros be seen only as a transportation solution, or could the new urban growth be harnessed around the metro stations such that there is a better integration between the transit and the land uses around to achieve convenient walking, place-making and making cities more sustainable? As cities grow and expand, the total urban context of buildings and not just the design of buildings will require more serious consideration.

With the rapid urbanization, when the needs to house more people, jobs, shops, and institutions multiply, and the needs to provide expanded infrastructure capacity and more public services become more acute, the question is how well will the cities, towns, and urban areas perform overall? Not just from the standpoint of town planners alone, but also from that of urban design. From a design perspective, how cities perform means how well they function and how the quality of life of citizens in the urban context is improved. This includes how easily people transport themselves through the city, how conveniently they negotiate the city while walking or biking, and what kinds of urban spaces are created that enhance people’s quality of life outside their places of home and work. While architects at a minimum are expected to design buildings well, the big question is that when there will be more and more buildings in Indian cities, who will think about all the spaces between the buildings and how would these public spaces function and look? The functional and aesthetic design of the public realm has traditionally been the role of urban designers in the west. In India, with the thrust of urban policy in the last sixty years focusing primarily on meeting infrastructure needs, the role of urban design in the country has received little attention. The results are strikingly obvious, even in the newly built cities such as Gurgaon and Navi Mumbai. While Gurgaon never had a master plan or a vision that emphasized place-making, Navi Mumbai, even though conceived and planned by prominent Indian architects, has public places that are so poorly built and maintained as to look like, well, to use a highly technical term, “unpleasant!” Instead of public places being a source of joy and pride for people, in India the public realm has been a policy and design orphan. There is rarely an attempt to include place-making in the design brief of a project that aims high to make attractive places for people in the public domain, and if such places are created, they are rarely maintained well.


WHY is that? WHY don’t we have a culture of cities in India that puts high priority on creating urban places that people care about and get to use well for solitary or social enjoyment, or that are simply visually and aesthetically pleasing? These are the types of questions the architects, especially the student architects of today, should be thinking of, instead of focusing only on how to design their individual buildings well that stand out from the competition. Something called contextualism is a good start towards the goal of creating cohesive urban places with well-designed buildings.The visual relationships that create a good dialogue between buildings through the use of similar building colors, materials, or architectural elements are important But, what is of greater importance is the design of spaces that flow between and envelop the buildings and how well they perform and are uplifting! Consider, for example, the challenges of “Intelligent Urbanism,” as recommended by Prof. Christopher Benninger. Under just one principle of Intelligent Urbanism - the “principle of conviviality” - there are multiple objectives to make our public places peoplefriendly. For example, at the scale of the individual, public space is important for quite “introspection, selfanalysis and self-realization”; at the scale of groups, the public realm can allow for “beautiful, intimate friendships, where unfettered dialogue” can take place, and at the scale of neighborhoods, the public space can be a proxy for a “social contract” by which diverse groups of people “learn to live peacefully” among one another.

cities over 2 million population will each have a new metro line.

Thus, with so much at stake about how we make our cities more livable, especially where our life is enhanced and not compromised or threatened in the public places - what is our ultimate responsibility as designers? Do we continue to focus primarily on making our buildings better? Or do we shift our focus beyond buildings and be concerned more with the design of the public realm? As an urban designer, my response is obviously the latter. As architects too we must still make our buildings function well that also have high design integrity. But, along with that, for the larger, public good, we also have to focus on making our public realms good.



As architects we already have a head start; we understand what makes good design: good proportions, appropriate materials, good architectural elements, good composition and scale, and overall cohesive designs that relate well to the history and context of a place. All such qualities for good architecture can easily be transposed towards good urban design. So, the need of the hour is good designers in the country, but not just those who design buildings but more of those who can design good urban realms in our rapidly growing cities. Let us look at these simple statistics that tell a startling story. There are about 60,000 – 80,000 practicing architects in India today (Council of Architecture website). These are also a few thousand town planners. But, the urban designers in the country number only in the high hundreds! What does this tell us? It tells us that the priorities of the country need to shift significantly if we are serious about making our cities more liveable. We need more colleges and universities in the country offering programs in urban studies and especially urban design and raise

awareness about the need for urban design starting with the high-school education. We need to provide flexibility in the existing architectural curriculums so that the students may enjoy a greater freedom to design their own courses of study combining architecture and urban design. In conclusion, if we are serious about addressing the needs of our rapidly urbanizing cities to make them more livable, attractive and sustainable, then urban design is the definite need of the hour. We need architects who do not just design buildings that may contribute to a city’s skyline, but who design buildings that fit in the urban context and contribute to the well-being of an urban area. We will also need the right urban policies to facilitate such urban improvement. But, as architects who already have the necessary design skills, we need to shift our priorities and acknowledge the importance of urban design for better citymaking. As architects, we need to think beyond buildings and widen our visions to design at the urban scale. Only then will our cities have a chance to improve themselves for a better quality of life for their people.




pace, an element of nature, is a core entity that constitutes the world around us. Its presence is perennial and one, which encompasses the entire gamut of places that humankind, interacts and experiences as places of work, residence, recreation and transit. The relationship between a space and a place is mutual and reciprocative; each of them contributing to the formulation of the other, which follows a hierarchical process that ultimately, on a macro scale, gives a definition to a city. For instance, the simplest of structure (here, places): a cube (here, a home) is formed when a space is enclosed by six planes: two horizontal and four vertical. The conglomeration of these places through their replication and repetition renders the unconscious creation of the emptiness between them. Hence, a space is generated from the places around it. These spaces: parks, landscapes, plazas, differ according to the milieu that surrounds it. This process repeats itself on various scales; the visual product of which is evident in the form of neighborhoods, districts, cities and regions.


Deepak Sohane, Urban designer at Community Design+Architecture. MUD, Urban Design, University of California, Berkeley. B.Arch, IIT Kharagpur.


Through the synthesis of the theory analyzed above, it can be deduced that the character of an area on a macro level is derived from the elements that constitute it, be it a street, a park or a building. There are four important factors that constitute to the creation of a space: Scale, Function, Culture and Technology. The scale of a project determines its complexity in a considered area. Its range of application spans the micro level aspects, like the design of a building, (where different facets of functional spaces are planned in a way that ensures the overall efficiency) to the macro level design processes, such as the master plan of a city (where the same notion is applied at a broader level). According to Lynch, the gamut of this factor is expressed through the five elements of urban design: district, edges, pathways, nodes and landmark, which defines the overall image of a city, based on their hierarchical application.


A group of buildings of similar type define a district, for instance, a business district comprises of official complexes whereas a residential district is conglomeration of plotted and flatted development. These are connected to each other by an array of streets and pathways that network them and together define the overall character of an edge, through the various supporting public amenities like benches, street poles, hydrants, information kiosks, sculptures and so on. Groups of such districts intersect to form nodes, which if emphasized by the presence of a distinguishable element of importance, transforms it into a landmark. For instance, The Times Warner Centre in New York is a node that is emphasized by a landmark (Columbus Circle), fringed by pathways and edges (8th Avenue and 58th Street) and formed at intersection of two districts. (Residential area of Upper West Side and the Recreational open spaces of Central Park) The second factor that influences the spatial configuration of a place is function. This factor corresponds to the designation of an area based on the collective functionality contributed by its constituents and can be categorized as: Commercial, Residential, Industrial, Institutional, Civic and Recreational. The permutations and combinations of the aforementioned types of functional areas, in relation to their mutual compatibility, have so far defined a city. For instance, industrial zones were planned on the outskirts of the city; the heart of the city housed the central business district which was delineated by the presence of residential developments on its boundaries. However, the cities of the 21st century paved the way to a new concept based on functional overlapping. It quickly burgeoned and became evident in the design of various mixed use and transit oriented developments and hence, a novel definition to the spatial configuration emerged. As a result, the urban morphological distribution pattern changed as per the planning of a city. This particular change was visually evident in the urban skylines and could be categorized as either drastic or gradual. One could find skyscrapers on the fringes of the cities as


opposed to the low rise structures at the city center; thereby indicating a gradual transition in the radially planned cities of Washington DC and Delhi; whereas a punctured vocabulary alternated by structures of various heights signified a drastic visual transition evident through the skyline of linearly planned cities Delhi; whereas a punctured vocabulary alternated by structures of various heights signified a drastic visual transition evident through the skyline of linearly planned cities like New York and Mumbai.


Culture is the third and perhaps the most important factor that contributes to the uniqueness of a location owing to the endemic qualities that it may possess. However, its uniqueness and presence in an epoch is ephemeral and tends to evanescent over time, thus attributing to its dynamism. The kinetic nature of culture is a function of time, social, political, economical and in modern context, global factors. The result is visually evident in the architectural styles of the built environment that flourished in the corresponding era. For instance, India had been under the various influences of various cultures: the Aryans, the Mughals, the Dravidians, the Europeans which include the Britishers, Portuguese, Dutch, and French; all of which have contributed in the emergence of various styles, such as the IndoBuddhist, Indo-Sarcenic, Indo-British, through the fusion of architectural elements and vocabulary. This is apparent in examples ranging from the Indus valley civilization to the Buddhist stupas; and the Fathepur Sikri & the Taj Mahal to the Victoria Memorial and the India Gate. Another strong implication of culture can be found in the generic sciences like Vastushastra in India that evolved based on the principles of town planning, climatology and critical regionalism3 and were propagated in the form of myths and stories, which were then easily comprehended and received by the laity. Equivalent forms of sciences have existed in other cultures too, for instance, Feng Shui in China or Tae Kwan in Korea that has been a source of inspiration in the design of structures. Many modern day critics have deemed the authenticity of such generic sciences discussed above, by questioning its integrity and hence, researchers delved into understanding the origins and intricacies of it. A scientific explanation was given, in the late 1970’s, when a German


physician, Dr Ernst Hartmann, through his lobe instrument, discovered the presence of a grid of energy lines that emanated from the earth’s surface and circumscribed the globe. “This energy is orientated magnetically in the north-south direction at 2m intervals, and in the east-west direction at 2.5m intervals.”4 These grids were named as the Hartmann Grid and the energy fields have been termed as Bio-Electro Magnetic Fields (BEM). The research reveals that the radiations from the surface of the earth occurs in BEM energy grids of twenty types (apart from the harmful BEM energy fields of underground water streams, faults in the earth and cavities which results in the occurrence of earthquakes) and that the alignment of buildings, materials and even the body with respect to these energies has a distinct affect on the well-being of man. The existence of this knowledge in the past has been revealed by the various scriptures and writing of different cultures and civilizations.


The final factor attributing to the spatial configuration of a place is technology. The implications of this factor are well evident through a chronological study of the development of architectural styles ranging from the Greek, Roman, Renaissance, Baroque, Neo Classical, Art Deco, Modern, and Post Modern to the latest trend i.e. Deconstruction. The change in the design syntax could be accredited largely to the introduction of new technologies, both in terms of materials and techniques that have facilitated and aided the different stages of construction. For instance, the construction of Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao adopted data from the satellites in mapping the coordinates on the site; David Fischer conceptualized Dynamic buildings that transform with time aiding to a kinetic skyline. It is also in large, due to the real estate boom in the economies where competition is the sole mean of survival that structures pop up in no time. As discussed earlier, the effect of this factor could be understood in observing the transition in a city as either gradual or drastic. In a radial growing city like Washington D.C., the change is gradual: the Mall houses the Classical structures (White House, Library of Congress, Supreme Court) and as one goes to the periphery, the structures tend to get modern; while a drastic change can be observed in the many districts of New York and San Francisco. For instance, the Chinatown of San Francisco has

structures reflecting the culture of China and once, other parts of the world. The use of glass facades in the district ends, skyscrapers tend to shoot up. hot climates like Dubai is akin to growing a cactus in the polar region: an ecological mismatch, the results A comprehensive example of the influence of the of which can be seen in humongous consumption aforementioned factors could be the development of various resources. Hence, the importance of in Dubai in the last 20 years. A chronological study embodying the context is a major component of a would give a fairly good idea of this phenomenon sustainable built up environment. Not only would change. Due to the technological developments, this aid in the creation of a cultural landscape, but there have been skiing resorts too that are now also imbibe a ‘sense of place and belonging’ in the being planned in a hot climate like that of Dubai’s. minds of the user group. The world’s tallest building would soon be nearing its completion; the largest mall, the most expensive Japan, for instance, has had fine examples of hotels, the riverfront developments have sprung the contemporary work where the traditional sense construction and the development; thereby altering of space has been imbibed in the modern works the spatial configuration of Dubai, which was by pioneers like Tadao Ando, Shigeru Ban and characterized by the hard thick walls construction others, for instance, the design of tea houses, system based on the traditional sciences to the oriental gardens follows a vocabulary, which is modern curtain wall glazing system. The high amalgamated with the building design. Another embodies energy in the use of alien materials; the noted example can be the design of cities in India, humungous consumption of energy by the building like the planned city of Chandigarh by Le Corbusier, and the extinction of resources have all exacerbated where the city has been developed according to the the global problems of pollution and climate change. hierarchy of spaces suiting to the Indian condition. The most important question which one could arrive Other examples of the interpretation of the local at is: “Is it worth it?” analogy in a modern sense include the works of Laurie Baker, who employed brick in the design of climatic responsive structure and B.V. Doshi, in the design of Sangath, Ahmedabad and IIM Bangalore. The Jin Mao tower in Shanghai, where One of the possible solutions to reversing this the traditional elements i.e. “pagoda” is induced phenomenon is localizing the globalized world in the design as an attempt to localized the global by following a language of ‘contemporary and trend is another example of a contemporary work. vernacular architecture’. What we need to create There have been other examples in the West, where today are not ‘urbanized countrysides’ but creative insights and innovative thoughts have been ‘ruralized urban landscapes’. Our cities need to be employed in designing structures that follow the self supporting systems that imbibe the basic layer language of critical regionalism: Stores of Prada of sustainability in all its components and systems, in Tokyo and New York are designed, taking into ranging from the individual building units to the account their dialogue with the urban fabric. open spaces between them and the infrastructural facilities that network them. This is possible through Globalization has got its own pros and cons and it a conceptualizing the design of a built environment up to us, as architects, to realize and appreciate both that behaves in a self sufficient fashion. It is necessary the merits and the demerits. With many visionary that one starts to understand the importance and plans in place for various cities around the world, it impact of context in the design of built environment is very essential for us to incorporate and turn this rather than blindly mimicking the structures from into a trait of every civilization.

Is there a way out?




or me my country is both a land of ancient culture and a major society of the modern world. However to the rest of the world the issues of poverty and overpopulation, as important as they are, have precluded the appreciation of certain areas of achievement one of which, I believe, is the work of India’s architects. Comparatively little has been published about design activity in the developing world. The limitations of a developing economy can actually result in a creative response rather than a constraint on architectural solutions.

BRINDA SOMAYA is an architect and urban conversationist. Upon completion of her Bachelor of Architecture from Mumbai University and her Master of Arts from Smith College in Northampton, MA, USA, she started her firm Somaya and Kalappa Consultants in 1978 in Mumbai, India. In May 2012 she was the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate from her alma mater, Smith college.

Ritual, religion and living craft traditions descend from a cultural heritage of genius and beauty. These traditions are a perennial source of inspiration to architects who attempt to embody identity and meaning in the design of new buildings. I do believe that this is often a subconscious link and exists in many of us born and brought up in India. Part of the challenge for practicing architects in India is the dependence on a labor-intensive building industry. Mechanization and prefabrication do not yet compete on a cost saving basis with the sheer abundance of manpower in India. Technical backwardness in some areas is one facet of the remarkable presence of the past in modern India and the building process today maintains an almost ritualistic link with the heritage of skilled craftsmanship, high quality building stone and the availability of other traditional materials. The contemporary architecture of India today, as distinguished from the autonomous traditions of its ancient Hindu and Buddhist past, has to be seen as the built expression of an interaction between a global culture and the acute sense of place and the past of India. Hindu, Buddhist and Islamic traditions were followed by the colonial influence and finally post independence the legacies of Le Corbusier and Louis Kahn in the 50’s and 60’s respectively. In fact some might shrink from the very idea of an `Indian’ architecture at all. Slowly in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s & now the 21st century - the Indian architect has come into his own.


Club Mahindra valley resort, Binsar

Architecture, like civilization, is dynamic and evolving. While exciting architecture is being built all over the world and thus expanding the vocabulary of contemporary architecture, we architects in India have to find our balance in design enabling us to be part of the new and creative experiments ahead as well as be part of what has gone before. We work in a world of computer aided design with its digital design technology. We need to include all new creative ideas in our practices. ‘Creativity’ flourishes when new ways of looking at the same problem are brought together, when people with different backgrounds, training and experiences bring together their perspectives. There must be very few countries in the world where architects have such varied challenges as we have in South Asia today. Our involvement ranges from up gradation of slums to large corporate and public buildings, from low income housing to the restoration of magnificent vernacular and colonial buildings. We are hi-tech professionals but also bare-foot architects. South Asia has a multiplicity of civilizations. This cultural heritage and our traditions are a source of inspiration to us architects as we attempt to infuse meaning into our work. I am an Indian and all what I am comes from my heritage. It is an intrinsic part of my being and will naturally reflect in my work in many ways. But I do also believe I am a citizen of our world. I believe that an inclusive practice that spans India’s diverse population, be it economic or cultural, provides us architects with great satisfaction. Therefore the motivation for inclusion and diversity should come not only from the desire to create a just society, but also because it leads to better and more powerful creative processes and solutions. The architect’s role is that of guardian, he or she is the conscience of the built and unbuilt environment. The relationship between the built form and the environment continues to be a complex interaction of site, climate, technology and other natural forces, building materials and the human presence. I believe my buildings speak for themselves and I have never believed in their analysis or contorting them to fit into the past for their inspiration. The diversity of my work is what I have enjoyed the most. I have built from the Himalayas to the south of India, from Bengal to Kutch and through the central plains and heart of our country, from Jharkhand to Indore and from


architecture, like civilization, is dynamic and evolving.

Uttaranchal to Kodagu. The building types have been reconstruction of villages to hi-tech campuses, from orphanages and animal hospitals to state of the art corporate headquarters, from the village school to the most elite schools in Mumbai and from conserving iconic heritage buildings to converting garbage dumps into parks. Through my practice of over three decades, I believe that an inclusive practice that spans our diverse population, be it economic or cultural, provides us with great satisfaction. The need is now for a professional concern with the environment and an improved quality of human life for all people. Hence the need is to train a new kind of professional who can intervene and be effective both in our poorer villages and our wealthier urban areas. We need designers who can plan, design and implement new developments working interactively with the community at large. If we follow the role of the traditional architect we cannot meet this need. We have to go beyond buildings and

work with programs that transform society. Design has to be a process. I believe this can be done without compromising on creativity, innovation or quality of design. I hope that when history books look back at the first few decades of the twenty-first century they will find an architecture that responded to the wonderful traditions of India combined with the needs of its people. Our ancient culture has taught us this and while we need to include all new creative ideas in our practice we must never forget our ancient collective knowledge. This combined with our ability to work with the highest technology available today should result in the creation of a just and ‘green’ society for all. So where is our next train stop? As our county hurdles along with its many “Indians” within it, how easy or difficult will it be to assist the direction that Indian Cities and their Architecture will take in the future. Our country is now a nation of young people. Architecture must arouse, inspire and feed the human spirit.

House in Khandala


Towards a Deeper Design Pedagogy: CYBERNETICS OF DESIGN Joy Sen, PhD Associate Professor Department of Architecture & Regional Planning, IIT Kharagpur



Design today is seen as a process of Creative Culture. Design is a holistic streamline. It represents an assimilation and consolidation of various inputs leading to their embedding. Design is also a cyclic flow (non-linear) of themes (linear) over time. While catering to these dimensions, the process of Design has to answer several questions: • Is Design a service to the making of History and civilization in search of roots? • Is Design based on language, literature of various systems of aesthetics? • What is the role of Cognitive mechanisms in Design that addresses both Individual needs and collective aspirations? Design often can be seen as a process of various layers, one embedded over the other. It is evident in the following Figure 1. Can the language of Design have a Core, an A priori? If so, what is the core’s relationship with periphery, the ground realties of Design?

Is there a design language? How? A search : Is there a deeper layer? What are the surface parameters?

In search of a Core? Is there one? Is there an inner surge for creativity? What is a design optimization yardstick? What are the ground realities?

Figure 1: drawn by Joy Sen

IIT Kharagpur

The two approaches: Evolution and Involution Today Design is a complex process that can be streamlined and envisaged as a physical, ritual and finally, a deeper cognitive process. The important premise here is the relationship between ‘Design philosophy’ (the normative structure of Design), the ‘Algorithm of Design’ (which is its deep empirical and quantitative progression structure) and the Visionary movements and the very journey of Design (the rhythmic steps or Aerodynamic nature of Design). If we combine the three we get a very important foundation of Design Language, which can be called ‘the Cybernetics of Design’.

Cybernetics is a trans-disciplinary approach for exploring regulatory systems, their structures, constraints, and possibilities in Design and it is relevant to the study of


1 Evolving process: from formulation to experience

cumulative causation Y

Greater TIME

Physical Cartesian

Mental Habitual


Cognitive Mythical

Cosmological All-pervasive Non-Cartesian

Design systems that covers many like physical, biological, cognitive, and social systems. It was Figure 2:byDeveloped Joy Sen IIT Kharagpur first developed Norman by Weiner (1940s) and then Jay Forrester at MIT in the 1950s. But the ancient seeds of Cybernetics can be traced in the ruins of ancient Miletus (lying 1600 BC in Anatolia, Coastal Turkey or Mainland Asiatic Greece). The ancient people of that thought were famous for their ‘Milesian Philosophy’. Orphism and Homer or Hesiod’s lore are extensions of that. It is believed by many that the ancent oriental school of India (Aryabarta) and Persia (Airyan) had a profound impact on Mainland Asiatic Greece, which is much older to later Greek schools like the Olympians and Athenians of a more well known or popular Periclean Age (700 BCE). However, that is a matter of separate inquiry and beyond the scope of the present paper. It is implied that Cybernetics is applicable when a system being analyzed is involved in a closed signaling loop; that is, where action by the system generates some change in its environment and that change is reflected in that system in some manner (feedback) that triggers a system change, originally referred to as a ‘circular causal’ relationship. 1. In case, the relationship is reduced to individual objects, and not a system, in the Cartesian framework, it is called First Order Cybernetics. It is based on linear programming. 2. If the feedback loop is established between the Designer and the ‘Designed environment’, through observations and participation, it is called Second Order Cybernetics. Here, the basis becomes non-linear. 3. If the relationship between the cognitive response (designer) and the designed environment becomes ‘reciprocal’, and ‘co-evolutionary’, i.e. one affecting the other and vice versa, then it becomes a Third Order. Here the hierarchy in Design coalesces into a Whole. 4. Finally, in a very advanced stage, the ‘Trinity’ of the ‘Designer (1)-Design process (2)-Designed Environment (3)’ (triputi) condenses as one ‘raptured whole’, integrity (see Figure two). It is the Fourth Order and it is analogous to the primordial concept of Universal Design as evident in Indian Design Epistemology. Such ideas are forwarded by Indian


2 Involvement of Seed Constructs in Design

A priori: A seed to begin with • Decomposition of patterns and their re-composition or ellipses in a pattern hierarchy – the Whole [1]. • Recognitive mechanisms in the pattern hierarchy • From Hierarchy to Holarchy [1] Alexander, C.: The Timeless Way of Building, Oxford University Press, New York (1979).

Linear Focus = non-linear binary of decomposition & ellipsis A language of DESIGN

Metaphysical schoolsbylike Vedanta or Shakta-Adwaita-bad. Figure 3: Developed Joy Adwaita Sen IIT Kharagpur The process can be both evolutionary where Design is a process that matures step by step, over time, to a condensed Whole (see Figure 2). In the reverse manner, Design is also an A Priori, a ‘Re-cognitive Mechanism’ (Pratyavigyan) in the heart and mind of the Designer, where all that is seen outside as ‘Design’, is a projection or a ‘realization’ of the ‘Word’ within the ‘Designer’. Such constructs are evident in Ancient Shaiva School of Kashmir. It is the involutionary path, where the seed (vija) of the Holarchy (see Figure 3) constitutes or holds within ‘the very Language of Design’.

The New Age: Assimilation (Sandhi) of the two worlds In modern times, such ideas have been made evident by a unique approach to Design Language by Architect Christopher Alexander. It is called ‘The Pattern Language Approach to Design’. By Design it encompasses the whole hierarchy, in the ‘Timeless web of building’, and in ‘Synthesizing all Forms’ as one Whole, called ‘Holarchy’. In effect, the Design journey is the transformation of ‘level-by-level’ Hierarchy to a condensed Embedded Whole called ‘Holarchy’. Holarchy is a term that is also used by Transpersonal and Spectrum Psychologists Abraham Maslow and Ken Wilber. In the making of a New Age to Design, a Design process and its inherent Language that embraces and cross-cuts all aspects of Design, from Product to Interior, from Electro-Mechanical to Nano; and from Bio-synthetic forms to Space Crafts, need to imbibe the harmony, the spirit of assimilation, called ‘Sandhi’ in Design. That is the path of the future Designer. The spirit of the New Age is best evident in the following words:

‘It is probably true quite generally that in the history of human thinking the most fruitful developments frequently take place at those points where two different lines of thought meet.’ Werner Heisenberg all figures drawn and developed by Prof. Joy Sen


Spanish photographer Victor Enrich has a fantastical approach to architectural photography; Enrich manipulates his own photographs of buildings to forge new theoretical structures full of whimsy and impracticality. However, the charm of Enrich's work lies in its openness to an alternate reality, instead of standing as a reminder of man's corrosive and trying relationship with nature, architecture, and time. Enrich's practice allows room to infuse individual buildings with personalities that make them more like living plants and animals than inanimate buildings. 40

Impossible Architecture Victor Enrich


ctually, it is not architecture, it is imagination. Imagination projected on a reality that is in fact a summation of life experiences and dreams to fulfill. Among the many ways in which a human being can describe yourself is like urban being. The geometric boundaries of cities fascinate most of the world population, now 50% of it living in cities. My particular experience is ruled by my fascination to alter these limits, on a mathematical basis, but also on an artistic basis, as the combination of these two elements, together with feelings, could be considered as the maximum expression of humanity. Mind, body and soul. This is a game. The game of what is real and what is not. The game of when was it and where it came from.


A game that is often played alone and only supports players if they accept the rules of this solitude. Despite the differences among human beings that some people more than others strive to bring out again and again, what art does is placing every human being in that same position that has never left. With no difference. With overwhelming authority showing what we really are. Humans love to build up cities, transform the space, interact with it, create structures that solve situations. Humans are little gods. And that is a proof as in all cultures throughout history until today cities, bigger and smaller, have emerged. To urbanize is to humanize. Buildings are the footsteps of humanity, no matter if you come from Oceania and central Europe. That is why, I’m not talking about buildings in my work. I talk about people.

I'm not talking about buildings in my work, I talk about people.


Sometimes a slice of the architecture tells the story with more impact.

First Person Shooter! Janie Airey

The Olympics are host to any exciting things,and for the architecturally inclined, newly constructed stadiums and swimming complexes sometimes rank above the international medal race. Janie Airey (who may in fact be a sports fan) seemed to take to the architecture in a way that apparently no one else had. Airey did not have an ostentatious bubbly-building or an oversized nest, but nevertheless found a way to capture the strong lines and bold and playful color palette of the 2012 London Olympics. 43


efore the crews, athletes and spectators arrived for the 2012 London Olympics, I was commissioned to photograph some of the breathtaking venues that had been designed for the games. You rarely get the chance to appreciate the silence and scale of such amazing architectural forms because of the presence of other people. With these photographs I wanted to celebrate the beauty of both the line and form of these constructions, and to capture the incredible sense of calm and stillness you felt walking round them before the


explosion of excitement that the UK experienced that summer. I hope this selection of images will give you a taste of the majesty of some of the Olympics’ finest architectural achievements and that you enjoy the elegant beauty of the spaces, the visual purity and simplicity of the images and the grandeur of the designs themselves. I am usually commissioned to photograph people so this job was an exciting change. For me the composition of a photograph and the use of space around the person or subject in a shot is

is really important, so photographing architecture without people initially felt unusual and I worried that you wouldn’t get a sense of the scale, or that they could be boring or lifeless. The end result proved me very wrong. The structures and compositions spoke for themselves. Space, light and composition are everything in an image and if you have an understanding about how to technically translate that into a two-dimensional capture, you can’t go wrong. My approach to photographing

architecture is not traditional. I don’t use shift lenses to correct all the verticals, or align them in Photoshop and I very rarely use a tripod as it feels restrictive. You just have to keep an eye on your horizontal lines. I love the image to relay the sense of how it looks to the natural eye from ground level. The Olympic structures are vast and beautiful and the opportunities were endless. I shot more than 1,000 images over the two days on site and could quite happily have taken more. I particularly loved photographing Zaha Hadid’s aquatics building. I am a big fan of all her designs. Standing at the poolside, looking up at the great swooping ceiling I felt like I was in the belly of an enormous whale. It was beautiful and calming but also intimidating with the thousands of empty seats. It was hard to imagine the great noise and excitement that would fill the silence a few weeks later.

Everywhere you looked there was another great image to be had. When photographing a largescale area or building I don’t think you always need to capture the entire space. Sometimes a slice of the architecture tells the story with more impact. I often used a long lens inside the buildings. You can get a good distance away, which gets you some perspective, then zoom in on your area and it keeps the image strong and clean. It was a privilege to have access to some of the Olympic venues before the games began and I hope you enjoy the photographs. I am excited to say that a selection of the images are going to be available as limited edition art prints in 2014.


World within Box

Seeing beyond is seeing within. To defy logic, embracing love, is to perceive the imperceptible. Space within us establishes a dialogue with space outside; hence space perceived evolves into a continuous flow of transforming vision, frame by frame into a journey of endless voids and solids. Maze of images, illusions, assumptions create our world within and outside.

Photo: Author. New York. 2009. Panasonic FZ60 Lumia Lens.

Mainak Ghosh Faculty, Department of Architecture & Regional Planning, IIT Kharagpur, enthusiast in drama of visual communication having word with Architecture, Urban Design and more.


"Howrah Bridge" 1.23MP phone camera, Motorola RAZR V3i © Arjun Mukerji, 2007.

Reflections on Art Appreciation Arjun Mukerji

Note: The reflections are with respect to a particular ‘object of art’, viz. the photograph titled ‘Howrah Bridge’, but in no way does it attempt to validate the status of this chosen object of contemplation as art; that judgement remains open to personal interpretation and assessment. The objective of these reflections is only to analyse what constitutes aesthetic appeal, and investigate the plurality of art as product/process/intention – without claiming to be exhaustive, or proposing a universalising metanarrative.


~ “Your hands shook while clicking the photograph, and yet people applaud it. Thus is the advantage of being an artist; they would have abused me if I had uploaded the same photograph” ~ “A bogus photograph received 18 'Likes'... unimaginable!” ~ “It is problematic if you justify everything with an excuse of creative liberty... lack [of appreciation] is better than pretentiousness”


he above comments relate to a particular photograph of the Howrah Bridge, Kolkata, clicked with a low-resolution cell-phone camera, which was uploaded in one of my Facebook photo albums, and was subsequently 'Liked' by eighteen friends. One particular friend couldn't really fathom what was so good about this photograph, which he found especially poor, if not mediocre, and went on to comment: “My Request to all who has liked this photo – please give reason for liking this.” This got me thinking. The image, as you can see, was out of focus, with considerable motion-blur, and an amount of noise. It had no appreciable depth of field, and was low on contrast. However, I myself liked the image a lot, and evidently several others did too. This 'unimaginable' appreciation was suspect, and the first of the comments cited above hypothesises that it owed largely to the photographer's arguable degree of repute for being artistic. This could well be countered by the argument that several other perfectly crisp and skilfully shot photographs from the same album did not enjoy a similar degree of popularity,


them equally pleasing. However, that is irrelevant; what intrigued me was that I myself continued to like the photo in spite of its obvious shortcomings in terms of photographic skill. Accordingly, I shall try to analyse and submit my reasons for liking it. In general, skill of execution is an integral and important part of art production, and contributes significantly to the artefact’s aesthetic appeal. However, that alone does not constitute art. Following established principles may increase the likelihood of a good outcome, but neither does it ensure that, nor is that necessary. A famous Indian architect noted: “One [...] may follow all the laws of design yet be worthless, while still another may break all the principles and be profound!” (Benninger, 2011). The photograph in question was not skilful; in fact – being clicked on the spur of the moment from inside a moving cab, which was speeding over the very bridge in question – it was the result of chance, rather than design. This brings us to two issues: (i) can such 'chance' products be called art, and (ii)in spite of the lack of

photographic skill, what is it that continues to make this image a favourite of mine? The first issue may be easily discounted by citing established post-modern theory, which marks ‘chance’ as a valid mode of art production, as against the modernist preference for ‘design' (Hassan, 1987/1993). The second issue is of more interest. I ask myself: what is the essential difference between this particular image and the better executed photographs of the Howrah Bridge, majestically standing atop the flowing Ganges, which have been commonly captured through the lens of several prominent photographers? The answer is: this is what you actually see when you move along the bridge, cooped inside a cab... a flurry of steel girders speeding atop your head, webbing the sky above with a chaotic jumble of lines and triangles, all in perpetual motion. It is not a magnificent, monumental still life perched across the two shores; it is not an object to be contemplated; it is an experience in motion. And to me, the photograph conveysprecisely that. Had there been no motion blur, it would have documented the details of

the real object better, but would have been devoid of the adrenalin, like a posed mannequin. May be, the photograph should not have been titled ‘Howrah Bridge’; it is actually entirely about ‘Rushing across the Howrah Bridge’. To me, the Howrah Bridge is occasionally about a magnificent engineering feat, as also about the iconic twin trusses that have become an important identity of the city of Kolkata, but it is always primarily about rushing home from distant lands across Ganges. The photograph is not artistic pretension, it is nostalgia. And thus, a bogus photograph continues to be one of my favourites.

Arjun has trained and practiced as an urban planner, architect, and interior designer. He dabbles in visual arts, performing arts, and poetry, to indulge in whims. Arjun is presently pursuing research in contemporary Indian architecture at the Department of Architecture and Regional Planning, IIT Kharagpur. His favourite number is 42.

References Benninger, Christopher. (2011). Letters to a Young Architect. Pune: CCBA Pvt. Ltd. Hassan, Ihab. (1993). ‘Toward a concept of Postmodernism’. In Joseph Natoli & Linda Hutcheon (eds.) A Postmodern Reader (pp.273-286). Albany, NY: Sate University of New York Press. (originally published in 1987).


BEER CRATES AND RUBBER TYRES Madstock Madstock is an association of architecture students who experiment at 1:1 scale. They do it with recycled materials and basic tools, in order to make their solutions accessible for everyone and also to express a critical position towards disposable materials.




adstock was born in 2011, when a group of students at ETSAM gathered with the same desire for doing things beyond our courses. Today, Madstock is an open collective which comprises around 15 people from different areas. It works with a participative and horizontal structure. We are doing this because we believe that sharing knowledge and experience provide us development, besides increasing research and experimenting capacities. We have confirmed that this working dynamic creates a network without a certain centre point, and whose intersections

In order to exemplify our interests and aims in a better way, we will show some of our projects: Bellastock Bellastock is an international festival that was born in Paris and after taking part in it some of us, decided to organize a new spanish version: Bellastock Madrid. The idea behind this event is to gather a big group of different people and to create a town in which we will live for several days. As in any other city, there are some values you have to deal with: the duality between public and private space, the necessity

Sometimes, development is slower than normal, since we prefer debates and diversity rather than a prompt result, and we believe in the process as much as in the end itself. 52

of basic infrastructure, efficient construction well adapted to the environment, etc. There are some others parameters, which are impossible to control, defined while the action is taking place, in the same way as everyday activity is developed in cities. Raw materials used in the different projects have never been used for building before. As long as their role in nowadays consumer societies is over, they are in process to be destroyed, recycled or stored. We all are aware of the huge problem with rubbish disposal so as far as possible, we want to change the wasting concept so that where others see garbage we see an opportunity. From the moment you take conscience about the disproportionate quantity of waste that we produce, and the fallacy of dumping garbage and instantly see how it disappears, we think it is absolutely necessary the real contact with waste in order to contribute with this change of mentality. For the first edition we got in touch with a tyre recycling enterprise, which provided us with enough material to experiment with. We divided into groups of 5 people, so each team built its own


shelter. The rest of services was a duty for organizers. Everything was configured by water and electricity infrastructures, and as a result a city was made up of 25 habitable cells and an unplanned square generated at the center point, just next to the bar. For the second edition we wanted to change the point of view, in order to make every participant feeling part of the development of every kind of space. We created 4 teams: Housing, alternative energy generation, enviroment conditioning and public space. Everyone chose belonging to one of them, with the chance of changing wherever they wanted, and the final goal was to develop a complete city where 100 people can sleep undercover, see a concert and dance, enjoy places for relaxing, have meals, live with an alternative generation system which provides enough energy


for illuminating the bar during the night. Everybody was part not only of their own construction but of the one which was conceived for the rest. The city was a result of all of us, and everybody built for everyone, so the implication was much more interesting and collaborative, besides the fact of making more complex relationships, not only among groups of friends, something that we wanted to avoid from the first edition, but with everyone. After two editions we have realized that we have solved unplanned problems in a global thinking way. Beyond the problems studied in class, too theoretical, we have learnt how to face building and construction problems, in a 1:1 scale. Veta Project We made that project along the

very same line of garbage reuse. We were supposed to build a space to install an audiovisual projection made by some artists at the Fine Arts School garden. Included inside the project there was the whole exhibition “The art from scarcity”, so we made a black indoors space, as neutral as possible and well isolated in terms of sound and light. From outside, the construction was pure chaos, colour, light and shapes, made of pallets and fruit boxes recovered from street cans. The installation was made with pallets and fruit boxes recovered from the street. La cañada La Cañada: It is an irregular settlement placed on the outskirts of Madrid, born in the ‘60 in public land. Nowadays, neighbours are still fighting for their houses to be recognised

legally, and one of their best points is staying together and showing to the authorities how they work for being like a normal community in a common district. We organized, in collaboration with Architects Without Borders (Spain) a participative workshop of wood furniture, made with recovered pallets and whose main goal was involving neighbours in it, and start working together in a new project of improvement of public space infraestructures, useful for everyday life in this place.

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BAMBOO can become an equipose Bamboo can cater to low carbon economy by technological interventions transforming it into materials useful for modern day practices. Bamboo boards, corrugated sheets, charcoal, and most recently bamboo fabrics are few to name. Bamboo has thus transformed into a life project for Architecture and Bamboo Constructions (ABC).


Prerna Palekar Co-Founder of Architecture and Bamboo Construction (ABC) Group Committee Member in Maharashtra Text Book Bureau (Balbharti) for Work Experience subject, writer for Cane and Bamboo work Vbisiting Faculty at Ojaswini College of Architecture, Jalgaon Earlier, Director and In-charge Principal at Ojaswini Institute of Home Science.


rchitecture is more of a material practice which attains relevance in social, cultural and environmental context through articulation of material arrangements and structures. Sustainability in architecture can only be achieved by advocating materials and practices capable of conserving natural resources while allowing the inherent art and craft to resurface. The geographical, cultural and climatic diversity has opened up numerous opportunities for us to reshape our architecture in contextual ways. Bamboo culture of old Nagaland is a brilliant example of how a versatile material infused with art, architecture and lifestyle can nurture the ecology and mankind, enabling to achieve an equilibrium that we have lost long time back.

Bamboo can cater to low carbon economy by technological interventions transforming it into materials useful for modern day practices. Bamboo boards, corrugated sheets, charcoal, and most recently bamboo fabrics are few to name. Bamboo has thus transformed into a life project for Architecture and Bamboo Constructions (ABC). This idea was strengthened after writing a research paper titled ‘Bamboo based industries as low carbon, pro-poor economic development in the rural northeast part of India’, for the World Bamboo Congress 2012 held in Belgium, and attending an International Bamboo workshop in Thailand, where the opportunities and potential of bamboo were discussed on a global platform.

once rich in art and craft, our country is not only losing its small entrepreneurs but is slowly falling prey to the subliminal planting of international brands.

At the same time, exposure to academics as a lecturer and an in-charge Principal of a design Institute for a brief period has helped me to understand the challenges of academics in our country. My appointment as a writer, subject specialist and group committee member for Bamboo and Cane work, a topic recently introduced in the primary and secondary school syllabus under a subject called Work Experience, at Textbook Bureau, Maharashtra has opened up new insights. This initiative of Marathi medium State Board is appreciable for they have not only acknowledged the situation of school drop-outs but also have come up with a solution through the otherwise most neglected subject of work experience. This subject will help the students understand the potential in them bringing out the talent through vocational training. This motivation will boost small entrepreneurs and skilled artisans.

Coming from rural areas, having lost rights over the forest or possession on their farmlands, they are left with the only option, which is to migrate. Then having no provision for such displacements by any governing body they are forced to find any place to dwell. With no competent academic qualifications to get urban jobs, and lack of opportunities, they take up labour-some work on daily wages which could have been easily replaced by machines. Thus goes to waste their craft and art in the process of becoming machines with the only agenda, which is to make money. On the other hand, once rich in art and craft, our country is not only losing its small entrepreneurs but is slowly falling prey to the subliminal planting of international brands. If rejuvenated and protected by patenting and promoted by fare trade or fare practices the vanishing vernacular art and craft will connect this gap of disparity, overhauling the current construction practices and rethinking of Architecture as a craft as well.


Architectural Association’s (London)Visiting School in Bangalore on Computational Design, was an overwhelming experience where I came to learn more about the design process. The use of Maya, Rhino and Grasshopper to optimise and programme the materials efficiently reducing the time and energy in construction was enlightening. Intuitive design process, if introduced in academics, will improve the material and construction practices in our country. In fact, design process in itself is a potential subject of research to begin with. Less time is spent in designing and a lot more time and energy in construction. Doing away with the technology for being expensive we have been practising wasteful constructions degrading human values of labourers. Vernacular materials can also be studied in an intuitive way in order to overcome the limitations of its use in rural areas. The behaviour of this natural material is unpredictable compared to factory made building materials and lacks standardisation. We can overcome these limitations by using computation for portable structures.

Such kind of research and work on portable bamboo architecture and furniture is currently being carried out in the Darang Eco Works (DEW), Assam owned by co-founder of ABC; Kankana N Dev. Combined with rural tourism to bridge the social gap inducing brotherhood in this remote part of the country, ABC believes that bamboo can establish the ever desired equipoise.


NEELAM MANJUNATH is an Architect, Planner, Activist and Theoretician. She worked with Architects of International repute before starting my private practice in Jan 1991 at New Delhi. She shifted practice to Bangalore in 1994. She has underway in the form of designing and constructions several reputed projects in India and abroad.


HOUSE OF FIVE ELEMENTS NEELAM MANJUNATH HOUSE OF FIVE ELEMENTS in Bangalore, India, is the residence of Architect Neelam Manjunath. Designing with Panchmahabhutas - The house is designed with the Five Elements of Nature: Air, Earth, Water, Fire and Space—the PANCHMAHABHUTAS, catering to the needs of all the three faculties of Man—Physical, Psychological and Spiritual. The Spaces inside the House are peaceful and flow into each other, courtesy the two-level open to sky courtyard with water bodies, open kitchen and double height dining area. All the five bedrooms and drawing room are placed around the courtyard on two levels. The courtyard and the skylights bring ample natural light and ventilation. This house is an improvised example of the traditional Kannada home, “Thotti Mane” contextually with building elements, styles and technologies. Natural, Local recyclable Materials Bamboo, Stone, Soil blocks, Terracotta, Fly-ash etc and simple indigenous construction methods are used. The SMBs were produced at site. Bamboo is used in this House in, Bamboocrete walls, columns, beams and a large doublecurve shell roof with Tarpaulin for waterproofing.


Interior View – First floor seating area, under the bamboo roof, receives ample natural light from the skylight over the courtyard.

The Bamboo Roof The house is designed on the principles of Sustainability and hence is designed with multiple green roofs and terraces to compensate its foot print by more than 100%. One of the bamboo roofs is a 3500 sq ft double curve concrete roof with a span of 8.5m-10m and covers the core area of the house from east to west, with verandahs on both sides and a courtyard in between. It has been designed as a lightweight roof (2” RCC slab) with minimal reinforcement supported on two curved triangular Bamboo beams simply supported on bamboo columns of varying heights following the curve of the roof. A grid matrix of 1” bamboo splits at 6” centre to centre hold the screed concrete in place. It is based on the principle that “a material can bear more loads when it is curved”. Tarpaulin which is painted on one side is placed before concrete above the split bamboo mat, which acts as water proof member instead of plastic.

Natural Landscaping is done with debris, boulders and local indigenous plants and multiple green roofs and terraces to compensate its footprint >100%. Use of Natural Light and Ventilation with Passive solar principles is done by providing large windows, high ceilings, skylights and ventilators. Electricity required is partly generated by solarwind hybrid system with plans to go off-grid in future. A Rainwater Harvesting sump of 75,000 lts collects every drop of water. 500 lts/day of recycled water by DEWAT system is used for gardening and flushing. This house has incorporated various R&Ds with natural low energy materials and technologies. Total construction was done by unskilled workers with labor trainings. Thorough documentation of the project is done to create a database.


A Sustainable Construction Measuring up to the target issues: 1. Quantum change and transferability A prototype of Bamboo-crete walls were made from prefabricated panels, and have been used as niches in the first floor. A green shell roof over bamboo lattice grid is done over bamboo supports. Thorough documentation of project workshops, tests, training programmes for dissemination of information to propagate the Low energy or Zero energy concept of Sustainable Communities.

3. Economic performance and compatibility Local simple construction methods are used. Low cost garden is proposed. There is use of fly ash for blocks and mortar, simple indigenous technologies to solve complex problems. Local, recyclable, natural materials with minimum processing like bamboo, stone, mud blocks, terracotta etc is used for the construction. Passive solar principles and wherever necessary active solar systems have been used. 4. House as a Research Project This house has been used for various experiments with natural building materials, low energy materials and Construction technologies etc. The entire construction was done by unskilled workers, with labor trainings given during construction. All the load testing of bamboo roof and other design tests were done by us on site before the final execution. Excavated soil from site has been used for production of Stabilized Mud Blocks for the house.


5. Contextual and aesthetic impact This house is an improvised example of the traditional Kannada home, “Thotti Mane”, where local traditional building elements, styles and technologies have been used to revive them and add context to the Architecture of the Residence.

The Zero Energy Home is a new definition of the profession of Architecture in terms of Responsibility

2. Ecological quality and energy conservation Use of Natural light, ventilation has been attained by providing large windows with louvers and increased floor heights, skylights and ventilators. A Rainwater Harvesting sump of 75,000 litres has been built and 500 litres of recycled water treated by DEWAT system is used for gardening and flushing every day. The electricity required for this house is being generated by solar wind hybrid technology.

House of Five Elements is A Zero Energy Home… an expression of Architecture with Responsible Creativity and Creative Responsibility.

From right to left: Interior view – Seating areas around the central courtyard: a calm and peaceful environment. Exterior view at night – the colours from the rooms reflect the elements that they have been deigned around



The Project An office was required to be built adjacent to the principal architect’s newly-constructed residence. Funds were scarce and the budget was tight. To make the most out of little, it has been constructed using waste wood and bamboo, stone boulders and debris from neighbouring construction sites and mud blocks which were made on-site. It is a zero energy development, with closed loop systems for building materials, processes and technologies.


A Zen water-body and fountain at the office entrance The Concept a. Ideology: Development and environment are inextricably linked and must be nourished by a change in the means, the contents and the uses of growth. Three criteria to be necessarily retained are: social justice, ecological prudence and economic efficiency. As the repercussions and down sides of globalization in architecture are being discovered and the world is turning towards regional technologies, two definite categories of development are emerging - one based on the principle of recycling and the other on the use of natural materials capable of being used without industrial processing. Mud and Bamboo figure prominently in the second category of development. Bamboo is a premier building material in the new architectural movement with sustainability and integrative approach as its two important criteria. Bamboo plays a key role in the lives of 1/5th of the world population even today, especially in Asia, Latin America and Africa. In many places expensive wood, steel, concrete, glass and other such materials have replaced bamboo; labeling it as a ‘Poor Man’s Building Material’.


Exterior View

Bamboo Symphony is an effort to reverse this process and replace steel, concrete and other similar materials with bamboo. b. Structure: Synergetic and Tensigrity Systems for Efficient Use of Bamboo Traditional fishing Platforms and bridges are excellent examples of synergetic structural systems. In nature, we find examples like cobwebs. The reason for their efficiency is homogenous load distribution, which has an advantage over the communication between members and efficiently leads to overall synchronization within the system. Interestingly, the tensile strength of spider silk is greater than the same weight of steel and has much greater elasticity, just like Bamboo.


Space planning The office building has an open plan, with each space merging into the other, without many physical walls or visual barriers between them. One side, which overlooks the lotus pond, is entirely open, with only bamboo poles to support the roof. The building is a new definition of Office Space and work Culture: • Visual connectivity in the office for free communication among the staff…very essential for team work. Democratic work environment and Ethics. • Quiet and pleasant ambience for Creative work- Enhances Work Efficiency • Ample natural light and ventilation, Waterfall, Lotus pool - no fans required. Minimum doors and Windows – High thermal and visual comfort.

A zen rock garden with a bamboo fountain greets those entering the office. The reception is a small waiting room, located at the same level. (Both the zen garden and the reception are built on top of a rainwater-harvesting sump tank.) Steps lead down, from the reception, to the main office areas which are at a lower, sunken level. The principal architect’s cabin, meeting area, computer workstations and drafting studio are all arranged, at increasing levels, around a central rainwater-harvesting lotus pond; with the studio being at the highest level and the principal architect’s cabin being at the lowest - almost in level with the pond. The building is half set into the ground, with the back wall of the principal architect’s cabin being a common wall with the side wall of the rainwater harvesting sump tank. – this not only reduced construction time and cost, but also keeps the interiors of the office cool. Since the building is half set into the ground, with the roof assuming a corresponding slope, any strong winds or rain tend to blow over the structure without causing any disturbance inside, despite the open nature of the building, and a calm, serene ambience is maintained. Materials used in the project • Bamboo-crete walling system with precast wall panels • Compressed stabilized earth blocks – made from mud excavated on site • Green Shell Roof over lattice grid made of bamboo culms and supported on bamboo columns & beams • Bamboo Reinforced Concrete, with bamboo fibers, (BFRC) – bamboo splits are used instead of steel as reinforcement, and bamboo fibres are added to the concrete to reduce the weight of concrete, improve bonding with the splits (thus preventing shrinkage cracks) and improve the insulation properties of the concrete. • Bamboo Flooring – Type 1: Bamboo rings, set in cement & Type 2: Bamboo flooring boards • Bamboo Columns and Beams • Recycled materials (eg: Fly ash, recycled wood, scraps metal, stone, and other debris)

Bamboo – An Appropriate Building Material: The tensile strength of bamboo fibre can be up to 12 kg/cm - almost twice that of steel. The weight to strength ratio of bamboo is far better than most modern materials. It also makes for excellent support because of its inherent stiffness owing to its natural subdivisions. The engineering qualities of bamboo and its intrinsic structure anticipate the principles of many high-tech materials-making it economically efficient, with its attractive appearance an added bonus. Utilization of bamboo for grid matrix structures, because of its flexibilities, or in high – tech composite materials with high tensile strength, is a trend which has the potential to substitute energy intensive materials from the construction market. Since tensegrity and synergetic structures require light and high tensile basic elements, bamboo is ideally situated for such applications. The sustainability, social and economical aspects of using bamboo are added advantages. Structural System of the Building The structure of the building is its most unique feature. It is based on the model of SYNERGETIC AND TENSIGRITY structures. It has been designed as a hybrid of the two systems and was physically tested before concreting the roof. These types of structures are being made across the world with modern materials with high energy balance. Bamboo is the only Natural building material with lowest energy balance that can be used for these structures. The columns in bamboo symphony though look haphazardly placed have definite position, size and inclinations, and are structurally relevant, just like the highly evolved technological logic we find in nature.



The Roofing System of the Building

Other Sustainable Features

The roof was allowed to define its own shape as per the flow of the forces naturally - like a fabric assuming its shape. These structures are highly efficient with minimal energy & material usage. A freeform shell roof, getting its shape by the neutralization of forces within the slab, so that it poses less complexity, with efficient use of materials. Roof was allowed to take a natural shape over the bamboo supports - no formwork used. • Wire mesh was laid over the bamboo supports and plastered to hold the BFRC. • A grid of bamboo splits was laid over the mesh, forming the reinforcement of the roof. • The roof was then cast with BFRC over the split bamboo reinforcement. • The shell roof is supported on a criss-cross network of bamboo beams which transfer loads to the inclined bamboo columns. • The inclinations in the column members utilise the inherent tensile strength of bamboo. The roofing system is economical and quick to execute. No skilled labour, heavy machinery or formworks were required, and the materials were available almost locally.

• Natural Ventilation: 100% • Night Time Ventilation: Natural • Thermal transmission of building envelope: High • Utilization of building mass as thermal storage as part heat strategy achieved via passive cooling. • Solar energy System: For 100% energy requirement with grid connectivity as stand by. • Day Lighting: Approximate percentage area needing artificial light during daylight hours: 0% • Special water conserving installation: water conserving fixtures, recycling and treatment treated water for flushing, washing, gardening etc. • Rainwater Harvesting System: Extensive with 75,000 liters capacity rain water harvesting sump. • All water bodies created from rain water collection. • Building orientation and roof form allow for strong North-East and South-West winds to blow over the structure, without any strong drafts inside the building despite it being open on one side. Thus the building interiors remain comfortable at all times during the year.

The structure has 50% bamboo usage, due to which the environmental impact is 1/7th that of a steel and concrete building.

Exploded view of the Structure



Sustainable Cities Ten of the best quotes Prof. Somnath Sen, PhD (IIT KGP) Associate Professor

A sustainable city is a city whose citizens are able to have their own needs met without endangering the living conditions of other people and the well-being of the natural world, at present or in the future. Therefore the overall human settlement objective will be to improve the social, economic and environmental quality of human settlements and the living and working environments of all people, in particular the urban and rural poor. Such improvement should be based on technical cooperation activities, partnerships among the public, private and community sectors and participation in the decision making process from community groups and special interest groups such as women, indigenous people, the elderly and the disabled. However, development and growth is ultimately local as demonstrated in practice by local self government in their annual programmes. It is in this context while establishing future Development Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals, following quotations inspired me to motivate the future Architects and Planners in order to vibrate their mind and soul, beyond boundaries of educational institutions.



"Medium and small cities, those which nobody knows about, are going to grow faster in the future. Our century is about global cities.” The Mayor of Istanbul


“What if we chose to live close enough to work and the grocery store that we didn’t need gas at all? What if we chose to reject gas as a necessity, therefore placing the power back in our own hands? The only real freedom is freedom from want. Let’s stop wanting gasoline.” Sierra Elizabeth


“When creative people gather together, it attracts other young creative people. If you look at demographics, the downtown area is much younger than it was a few years ago. There’s this competition that’s good. It isn’t about making art anymore. It’s about making good art.” Courtney Hammond


“We’re moving from a generation who gave little thought as to the built environment and accepted housing that was neither pleasant to look at, nor to live in or around, to a new century where there’s a real desire for housing that’s affordable, flexible, and places community at the heart of its thinking. For architects and the public it’s an enticing prospect.” Will Gompertz


“We need more insurgency in the city in order to break unsustainable and privatizing patterns of urban development.” Jeffrey Hou


“My laptop knows the exact location of every file and folder on its hard drive. It’s barbaric that my house doesn’t have a similar inventory of its contents.” Tom Maly


“Food production and the food system must assume a much higher priority in political agendas across the world. To address the unprecedented challenges that lie ahead the food system needs to change more radically in the coming decades than ever before, including during the Industrial and Green Revolutions.” Foresight: The Future of Food and Farming


“Typically we don’t think of cities as being particularly extreme environments, but few places on earth get as hot as a rooftop or as dry as the corner of a heated living room.” Adam Rogers


“The second mode [to deal with unsafe cities] is to take refuge in vehicles. This is the technique practiced in the big wild-animal reservations of Africa, where tourists are warned to leave their cars under no circumstances until they reach a lodge. It is also the technique practiced in Los Angeles.” Jane Jacobs


“There is a need for debate on what to do about slums or, to use the more polite term, informal settlements, in Africa given the current rates of urbanisation and population growth which are unprecedented in human history anywhere in this world. Slums always accompany the process of urbanisation. It is generally estimated by many economists that more than half the world’s people now live in “slum” area of cities and work in the informal economy.” Gilbert Nii-Okai Addy Source:-


t e c h n o l o g y i n ar c hi t e c t ur e


Software saga written by Ar. Apurva Bose Dutta, published in January, 2012 issue of INSITE magazine.


rom being an aid, technology has become a part and parcel of every architectural practice across the world. Computer-based technology and specialised software have turned design on its head. Digital representation allows scope for drawing, rendering, modelling, performance simulation, design collaboration, and analysis – all at the click of a button! Ar. Apurva Bose Dutta studies the advances in digital tools available for designers, lists the wide range of software available and attempts to figure out whether a computer can ever completely replace a drawing board.


change in architecture over the years has been the onslaught of technology, we also need to understand that the augmentation in the use of software has a lot to do with how differently buildings are being designed today. That said, most architects still like to sketch by hand and deem it important to retain drawing boards in their studios (even if only a single one in their cabins). After all, to imagine and design, one needs a pencil, not a computer. Bangalore-based architect Sanjay Mohe believes in sketching and doodling the old-fashioned way, even though his firm, Mindspace, uses various digital tools in the design process. Citing the impact of technology, he says, “Commands and tools of software have replaced erasers and white ink, leading to a pause in the hesitance once associated with change. But for those who have been in this profession for some time, those days when making drawings was akin to craftwork will be missed. For them, there will be a feeling of loss of the many layers of personal memories that become attached to a drawing after working and reworking many times over, before arriving at a satisfying result. Every drawing had the distinct signature of its author

Advances in technology have, over the last few decades, left an indelible impact on the field of architecture. What started as computer-aided design is now often computer-meditated design. Along with the variety of computer software, there has been a dynamic growth in the complexity, intensity of detailing and extent of innovation. So much so that a profession that once relied on drawing boards and T-squares has today, more or less, shifted to computers. Time-saving, innovative designs and free-flowing forms inconceivable by hand are often perceivable by specialised software. Cast a look at the designs of Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, Nuru Karim and Sanjay Puri, and one realises that technology has played a huge role in providing possibilities much beyond what a pencil would allow. Architectural 3D Views have become a unique mode of selling designs, not only for architects but also for developers. If we admit that the biggest


hidden in the many lines of rotring ink.” Architectural Rendering/Architectural Illustrations or Architectural Modelling act as an interface between architects and their thoughts, providing a superior mode of understanding communication between the architect and his client through walkthroughs and perspective views, enabling a preview of spaces before the project goes on board. Such software provides an opportunity for working on varied options at a quicker rate, highlighting different spaces and different angles. The outcome, to a large extent, depends on the person handling such software — an intelligent combination of a number of diverse software can produce an ideal result. Customisation Software is also available and enables a client to customise his materials/textures/colours/furniture/plans. Bangalore-based developers The Total Environment have developed a similar customised software called eBuild. Developing such software is not easy job but once done is a lifelong hassle-free and timesaving aspect that can diminish the possibility of errors during construction. Architectural Animation is a step further in the implementation of technology in architecture. While architectural rendering is restricted to a single image, architectural animation uses thousands of still images captured by a moving camera, thus producing a movie.

Such is the demand of architectural visualisations that many architecture students are now considering it a fulltime profession. Rendering, a very painstaking job, needs lot of perseverance. A lot of architects/interior designers have in-house staff (architects, students, graphic designers, 3D artists) to create animations and renderings (exterior, interior 3D, environment and 3Dfurniture rendering). There are alsoarchitectural rendering companies to whom work can be outsourced. These firms generally involve people who specialise in various aspects of architectural rendering animation, lighting, texturing etc.

Software in the Market A wide variety is available, including options for 3D and 4D modelling, rendering, and Building Information Modelling (BIM) application software. India still lags compared to the software developed and used abroad — there, they have topology optimisation software to understand the structural behaviour of materials, Grasshopper to explore new shapes using generative algorithms, Autodesk’s Photofly to create 3D models based on pictures, and Vectorworks Architect, a BIM solution.

Drawing/Modelling Software Autocad has been a preferred software for 2D drawings but there now exist other software such as DraftSight, Bricscad and ZWCAD™ having similar features and commands. Google SketchUp, a freely available non-professional software, is good for quick conceptual architectural presentations. It works well but is less realistic and incapable of producing organic shapes. Ar. Mohe’s firm presently uses Autocad, 3D Studiomax, SketchUp and Revit, of which Mohe finds SketchUp the most userfriendly, with a easy learning curve helped by its userfriendly tools and uncomplicated works pace. 3D Studio Max, from Autodesk (also used for rendering), is very popular with architects and has different model libraries, besides offering lighting simulation, analysis technology, graphite modelling and texturing system.


Software on the same wavelength as Max also has access to realistic third—party rendering applications. While they produce some highstandard animations and manipulations (a higher level of training is required), the software start-up cost is higher and the time required to produce a realistic perspective can always be longer. One needs to buy additional model libraries; they are not freely downloadable. Other software includes Rhino (used for uninhibited freeform 3D modelling), Cheetah3D (also used for rendering and animation), Chief Architect (an architectural home design software with powerful building tools like automatic roofs, foundations, framing used for 2D and 3D projects) and FormZ (with the ability to quickly create different 3D shapes, including sculptured surfaces). Rendering Software Architectural drawings include renderings, panoramic renderings, light and shadow study renderings etc. Photoshop remains a favourite with everyone as a graphics editing application. 3D Studio VIZ is a comprehensive rendering program and can produce photo-realistic renderings required for product designs. AccuRender works inside AutoCAD and has enough options for shades, shadows, lighting and reflections; Art*lantis can import 3D models created in different programs and add lighting, textures, materials and colouring effects. Lightscape is used for lighting design and rendering. Panchkula-based architect Haneet Khanna, founder of The 3rd Dimension - Architectural Visualizations Studio, specialises in animated


walkthroughs, 3D views, aerial shots, 2D rendering of plans, site plans and elevations. According to him, some of the quantifiable advantages of 3D architectural rendering include uncompromised quality, accuracy in fine details, realistic simulation of lighting, materials etc., and the ability to exaggerate “selling points” in a design and to allow multiple vantage points. Having experimented with a variety of software, he advocates Google SketchUp (for very quick presentations), Rhino (for organic modelling) and Autodesk Revit, which he terms as the best BIM software at the moment. “We do use a lot of extra plugins and rendering engines that really improve and speed up our workflow. Some are offered for free on the internet,” Khanna says.

BIM Software In BIM software, a virtual building model can be generated with structural elements like

slabs, walls, roofs, etc from where plans, elevations, sections, construction details and bill of quantities can be generated. Any change in the model is automatically updated in the 2D drawings, thus making team work easy where the main model stays intacton the BIM server.

BIM software not only helps to coordinate between different service systems but also helps in resolving conflicts between structure and services.

BIM software, now gradually penetrating into the Indian market,has made design studios into experimentation labs, enabling innumerable permutations and combinations. However, this nextgeneration software remains expensive in India. Ar. Mohe says, “BIM software not only helps to coordinate between different service systems but also helps in resolving conflicts between structure and services.” Autodesk Revit, dominating all architectural offices today, has infinite solutions with designs, drawings, 3D models, presentations, quantity estimates, structures etc. and can also examine how the design interacts with sun, shadow and lighting. Generating contextual studies with finer nuances, it is hailed as the reason for the conceptualisation of some of the best known projects in the world. Its newest version has better tools for renovation and retrofit projects; has the ability to divide a building element into parts reflecting how that element will be constructed; and also allows to group elements into assemblies and create sheets of different assembly views. Revit® Architecture is integral to the process of designing in Bengaluru-based architectural firm Testing Waters Architecture. The principal architect’s passion for the software can be gauged from the fact that two years prior to opening his studio, Vikram Subbaiah decided that Revit would be the software he would use.He candidly admits that everything with Revit and the concept of BIM has been an advantage — the elimination of the dependency on standard libraries of building elements, the excitement of creating customised parametric Revit families of the same without much difficulty, and Revit’s capability of modelling linear structures and complex forms. On disadvantages, Subbaiah says, “Consultants (structural, MEP etc.) will start using the BIM model only when more architects start working on it. Until then they probably would prefer 2D CAD drawings despite a complete virtual building model being available.” Subbaiah is currently experimenting with the nucleus plugin for Revit, Grasshopper, and


is keen to know about Gehry Technology’s Digital Project. ArchiCAD, a 30-year-old software developed by Graphisoft, is an architectural BIM CAD software and has had numerous new versions almost every year; the latest, ArchiCAD 15, was developed in 2011. The different versions of ArchiCAD have different enhancements — enhanced model-based collaboration capabilities by addition of a new shell tool and a revamped roof tool that allows modelling a broad spectrum of forms and complex roofs respectively; support for renovation projects with a new renovation palette; and a new tool with rotate orientation option to allow project views, floor plans or details to be rotated while keeping the project orientation intact. Bentley Architecture, a BIM solution, is a part of Bentley’s integrated suite of BIM applications (unlike standalone architectural software as above) that provides integration between design, engineering, analysis, construction, and operations for the entire lifecycle of facilities. Amidst architecture dominated by energy efficiency and green buildings, simulation software for various aspects like energy, daylighting, and HVAC design is the latest addition. New Delhibased Environmental Design Solutions, a green building consultancy firm, uses a range of such software for their work. Architect Gurneet Singh Monga, director of the firm, says: “We use Ecotect for site analysis, solar radiation, shading, and sun path analysis, and VisualDOE for energy analysis. While Ecotect is a comprehensive concept-to-


detail sustainable building design tool, VisualDOE is a powerful, easy-to-use front-end to DOE2.1E standard building energy simulation program. Other than that, we use Radiance (a highly accurate ray-tracing software system for daylighting and artificial lighting), Dayism (for daylighting), eQuest (for Energy Analysis), Energy+ and Calculux( for exterior lighting and artificial lighting).”

An Alternative Field Architectural visualisation is an emerging field and several budding architects are keen to plunge into it. The emphasis on computer education while acquiring an architectural degree has increased manifold, and colleges are vying for multimedia studios with drafting boards and computers can be worked on. A number of private training firms across the country give certifications for such programs. Some colleges have also initiated a masters in digital architecture so as to enable architects to rethink and reimagine the built environment. Various workshops and inter-country collaborations are also held to disseminate information on digital architecture. Websites and publications devoted completely to the research and analysis of such technology products are also popular. Ar. Khanna, who established his firm after he graduated, says, “To create 3D digital renderings one doesn’t necessarily require any architectural background. One should have a grasp on understanding architectural drawings. I am an architect by qualification and in most of our projects

clients always appreciate and welcome our design inputs into their ideas. Becoming a rendering artist might be a little easier without the requirement of having technical knowledge of structures, building materials and other aspects of architectural construction.”

Dream Software

Khanna agrees that a software can never replace a designer, adding that whether an image will look good or not depends on the aesthetic eye of the artist using the software, not on the software itself. The unanimous acclaimed disadvantage of such software is the excessive dependence of human minds on it, mitigating their own imaginations. Reflecting on the fact that no software till date has been able to resolve the problem of scale, Ar. Mohe says, “The sensitivity to understand the scale has gone down as one can keep zooming in and zooming out of the drawing. When working on a hand-drawn drawing in a scale say, 1 in 20, the static workspace helps you to grasp the spaces and layout accurately and thus refine it inch by inch. That said, the limitless canvas of CADD makes it easy to understand the project at a macro scale.” On his dream software, he says, “I believe that in architecture there is hand-mind coordination when one designs through sketching. I dream of a software which can read sketches and convert them to CAD form. IPad has come really close to that idea and I hope that very soon a software is developed that will preserve and celebrate the human element in the creative process.” Khanna’s perspective, as a visualisation artist, is different. “We want something that can create accurate 3D models, lighting setups, fast rendering times and gives photorealistic results. But as an architect/designer I would want a software that is easy to use, can quickly make changes and one that makes design and drawing work easier.” Ar. Monga is presently experimenting with IES-VE, an integrated analysis tool that does all types of detailed analysis with only one model. He feels that despite a number of software available, the only problem is the interoperability between different software. So when an architect needs to analyse his design for daylight and energy, he has to prepare separate models in separate tools. “I feel a design tool with modelling capabilities of SketchUp that is also able to analyse the design on various parameters and can finally generate plans, sections and elevations like Revit and Code compliance documents will be ideal,” Monga concludes.


Sanitation sahil bipin Deshpande winner, fifth riba norman foster travelling scholarship rizvi college of architecture

Use of Public Toilets (trademark: Sanisettes) replacing the Vespasiennes in Paris, France


or the urban poor, income forms only one axis of deprivation. One of my own grim and upsetting experiences in this regard has been the issue of sanitation. It is a problem people are often shy to address. Architects and their practices, tend to be no different in their commitment. Sanitation is regarded as the mundane, matterof-fact component of architectural practice against the creative design processes involving “form” and “space”. 2.5 billion People across the world do not have access to proper facilities including 1.2 billion with no facilities whatsoever and are forced to engage in the demeaning practice of open defecation. Sanitation is a serious concern that architectural practices must connect with. India is witnessing an accelerated rate of urbanization. The influx of people into urban centres has resulted in 17 percent of the urban population having no access to sanitary facilities, and 50–80 percent of wastewater discharged untreated. The sewer system of Mumbai is over 100 years old and


inaccessible to the slums that house over half the urban inhabitants. The accessible system proves to be insufficient, compelling one out of twenty inhabitants to discharge in their urban immediacy resulting in deaths, illness, economic failure and shrunken opportunities. More than 50% of the world's population resides in urban areas. Subsequently the larger aspect of sanitation deals with providing and upgrading facilities of urban inhabitants.

(a) Policy framework To meet the city`s urgent need for sanitation and to apply an experience in a broader context, policies and programming concerns must be addressed. To ensure optimum outputs, it is imperative to draft the policies considering the present scenario. These policies must be shaped at an urban planning level and tweaked for use across the city with respect to the existing framework.

A case study across eight metropolises Towards Framing a Sustainability Oriented Urban Manifesto

(1.) Existing scenario of sanitation in the informal settlement of Soweto in Johannesburg, Republican South Africa (2.) Use of Condominium Sewers in the informal settlement of Kambi Muru in Nairobi, Kenya

In the urban poor neighbourhood of Soweto, Johannesburg the government has drafted the White Paper on Basic Household Sanitation that emphasises provision of a basic level of household sanitation to areas with the greatest need. The key point is that provision of sanitation services should be demand driven and community-based with focus on community participation and household choice. Given the socio-economic context in the European Union, access and maintenance of sanitation facilities are adequate. The EU policies focus on environmental goals like collection, treatment of urban waste and waste water before letting it into receiving waters.

(b) Design of the city's overall sanitation system; 'Sanitation' refers to the safe management and disposal of human waste. This includes basic, environmental service deliverance in formal

and informal settlements via two distinct routes: centralised and decentralised. The sanitation system of Oslo, Norway presents an ideal working model to be studied and tweaked to suit the formal settlements in developing countries. The model showcases ecological sanitation entailing the use of extreme ater saving (e.g. vacuum) and composting toilets. It exemplifies that waste water can be treated and recycled nearly achieving “zero waste" standards. Kibera in Nairobi, Kenya is the largest urban informal settlement in Sub- Saharan Africa, constitutes 13 villages including Kambi Muru. The Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor in Kambi Muru shows development of the sanitation network in context of the urban poor in informal settlements. Their work encompasses provision of water kiosks, toilet and washing services, drains and hygiene promotion for those without access to the regular supply.


(c) Mapping the socio-economic context and fabric of an urban poor neighbourhood; Urban poor neighbourhoods are fraught with problems like insecurity of tenure, lack of space, poor maintenance and affordability which restrains the conventional water borne sewer based system. My undergraduate thesis research shows that, while the sanitation crisis is a major contributor to diseases and poor health of the deprived populations; examples of “slum� sanitation show a rich and contested landscape of community life for access to infrastructure. This can be banked upon to build a successful sanitation network.

(d) Design and technological considerations; These considerations vary with socioeconomic and physical factors, most importantly with the customs and traditions that result in sitting or squatting method, pour flush or paper toilets. The changing food habits affect sanitation systems in the wider context. At Olympic Park, Beijing, waste generated onsite is treated and reused thus treating the park as a water and nutrient sink. Reduced water and energy demand, urine and faeces-derived manure are addedadvantages. Essentials like ventilation, signage, accessibility, self sufficiency have received equal attention. The aim is to put across alternative sustainable sanitation solutions to decision makers and wider public.

(e) Local entrepreneurship The efforts made on an individual level to a mass level to improve the standards of sanitation play a significant part in the region`s prosperity. Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak, is involved in the eradication of Manual Scavenging from India and providing economic sustainable blocks in the cramped situations of Mumbai. Mr. Trevor Mulaudzi works towards educating school children of Johannesburg, South Africa on the use and management of these systems.



What is happening to the urban poor is a story not just of income poverty, but many other forms of deprivation. -Mumbai Reader: 2008


A component explaining the aeration process at the waste water treatment plant in Belfast, Northern Ireland

(f) Finance, maintenance and capacity building Capacity building isn't just installation of infrastructure; both service providers and users need to act in defined ways. The success of sanitation investments cannot be measured only in terms of physical outputs such as number of toilets built or kilometres of sewer laid. Instead, the focus should be on outcomes, primarily- use and maintenance of those facilities. The sanitation system in Paris,France was designed in the 19th Century considering the large volume of water involved. The 20th century marks the advent of water efficient sanitation practices. The government and organizations in Paris are responding to these changes in an intense and calculated manner.

(g) Sustainability Frequently it is observed that a module is replicated in a new surrounding without considering the context, resulting in failure of the concept of sustainability. Before implying on any module as a whole it is essential to study the contextual difference and then tweak it as required.


Towards Framing a Sustainability Oriented Urban Manifesto The above case studies infer that in order to attain a sustainable sanitation system at an urban level the following practices must be ensured: • Sanitation has been accorded low priority and there is poor awareness about its inherent linkages with public health. Generating awareness is crucial in order to change the public mindset. • Sanitation investments are currently planned in a piece-meal manner and do not take into account the cycle of safe confinement, treatment and safe disposal. Understanding of the entire chain from micro-level amenities like provision of the toilets to macro-level systems like waste water treatment is imperative. • Advanced technology isn`t always cost effective and appropriate systems should be considered after thorough deliberation of the context. • Sanitation has been provided by public agencies in a supply-driven manner, with little regard for demands and preferences of households as customers of sanitation services .It is essential to have the client and demand generation in focus. Sanitation is an evolving process: changing with culture, economy, social habits, and resources. Yet it should always aim to: Short term: Make sure the system is running and evolving along with its context, and not crumble if not constantly upgrading Long term: Focus on increasing the standards worldwide and constantly setting higher benchmarks.


MIHIR NANDAN PATILHANDE Pillai HOC college of architecture Z229




Life of an Architect BOB BORSON BY

On your "Just follow the recipe" method: Whatever we have learned in Architecture has never come from one type of source and from all the mindset we have built, we always tend to give more than what is asked for. Seldom do the seniors (or Professors) accept the student's flavor added to the dish that was desired. If we are supposed to "Just follow the recipe", are we any good to our self (apart from the technical knowledge we gain and understanding the mentor's way)?

Employers – even great employers – are not able to know what sort of experience and exposure the interns desire.


The point I was trying to convey in that article was that young people should recognize that there is a process to design and it takes some time to develop a balance between the creative and the practical aspects of architecture, so by extension, experience should count for something. However, I am a big advocate that the relationship between architect and associate is a dynamic one – there should be give and take from both parties. There are always happy accidents that occur when two people communicate with one another – I might say one thing and it gets interpreted in another way that might lead in total exciting and unexpected ways.

My name is Bob Borson. I try and keep things light and share a thing or two about what I think I know ... sometimes I get it wrong but it isn't for a lack of trying!!


2. With so much of content on your concern for the interns and the experience they have from you, what one paragraph would you like to write as a conclusion (both from the student's and employer's point)?

4. Talking about the big college year question we face, how do we conclude, if one wants to be an architect or not. We understand that it isn’t possible to explain this in a paragraph or two but still, your take?

It is important for interns to realize the nature of their relationship with their employer. A good relationship is made up of two-way conversations, where both parties are able to discuss what their needs are and the obligations that come along with having a job. The employer is paying you a salary in exchange for the production of billable work, and the better you are at that, the likelihood that your value will be self-evident and your salary will reflect your value. What most interns fail to recognize is that this is not where the relationship ends. Employers – even great employers – are not able to know what sort of experience and exposure the interns desire. It is as much the intern’s responsibility to communicate with the employer as it is the other way around. All great relationships are built on two-way communication.

I receive this question in one form or another on my site at least 50 times a week and I’ve discovered that the answer isn’t a long one – in fact, I think the longer you go on about it the more unclear the answer to that question becomes. The only way you will ever know if you want to be an architect or not is to try, and nobody can help you make this decision other than you. This response may sound disinterested or curt but it’s the truth with all things. You can’t possibly understand or appreciate something until you have some sort of working knowledge about it, which doesn’t really happens until you roll up your sleeves and get to work.

3. A lot has been written by you in your blog on summer-intern-hunting, but what does the employer expect from the intern when he hires an intern who is almost of no good to him?

Get involved outside the architecture school. It’s really easy to bury yourself in the work that comes along with being an architecture student. Truth is, you will become a better architect by doing other things in concert with the time you spend learning about architecture. Anything that you can do to pursue additional avenues for creative outlets will be extremely rewarding to your overall experience while in school. This would also include taking classes with your electives that might include business classes, humanities, philosophy … broaden your interests as much as possible.

I think most employers are simply looking for someone with a good work ethic, a positive attitude, and a willingness to get involved. For the summer intern, sometimes the most valuable experience you can gain during the short time you spend in an architect’s office is gained just be watching what is happening around you. Frequently an intern comes into the office ready participate and tackle the world of architecture … as long as it’s a design project. In short order, their positive attitude quickly leaves as they discover that they will be organizing the materials library – which is a lost opportunity. I am always amazed at just how far a positive attitude will take you in this world.

5. What 3 points would you pick out from your blog (or your thoughts) as words of general advice for students?

Do what you say you are going to do, when you say you’re going to do it. If you consistently fail or let down the people who count on you, why would they ever come back to you for assistance? Staying ahead of the issues is actually more important than how you are able to handle those issues once they’ve become problems. Learning how to become accountable for your own actions should take place in college Be Yourself. It’s cliché to actually say this but it’s absolutely true – maybe even more so for people who work in a creative field. Personality goes a long way in this field so make sure to take advantage of yours


For the summer intern, sometimes the most valuable experience you can gain during the short time you spend in an architect’s office is gained just be watching what is happening around you.

6. What advice would you like to give to a student new to Architecture and to a student who has just graduated from an architecture college? For the new architecture student – Don’t follow the rules. The time you spend in college is really about learning how to learn and since architecture isn’t a tradecraft, this is about you exploring and developing your creativity. Don’t dig down into the rules and instructions when looking for inspiration. I think back to the time I spent in school, the first few years were rough on me – I didn’t do very well. It wasn’t until I decided that I could do whatever I wanted did things start to change. For the recent graduate – Unlike the architecture student, there are different rules in place when you enter a professional working environment, everything starts to count and there is a new definition for personal accountability. The best professional advice I ever received was to follow directions and make the firms problems your problems. Everybody likes the person who helps make their life a little easier. Making the effort to say “I can take care of this” and actually being able to take care of those things will always get you noticed as someone who can be counted on when it matters. Solving these problems normally requires extra effort, extra time, and extra risk … but these are the only things that will legitimately get you to more responsibility.


Prof. Vivian Loftness is a University Professor and former Head of the School of Architecture at Carnegie Mellon University. She is an internationally renowned researcher, author and educator with over thirty years of focus on environmental design and sustainability, advanced building systems integration, climate and regionalism in architecture, and design for performance in the workplace of the future.

Fourth-year undergraduate student Soumya Pasumarthy had the opportunity to pursue research in the School of Architecture, Carnegie Mellon University under Prof. Volker Hartkopf and Prof. Vivian Loftness during her summer in 2013. And brings in an interview with Prof. Loftness.

Design For Daylight


Vivian Loftness

Soumya: The first day I walked in, I saw that the entire MMC (the building which houses the Intelligent

Workplace) was flooded with artificial lights, whereas in the IW there was not even one. Could you tell me more about this wonderful place and the research work that goes on?

Vivian: Ok, the intention here is to design for daylight. Lighting is the largest energy load in America’s office buildings in terms of source energy load, which is the powerplant load. Hence, one of the goals is when there is so much free daylight, to design around daylight. And we are pretty blessed with being on the rooftop with plenty of views to go on without lights. It works extremely well. Occasionally on a very, very grey day we turn on the lights during the daytime but otherwise, only at night. Soumya: That’s wonderful. What are the current on-going research projects in the IW? 90

Vivian: Well, let me start with the lighting research

because that’s really important. Designing for good daylight is not simple. You have to know that there is low sun on the east and west which can be very problematic as there is a lot of glare associated with it. So, you have to redirect the light and we are looking at different types of redirection devices, both fixed and operable, things that are inverted venetian blinds that pick up the light and put it on the ceiling. We have highly reflective ceiling surfaces, so one of our research areas is daylight redirection and not just from windows facing east, west, north, south but also from skylights. We have a Masters student right now doing side-by-side study of skylight performance with layers that are dynamic where you can adjust things on a seasonal or daily or hour-by-hour basis. Another lighting study we looked at was how valuable lighting controls are for user-energy efficiency and user-satisfaction. So, we had a Ph.D. student who gave people the choice of how much task light, how much ambient light and what type of daylight configuration they wanted before she gave them a series of online and paper based projects. Everybody came in and set the environment of light, then she measured their performance and their satisfaction. She also measured the amount of electricity they used for lighting. Then she gave them feedback with little trees and told them how many trees they were using and some advice about what they could try to change. People actually took the advice and the number of trees went up… they got more trees! It turns out that people were actually more satisfied once they had a little bit of information. We are also looking at light fixtures and fixture design. All the way from daylight to daylight & electrical light controls to the actual designing of fixtures. We have got some experimentation on LED light sources compared to fluorescent light sources and are trying to understand what their visual quality, colour rendition quality and user satisfaction is. So, that gives you the lighting story. We are doing similar studies in every other area. We are looking at thermal comfort in winter - with it being cold outside, in summer when it is hot outside and in the spring season when it might be perfect outside. We are experimenting with turning off all the systems and letting people open windows

providing radiant heat instead of air based heat. So, there are a lot of experiments; it is what we call a ‘living laboratory’ because we live in a dynamic test bed. And things sometimes don’t work but that’s okay because we are learning as a group about what works and what doesn’t work.

Soumya: It is really interesting to know that the IW

does such a lot of diverse and interesting research. You were born in Stockholm. You grew up in LA and Paris, studied in MIT and have been on the go ever since. How have these places affected the way you think and your opinion about what needs to be done in this world?

Vivian: Hmmm… Wow. Well, I mean, I obviously feel very privileged and lucky to have had the opportunity to travel as much as I have. I think my passion for nature came from both living in parts of California where the temperature is so mild that you spend a lot of time outside and from Scandinavia where there is a lot of fascination with nature. I think some of my interest in passive conditioning came from when I worked in Paris, Iran and Germany because they are very interested in being able to use natural cooling, natural heating, natural ventilation, natural lighting. So, definitely the more international exposure, the more you begin to realise that there is significant opportunity for improving the quality of the environments that we work and live in and actually reducing energy. Because I think most people have thought that improving your lifestyle means using more energy and the more we have had the chance to travel, the more we realise that you can save energy and improve lifestyle. Soumya: That’s great. With more than three

decades of experience in the field, how would you define sustainability?

Vivian: Sustainability is actually a pretty big word.

Energy efficiency is, by comparison, a small piece of it. So, I think not to use generalities that don’t mean something. I think sustainability is about understanding resources and being extremely conscious of what resources we use and whether they are actually renewable or not, replenishable or not . So that we are ideally working off a replenishable economy rather than a depleting economy.


It is also about environmental quality and the importance of human health. Water, materials, land and energy are four resources that are potentially limited quantities. So, it is all about how much we can manage carefully and use replenishable, renewable sources for water (includes rain water and recaptured grey water), energy (includes energy cascades), land (by using existing land rather than just sprawling) and materials (that have either extremely long life or can be reused 3 time or 4 times or 5 times or endlessly). Some materials can be even be recycled endlessly. A lot of it has to do with understanding the resources and the quality of the environment that we are creating. So, I think those are the two balances to sustainability that we are constantly trying to achieve.

Soumya: You introduced the term ‘Environmental

Coasting’ in your TEDx talk. Could you elaborate on that?

Vivian: Yes, ‘Environmental Coasting’ is a way

to capture how many hours we can run on nature itself. So, let’s just take daylight. I know I can environmental-coast in the Intelligent Workplace from probably 6:30a.m in the mornings all the way till 6:30p.m or 7p.m at night in the summer. I can’t coast after 7 because its dark but, I might actually want to go home at 7, right? So, I could do all my work through daylight alone. Question is: Can I do that environmental coasting with free heat from winter sun? And if I design my school, my home or my office around winter sun, I might be able to o environmentally coast, down to about 10 C. I do a tight building and make sure the windows are real good quality. I make sure they are air-tight. I insulate walls and roofs and all of a sudden, just a little of internal heat and the additional Sun and I o can coast until it’s down to 10 C. And then I have to turn the heater on. At the other end of the scale, in summer, many people turn on the Air-Conditioning as soon as it o hits 20 C saying, “Oh! I have to air-condition!” Actually, we don’t need to air-condition until it is o 30 C. If we do an effective job of shading, thermal masks and night ventilation then there is a lot we can do to stretch. In some respects, the Climate Consultant (Software) tries to stretch the comfort zone with passive strategies; it is about figuring out how many hours I can coast. Not just heating and cooling but also lighting.


I am actually changing the term. The reason I am changing the word is that ‘coasting’ is a very passive idea. S. I gave this lecture several times about environmental coasting and somebody came up to me and said “You have to make this….it is active…it is a lifestyle” and so, I now coined it ‘Environmental Surfing’ which is far more active but fun, right? The idea is that you ‘surf’ the environment. You go on and surf daylight, how long I can stretch the daylight, what to do to manipulate the low sun angles that sort of makes my living room or my office still perfectly pleasant, how long I can stretch my heat source and my free cooling… so, there the term has evolved into ‘environmental surfing’.

Soumya: I love the fact that you are actually

making something as serious as tackling energyefficiency into a sport! Taking the wonderful conversation forward, enforcing a concrete budget seems to be a very exciting idea. How do you think this can bring about a big change in the cities that we see today?

Vivian: Well, this is going to be very important

for India; it is certainly important for China. The general belief is that in order to raise everybody’s quality of life, you have to give everybody a car and to give everybody a car, given the populations of India and China, means you got to have a lot of roads and lots of parking lots. So, you are immediately taking something that has naturally been very porous, quite very green & natural (in many cases it is land that could support food and could certainly handle heavy rains) and you are putting impervious surfaces where we are creating huge drainage problems, flooding, overheating and heat island effect. America has been doing this, we have been sprawling and paving to the point where many of our cities are now in flood crisis at least several times a year, if not several times a month. The solution of course is more technology if people are saying “stick out the streets and put in bigger pipes to carry the flood away”, a very expensive and not a very effective solution set. So, my feeling is you certainly need some paving, you need some hard surfaces if you are on a wheel chair, you need hard surfaces if you are trying to move groceries or goods across but we don’t need to pave from end to end three times the amount. You can even imagine drive ways that have two paving strips with grass going between them. In Europe, you see very often that for the light rail,

the rails are in grass. The rails are not even in a paved area, they are literally on grass strips. So, if you treat side-walks somewhat to be wide enough for two or three people and not for eight people to walk side-by-side and even make parking lots predominantly porous with a few spaces that might be hard paved for people who are in wheel-chairs and need to be able to get out of the car onto a hardened surface. The idea is to make people conscious of how much concrete to be used. The other side-effect of concrete besides the impervious surfaces and flooding is the fact that it is one of most carbon intensive materials that we build with; it is a huge contributor to greenhouse gases and global warming. Being much more aware of the use of concrete in our urban growth will be a very important activity for sustainability.

Soumya: Focusing on a particular aspect of what you just mentioned and extending it, how do you compare urban sprawls with infill because in India we see a lot of densely populated cities which have already reached saturation, leaving them with the only natural solution to spread?

Sustainability is actually a pretty big word. Energy efficiency is, by comparison, a small piece of it.

Vivian: The word sprawl of course has a sort of negative connotation towards and so it should. Sprawl is not planned growth. Sprawl is economic opportunity. I mean, the reason we sprawl, at least in the US context, is that it is driven by the people who have resources saying, “I want to build new places and what can I put in these places to be able earn the most income?” Now America doesn’t have the problem that India has, which is that we don’t have saturated cities - we have cities like Detroit which are so vacant that you are talking about turning them back into parkland. We have got vacancy rise in almost every American city; there are very few cities that don’t have empty parking lots and underutilised lands, unlike Singapore, Mumbai and Beijing - places which are hugely saturated. You have to be very cautious not to use the same language In India that we use in the United States because here the problems are very different. Having said that, I think the solutions are going to be very similar. What we are talking about as a solution is what we call ‘Whole-life Communities’ where cars are used as rarity, not the standard. What you are saying is understanding what our whole-life is. Well, my whole-life is not everything I


church or temple and it is home & it is a recreational community or walking area etc. So, you can basically list them down on your hand - the basic needs. If I want to design accordingly, then you have planned growth and you create villages which are all about walkable whole-life communities. The villages don’t have to be ancient villages, they could be modern villages that could be fun and dense with well-planned modern buildings. It is not that the word village immediately spells that we have to move back to ancient lifestyles. In this aspect, infill is also about bringing whole lives. But if you look at downtown Washington DC, you see that there are very few places to live. Even though Washington DC has almost no grocery stores, there are plenty of places to work and plenty of places to do recreation. So, what they need is living, grocery stores and schools. They are basically infilling to get the village back because the village was gone in downtown Washington. We have a slightly different problem statement which is plenty of land and no cohesive density. You have got excessive density and the need for growth but both of them need whole life community solutions.

Soumya: Vivian, thank you very much for the knowledge-filled interview which I am sure will enrich every reader with food for thought. As the last question, what would be your message to the hundreds of aspiring students who would want to change the world and bring about something good? Vivian: Well, this kind of sustainability movement

is an incredibly rich arena in which they have a huge impact. There are so many areas within the word sustainability; there is a water story, there


is a material story, there is the passive conditioning story, there is urban land-use and whole life communities…and I think just for disciplines and the importance of working collaboratively, it all of a sudden says to the next generation, “Don’t silo your expertise, form teams, find your friends from your college, find the best mechanical engineering students, find the best civil infrastructure student, the best architectural student, the best interior designer, the best industrial designer you know. Build your network and then form an alliance to say we are going to re-address sustainability from all the aspects. Because that is the only way you solve it. When I talk about concrete, clearly the issue is not about a concrete budget. It is all of the reasons we use concrete. All the different disciplines that need concrete should get in together and ask themselves how can they, what can they trade and what they need for this or they don’t need for this. So, I think, maybe we can find solutions. One, I would suggest jump right into sustainability because there is a huge arena for creative and productive contribution for students. Two, learn from your teams, find built friend networks around different disciplines of sustainability because you need all those disciplines to get to make a big difference.


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Ishanie Niyogi,

has a Master’s degree in City and Regional Planning, with a focus on environmental planning and sustainability from Rutgers University. She is also a LEED Accredited Professional for building design and construction (LEED AP BD+C), and currently works at the Rutgers Center for Green Building.


riting has always been a passion of mine. So when I came across the Berkeley Essay Prize competition whilst pursuing my undergraduate degree in Architecture, it seemed like the perfect fit. The theme for the 2010 competition was heritage conservation, and we were asked to write about a historic structure in our vicinity that wasn’t getting the level of attention it deserved. At the outset this seemed simple enough – India being the land of a thousand forts, palaces and temples. However, it was the sample article referenced by the Berkeley Prize Committee, talking about saving Summer Elementary - the first elementary school in America to enroll black children alongside white children, which had me approaching this essay with a whole new perspective. There are so many structures and buildings that we pass by every day, without giving as much as a second thought. Why? Because purely from an external appearance point of view, these structures don’t always seem representative of our glorious history. I had exactly one such find in what can be referred to as Downtown Dehradun – the town I’ve called home for 10 years now. The old Dehradun jail was home to Pandit Nehru on the countless occasions that he was incarcerated during the struggle for independence. It was while he was confined within its walls that he penned part of his autobiography and completed “Glimpses of World History” and “Discovery of India”. Yet, I was oblivious of its existence during my four years of high school in the city. During the 2010 competition cycle, I had unearthed considerable information about the old jail via extensive online research; however the most shocking bit of information actually came from my mother who knew that it was currently used as a parking lot!


I was pleasantly surprised when a current correspondent at IndianArch reached out to me in an effort to discuss my essay which had gone on to secure the 1st place at

the 2010 Berkeley Essay Prize competition. Looking

back, I can hardly believe that it has been 3 years since.

The second leg of the Berkeley essay competition had asked us to write about ideas of how these buildings could be used in the future. My vision for the jail revolved around restoring and adaptively reusing certain buildings to create a cultural complex that would pay homage to Nehru, as well as boost tourism in the area. Subsequently, I went on to expand these ideas as part of my final architectural thesis. While I am not in the field of architectural conservation now, this experience was what first got me thinking about how measures like adaptive reuse of buildings effectively reduces energy used in construction – something I deal with on an everyday basis now, working as a building energy analyst.

Provided below are excerpts from my essay – “The Story of a Prison Cell”

“My roots are in a civilization that dates to 2500 B.C. With such deep roots it is not surprising that I can think of many buildings that reflect India’s rich social and cultural history. While many of these buildings are World Heritage Sites; there are still others which lie neglected. One such building, now on the brink of dilapidation, is the old jail in the city of Dehradun. Through this essay I intend to bring to light the story of a very special prison cell. Special, because on several occasions during the 20th century, it was home to Jawaharlal Nehru, one of the political giants of the era who played a leading part at a critical moment in India’s history – the struggle for independence… ..Picture the autumn of 1933. The season is changing – the trees have started shedding their leaves, a hue of golden brown, in contrast to the red brick walls of Dehradun jail. A gust of wind carries the leaves and sweeps them up, along with a few sheets of paper. A thin brown man hurries after them, desperate to catch them before they disappear. The wind breaks for a moment and he gathers them up. He calls out, “Panditji!”(“Pandit” being Sanskrit for Scholar with suffix -“ji”, a Hindi honorific), “I have your papers”. A man catches up with him. He is in his thirties, clad from head to toe in khadi vastra (coarse homespun cotton material), a white Gandhi cap, grey jacket, white kurta, sandals, a smile and clutching a sheaf of papers. Despite his simplicity, there is a quiet dignity about this man. “You didn’t have to”, he says. “But you have been writing since you got here. I couldn’t just let them go!” says the man, graciously handing the papers to the man dressed in khadi.”Yes, I suppose so.”, muses the older man. Out of an arched alcove emerges a British officer, “So, Mr. Nehru, are you ready to be discharged?” he asks. “Yes, indeed”, replies Jawaharlal Nehru. Turning back, he takes one last look at the building in which he has been imprisoned for the past ten months. Did he know he was to become a regular visitor...?”



big Questions

Graduate Education Things to think about

Ranjitha Shivaram B.Arch, IIT Kharagpur Studying Urban Planning at Massachussets Instutute of Technology

Over the past few months, I have had the chance to speak to a fair number of students from Kharagpur. The questions they ask, especially those who are yet to graduate, personify the quintessential undergraduate dilemma: What next? There is a set of questions that everyone (almost) has to deal with and resolve as they go through the blizzard of classes, studios, exams, internships and placements. I will try and answer some of those questions in an architecture-specific fashion. Of course, these answers will be my perspective on things at this point of time at this point in space. You might hear a completely contradictory set of answers from the person next door, or from me if I relocate to Mars in 2020. So, here we go:

Should I go to Grad School? On the 4th of September, I attended my first class at MIT. And the first question the professor asked was “So, can someone tell me what one can derive from the third paper?”. As I sat in shock throughout the lecture, he went on to ask many more questions about the prior readings for the class that everyone around me debated and fought over. I had no opinion to offer simply because I had just glanced through the readings and was not sufficiently prepared. And I realized something that should be obvious, but somehow isn’t back home in India: These people are only here because they really want to be here. And for me, that’s how graduate school should be. IIT-JEE is meant to act as a filter, to get some very talented people together and help them learn. Unfortunately, it does nothing to help people realize where their interests lie. As a 17-year old getting into Kharagpur, I had absolutely no clue if Architecture was the thing for me. Luckily, it turned out to be what I loved. But, that is not always the case, probably with every department on campus. So, before questioning if you should go to grad school, you should really question where your interests lie. And how they fit into your larger goal in terms of maybe, the next ten years. It is easy to simply go through the motions the and finish


an undergraduate degree, a graduate degree and probably even a PhD. But, it is essential to stay true to yourself: you always know intuitively if you want to be an Architect or if you think you will be the next Masterchef. So, moral of the story: Look at Grad School as a game-changer. Look at it as that chance to choose that you might have missed as an undergraduate student. Look at it as the transition to what you want your career to be, at least in the coming few years. And only apply to grad school if you really want to, because you are going to invest a significant amount of time, effort and money. So, it makes perfect sense to make it worthwhile. When should I go to Grad School? I have a very strong stance on this point, which might not go down very well with others. I staunchly believe that work experience is essential before higher education. At the very least, industrial exposure can impart maturity in thought process, a more practical approach to a career and a more pragmatic

understanding of oneself and one’s pursuits. Getting an undergraduate education and then a graduate education with very little idea about how things work in industry can be detrimental. Work experience can also add focus to one’s graduate education: for instance, you might realize you have no knowledge in a particular area of your field even though you have a general understanding. This might help you pick a program which bridges that gap. In a field as practice-oriented as architecture, work experience before graduate education can work wonders. A rather common argument raised against work experience is that you can get used to financial independence and that letting go of a monthly salary can be difficult. This brings me back to the first point I made: you only go to graduate school if you really want to. So, by default, you are making an informed choice. A simple cost-benefit analysis as to what you have currently and what you will have after graduate study will help you decide.

What options do I have to pursue a higher education in Architecture? There are many diverse opinions on this question. Some people like to look at a Bachelor’s degree as adequate to pursue the profession of Architecture. Some want to go on and do a Master’s degree in Architecture. It is a good idea to take a cursory glance at some of the well-known universities and their programs, just to get an idea of what is on offer. A few of them are: 3.5 year M.Arch, 2 year M.Arch, 1 year M.Arch, MSArch, MDes, SMArchS and so on. Having worked in Bangalore for about a year after graduation, I realized that I wanted to work on a larger scale that would allow me to impact the lives of people on a daily basis. I had a design background, but lacked knowledge and skills in allied fields that are essential to the field of planning: economics, law, politics, history and so on. Hence, I chose a Masters degree in City Planning. Similarly, one might want to strengthen one’s studio skillsthen, an M.Arch might be the right way to go. One might want to be an entrepreneur and possibly run a start-up: then, a program in Real Estate or Management might be the way to go.


How should I pick a graduate program? When choosing what you would want to do, consider the following criteria: 1.Degree you will earn at the end of the program Is it a certificate program or a degree program? 2.Duration of the program How long is it? Does it allow for internships? Does the university let you defer your admission? 3.Courses you can take How diverse are the courses? Is the course load heavy or light? Will it allow sufficient time for research, if one is interested?

5.Job profiles Most universities put up their employment statistics. It is worthwhile to see what your university can do for you in terms of rewarding jobs, pay and opportunities for growth. One should also consider where one wants to live eventually. For instance, if one aims to return to India after graduate study, one should carefully consider how student loans can be paid, what kind of value the graduate degree will add and if employers place importance on higher education or not. 6.Current students As always, current students are the best resources. It is extremely important to get in touch with them and ask them about their experience with the program. They offer hidden perspectives that are usually not conveyed on the website or that you cannot expect to hear from professors.


current students are the best resources


4.Faculty profiles How robust and current is their work? What are their research specializations? Do your interests match theirs? Are they responsive if you write to them?

In conclusion, I realize that the list of questions and answers above might not be anywhere near exhaustive, but I hope it gets you started in the right direction. The most generic yet useful advice I can give is to be aware of your actions and to ensure that you enjoy what you do. I wish all of you the very best in all your endeavors.


The Templeton Tribune Ruminations Abhishek, Prasanth, Vishesh 8th semester, B.Arch IIT KGP

After three hours into a regular all-nighter, a question pops up from the fathoms of unanswered ones. “Why do we feel the way we do in a religious space?” Someone was bound to handpick another one from the Pandora’s Box, “What is the purpose of such a space? What is religion?” An accretion of dilettante answers emerges, muddled with terms like sociological, historical, personal, authoritarian, permissive et al. “The Latin word religare means to tie or to bind.” us to humanity, to nature, to our inner selves. It binds us to the meaning of life, the purpose of our existence.”


he purpose of our existence cannot simply be allowing survival of the selfish gene and subsequent continuation. Psychologist Nicholas Humphrey suggests that “being enchanted by the magic of experience, provides an essential incentive to survive” viz. the need to know, and to observe the beauty around us; represented by Maslow as the fifth and sixth levels in his Pyramid of need hierarchy. To move up, in the order of relative prepotency, self-actualization is achieved by connecting beyond the ego, perhaps through ‘awe’ or ‘विस्मय’ - a mixed emotion of wonder and fear, one of reverential respect. A recent Stanford study has found clinically that it enhances our perception of time, promoting prosocial behavior, because our mind is unable to fully

grasp the stimulus and allows alternate beliefs to develop. Consider the adaptive sensitivity for bigness. Any species is bound to be intimidated by powerful or dominant agents posing a threat to their survival. A small temple built atop a huge mountain is no less than a huge vertical structure in triggering awe through its sheer vastness of physical size; because of the stark contrast with the self and surroundings existing in normal scale, and the perception of the effortful process, labor, time and resources involved in the construction. Verticality being so important, that the effect of illusion is also used to enhance the same, for example in Gothic Cathedrals - using vertical shafts that run from floor


to ceilings, tapering walls, lighter shades in upper portions and darker in the lower. Anxiety inducing elements such as sharp spires, towers, piercing forms, dark enclosed spaces, and threatening mythological animals in ornamentation, also produce a sensation of oppressiveness, demanding submission. The three of us look at the stars in the vastness above, awed by the cosmos, questioning the significance of our existence. “If the temple symbolizes the body of god on macro-cosmic plane...” the enunciation disrupts the meditative silence “It equally symbolizes the body of man on micro-cosmic plane” “It’s just a way of looking at it. Our Minds are bound to appreciate self-similarity in designed objects” the sceptic yawns, realizing it’s time for a Chheddi’s Chai. “You can’t just dismiss it like that. Even the Indian system of proportionate measurement organically correlated to the human body” direction had been given to the debate as we all got up to walk to the tea point. Vastuvidya quantifies the rhythm of time and space in multiples of eight. The human form is a structure of eight spatial units. Elements like the hair, kneecap and toe nails, measure one-quarter of the basic measure of the body, increasing the total height to nine units when added. Navatala or nine face lengths is the generally accepted rule besides Ashtatala and others, depending on the sculpture’s stance in the divine hierarchy. A similar rule has been given by Vitruvius in book three of ‘Ten Books on Architecture’. The use of the Golden section in mosques and churches and the Egyptian canon of Neters also exhibit the same proportionate measurement. Medieval texts enumerate precise correspondences between elements of temple and body parts, in the plan form of a typical Hindu temple; Garbagrihahead, Gopuram- feet, Ardhamantapa- nose; Antarala- neck; Prakaras- hands, DwajasthambaPhallus. In a similar fashion, the human body with seven psychic centres or the chakras replicates the temple structure in the vertical plane. “Perhaps this symbology tries to impress upon us, the need to seek God not outside but within ourselves...” the Philomath concludes, interrupting the sentence with an onomatopoeic ‘gulp’ “...within the personal unconscious. And maybe rituals and congregations were ways to delve into the collective unconscious”


Coming out of nowhere, Jungian psychology fits in almost everywhere. “Can the architecture of a space connect to internal human roots?” The darkness went away with the tea in our glasses. The sun had arisen. Humans express through language, symbols, art, and architecture. It’s a way to connect the internal to the external, by representing personal perception of the external. Religious knowledge had to be passed through generations. Benoit Mandelbrot, the father of fractals, has succinctly put, “People want to see patterns in the world. It is how we evolved. We descended from those primates who were best at spotting the telltale pattern of a predator in the forest, or of food in the savannah. So important is this skill that we apply it everywhere, warranted or not.” Powerful stories depicting the religious ideologies, observable across all religious structures, were hence woven into a pattern. For example, the omnipresent Lotus; represents enlightenment in Buddhism, nascent life in ancient Egyptian mythology and a womb of universe in Hinduism. Hindu sacred architecture boasts elements like staggered Valabhis (Barrel Roofs) showing sequential emergence, progressive multiplication of aedicules (basic units of temple) depicting the growth of the whole. Similar examples from other religions can be seen in Anda of Buddhism, Rose windows of Churches, Muqarna of mosque. Nature embroiders an exquisite tale in our minds, say through a tree viewed from different levels of approach; first the overall shape, then the trunk and foliage, individual branches, limbs, and so on till a single leaf. A place of worship had to replicate this effect, in order to attract the Homo sapiens by virtue of basophilic hypothesis. Nothing much can be made out of this temple from Pattadakal but the Vimana and Mandapa. As we get closer our attention is drawn by the meandering details, fine carvings, and friezes on walls. “As from a blazing fire thousands of sparks fly forth, each one looking self-similar to its source, So from the Eternal comes a great variety of things, and they all return to the Eternal finally.”, he pretentiously quotes the Upanishads, establishing an uncanny connection between patterns and the sunlight that autographed its brilliance on our contracted pupils. “The Sun has always been the supreme celestial body. Ancient Egyptian and Greek temples were oriented according

to the movement of sunlight” “Let’s not forget the Romans; the first to consciously enhance and articulate interior spaces using light. From medieval monasteries to the Gothic temples, light was like a..a..” “Temporal earthly representation of heaven” his reply was no less than a divine intervention

excited whispers climbed up the decibel scale. “The circuitous route leading to the sanctum sanctorum was a metaphor.” “..Of the path of pilgrimage to attain transcendence!” the shout probably topped Archimedes’ Eureka. “Can you please be quiet?” This was our cue to leave.

It would not be an overstatement to say that the architects of yore had documented human reactions to the stimulus of light, fathoming a deep connection between the lit spaces and the associated behavioral pattern. Studies have now proved that the intensity and colour of light indeed affect the endocrine function in human body manifesting into the noted reactions. Spatial structures construct the religious environment while light re-constructs the religious experience.

According to the Hindu faith, when a worshipper is in the presence of the divine, there should be nothing to distract his senses, including vision and God shall reveal himself gradually. The progression into the Hindu temples is designed such that one passes through many doorways, colonnaded halls and corridors with sacred carvings, that worshipper gets slowly accustomed to the darkness shrouded garbhagriha and his state of mind befitting worship is no longer plagued by worldly thoughts. It is interesting to note that the thick walls, small windows, and reduced light maintain cool and dry conditions for better thermal comfort in the hot humid climate. The screens and and the oil lamps ensure a warm light (red range) in the temple. This combined with the progressive dimming enhances the melatonin secretion in a devotee’s body, making him calm, even drowsy, with just one recurring theme (God). At the end of the processional journey, he is in a deeply meditative state and is able to discern only the form of the deity since only the rod cells of the eyes work in such minimal light. And then, lo and behold! A cacophony of practiced chants, fervent sounds and bright orange-yellow light from multiple oil lamps (Aarti), triggers the cortisol secretions, suddenly making the devotee alert. This revelation is what makes the person ecstatic and eager to pray to the supreme power.

In the Byzantine churches the movement of daylight during the liturgy defined the building’s main axis while the second vertical axis positioned on the deity’s image. The whole aesthetic impression was based on the transition taking place from the bright exterior to the well-lit first zone interior. Reduced lighting levels evoked expectation of disclosure, inspiring worshippers to look for the light; the truth of the apocalypse, until the light from the dome appears and leads people to the bright space underneath. Light in Islamic architecture is used symbolically to unify the worshippers and increase the collective sense of the space. In mosques there are no statues; namaz and mevlûd are the major ritual acts. Light is hence used to accentuate the building and assist in the performance of worship. The whole arrangement of the mosque emphasizes not on mass or surface but on a space. Once inside the prayer hall, there is no path and the devotee is encouraged to linger and contemplate this open, undivided space. “The interior of mosques is revealed through light on darkness, while in the church, shade is used to draw forms with darkness upon light” he summarizes a dusty old book in the omniscient central library. A slight digression was harmless. “In the Western religions, people ritually celebrate their beliefs in a gathering addressed by a leader in a large single space uninterrupted by vertical structures” “Why so?” “Sound amplification, dude. A podium at one end and a rectangular area was the probably best acoustic solution in those days. And the Eastern religions?” “Often believed it to be a self-exploratory process requiring contemplation in quiet chambers” Our

“How long wilt thou hide thy face from me?” he enacts David’s cries in the Psalms, expressing the theme of separation from the divine, with full vigour “Why dost thou stand so afar off, O Lord?” The disconnection may be spiritual but is often described spatially. In Taoism, the immortal Gods reside on islands separated by vast waters. In Buddhism, unenlightened states are a “middle world” and texts describe a “crossing over” from delusion to enlightenment. The sacred space is an intermediate zone created with the belief that it has the ability to co-join the religious aspirants to what they seek. “I hate to interrupt this lovely never ending discussion, but we have to give in the design submission in two hours” We rush back to the the department. Perhaps it was time to get back to the more mundane stuff.


Meghana Kulhalli, Kalyani Agnihotri School of Architecture, MSRIT, Bangalore, Z-511


hear the silent gushing of water as I am trying to orient myself to my surroundings. My feet directly lead me to the source of the sound and I was surprised by the sight which I beheld. I expected a gurgling stream making its way through the green surrounds. The sight ahead of me was not what I remotely imagined to be. I see sheets of water forming a huge expanse of space which was seamless yet being bound. I find myself questioning my conventional ideas of contexts and the way I interpret them. Everybody notices their surroundings and we, as architects visualise our buildings and the interaction between the building and its surroundings. A context can be the basic stepping stone towards a good design which “belongs” to its surrounds. The question is- “Do architects always do a good job of recognizing the context and building a structure which belongs?” This response might not be met due multiple restrictions and thus the building may end up transcending the context, but still be a great design. Does this mean that a building with a good design, but not adhering to its context qualify as uninteresting? Meanwhile, there are certain intentional designs which transcend their surroundings and create their own context. Imagine you are standing on the high wall of a princely castle surrounded by lush green plains. As u gaze out, expecting the surrounding structures to be merging seamlessly with the era of the castle, you are met with the vision of flowing, white curves rising magnificently like a modern castle holding its own. Right there in front of you is Zaha Hadid’s Beko Building, Serbia. Normally, you would have expected an architect to get inspired by the surrounding context namely the castle and the lush


green plains, thus probably giving rise to a rigid form, which would not give rise to much scope for experimentation and novelty in design. Here, the architect has risen beyond the norms of contextual architecture and created her own white castle. Amidst the busy street of Upper East Side of Manhattan in New York City, tall skyscrapers all around, stands the unusual Solomon R Guggenheim Museum designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, breaking the monotonous Manhattan skyline. The museum which was designed based on the concept of a spiral snail shell is a zoomorphic approach to design which breaks the rules of contextual architecture. The context here, being the fast urban culture and the rising city skylines. As much as it is non-contextual, the Guggenheim is very successful building. It is very difficult to create good contextual architecture, in a still developing neighbourhood when it comes to the local scenario. Set amidst a busy and crowded locality, is Out of the box, a residence Cadence Architects, Bangalore. The architects aimed at creating a context on its own within the residence, by bringing the outside to the inside while the building shuns the not-so-appealing surroundings. This is achieved by shutting out the views towards the outside and creating a traditional courtyard house with a modern approach. Here, the architecture creates its own context through the innovative and efficient approach. All the above, are physical interpretations of noncontextual architecture on a very site-specific scale which can be restrictive. Since architecture has a powerful influence on creating the identity of a locality, a city or a nation as a whole, non-

contextual architecture can play an important role in giving a nation its most iconic monuments. Most of today’s iconic monuments are famous because of their striking contrast with their immediate context. For example, the Eiffel tower by Gustave Eiffel, the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, by Frank o Gehry and the City of Arts and Science by Santiago Calatrava. From another perspective, architecture influences and is influenced emotionally and culturally. Architecture wields the baton to emphasise and enhance the cultural and emotional quotient of a context. It is well-known that the Jewish struggle during the Nazi rule was torturous and this struggle was made well known to the world only through books, documentaries etc. This metaphysical knowledge of the struggle was brought to physical reality by Daniel Libeskind through his Jewish Museum, Berlin. The whole struggle of the Jews would have been a forgotten context, if not for the tangible experience which the Jewish Museum provides. The harsh reality is brought to the fore by the dark and twisted interpretations of the Holocaust struggle which is not sugar -coated by the architect.

For example, urban development, landscape architecture, sustainable solution to buildings etc. So, it is safe to conclude, that context is a metaphysical entity at multiple levels and architecture makes it tangible and gives it direction. Architecture and context cannot exist without each other and it is a symbiotic relationship. A balance of both is required to give a holistic approach to design.

Daniel Libeskind’s scheme of the Jewish museum indicated the necessity of integrating the new and the old, beyond appearances, the actual connection between the historical and the aesthetic. He has tried to incorporate the past, present and future of Jewish presence in Berlin. This has helped the Jewish culture to get in touch with its roots and thus acts as a bridge between the past, present and future and hence, by connecting two timelines it brings the metaphysical context to reality. On the contrary, a similar struggle occurred in India, during the Jallianwala Bagh massacre during the freedom struggle. Unfortunately, there exists not architecture which is tangible and recreates the torturous experience. If there existed a monument which commemorated the struggle, the context of the freedom struggle would have been enhanced by the architecture. In comparison, the context of the Jewish struggle is kept alive through the distinctive architecture of Daniel Libeskind, while the context of the Indian freedom struggle could have been better emphasised through a monumental piece of architecture. As time progresses and needs increase, it is very important to give new and unique architectural solutions, thus giving rise to new contexts.




hat is the “ultimate spiritual level” in architecture? B.V. Doshi said that Louis I. Kahn “had attained the level of spirituality in architecture.” Have you seen any such attainment in his buildings? I have seen it in his works. He has communications of his own with his designs and also makes sure that people are also conversed with by his designs. How is that achieved? What does it feel like to have such an attainment? I, suddenly, started to feel that architecture is the only way for anyone getting educated to understand what the world is, why the world is existing and what caused its existence. And it is simply because architecture covers all aspects of existence and because of the fact that when dug deeper into all the elements of existence, it will be seen that all scientific roots have and led to an architecture of their own. This might not be understood by anyone most of the time. If there are so much of problems in this world, why should a tender human be brought to this world, protected form it at first and be trained to survive such a world? There seems to be an answer and that is why a huge population follows this. But, find it. That is the most difficult part. I say that it is architecture that will make one understand the world not because I am in architecture, but because when a common man thinks critically about the composition of the world’s functioning physical entities, he will find that architectural elements are the ones that composed the world. Because, there


is human, then there are entities that are created in proportion to the human and when you have a particular number of humans, you have a world. All these being said, the world cannot be deprived of its rights to have spaces that are solely for the people and as per the people. Just the way they want it. In architectural terms, they are called “user centred spaces (in the world and not just in buildings)”. Now, I feel for myself, that it is justified that spirituality in architecture is about spaces and not just about belief in pure technology that would advance the world. To me, it is about the quality of a space. Technology can be used to enhance this quality but not define this quality. I feel that all the aspects that have been mentioned or talked about so far are the basic factors that open the door to spirituality. And of course, to add to these factors is the most important thing called UNITY among the humans. I think it would have become clear to the readers by now that all I care about is the spaces that are concerned with people. Moving on, my idea of “functionless architecture” tells me that it is all about having public spaces that interest people and they have restrictions on neither the spaces themselves nor the people for whom they are being made. It is about not focussing on elements that make the spaces look good but about having only necessary elements (or none at all) so as to attract the people, hence making the spaces look good, and concluding the point that is most important - “attainment of spirituality”. In other words, a space looks good and spiritual with people in it. But for spirituality to be attained, if elements are required to be created for the space,

it must be that something people will believe in and feel that at the end of the day, despite all the problems, there is still something there for them. So what and how are these elements? Now coming to the specifications, I call this “functionless” because the architect that will design this space will have no particular function. Why? Because any function for which an architect designs is defined by the people and in this case people just don’t know what to do but the space is so good and spiritual that they wouldn’t want leave this space and continue to enjoy its feel. But when looked at in technical terms, it is basically a space that serves people, hence the function. But my concept is that, when a person enters an empty space after a ride in this tedious world for which she has been trained or has trained herself, a space would be required by the person that the person would want to define for herself and in her own way, and hence bringing any function and its respective boundary to it. It is just for that person to do whatever she wants. So this particular space entered by this person, in the first place, is a random boundaryless and functionless space that attracts the person. But the mind twisting question that I have is, “How does this space look like and where is it? Is it in the person’s home, her workplace, or anywhere else in the open? Now in L.I.K’s works, there has been expressed a materiality, as per his belief that materials will say what they want to be. In this way he has enhanced the spirit of the space. He has, hence, surely attained a very spiritual level as Doshi said because the guy used to talk to the materials! And one, or maybe the only, reason why I feel I have called it “boundaryless” It is because of the fact that these spaces have no boundaries for the people’s imaginations and no legal boundaries too, that is, a public space which includes streets, parks, cycle spaces, roller skating spaces, and the private spaces of the buildings. Remember that the buildings can also become a part of this spirituality if they have in them too, the public spaces. So basically when you think about it, this space spreads across all over the world to form a single huge public space filled with different races of people who have had world wars. Now just erase off the world wars and the different races. That is “UTOPIA”, (or is it?). A perfect example is The Mother and Sri Aurobindo’s Auroville. Bottom line is, “what am I searching for? Where will this search in architecture take me? Where and with what will I end up in this mysterious world?”

Thank you guys so much for spending time to read this. I really would love to have each one of your opinions, criticizations, ideas, etc. I also request you to describe the image of the space and the environment that is running in your minds, if the above content has brought to you after you’ve read this, and help me define my intention and to create this space. Thank you once again

B. Varun Kumar




A whole new world with LED

olid-state or LED lighting represents the most significant development in lighting since the discovery of electric light well over a century ago. Offering unprecedented design freedom in terms of color, dynamics, miniaturization, architectural integration and energy efficiency, it is opening up possibilities we could previously only dream of, e.g. for ambience creation. Today, we are witnessing a clear shift from ‘quantitative’ functional lighting towards ‘qualitative’


intelligent and emotive lighting, stimulating designers to re-think lighting in a way that offers people new experiences. With our desire to improve people’s lives with lighting, we at Philips will continue to drive this trend by supporting our creative and industry partners with innovations and expertise in the field of LED lighting. How do light?



LEDs produce light in a very unique way; they produce light

via a process called Electroluminescence, a rather complex process that starts by turning a semiconductor material into a conducting material. An LED is a light emitting diode. Its light is produced by an electrical current passing through a semi conductive material, so it does not require a filament like an incandescent bulb. LEDs have advanced at remarkable rates to enable an entirely new category of lighting that will bring sense and simplicity to our everyday lighting. LED lighting is highly efficient, long lasting,

environmentally friendly and inherently controllable - enabling both new and traditional applications of light. Already LED based solutions illuminate famous buildings, bridges, retail shops, television studios, theatre stages, hotels, casinos, hospitals, restaurants and celebrity-filled nightclubs around the world LED systems bring appealing dynamic lighting effects - such as color mixing and changing for scene setting - to outdoor and indoor applications ranging from city beautification through to shop and office lighting, as well as lighting for the home. With a combination of three colored LEDs - red, green and blue (RGB) - it is possible to use different dimming levels to create all the colors of the rainbow without any loss of light. A combination of amber, white and blue (AWB) can be used to replicate the characteristics of daylight. Dramatic impact The digital lighting technology have opened up a host of powerful effects for illuminating

architectural elements, enabling designers to fill or underline, graze or pinpoint, mark or blend. These effects can transform what are sober, functional buildings by day into spectacular eye-catchers at night. The dynamic capability of LED systems can be applied to create exactly the right ambience at the right time. For example, it is possible to change white light from cool to warm white, independent of the lighting level, and to vary the nature of the light from diffuse to more focus. In a hotel restaurant, for instance, we can create bright, fast-moving environments for breakfast time and a warmer, more intimate atmosphere for dinner in the evening. Or we can give shop windows more stopping power with vibrant, saturated color effects. Increasing use is also being made of dynamic effects in the healthcare sector, for example, where LED lighting is being used specifically to put patients at ease and to increase staff well-being, motivation and productivity

OLEDS: TAKING THE NEXT STEP FORWARD IN SOLID STATE LIGHTING OLEDs (Organic Light-Emitting Diodes) are the next step forward in the evolution of Solid State Lighting (SSL) technology, which generates light by semiconductors, rather than using a filament or gas. SSL lighting provides illumination that is more energy-efficient, longerlasting and more sustainable. It also opens exciting new doors to how we can use, integrate and „play‟ with light in our homes, cars, shops and cities. Philips‟ work on LEDs (LightEmitting Diodes) marked the first phase in the development of solid-state lighting, which is already revolutionizing the lighting industry. Now that the company’s expertise is being applied to OLEDs, even more groundbreaking SSL applications are becoming possible as well. LEDs and difference



LEDs and OLEDs both generate


light by semiconductors – basically by stimulating electrons in their components with an electrical charge. They also share the ability to create color effects that go beyond the ability of incandescent lamps. They both share the potential to become extremely energy saving light sources. But there the resemblance ends. There are a number of differences between LEDs and OLEDs in their makeup, the type of light they produce and the way they can be used, complementing each other in terms of application used. Organic vs. inorganic – another type of light A key structural difference is that OLEDs are created using organic semiconductors (such as those that make up organic solar cells), while LEDs are built in crystals from an inorganic material. There are also visible differences between these two types of solidstate lighting. LEDs are glittering


points of light – in essence, brilliant miniature bulbs. OLEDs, on the other hand, are extremely flat panels that evenly emit light over the complete surface. The illumination they produce is “calm”, more glowing and diffuse, and non-glaring. The thin, flat nature of OLEDs also makes it possible to use and integrate light in ways in different ways than LEDs can do – or any other lighting source for that matter. LEDs are excellent to create sharp beams, add drama and accent due to their compactness. OLEDs will never replace LEDs – they have their own very specific and useful types of application possibilities. The two, however, complement each other very well, providing different options in a new type of digital lighting that is becoming increasingly important in an energy-conscious world. Beyond illumination The OLEDs available are

currently mounted

on glass. So far, glass is the only transparent substrate that sufficiently protects the material inside from the effects of moisture and air. However, scientists at Philips Research are investigating ways to make soft plastic substrates that will provide the necessary protection. This will open the way for flexible and moldable OLED lighting panels, making it possible for any surface area – flat or curved – to become a light source. We could see the development of luminous walls, curtains, ceilings and even furniture. Flexible OLED panels are likely to become available within 5 to 8 years.

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For the first time in the history of NASA India a Zero Money Convention was held in zone 1 where top 20 students from every college attended the event for zero delegation. Major attractions 1. No pre perpetration for the trophies 2. No bunking of classes to attend the event 3. Heritage walk 4. On the spot main design competition ( you come you learn you design you compete ) 5. Open jury for top 10 finalist 6. Night long discussions with architects on design philosophies 7. Creative workshops based on the competitions 8. Zero delegation convention Anurag Dania, Zone 1 President




1 2


NASA DAY CELEBRATION Exhibition of NASA Trophies On the occasion of NASA day, Z306 arranged an exhibition in which students displayed sheets of the L.I.K trophy, HUDCO trophy, GsenTrophy and landscape trophy to understand the concept of NASA in a different and better way for the new students. Each trophy was briefly explained to students, Usec and Ex-usec also shared their views about, how NASA cant each you so many things which would be impossible to cover in regular academics, right from doing site visits, case studies, finding estimations, using software's, improvising communication skills, improving rendering techniques, drafting inking techniques, learn time management, learning different styles of architecturef rom vernacular to modular architecture,etc.


Even those students were surprised to hear about NASA and to listen that it’s a students association, for undergraduate students of architecture. In speech of Usec, he talked about collaboration of NASA INDIA with different associations like UNESCO and HUDCO. Students from non architectural colleges were also invited as the exhibition was an open exhibition NASA day was celebrated with an architectural tradition by the students to the students where in the workshop provided the platform to handle the basic materials of construction. Students who attended the LBC workshop arranged the same workshop in the college campus; wherein all the students from first year to final year worked together. Drafting a brick on the sheet and actually placing it on the site differs a lot, as it is said practical knowledge is important in architecture; this workshop was just an on site experience to deal with material..



Workshop on Construction Material It was first time Z312 celebrated NASA day on a larger scale with lots of enthusiasm. Z312 organized a seminar on load bearing structures and workshop on construction of domes and arches. Ar. PravinMali was a speaker invited by college. Event was very successful from students point of view as it helped the fresh students to interact with different materials and get to interact with seniors. After the workshop we celebrated NASA Day by cutting Cake. Seniors from final year gave speeches and introduced NASA INDIA to the fresher's.

Presentaion about nasa to non nasa member college NASA day was celebrated all over country, was also celebrated by Nagpur colleges of architecture, keeping in mind the importance and the aim of NASA. Usec’s from Nagpur colleges i.e. Mandira Neware, Amol Wanjari and Rohil Khatke of SMMCA, IDEAS and VNIT respectively visited Tulsiramji Gaikwad Patil College of Architecture which wasn’t aware about NASA. They tried to spread an awareness between them by letting them know what is NASA by a presentation and also showed them some videos and the work paneled in the convention. Having a talk with the college principal Mr.Gaikwad, They did get to know that they were eager to be a part of our NASA Family.


Nilendu Bala Zonal President Zone 4 NASA India When I took up the charge as the Zonal President of Zone 4, last year, in the 55th Annual Convention, my sole motive was to bring up Zone 4 in the NASA map once again. With guidance from my friendBMN Chakravarty, ex-zonal president, I tried my level best to make sure there was more participation from Zone 4 this year. The golden run of Zone 4 began with Amity School of Architecture and Planning, Lucknow hosting the ANDC 2013, then Piloo Mody College of Architecture, Cuttack hosted a successful First Council Meet 2013, followed by the Zonal Panel Discussion 2013 at Jadavpur University. This year east went north with the ZoNASA 2013 being hosted by MET, Moradabad and BESU, Shibpur this year once again is bringing out the Zonal


Magazine and also hosted the Eastern Interface of Archumen 1314. And finally IIT Kharagpur added another feather in the cap of Zone 4 by hosting the Indian Arch!!! It is my pleasure to extend my deepest thanks to all the people who have worked tirelessly over the past few months in order to make all these NASA events in Zone 4 such a grand success. I hope all of you find this issue of Indian Arch really educative and entertaining, and am sure everyone will agree with me that we are richer in knowledge after going through this Magazine. Happy Reading and enjoy the 56th Annual NASA India Convention!!!!

Zone 4 is geographically the largest zone in NASA, extending from western Uttar Pradesh to the seven sisters states of the Northeast covering entire Eastern states till north of Andhra, it also contain the maximum number of government colleges and has founder member colleges to brag about. This year this Zone has show a tremendous enthusiasm and participation in all NASA events. No year had seen such a huge response from Zone 4 in recent times… After being the Convener, last year, I somewhat had the idea about how to proceed with things after I was handed over the post of the Zonal President, though I was guided in all my problems by my friend – Mr. BMN Chakravarty, the ex-Zonal President of Zone 4.



Zone 4 Activities – 56th Year of NASA India (2013-2014)

The campaign Zone 4 started this year just after the 55th Annual NASA Convention with Amity School of Architecture and Planning, Lucknow bagging the hosting rights of The ANDC 2013 and they hosted a very successful ANDC. This was followed by ABIT Piloo Mody College of Architecture, Cuttack hosting the NASA First Council Meet, 2013 from 20th to 22nd June. The meeting was wrapped up in two days, with the hosts organizing a trip to the Sun Temple and beach on the final day. Jadavpur University hosted the Zonal Panel Discussion on 19th September which saw eminent architects from the eastern part of India express their views on various topics ranging from architectural thesis to the architectural profession. After hosting a successful convention last year, Bengal Engineering and Science University, Shibpur hosted the Eastern Interface of Archumen 1314, second time in a row, on 20th September, 2013. The college also published the Zonal Newsletter of the current year which contains a detailed account of the zonal activities of this year. This year the eastern zone went north with the Zonal NASA Convention being hosted by MET, Moradabad from 14th to 16th October, 2013. MET hosted a very successful convention, which saw a turnout of about 700 delegates from other colleges and their faculties. The inauguration of the convention was done by the eminent Architect Anil Laul and other dignitaries. A total of eight formal, twenty informal, eighteen casual events along with the Reubens and Cultural Trophy were organized by the hosts which proved to be a great learning experience and entertainment to the delegates. There were seminars by Ar. Anil Laul on Green Sense in Architecture and Ar. S.S.Bhatti on Architecture and Music. Everything from accommodation to hospitality was perfectly organized. The MET Administration played a major role by providing with all sorts of facilities to the delegates, so that everybody felt at home. The three days of the convention have been really educative and entertaining, and I am sure everyone who has attended the convention will agree with me that we went back home richer in knowledge and spirit than when we set foot upon the MET campus. Finally IIT, Kharagpur added another feather in the cap of Zone 4 by hosting


the Indian Arch. Like previous year, this year also delegates from colleges across Zone 4 attended the workshop at Laurie Baker Center for Habitat Studies, but this time more in number. NASA Day on 13th September was celebrated across the Zone. Some colleges hosted seminars to create a public awareness about architecture, while some conducted panel discussions and heritage walks across their respective cities. As we all know, good things never simply happen. They are created. And behind every creation, is a creator. It is my pleasure to extend my deepest thanks to all the people who have worked tirelessly over the past few months in order to make all these events such a grand success. I would like to extend my warm regards to Mr. Chetan Kumar H. of Amity Lucknow, Mr. Biswajit Chakravarty and Mr. Sandipan Chatterjee of ABIT PMCA, Cuttack, Mr. Aniruddha Mutsuddi of Jadavpur University, Mr Bharat Mailk and Mr. Faizan Khan of MET, Mr. Sandip Majumder of BESU, Shibpur and Mr. Piyush Jaiswal and Mr. Tarun Sharma of IIT Kharagpur and the organizing committees of all the events, who have worked constantly behind the scenes. My regards to the faculty members of the participating colleges without whose support and guidance, these events would not have been possible. And most of all, I would like to extend my hearty congratulations to the indomitable spirit of all the Unit Secretaries and every single one of the students who have participated in the events over the past few months, who have displayed their skill both on and off the drafting boards, and who have made this Zone live up to its name. Hope that the coming year will be as eventful for Zone 4 as it was this year and always remember, that NASA is all about learning and enriching your knowledge through sharing‌. Thank you all and we will be looking forward to meeting each one of you at this 56th Annual NASA Convention!!!




ZONAL NASA CONVENTION 2013 Inspired to Unlearn The University School Of Design, Mysore

The ZONAL NASA convention 2013 was hosted by The University School Of Design, Mysore. It was a 3 day interstate Architectural conference with over 700 students from 18 colleges from the states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Goa. It was held on the 5th 6th and the 7th of September, 2013. The conference included a number of events grouped under several categories namely formal, informal, casual, and cultural events. Seminars, Workshops and presentations were also a part of it. The formal events were purely design based and carried maximum weightage. The following are descriptions of events which were under the formal category.






















Presentations, workshops and seminars regarding various subjects were organized for better understanding and knowledge. Practical experiments were also carried out along with it. PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP Vimal Chandran, a well known photographer and illustrator conducted this workshop. He made a presentation on photography and illustrator. After the presentation, the participants were taken on a photo walk, after which the pictures taken were displayed and commented on. 3-D PRINTING WORKSHOP: Nikhil Furtado and his team made the participants experience the world of 3-D printing. First a presentation on the applications of 3-D printing was made and then the participants were required to design any product which would be printed at the end of the seminar. LOST AND FOUND: Kaushik Ramanathan is a renowned industrialist designer. This workshop was about getting a small glimpse and understanding of senses and a feel for materials and spaces. Thus the participants were asked to collect materials from the campus and create a useful installation.


PRESENTATION – RAHUL GORE Rahul Gore, a renowned architect from Bombay, gave a talk on importance of knowledge, importance of travel, and the importance of role models. After the talk, a presentation of the works of his firm “Opolis” was shown to the participants.


Arun Swaminathan, a renowned architect from Bangalore conducted a workshop on Tensile structures. A brief talk on how tensile strength can be used was made and the participants were asked to make tensile models using the given materials. The main focus was given to membrane structures.


Ar. Lijo Jose had taken the workshop to leave a permanent impression in the minds of the participants, not to forget the ‘Reference’- The core of the structure. Thus the students were asked to make lanterns out of bamboo framework, and in the process recognize and appreciate the core of the structure. PRESENTATION-SAMEERA RATHOD Sameera Rahthod, a renowned architect from Mumbai, made a presentation on her works. It was mainly based on her life experience in the journey of becoming an architect. SEMINARS: Ar. Bharat Gowda, from Bangalore, an Architect turned structural engineer, gave a seminar about structures Ar. Girish Dariyav Karnavat, a renowned architect from Mangalore, gave a seminar on “In between Forgetting and Unlearning” Mr. Vasu Dixit, a musician, playing for a band “Swarathma”, gave a seminar on Design and Music.

Therefore, in the end, Zonal NASA 2013 was a great success. Much learned but more importantly unlearned!


Apologue 2013 : The Theme An Apologue or Apolog, a term originated from the Middle East, is a brief fable relating to allegory, metaphor, imagination or even exaggeration. It is meant to serve as pleasant loci for a moral doctrine to convey ideas, notions, beliefs which can be left to one’s own interpretation, these can be either dramatic or metaphoric in nature. The moral is the focus here and in this context there is a need to unravel our journey of creativity from the pre-conceptual stage to the physical manifestation of our thoughts. So where are we heading? With scientists putting forth many forecast about the future of our planet, we need to start thinking about what we should do, where do we live. Do we take to the skies or do we dive underwater or just ditch earth and find another planet altogether. How can we still keep the earth a hospitable planet? Relics found from the age of the Mayan civilization show carvings with the idea of space travel, rockets and masks for oxygen.All these at the time seemed a very distant dream, but now as a result of the various technological advancements and improved scientific application, man has made what was once a dream a reality. The idea of hypothetical designs, hybrid buildings and unreal structures seeming impossible now, just think of what the Mayans would say if they suddenly woke up one day in 2013. Makes you think doesn’t it? “A dream is your creative vision for your life in the future. You must break out of your current comfort zone and become comfortable with the unfamiliar and the unknown” - Denis Waitley With apologue, our theme for Zonasa 2013, we focus on creative thinking, practical solutions and adaptive architecture to suit a planet as envisioned by us.


Even gravity could not hold me down on august 14 as the zonal convention kick started with our ironical visitor the rain ..the journey of apologue was quite interesting where i was put to an ultimate test of handling the biggest zone in the country ...Sathyabama , a college which was known for its love with the white buildings suddenly transformed into a beauty of vibrant colours ...with the down pour it was indeed a tedious task to set the environment ready for the showdown...we had a total crowd of 1400 people coming from all over tamilnadu and kerala putting out their best to prove what it takes to be the champs ... serious competition from the new colleges gave a shock to almost all the visitors ... the main motto for this convention was to bring in the necessity to understand the importance of creativity to cognition and didnot have much of an influence on the end product...... the trophy briefs proved to have much emphasis on the design process and gave the participants a tough time to deal ,not only with their heads but also their feet ,on a personal note i witnessed one of the best cultural performances during the choreo nite ..... and the final day came up with the presentation ceremony where again toping the table this year were SAP chennai,followed by CET trivandrum and then by SRM ramapuram ...Nasa was the best thing that happened to me and hosting convention was one could ever....i seriously express my heartfelt thanks to the zonal president Arockiaraj (thalaivar) ... who kept the show running and my convenor Roshan (mr cool ) who kept his cool even during the hardest times‌and to all the usec’s without whom the convention would have always been a dream.



USec’s Note:

a pat on the shoulder to all the zone 6 people ....... you guys made APOLOGUE happen at sathyabama !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! z611, sathyabama university


Heritage Walk

Vitthal Rukhamini Temple

• IDEAS and SMMCA, Nagpur had organized a Heritage walk with the help of Architects (Nagpur chapter).

Indian Institute of

• Ar. Paramjeet Ahuja (IIA chairman), Ar. S.A. Hastrabhojnee (IIA,member) were present to guide students of architecture. • Students had visited places like Bhonsla palace, Vitthal Rukhamini temple, Kalyaneshwar temple, GolBazar, ChitnavisWada, Town Hall and Kashibai Ghat. • Two successful walks were arranged and attended by students of Nagpur Colleges.Second walk was arranged by VNIT Nagpur, SMMCA, Nagpur. Students visited the Vitthal temple of the Ghui family. Unlike most others, the 250-300 year sold Vitthal idol installed here is white. There is also a legend attributed to the temple. Originally, there were idols of Rai and Rukhmini on either side of Vitthal. But the rule rat that time insisted that he would establish the temple and not a Brahmin. But when that was attempted, the idol of Rai melted into water which scared the ruler and a Brahmin was called to establish the temple. The idol sin the temple still stand to a little right, having left space for the third one.


.Another intriguing place was what was called the Rukhmini temple complex, but the board outside called it Shri Laxmi Narayan Dham, which houses the temples of Krishna and Shiv. The carvings, especially on the Krishna temple, were exquisite to say the least.The complex is situated behind the Senior Bhonsla palace and it is said that a connecting door was used by Rani Rukhmini, after whom it was named, to visit the temple. But sadly, the temples are not the only structures inside the fortified compound. The Chitnavis Wada was a different story altogether. Having being maintained fairly well, its grandeur complete with a fountain and a private temple was worth a look. Hopping inside the Wada through a wicket gate made the experience complete. Bhonsla palace is a place where history unfolds itself at each step. Adjacent to Bakabaiwada is the Kotwali police station, which is believed to be the guesthouse of the Bhonslas. Some rubble in the Kelwadi Temple Complex is a staircase leading to a 'Bawdi' or well. One cannot reach the end as the water levels are quite high, but it is believed that the well connects to Gandhisagar Lake. Similarly, one of the Samadhi sat the Kashibai Temple Complex, which is the royal cemetery of the Bhonslas, is a stone plinth. What is intriguing is a mark resembling a Shivling, that too in the prescribed direction with a water outlet according to that on the ground. At the end both the heritage walk was very helpful for students from architectural point of view.


LBC Workshop

The students attended a four day exposure program on cost effective design techniques and principles dated from 26th Aug. 2013 - 29th Aug.2013. The program was an amalgamation of lecture sessions, hands-on training, field visits and interactive sessions that was scheduled well in advance. The first day the students were introduced to Laurie baker, Costford and LBC by Ar. P. B. Sajan which was followed by a presentation on green habitat by Ar. R.D. padmakumar. The same day the students also visited Kanthari and center for development studies. A group discussion and a talk on the entire day`s experience concluded the day.

On the second day, there was a lecture on energy conservation in architecture by Prof. V.K. Damodaran and another lecture on construction techniques by Ar. R.D. Padma kumar which was then followed by hands-on training and group discussion.


Kanthari campus visit

The third day started with a lecture on climate responsive architecture by Ar. Shailaja Nair. The students were given a lot of inputs on the climatic aspects of Laurie Baker’s buildings and her own house.The students were exposed to the various construction techniques which were practiced locally and given a chance to explore these materials themelves. All of them were divided into various groups irrespective of what college they were in. This also helped them to work as a team.

Construction of rat trap bond

The third day the students had a series of site visits which are as under1. Kallidimukham construction site 2. Visit to Hamlet and Sajan-Shailaja house 3. Visit to Loyola chapel After the visit the students headed for the closing session. A speech by the various faculties marked the closing of this session. Also the students shared their experience with everyone who was part of this programme and how they got to know about LBC. Then the students winded up with a group discussion and an interactive session.

Stages of Arch Construction

Construction of cob walls

Loyola Chapel








ith almost 40 years of being in continuous publication, it seems appropriate to take stock, to look back as a means to continue to move forward, and place Sthapati in the context of its own history as well as within the larger framework of architecture culture. Sthapati since its conception has been an independent architectural journal published by the students of the Department of Architecture and Regional Planning at IIT Kharagpur. Sthapati’s purpose is to shift architectural discourse by stimulating new relationships between design, production and theory. Kit operates by interweaving student, faculty and professional work into an open and evolving dialogue which progresses from issue to issue. Curating worldwide submissions into an annual issue, Sthapati has served as a catalyst for architectural discourse. It has also a symbol of the well known “archi tempo” that posses each and every soul of this department.Sthapati has always strived to defy stereotypes. From its onset Sthapati stood out as an alternate model. Theory, practice, history, and projects have always co-mingled to advance new modes of thinking. The writing and work of faculty, students, visitors, and outsiders have been presented on equal footing. In the pages of Sthapati, the well- established, the


well- established, the lesser-known and the plain not- known have found a platform for the framing of new debates and new polemics for construction of new turns for architectural thinking. Some issues have been unapologetically “thematic,” while others have left it to the reader to ascertain its “theme.” Each volume has managed to balance a desire for heterogeneity with a certain (un) spoken cohesiveness. Diversity can be found in all volumes. Our faculty has gotten to expose the ideas that guide their coursework and their practices. Our students and alumni have used Sthapati as a platform to outline the ideas that would later springboard them into practice. The current work of former students cannot be understood without the earlier framework that has been presented in Sthapati. We have also been able to feature work of notable national and international architects and academicians in practice. We have had views from APJ Abdul Kalam, Anna Herringer, Michel Rojkind, Sanjay Mohe, Bijoy Jain, Bimal Patel, Carlo Ratti, Hafeez Contractor and many more. Through its history, the diverse and heterogeneous mode of inquiry presented in the pages of Sthapati has served as a unique model of what architecture should be. Its impact on our culture has been comprehensive and expansive, well beyond



A student of architecture understands the importance of the environs better than anyone else. Beasring this in mind, the theme for Transparence 2013 was " An Architecture school -of the students, by the students, for the students.�





5th semester

Avijit Singh Dogra



DEPARTMENT THESIS SILENT SPACES an urban crematorium on the ghats of Sabarmati, Ahmedabad Krush Dattani

To propose an alternative image of death: one that does not strike fear into our cores, but one that makes us remember beloved ones, one that reminds us of life’s temporal quality, and one that makes us embrace and celebrate life. re-establish the connection between the dead and the living, where the dead share the same territory and identity as the living, by turning cemeteries/ funerary architecture (crematoria, columbaria, etc.) into spaces that aren’t visited every once in a while, but become woven into the fabric of city life and become everyday places of social gathering.






अलविदा… ये दिन ढलने की तैयारी है इस शाम की अब थमने की तैयारी है वो परिंदे जिन्होने साथ-साथ भरी थी उड़ान अब नये घोंसलों की ओर लौटने की तैयारी है सिंधु की जिस धारा को… काल ने नित नमन किया अथाह सागर को भी हमसे ही है श्रेय मिला श्री राम जय से छं द खिला रघक ु ु ल रीत का सदा निर्वाह किया जिस नन्दित थल पर जन्म लिया उस ने है सर्वस्व दिया माँ! तेरे तनय अब उठ खड़े हुए उस ऋण को चक ु ाने का प्रण है लिया माँ के उस चोले को अब और बसंती रं गने की बारी है उस हिंद की कृतिका के उत्थान की तैयारी है वो परिंदे जिन्होने साथ-साथ भरी थी उड़ान अब नई ऊचाइयों को छूने की तैयारी है साई-कृष्ण के आशीष से… यह शभ ु ऋतु जो आई है इन प्रिय दीवारों पर अब… अंकित होने की तैयारी है इस प्रियंक विद्यापीठ से… विदाई की तैयारी है सर्य ू अनेकों निहारे इस जग ने आकांक्षायें न दे खी पहले ऐसी नभ में अजीत एवं अक्षय प्रकाश के… अर्चित होने की तैयारी है इस विशाल क्षितिज पर एक… सोनल सरू ज उगने की तैयारी है अपने तष ु ार से उसमे जान फँू कनी है

उस अनिल के निशा का अंत करने की तैयारी है जमती थी महफिलें, बड़ी थी रं गत होते थे जान इन महफ़िलो की करते थे हम काम जहाँ अपनी मनमानी से करते थे राज इन मैदानों पर इन उजली महफ़िलो को सूना छोड़ अंधेरी गलियों का दास बनने की लाचारी है पुरानी जीन्स के दिन बीत गये हैं शायद अब दर्जी से कमीज़ सिलवाने की बारी है हराते थे ज़िंदगी को उसी की तहज़ीब से शौक़ से उसके इशारों पर चलने की तैयारी है अजीब लोग हैं ये भी मुलाक़ात जब की तो... जलज़लो से रूबरू होना पड़ा सामान उठा कर जब अलविदा कहा तो आकाश तक रो पड़ा ये बादल... कहते हैं वक़्त के पाबंद नही है ये पर आज सही समय पर बरसे हैं ये आँख के आंसू छुपा दे ते हैं ये बिछड़ो को शायद भुला दे ते हैं ये भीग लेता हूँ आज जम कर इन मेघो में सैकड़ों नसीहतें मिलेंगी वरना चलने से पहले इनके नीचे उन शहरों में उन्हीं प्यासे शहरों में वनवास की तैयारी है गिला कभी आपको मुझसे हुज़ूर कभी मुझको शिकायत है सताया हो बहुत तो क्या बला अकेले में कभी बतलाइयेगा हुज़ूर अपने बही-खाते तैयार रखना… अब बाज़ार बंद होने की तैयारी है वो लम्हे अब साथ नहीं आज में बीते कल जैसी बात नहीं पर साकी! तू ये न सोच लेना कि ये कारवां थम गया! अब बढ़े गा नहीं… ये तो बस एक नाज़ुक सा मोड़ है अभी तो एक नए सफ़र की तैयारी है



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