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tatvamasi 5th EDITION • SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE, CEPT • OCTOBER ‘15

entropy

• Death of critical inquiry • How do you design? • An Opposition • An Opposition to an Opposition • • Entropy in Indian Classical Music • And then there was Light! • Disorder in existence • • Lights, Camera, aC-HAOS • Time.Architecture.Entropy • Fatal Attraction• Learnings to Learn • • Beauty of Place and Space • Kashikar on Learning and Entropy

entropy and art does entropy exist? entropy in an architects mind the learning process vertical studios the learning process the learning process vertical studios the learning process 5th edition School of Architecture,CEPT October 2015


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Contents 02.

entropy

20.

Editor’s Note 03.

FATAL ATTRACTION

Editorial Team

21.

A.Srivathsan 04.

What is entropy? Disorder in Existence

22.

Death of Critical Inquiry

23.

Time • Architecture • Entropy

26.

Deconstructivism

27.

Constructed Disorder

29.

And then there was Light

30.

ENTROPY?

31.

Lights, Camera, aC-HAOS

32.

The Road taken

33.

Deconstructing Tool

35.

The Pancharatna kritis in Carnatic music Sai Netra Ajjampur

19.

Entropy and Indian classical music Ahana Rao

In Studios Aanal Mehta

36.

Abhishek Durani 18.

An Opposition to an Opposition Malay Doshi

Nandini Shah 17.

AN OPPOSITION Srinivas Narayan

Kajol Brahmbhatt 16.

The Beauty of Place and Space Harsh Desai

Leeza John 15.

The eye of the storm Varun Shah

Vaidehi Shah 14.

Kashikar on Learning and Entropy Editorial Team

Nakul Shah • Chirag Meghani 13.

Learnings to Learn Vedanti Agarwal

Maulee Patel 12.

School to College Aditi Bajpai

Keshav Akkitham 10.

How do you Design? Apoorva Sharma

Niharika Sanyal 09.

Symphonies in an Unobstructed mind Kishan Shah

Aishani Goswami 06.

Crea-tropy Aman Amin

Nishita Parmar 05.

BLIND EXPRESSIONS

Ravivari Vedanti Agarwal • Swati Khambhayata

37.

Recommended Readings Editorial Team


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Editorial Note ‘In many instances, order is apprehended first of all by the senses.’ But order cannot be limited to what is directly apparent in perception. Order is manifested as a reflection of the processes which is essentially a composition of underlying order and disorder. Disorder being an essential part of any process. To get a clear picture, disorder also is imperative for analysis. Entropy is a ‘measure’ of disorder or randomness in a ‘system’. Though originated from the scientific realm of thermodynamics, it behaves as a ‘superconcept’, which can be applied to everything from the tiniest particle,to the dynamics of human interactions. This universality, allows to get to the underlying thread of processes between varied disciplines. Keeping this in mind, this fifth issue is an effort to understand the concept of entropy and investigate its relation not only to everyday life, but also to different fields like art, architecture, music, films,nature and learning in terms of products and processes. This contemplation forces to investigate the products, which gives an understanding about the processes and vice-versa, Eventually to find out whether, ‘Increasing entropy is necessary for the evolution of more complex and highly ordered systems.’ Is the material world moving from orderly states to ever increasing disorder? Will the final situation of the universe be one of maximal disorder?

Editorial Team Vedanti Agarwal • Aman Amin • Kishan Shah Conceptualization Vedanti Agarwal • Aman Amin • Swati Khambhayata • Kishan Shah Cover Art Credit Devashree Dwivedi Thanks A.Srivathsan, D.D. Patel, Apoorva Sharma Publisher Karan Multiprint

tvampatra@gmail.com


3 entropy

FATAL ATTRACTION E

A.Srivathsan

ntropy is the theme of this publication. It is an idea from the world of thermodynamics, and a broad definition explains it as a measure of disorder. I am not going to pretend that I understand it. I feel like Thomas Pynchon, the American writer of the well-known short story Entropy.1 Pynchon, who studied engineering physics, confessed that more he read about entropy less he understood it. However, he wrote the story only to caution later that it is an example how not to write one. I am unwilling to take Pynchon’s route - write first and doubt later. I am aware this may not be the case with everyone. Many architects enthusiastically explain and use complicated concepts such as entropy, cellular automata and so on. What intrigues me is that why despite limitations, designers get attracted to ideas that are well outside their depth and domain. Some may argue that these ideas are useful conceptual windows, which offer insights into the complex world of design and the physical world in which it exists. But I suspect it is not as simple and benign as that.

Coop Himmelblau prides designing some of his buildings with his eyes closed and creating pshycograms. (For more on this topic read Fiona McLachlan and Richard Coyness article in Design Studies 2 titled The Accidental Move). Not all designs and their users can be persuaded by mystery. Many designers have to work like surgeons - appear to be sure and precise about what they are working on. They have to mobilize arguments and present evidence to convince. More scientific the arguments, more persuasive weight they carry. Entropy fits the bill. Let me explain. One of the persisting wars of positions in architecture is the battle of order. Where does the virtue of creativity in design and planning lie? Is it in embracing an order or denying it?

What intrigues me is that why despite limitations, designers get attracted to ideas that are well outside their depth and domain.

Architects, as many have explained, prefer to act either as a magician or a surgeon. As a magician, they draw design, theories and other truth rabbits from their hats. They just appear. Need no explanations. The mystery is the source of authority. For instance,

One camp argues that the desire for order closes alternative ways of organizing and inhabiting spaces. By asking to `think out of the box,’ not only they urge one to go beyond the known but also insult the ugly ordering box. They romance with fragmentation, blobs, organic forms and all that is liquid. On the other hand, the disputing camp is unwilling to concede that there are things in this universe that are beyond any ordering principle. Even in the most curvilinear of shapes they can see deep structures. They


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Nishita Parmar unpack less visible forms such as fractals and Fibonacci series. Other than `a pack-donkey’ none can dislike order, they argue. Both camps can cite texts and examples in support. Writing on the burden of linearity and use of disorder is abound. So is the support for ideal forms and pattern language. The scales can be permanently tilted in favour of the group supporting pure shapes and proportions if they drop the trump card – a scientific proof. Adrian Bejan, a mechanical engineering professor at Duke University, in his research paper, explains that structures and images in the golden ratio are more appealing 3 because of biological reasons. He points out that the flow of information from a visual plane to the brain is efficient and faster when the horizontal and vertical dimension is closer to 3/2 ratio. This proportion facilitates eyes to scan the image in the “shortest time” and “greatest ease, “and transmits it efficiently to the brain. One cannot ask for a better confirmation. Science clinches the argument. Not to be left behind or outsmarted, the designers on the other camp marshal the entropy argument in support. They assert, as Jeremy Fordham, an engineer in his blog Understanding Uncertainty 4 explains, it is natural for systems in the world to remain disordered. Entropy describes this tendency accurately. Using Fordham’s example of cards, they may explain that you have to spend a lot of energy to keep things in order - stack the cards in a proper sequence for instance. On the contrary, it is natural for the cards to lie loose, which only requires less energy to be so. The natural tendency is to move towards lesser order. Fluid aesthetics in this sense aligns with this universal principle. Has this evened the scales? Art and scientific reasoning are part of the thinking process. However, for some, artistic argument is not good enough, it is less convincing, and subjective. It has to defer to scientific reasoning. Science could be more alluring, and it looks like architects are no exception. The reverse could also be true in a favorable ecology of practice where artistic decisions are more valued. The question is should we repudiate or privilege one over the other to demonstrate progress or enlightenment. Can we not transverse both worlds and hold both forms of reasoning equally and comfortably?

References 1.Thomas Pynchon, Slow Learner: Early Stories, Back Bay Books, 1998 2. Fiona McLachlan and Richard Coyne, The accidental move: accident and authority in design discourse, Design Studies, Volume 22, Issue 1, January 2001, Pages 87-99, 3. Adrian Bejan, The Golden Ratio Predicted: Vision, Cognition And Locomotion As A Single Design In Nature, International Journal of Design & Nature and Ecodynamics, Volume 4 (2009), Issue 2, pp. 97 - 104 4. http://understandinguncertainty.org/another-look-entropy


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Disorder in Existence Aishani Goswami What is man in nature?

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A nothing in relation to the infinite, an all in relation to nothing, a middle between nothing and all.” Blaise Pascal

he way we humans have placed ourselves in our surroundings and nature, has changed quite significantly and in a unidirectional manner. Interestingly, we coined the phrase ‘mannature relationship’ indicates how distanced we consider ourselves from nature. In ecology, the way a species propagates itself can be classified into ‘r’ and ‘K’ selection strategies. The r-selected species often have to struggle with their environment for survival, and as a precaution, they reproduce a good deal of off-springs, some of which might not even reach to a healthy adult life. This is so that the chances of propagating their species increase. These include bacteria, insects, and rodents. For the K-selected species, the struggle is not about their survival, for example, mammals such as whales, tigers, humans. These manage to keep their species going with optimum population in their surrounding stable environment. In scientific literature, r-selected species are described as ‘opportunistic’, while K-selected species are linked with the term ‘equilibrium’. There are certain species that show r as well as K selection traits such as sea turtles. The relationship with resources for survival of both r and K strategists is different. The r-strategists, in uncertain environment reproduce quickly and more in number and hence their exchange with their surroundings is a game of survival. The K-strategists, in a relatively stable environment, produce fewer off-springs who lead healthy adult lives and can cohere with resources. Entropy in any system is related to disorder or change in the ongoing way of functioning. In any ecosystem, there are changes ranging from small to huge disturbances such as from domination of certain species over other to disasters such as tsunami. Huge and frequent disturbances cause turmoil, while rare changes do not contribute much to the evolution of the ecosystem. Intermediate

Disturbance Hypothesis states that an optimal amount of disturbance is favourable for growth and evolution of an ecosystem. The disorder caused by these disturbances, initiates the r-strategists to propagate and hence colonize so that functioning of the system continues. The K-strategists’ use of resource is then beyond survival and intended for their growth. This kind of disorder ensures biodiversity and richness in the system, and that r and K strategists coexist. When we look at the modes of natural resource use by humans, we can approximately identify and classify similarly to ‘opportunist’ and ‘equilibrium’ modes. The hunter-gatherers lived and exchanged within their environment for survival. The uncertainty of nature played a major role in the relationship with nature and resources. We started domesticating plants and animals, slowly increasing our reach and expanse. To generate a stable environment for ourselves, we reduced our limitations; and soon enough nature did not remain as much a limitation for us. Gradually, this relationship with nature changed to the search for humans to gain equilibrium. In the process of humans moving from survival to equilibrium, the mode of resource use changed, distance from nature increased and relationship with nature changed. Considering ourselves as beings in a stable environment, in our search of balance and moving towards growth, we have taken resources for granted and our focus on priorities has changed. Somewhere, we have become too comfortable in our course of attaining equilibrium. We need some intermediate disturbances to keep us going, evolving, and to acknowledge and maintain diversity within us. Seemingly, entropy could guide us to retrospect towards a meaningful existence. References References -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R/K_selection_theory#K-selection http://web.pdx.edu/~rueterj/courses/objects/intermediate-disturbance-mosaic.html -- This Fissured Land, authored by Madhav Gadgil and Ramachandra Guha https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R/K_selection_theory#K-selection -- http://web.pdx.edu/~rueterj/courses/objects/intermediate-disturbance-mosaic.html (for image) This Fissured Land, authored by Madhav Gadgil and Ramachandra Guha


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Death of Critical Inquiry Is neoliberalism ushering in an age of conformity? Niharika Sanyal

Charlie Chaplin’s ‘Modern Times’

R

ecently in Japan, humanities departments have come under attack. The government has ordered universities to discontinue these departments and shift focus, instead, towards fields with ‘greater utilitarian values’. Not only does this seem alarming, but it is indicative of a trend that is picking up world-over. India is not very far behind either, with recent talks of transferring ownership of the Film & Television Institute of India to

Bollywood serving as one of the indicators that our government does not see fruits in supporting pursuits in critical thinking. “The truth is that governments no longer care for the arts and humanities,” writes Vijaya Singh, a student at FTII, “The shift from a knowledgebased education system to a skill-based one in the last twenty years has led to a steady decline in the state’s patronage of all those disciplines that are not utility oriented.”


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Huxley vs. Orwell This shift in stance is visible in the UK as well, with renowned British literary theorist Terry Eagleton writing for The Chronicle, “The British state continues to distribute grants to its universities for science, medicine, engineering, and the like, but it has ceased to hand out any significant resources to the arts. It is not out of the question that if this does not change, whole humanities departments will be closed down in the coming years. If English departments survive at all, it may simply be to teach business students the use of the semicolon. [...] If the humanities in Britain are withering on the branch, it is largely because they are being driven by capitalist forces while being simultaneously starved of resources.” What does this shift fundamentally say about us as humanity? And what does it say about the changing purposes of education? American author William Deresiewicz observes the changes made in University mission statements in the US. He says ‘real education’ formerly addressed students as “complete human beings rather than future specialists”, attempting to enable them “to build a self or (following Keats) to become a soul”. The goals of higher education today are being modified, instead, to “meet the state’s workforce needs”. This ideology determines the value of knowledge in terms of its utility, “reducing all values to money values,” with the “purpose of education in a neoliberal age [being] to produce producers,” he writes. Producers can, in turn, fuel a consumerist culture, and the consumerist culture can fuel capitalism. This is heralding the “death of the university as centres of critique”, writes Diane Reay from the University of Cambridge, with the role of academia changing “to [service] the status quo, rather than challenging it, in the name of justice, human flourishing, freedom of thought or alternative visions of the future”. But how is it that this reality has come to be?

Credit : Stuart McMillen

Dreams of a ‘brave new world’ Today’s world owes a lot to the imagination of the ‘baby boomers’– the folks who saw that the world could change following the catastrophic repercussions of the World Wars. Old ways of thinking had led to calamity, which meant that thought had to be reinvented. It was time for Modernity. Gradually though, systems came into place as a means to rebuild this world, ushering in an era of neoliberalism. Describes Deresiewicz, “Modernity understood itself as a condition of constant flux, which is why the historical mission of youth in every generation was to imagine a way forward to a different state. But moving forward to a different state is a possibility that neoliberalism excludes. Neoliberalism believes that we have reached the end of history, a steady-state condition of free-market capitalism that will go on replicating itself forever. The historical mission of youth is no longer desirable or even conceivable. The world is not going to change, so we don’t need young people to imagine how it might.” Polish sociologist Zygmunt Bauman likewise echoes how “capitalists built palaces” that we are left to run today, in his talk at Leeds University in 2012. And we are seduced into running them, he explains, by ‘soft power’ – via all the means of temptation that are available to us – money, prestige and job security. So that we keep fuelling the great capitalistic engine – one that has left the world on the brink of another destruction – a climatic one. Is it all that inconceivable that another cyclic wave of disorder may well be on its way? And if this is so, how do we know that we will morally perform any better today than we did back in the early 1900’s? Will our youth, if called upon in such a time, be capable of imagining alternate realities? Or have we been too conditioned by existing systems to really know our ‘selves’ – to be able to think of our roles in the world meaningfully – minus the red plastic bottles and useless paraphernalia of today’s ‘brave new world’?


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Feeding the crocodile Has industrialised conformity made us a spineless generation? Science journalist Michael Hanlon explains the risk-aversive nature of today’s youth: “Risk played its part [ ] in the massive postwar shift in social attitudes. People, often the young, were prepared to take huge, physical risks to right the wrongs of the pre-war world. The early civil rights and anti-war protestors faced tear gas or worse. In the 1960s, feminists faced social ridicule, media approbation and violent hostility. Now... social progress all too often finds itself down the blind alleyways of political correctness. Student bodies used to be hotbeds of dissent, even revolution; today’s hyper-conformist youth is more interested in the policing of language and stifling debate when it counters the prevailing wisdom.”

“A majority of Japanese political, bureaucratic and business leaders today are still those who studied the humanities and social sciences. This is because those who studied these subjects have superior faculties of thinking, judgment and expression, which are required of political, bureaucratic and business leaders. And the foundation for these faculties is a robust critical spirit.” This is the spirit that captured public imagination during the historic events of May ’68 in Paris. Spearheaded by poets, musicians, film-buffs and students, the movement brought the entire capitalist machinery of France to a halt. “ It provoked an entire society to a rare assessment - call it an examination of conscience, if you will - of its fundamental values”, writes American educator Peter Steinfels. The event was testimony to the risk-taking, probing and often entirely irrational nature of critical, creative thought. Today, while structural overhauls are taking place in Universities world-over, that “valorize

Creativity leverages the power of uncertainty. We require the kind of creativity that gives itself time to reflect and explore in an open-ended manner; the kind of creativity that is a friend of solitude, as opposed to that rampant plague of groupthink. How has this propensity for conformity surfaced? British writer George Monbiot passionately attributes the loss of the most promising students of our time to the workings of a ‘corporate cult’. These students are often sent off by a misguided older generation on a ‘kamikaze mission’ to clean the cogs of the machine from within. “People who had spent years laying out exultant visions of a better world [are] suddenly sucked into the mouths of corporations dangling money like angler fish,” describes Monbiot. High university fees are equally part of the ploy, propelling the brightest minds to seek out lucrative salaries in order to clear off debts. Many of these students enter the corporate world with every intention of leaving in a few years’ time after learning tricks of the trade. Crucial formative years are lost in a culture of overworked hours and menial work. “Two years of this and many are lost for life” fumes Monbiot.

neoliberal corporate clichés of ‘disruption’ over critical discourse, intellection and deep studio practice”, as described by a student of the USC Master of Fine Arts programme who has chosen to drop out along with all her batchmates; Deresiewicz and others foretell that a ‘renewed era’ of student engagement seems to be flickering on the horizon. Creativity leverages the power of uncertainty. We require the kind of creativity that gives itself time to reflect and explore in an openended manner; the kind of creativity that is a friend of solitude, as opposed to that rampant plague of groupthink. And solitude is a friend of the self. And from this place of feeling must emerge the coming reality. It is vital that we uphold universities as powerhouses of critical thought; and prevent them, at all costs, from falling into the trappings of an age that would have them conform.

Invoking uncertainty There is hope though. And it lies in the honing of the creative spirit. And it is in an education that cultivates the spirit of critical enquiry, that this spirit lies. Takamitsu Sawa, President of Shiga University, makes a convincing case for this,

References - Singh, Vijaya. “The FTII Crisis and the Death of Imagination.” The Wire, 17 July 2015. - Eagleton, Terry. “The Slow Death of the University.” The Chronicle of Higher Education, 6 April 2015. - Deresiewicz, William. “The Neoliberal Arts.” Harper’s Magazine, September 2015. - Reay, Diane. “From Academic Freedom to Academic Capitalism.” Discover Society, 15 February 2014. - Bauman, Zygmunt. Lecture at Leeds Metropolitan University, 2012. - Hanlon, Michael. “The Golden Quarter.” Aeon Magazine, 3 December 2014.

- Monbiot, George. “How a corporate cult captures and destroys our best graduates.” The Guardian, 3rd June 2015. - Sawa, Takamitsu. “Humanities Under Attack.” The Japan Times, 23 August 2015. - Steinfels, Peter. “Paris, May 1968: The revolution that never was.” The New York Times, 10 May 2008. - Beaufils, Julie; Duenas, Sid; Egerton-Warburton, George; Fake, Edie; Davis Fisher, Lauren; Relvas, Lee; Schafer, Ellen. “Entire USC MFA First-Year Class is Dropping Out.” Art & Education, May 2015.


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Time • Architecture • Entropy Keshav Akkitham

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had three plans in front of me. Each about 500 years apart and it felt like I could see the passing of time and on the face of it a constant breaking of orderliness.

In the past with fewer material and technology innovations one had to build in simpler ways, one had to work with the limitations of bricks or stones. With the discovery of steel and the usefulness of it for construction, the constraints of the past could be broken. Not only in terms of the straightness and the curve of things but even the lightness of the structure, one could achieve varied degrees of transparency or a reflective quality through the use of newer materials. Palladio’s oeuvre consists of certain rigid plans obeying the orders of geometry. There is a strong sense of symmetry, with a line of axis becoming easy for even a layman to find. Most of his buildings, because of the strong sense of geometry and symmetry, have an imaginable center. Walking in one part of the building, one could imagine how the other part would look. One can predict, what would come next in a building that is so ordered. Maybe the material and construction technology limitations brought about this obsession in geometry during the Renaissance in the 1500’s. Jumping to the 1900’s and to the age of Le Corbusier, technological advancements with metal and plywood lead to many other materials becoming possible. Taking for instance the Villa Savoye, within the frame structure which is very ordered you have breaks, that manifest as curves. A few acts that break the order that became possible with the discovery of concrete. Within a rhythmic monotonous pillared space a curved wall surprised.

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Now in the 21st century Frank Gehry’s doodles that look like scribbles get converted into buildings, with the progression in technology. The programs used for making aero planes have found their way into architecture construction. Not only is Frank Gehry’s building unpredictable while walking from one space to another, but even in the same space, with the turn of a head, one sees something unexpected . The qualities of the materials are such that the Guggenheim, Bilbao armed with its titanium coat, changes color with the sun, throughout the day and through seasons. It is interesting to see that with technology improving and getting more ordered and organized day by day opens up vast possibilities that seemed impossible even a 100 years ago. This new door that has been found and opened has led to the new post-modern, deconstructive architecture and the many more architectures I don’t yet understand. With technology getting more ordered, architecture seems to have become more disordered. As architecture students in India, we should be moving on too. With new materials being found by the day and new ways of joining them. We should move on and explore new territories. From using bricks to make unbelievably stable curved walls, to using materials that we don’t even know the name of. References - Image 1 : Andrea Palladio, Villa Rotonda - Image 2 : Le Corbusier, Villa Savoye - Image 3 : Frank Gehry, Opus Hong Kong


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Deconstructivism Mauli Patel

H

ow important is it to question the meaning behind the style of a built form? Inspiration and referentiality, play a major role in answering this question of building styles. During the pre modern era, structure and order were the obvious, followed without any deviations. Eventually,these theories were broken and self-referentiality with meanings were searched for. The evolving world and buildings were no longer perceived in the same way , that is when the deconstruction movement started. Deconstructivism can never be defined, as by defining it, we automatically miss its meaning. When modernism kicked in, it encouraged reasoning and changing the obvious that had been followed over the years, as rules impressed in the minds of people to be seen as tradition. With modernity the ideas of artists, poets, anthropologists, philosophers and all other professionals took a new track. Architecture and the behavioral mindset of people, both simultaneously evolved because of each other. The winning entries of the design competition-Parc de Villette, in 1982 by Peter Eisenmen and Bernard Tschumi, and the exhibition in the museum of modern arts by Philip Johnson in 1988, marked the onset of deconstructivism, to be noticed and practiced by all,even though it had existed 50 decades before. Deconstructivism concerns with decentring and unmasking the problematic nature of all centers. Centrality gives importance to one, but marginalizes other aspects.Deconstructivism first focuses on the binary oppositions within a text- like man or woman. Then it shows how the oppositions are related, how one is central, natural and privileged. Next it temporarily subverts the hierarchy, to make the text mean the opposite of what it originally meant. In the last step, both the oppositions are seen dancing in a free play of nonhierarchical and non-stable meanings. This is what Jacques Derrida

says about how deconstruction reasons. These understanding can be applied to any form of work but with respect to architecture-it made a revolution. The question which arises is that, if this was breaking the obvious yet beautiful architecture, then what will the outcome of the recent technologies on architecture in the coming future? May be the revolution had already started 10 years back. May be the changes now are so fast, that we cannot realize it, just as people living during the renaissance did not realize that their era was going to bear a revolutionary label. Focusing on pre modern architectural works, centrality, axis, symmetry, organized layout of function, grandeur an ornamentation, is generally discussed. These built forms embodied movement in a way which was very different from deconstructive buildings. The Schinkel museum, has an overpowering centre, where people gathered pushing the exhibition on the periphery- Clear arrangement.

Schinkel museum


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The palace of Versailles, in France that followed the manifesto of absolutism, is about its grandeur and the arrested movement in the built form and even in the gardens.

Bauhaus

The brick house by Mies van de Rohe denies centrality. Propagating free movement, the wall is the space defining element used in a way that was never used before.

Palace of Versailles

Here the building elements i.e. the roof, wall, floor, slab and column hide behind the ornamentation and don’t seem to reveal their purpose and character. The Bauhaus building operated from 1919 to 1933 is an example that denies referentiality. It gives prime focus to the street and the students that studied there, to make a dialogue and not the form.

The Brick House

In deconstructivist architecture the service elements are not concealed, infact they are used in a way that they link functions and act as spatial interconnection, e.g. the use of ramp by Corbusier in many of his buildings. The elements used in different buildings showed variations in response to the function rather than repeating the same construction system. Many leading examples of such architecture has been seen over the century by deconstructivist architects. Rather than striving for unity and purity of form practiced by the modernist architect, the deconstructivist architect celebrates asymmetry, complexity, contradiction, and incompatibilities of style, function and form. The styles are not just random interpretation but juxtaposed in a way that they question each other. Are we still following deconstruction or are we now referring to it? A new era of technological advancements has already begun with significant impacts on architecture and construction techniques.

References - Derrida for beginners-jim powel - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deconstructivism


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Constructed Disorder Nakul Shah • Chirag Meghani

HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL, BERLIN height • depth • movement • horizontal • shift • axis choices • vertical • continuity • symmetry • confusion • entropy •


13 entropy

And then there was

Light! Vaidehi Shah

“If a cloud passes over and the room becomes dark this only gives the room more association with the person in it. It tells us of the life outside the room. It tells us of the world in which we live.� - Louis Kahn

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f an event or a thing is experienced frequently and we have learned how to react to it smoothly, our reasoning and feeling are not likely to remain concerned with it. And yet it is the most elementary matters that reveal the nature of existence with powerful directness. Light, that elementary matter which is one of the primary reasons we may think of architecture as a masterpiece, or as just another ordinary building. We do not build a structure which lets light in, but which keeps light out. In keeping the light out, a tiny bit which is let in may have a remarkable presence. Much like the Pantheon which is a completely solid volume, denying all light with the exception of a single opening at the very top, which on a clear day allows a single beam of solidified light to pierce through the structure. Such a dramatic interplay of light truly heightens our awareness and glorifies the presence of light. Perhaps Plummer best describes the effects of the phenomena of light in architecture by stating that at times our architecture which is both tactile and visible, is somehow transformed into something beyond our reach, something invisible which allows our innermost spirit to soar through the medium of light. It comes to us from the heavens, with the strength to travel millions of miles, yet when it hits something as delicate as a leaf or flower, it is brought to a halt and a shadow is created.

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I believe the way we perceive architecture coexists with the nature of light and of the place surrounding it. Light breaks up the ordered quality of the space. That change in the quality and quantity of light continuously alters our experience of standing in a space. A space that is trying to establish a massive, bold, confined, rigid, overpowering character, light teases it a bit. It loosens up the rigid stature of the space around it. It can break up the infiniteness of the space and make it look planar [1] or it can make illusions of the space and create planes that make it look infinite [2]. It can become a sculpture floating in space not revealing what the rest of the space will be like [3] or it can show elements which are actually a part of the wall as a part of the floor [4]. It continuously crumples the space, giving it more dimensions, changing its essence. Light creates a kind of disorder in the space. But still we do not always feel the disorder. It fits with the space. They co-exist. Space, in its corporeal form is a stationary closed system and light makes it dynamic, more like the molecular movement within the laws of thermodynamics, giving the physicality what it lacks. It gives it life.

References - Image1 : Le Corbusier, Sainte Maria de la Tourette - Image 2 : Andreas Volwahsen, Red Fort,Delhi - Image 3 : Le Corbusier, Sainte Maria de la Tourette - Image 4: Sculpture (Source:Pinterest)

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ENTROPY IS NOT DISORDER.

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ENTROPY IS NOT A MEASURE OF DISORDER ENTROPY IS THE INDEX OF ENERGY DISPERSAL WITHIN A SYSTEM AND BETWEEN THE SYSTEM AND ITS SURROUNDINGS.

ENTROPY IS THE MEASUREMENT OF DEGREE OF DISORDER

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SITUATIONS OF A GREATER ENTROPY ARE STATISTICALLY FAVOURED* AND TEND TO HAPPEN IN CLOSED SYSTEMS, OVER TIME. A DISORDERED ROOM HAS GREATER ENTROPY THAN AN ORGANIZED ROOM. THUS THE ORGANIZED ONE TENDS TO GET DISORDERED OVER TIME.

Y OP TR R EN RDE T S O WE AL LO TOT

*MOST OF THE OTHER ARTICLES IN THIS MAGAZINE, DO AGREE.

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Leeza John


15 entropy

Lights Camera aC-HAOS Kajol Brahmbhatt

T

he process of film-making consists of five distinct stages-development of an idea or getting the rights to a book or play; pre-production which means hiring the cast and crew, selecting the location, building the set; production or the actual shooting of the raw material; post-production ie. The editing of the raw material, adding audio-visual effects etc. and lastly the distribution of the film. Sounds simple enough right? Follow these steps and voila, you’ve produced an ideal version of your vision. If only it weren’t for the second law of thermodynamics. According to the second law of thermodynamics the entropy in a closed system never decreases. In other words, it either remains constant or increases. Based on this, the process of film-making can be called a ‘closed system’ because as you progress through the stages, the number of factors an outcome is dependent on, increases exponentially. Without you consciously realizing it, the movie is no longer something you alone can control but is more of a large nebulous field of thoughts, actions and reaction. In the 1964 movie, Dr.strangelove or: How I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb by director Stanley Kubrick, the

protagonist, Strangelove (Peter Sellers) was confined to the wheelchair for the entire film- but Sellers decided to spontaneously stand at the very end of the film, take a couple of steps and proclaim , “mein fuhrer! I can walk!” In a process known as retro-scripting, Kubrick changed much of the script he co-wrote with Terry Southern to incorporate much of Seller’s improvised dialog. As for the movie, Annie Hall directed and co-written by Woody Allen who also starred in the film as the lead Alvy ‘Max’ Singer, the original script had no mention of Alvy talking about living in a small house under a rollercoaster as a child, in the original script. Woody Allen was scouting locations in Brooklyn along with Willis and art director Mel Bourne when he, “saw this rollercoaster, and…saw this house under it. And I thought we have to use this…” and that is how the scene was introduced into the movie. Entropy also came into play while shooting for one of the scenes in the movie, the Godfather which released in 1972. As the Don calmly explains his idea of ‘friendship’ to the undertaker Bonasera, the first nearly full-body shot of the Don reveals an unexpected guest- a gray and white cat sitting on Marlon Brando’s lap. “The cat in Marlon’s lap was not planned for”, director Francis Ford Cappola said later. “I saw the cat running around the studio, and took it and put it into his hands without a word.” But it also made a messy shot. When the crew listened to the shot, they couldn’t understand Marlon’s lines clearly and feared they would have to use subtitles. The problem wasn’t Brando but the purring cat, which can still be heard on the soundtrack. Jean Luc Goddard is one of the best known French directors from a period called ‘the new wave’. It was his 1959 movie, Breathless that earned him this reputation. Regarded by critics as a stroke of brilliance was something called ‘jumpcuts’, where within an action


tatvamasi october 2015 16

Goddard would cut to a later part in the same action of the same shot. What many did not realize was that Goddard did this because his financier on the movie told him that the movie was too long, so rather than go through the process of restructuring the movie or removing scenes, Goddard just cut short the middle section of shots to save time. So after manoeuvring through the waters of development in the pre-production, production and post-production you now have your movie hot off the editor’s desk and it’s exactly what you had in mind. Or you don’t even recognize it as being a manifestation of your imagination. Thermodynamics can do that to you. What comes next is the biggest factor contributing to the increasing entropy of the movie. The people that have watched the movie and the people that will. They might feel and grasp all the emotions and thoughts that you want them to but along with that they will form their own interpretations and draw their own conclusions. These interpretations and conclusions will be influenced by the kind of lives

the road taken

Nandini Shah

these people live and the kind of people they meet. Also the perception of those who made the movie and those who saw it might differ because for those who made it, it was a process but for those who saw it, it was a product. So far it’s been established that the entropy of the process of filmmaking increases and hence it acts as a closed system. But what about the entropy of the product? Every movie has a storyline which must culminate at a certain point. No matter where the movie picks off from it has to lead to this point of culmination. In other words as a movie ends the chances of it veering off in a direction other than the one leading to the point of culmination decrease and hence it’s entropy is decreasing. Now that is a contradiction if there ever was one. References - www.screenrant.com - www.rogerebert.com - Wikipedia - Times Magazine

Born to live Getting fascinated by each new way! Played in mud, also fell Just a toy substituted, the happiness all. Then got dragged along the road that went mainstream; No chances to look back Caught under the column and beam, Life was a struggle The bright sunny day lost, When gave up on earning notes Remembered about how life went most. The only time of contemplation To think about what is learnt, Regrets; Before the sun of life sets. Here, now I lay Under the stone that said, Souls are always followed by the deeds they had.


17 entropy

Deconstructing Tool Abhishek Durani

T

ool is an American rock band from Los Angeles. Formed in 1990. Best known for their psyhchedelic progressive rock and metal.

As a musician and an enthusiast of rock music, Tool’s Lateralus is the most well crafted piece of music in my opinion. The Band deliberately wanted to give the listener a truly enjoyable experience, but wanted them to discover it on their own. Tool’s lastest album can be reordered to reveal a hidden order. The whole album especially the title track, “Lateralus” is based on fibonacci sequence and spirals.

Fibonacci sequence is a series of numbers where after the 2 starting values each number is a sum of the two preceding numbers. F(n)=F(n-1)+F(n+2) 0-1-1-2-3-5-8-13-8-5-3-2-1-1-0 The time signature of the main riff is 9-8-7, which is the 16th step of the fibonacci sequence, if you try to construct the drum tabulature. Sure enough the drummer repeats a Fibonacci sequence through the number 13: 1,1,2,3,5,8,13. After 13, he starts again with 1. Moreover, when the lyrics are sung the numeric value of each syllable forms a fibonacci sequence as described below.

black [1] then [1] white are [2] all I see [3] in my infancy [5] red and yellow then came to be [8] reaching out to me [5] lets me see [3] there is [2] so [1]

verse

much [1] more and [2] beckons me [3] to look through to these [5] infinite possibilities [8] as below so above and beyond I imagine [13] drawn outside the lines of reason [8] push the envelope [5] watch it bend [3

It is not a true Fibonacci series, as it reverses itself therefore there is a degree of disorder entitled to the album throughout. The song ‘Lateralus’ suggests living life much like the fibonacci series, constantly growing and spiralling out, exploring and reaching out towards the unknown. When the 13 tracks of this album are reorderd in the fibonacci sequence they flow better; the end of each track matches the begining of the next one. 6-7-5-8-4-9-13-1-12-2-11-3-10


tatvamasi october 2015 18

THE PANCHARATNA KRITIS IN CARNATIC MUSIC Sai Netra Ajjampur

P

ancharatna kritis are five legendary compositions (songs) in Carnatic music, and as the name suggests, they are those “FIVE GEMS”, composed by the saint Tyagaraja (1) and the ragas that these kritis are set to are called Ghana ragas. (namely: Nata, Goula, Arabhi, Varali, Shree) In Carnatic music, there are a set of variants for each swara (note). The speciality of the pancharatna kritis is that together, they contain every single variant of every note (all the variants of sa, ri, ga, ma, pa, da, ni respectively) Every raga has a certain set of notes which are the life of the raga. Usually, only when these notes are included can the composition be identified as set to the particular raga. However, Tyagaraja has made an unorthodox attempt in the pancharatna kritis. He has omitted these key notes and still managed to keep the essence of the raga intact. Kritis are compositions consisting of three major parts: pallavi, anupallavi and charana. These usually are lyrical compositions, whose tune comes from the notation that they are set to. However, the pancharatna kritis are rendered such that the charanas are sung with both the lyrical and the notational parts, as opposed to just the lyrical parts like in other kritis. The moods and the sense of the song and lyrics has been conveyed in undeniably the most genius compositions of Carnatic music enthusiast could ever come across. A brief description of each of the five songs is given below.

Jagadananda karaka Raga- Nata Just like the tone and fervour of the composition, this is a grand and flamboyant description of the lord Rama. He is addressed as the king, the supreme and as the victorious lord. The speciality of this song is that it contains the entire “Ashtothra Shatanamavali” of Shree Rama. However, this was not intended, first the song was concluded with 90 names of the lord. Then upon request of his desciples, Tyagaraja added another 18 names to it. Thus the song has two signatures in it. Also it is the only one of the pancharatnas which is written in Sanskrit.

Dudukugala nanne dora Raga-Goula This song is a description of the remorse that Tyagaraja feels about the bad deeds of mankind. He repeatedly regrets the actions of man and questions whether anyone would be able to forgive us. The deep regret and remorse that the song conveys, can be immediately sensed by listening to the way the words and the swaras are put together in tune. Saadinchane o manasa Raga- Arabhi This is an enjoyable and playful song that would make the listener happy. The kriti is about Krishna, his clever nature, the child in him. Also, there is a questioning tune in some parts if observed closely. These can be seen as taunts by Tyagaraja to Krishna for cleverly getting what he wants by sweet talks. Kanakana Ruchira Raga-Varali The song is set to the questionably most difficult raga to render in Carnatic music. This is about the richness in the beauty of lord Rama and the depth and purity of devotion to him and the power of prayer. This song has a deep and ‘haunting’ feel to the whole composition. In my opinion, the listener can be brought to tears by listening to a properly rendered version of this. Endaro mahanubhavulu Raga- Shree Arguably the most famous composition of Carnatic music and is known to be the epitome of rhythmic compositions. It is essentially a salutation to the great and knowledgeable people like the sages, scholars, musicians etc. who by virtue of knowledge have the capability to attain holiness or nearness to god. There are bridges between different parts of the octave which are dramatic and majesty to the tone. It is the most beautiful play of dheerga and alpa swarasthanas( extended and fractional notes), to create the rhythmic and praiseful flavour.

- 1 | The great saint Tyagaraja is one of the most renowned and respected composers of Carnatic music He made some of the most valuable contributions to Carnatic music in the 18th century. Born in Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, his compositions are majorly in Telugu. Even to this day, the Tyagaraja Aradhana is held at Thiruvayoor where Carnatic vocalists, instrumentalists from all over the world perform the five pancharatna kritis in unison.


19 entropy

Entropy and Indian Classical Music Ahana Rao

E

ntropy is simply defined as the measure of disorder or randomness in a system. Order and disorder are evident strongly in nature. Take the simple example of melting ice.

MINIMUM ENTROPY | MAXIMUM ORDER

MAXIMUM ENTROPY | MINIMUM ORDER

TIME ICE CUBE (CRYSTAL STRUCTURE)

WATER PUDDLE (NO STRUCTURE)

The same theory also relates to the elements of sound. Coming to Indian Classical music and its relation to entropy. Lets first begin with a little introduction. Indian Classical music finds it origins in the Vedas- the oldest scriptures in the Hindu tradition, dating back to 1500 BC. It is structured into 12 semitones of which the 7 basic notes are, in ascending tonal order, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni MANDRA SAPTAK

RE GA

MADHYA SAPTAK SCALE B1 B2

B3 B4 B5

RE GA

MA DHA NI

MA DHA NI

SA RE GA MA PA DHA NI

TAAR SAPTAK

RE GA

SA RE GA MA PA DHA NI C D

E

F

G

A

MA DHA NI

SA RE GA MA PA DHA NI

B

A Raga, in Hindustani music, is a perfectly ordered structure of certain specific notes. Each Raga uses a series of five to nine musical notes upon which a melody is constructed. The performance is based melodically on particular Ragas and rhythmically on Taals.

Traditionally, Indian Classical music follows a strong discipline when it comes to its grammar and ethics. But once a musician dives into the creative aspect of it, abstraction and entropy join in, giving immense freedom of expression. Here I will take the example of Dhrupad, the oldest musical tradition of Hindustani Classical music. Dhrupad styles have long elaborate aalaps, their slow and deliberate melodic development gradually bringing an accelerating rhythmic pulse. I would recommend you listen to Pandit Uday Bhawalkar, maybe Raga Yaman. An Alap begins very slowly, with the tempo gradually increasing to uncover the personality of the raga. It is sung using a set of syllables in a recurrent, set pattern, Om, Num, Re, Ri, Na, Ta, Tom like a disciplined grammar ; which the artist then strings into a language to describe the Raga. Coming to the Raga itself, despite being very orderly in nature, it becomes whole only with artistic expression. It’s ultimate character – Raga Swaroop emerges only when the notes break through the order to create an invisible but vivid feature of the entire Raga. Each artist offers his/her own exploration within the same set of notes. Thus, Entropy is relevant and integral to music in terms of creativity. The balance between entropy and complete order ultimately brings about creativity that is true and sublime. Jeremy Campbell, in his book The Grammatically Man, pursues the recently developed idea that, increasing entropy (disorder and diversity) is necessary for the evolution of more complex and highly ordered systems. The same applies to Indian Classical Music. References - http://www.shalil-shankar.com/index.php?section=imusic - http://worldmusicwebblog.blogspot.in/2013/10/indian-classical-music.html


Portico Quartet - ‘Ruins’

tatvamasi october 2015 20

Parachutes - ‘Paper birds’

Bustan Abraham - ‘Seven eleven’

Ryan Adams - ‘Don’t ask for the water’

BLIND EXPRESSIONS


21 entropy

Aman Amin

crea-tropy


symphonies in an unobstructed mind Kishan Shah


23 entropy

?

HOW

DO YOU

DESIGN Apoorva Sharma

J

ust out of school, at CEPT as a fresher, I had no idea what design is about. A masterful set of exercises weaved into a beautiful mesh of stories awaited us. We explored several ideas, our hands scribbling down everything. What emerged, we hadn’t known existed in our minds. We drew incessantly to discover what exists. With new found skills of being able to express, we communicated in new sets of mediums. There was so much excitement and joy, and to think how simply it all started. A small beginning with a mere recognition of a few ideas; of anthropometrics; of personal bubbles; of people sitting together and discussing in groups. The importance of abstraction; to bring something down to its essentials. It was like learning a new alphabet for a language we’ve been seeing around us for all these 18 years, but never recognizing it. As the constituents of this language were developing in our heads, the interactions between them started

to happen. Putting two ideas together led to the emergence of something new. Let’s put a narrow space where I am comfortable only on my own just next to a large group space, what does it do? We made associations between things we had only seen before or maybe only heard of. We gave meaning to the lines we drew much beyond what is visible to an untrained eye. We made stories, weaved them into the spaces. The quiet space inside our head became more and more charged with ideas and connections and the joy of it all bursting with energy. From a distance our parents and friends looked at us, wondering what happened to our dear daughter. She sits quietly for hours with a tiny blade scraping a mound of thermocol lost in a world so dear to her. If only it was easier to share the energy and pleasure that the creative process brings, with others.


tatvamasi october 2015 24

Dave Gray on what gets us going, self awareness about ourselves could help us make our design processes better

4 years later, the constituent elements became more and more precise, the complex associations and relations between them became increasingly complex. The processes and stories had to be more explicit. It became important to be able to articulate the combinations and energy and to justify and defend it. To explain not just the result of our inspired thoughts but why and how they led to what they did. We had to recognize our weaknesses and let the thoughts take flight on their own and later be able to explain them. Our orientations started forming, we weren’t just fumbling with this new found language anymore but were developing our own versions of it. Explaining the large field of enlivened associations became even more difficult when it needed to be done in front of a jury.

Dave Gary describing processes. Opening up the possibilities, testing them and connecting them in exploration and then developing a few deeply to get to the final outcome. This description too has a linear format at a meta level; moving from one side to the other but describes a dynamic process.

During the process of design one goes through several ways of thinking. A creative process is thought to be a combination of a linear process and a non-linear one. In a linear (convergent) part one thought leads to the next and we explore one thing deeply to test it. While in the non-linear (divergent) part we explore a broad spectrum of ideas and many associations are made. The linear part leads to expertise and the non-linear also known as lateral thinking brings about richness of content and visionary tendencies. The problem arises when we need to talk about the associations and connections we make. Hillier and Hansen in Social Logic of space comment on how we are able to and are good at thinking in complex relations but seem to be rather bad at talking of those relations.

Dave Gary on reflection and the relationship between tacit and explicit knowledge and the importance of both


25 entropy

Dave Gray on emergent events

Presenting your design to a jury could be a wonderful way to reflect on the process. We have the opportunity to make a part of our process explicit. Put things out there, present the critical parts of what we think will help give insight of our process to experienced practitioners and professors. As a student, deeply involved in the project, it is hard to decide which parts should be presented. At the edge of darkness, just a few minutes before dawn, when the presentation drawings are finally either nearing completion or nearing the point where it doesn’t matter if more effort is put into completing them. One finally reaches the question of what we might actually say during the presentation. We bare ourselves to be questioned and judged on our work. The unsaid parts are more difficult to spot and sometimes tend to be the more interesting parts. Those are the parts the student may have implicitly applied in his or her design and not even realized that they did so. When the jury discussion leads to recognizing these moments they become rare opportunities to help the student and all those present, to take a major leap to the next level in their academic journey. It’s a moment of reflection on our work which leads to learning. Donald Schön an influential thinker in developing the theory and practice of reflective professional learning in the 20th Century talks about the design studio being an ideal system for creating a learning environment for all kinds of professionals.

The practitioner allows himself to experience surprise, puzzlement, or confusion in a situation which he finds uncertain or unique. He reflects on the phenomenon before him, and on the prior understandings which have been implicit in his behavior. He carries out an experiment which serves to generate both a new understanding of the phenomenon and a change in the situation. (Schön 1983: 68) A jury is an opportunity for a student to take their process apart. Be able to see their design and design process as others see it and learn a great deal about themselves from this. This creates a new understanding of one’s process of design. A design process is a process of discovery which spurs imagination and therefore design, which continues till one is excited for creating. It is an emergent process and as you develop the process, let what will emerge sweep you off your feet. Trust the process, trust the people and most importantly trust yourself. For a seed to create its greatest expression it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction. - Cynthia Occelli on Life References - Schön, Donald A. The Reflective Practitioner: How Professionals Think in Action. New York: Basic Books, 1983. Print. - Hillier, Bill, and Julienne Hanson. The Social Logic of Space. Cambridge [Cambridgeshire: Cambridge University Press, 1984. Print. - Dave Gray (illustration credits)


tatvamasi october 2015 26

Aditi Bajpai


27 entropy

Learnings to Learn A quest on the cognitive process of learning and its relation to the education system

Vedanti Agarwal

“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, cone a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” -Robert A. Heinlein

I

n reality, monopoly of a particular genius, means the death of a system. In this particular era, every field is pushed to its brink of innovation and production. Stress on individuality, makes it imperative to trace one’s learning process. The body and mind is a make up of the learning through ages. Cognitive development, has stages which move up the vertical plane, the horizontal encompassing the present frame of knowledge. According to Piaget, there exists distinct stages of cognitive development. A human mind crosses each threshold to move up the vertical planes. The education system which exists today was introduced during the 18th century, the era of industrial revolution, where organization prevailed so that man could dominate the ecosystem, into a continuous rut of production. The resulting system was a linear step by step learning process. Reinforced over the centuries, to become a selling point for success. The sense of security governed by the array of instructions, which identify you as a certified member of the society. Any deviations, does not imply a different learning approach but abnormalities, or outcasts to the system.

Why has this education system become a given? “The principle goal of education in the schools should be creating men and women who are capable of doing new things, not simply repeating what other generations have done; men and women who are creative, inventive and discoverers, who can be critical and verify, and not accept, everything they are offered.” -Jean Piaget Today, creativity wins the highest bid. A diverse set of people, resonate to the feeding in of creativity and not ‘outcasts’. Indicating an urgent shift from the ‘industrial’ to the ‘agricultural way’. Creating a system, which caters to both the mind and soul. Is there a need for the stark distinction between the cerebrum and senses? Learning, now calls for an overall process, humane enough to tend the adversity of talents which exists in the human mind. Intelligence is dynamic and distinct, responding to the wave of complexity which exists in everyday life, then why sort to a linear process of learning, which encourages a linear way of thinking? ‘The agricultural way’ The goal should be the making of an adaptive education system, to mould the individual according to personal drive in close knit with the context. Learning, over the span of life is an organic process which is symbiotic to its surrounding.


tatvamasi october 2015 28

Credit : Austin Kleon

A concise visualization of the connections the artist sees between comics and information design in the field of graphic design

‘Go to school get a degree’ Within the linear system exist concepts coerced into the way thinking. Now assuming to be the natural order of things, to the extent of an ‘academic inflation’, which largely neglects the proliferation of opposing ideas which maybe of the present century. Rather than being victims, held on to by the reigns of previous centuries, there is an exigency of upliftment to fulfill ‘now’ . The ideal system, may not be ‘ideal’ anymore. Rather, the educational system, needs a restructuring to suit all kinds of genii. A creative insight An apparent shift in the way of learning from high school, is what we now experience in the creative learning field, where there is no ‘right’ and ‘wrong’. The stress on tangible learning is as much as the intangible.The education system, in design schools blur distinctions between the senses and cerebrum. The structure of the institution no longer dominates, but allows the learner to formulate a personal design process within this scattered way of learning. This is because of the shift in the way of thinking. A break in the ordered way of going about a problem, may result into an increasingly innovative solution. So increasing disorder in thinking may be proportionate to increasing creativity, but only to a certain extent after which uncontrolled and excessive disorder may lead to the absence of an end product. According to study carried out by, Jeff W.T. Kan and John S. Gero Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study in USA, Entropy along with linkography can be used as a measure for design creativity. By carrying out a series of experiments they formulated a way

of creating links in the thought process, to measure creativity, essentially owing to the fact that the design process is a scattered way of thinking. 1

2

3

4

1

2

3

4

1

2

3

4

A system devised: Abstracted linkograph for entropy measurement.

Hence proving entropy to be an essential ingredient of rigor in any design process. The design process is of great complexity, training the mind to be an admixture of ‘many’, not allowing the gray cells to be governed ‘one’ at a time. An increase in variables results into, increased entropy which betters the product. One of the ways of increasing variables is, leaving more than one projects, as open threads to be solved simultaneously. Less structured thinking, then allows the mind to borrow from one and give to another. Learning here is picked up from the tangents, in a design problem. Reiterating, the design process is a disordered way of thinking and so the way of learning in creative schools, should be designed to provide opportunities to variables in a system, to be picked up by the students. Is not the vertical studios a way to increase these variables? Is not the variability of electives and the ability to choose from it more opportunistic? What we need is not an uproar against the new ways of learning, but rather to first analyze the system in reference with the essentials in a learning process. References - http://mason.gmu.edu/~jgero/publications/2009/09KanGeroIASDR09.pdf - http://graphicfacilitation.blogs.com/pages/ideas_illustrated/page/3/(image)


29 entropy

Kashikar on Learning and Entropy What do you think of learning in a design process? How do you relate it to entropy? According to me, learning is what you pick up while doing, especially in relation to a design process. Coming to entropy, physical sciences define it to be a measure of disorder in a closed system. But philosophers question order and disorder. For example acts of creation may go against entropy, when relating it to the fact that increase in time, increases the disorder in a system . In relation to design, entropy can be related to ‘the product’ as well as ‘the process’ How do you think and education system should be in creative design schools? In a creative design learning, the system should be as open and flexible as possible. As for designing in school it is not the ‘end’ but the ‘way one learns’ which is important. There is a difference in an ‘education system’ and ‘a learning environment’, based on the way we interpret the system. So sometimes inspite of the system being open, the learning environment becomes the opposite, if people do not agree with it. In design schools, people are more important than the system; teachers as well as students. Unlike a field where knowledge is objective, knowledge in architecture is not as crystalised enough, so how people look at it becomes very important. Do you think systemisation is necessary in a creative learning background? Systemisation in relation to creation of systems; No, It is not detrimental. Systems can be open ended and flexible. Systems exist in the content and manner of education. Operational systems towards the manner of education, make functioning easier, but if ill designed it will be problematic. However good learning can take place within a system as well. But it is not necessary to have a system to learn. Modes of learning can be random as well discussions outside the classroom, at the canteen, etc. Sometimes these may be very successful ways of learning without a system. But the acceptability of this kind of learning is speculative, in a way, to practice as an architect.

How do you see the evolution of the education system on campus in relation to learning? From the system perspective, there is not much change. Credit system, exams, electives ,etc, have not changed drastically. There is a change in the content, percentage of electives, vertical studios etc. Largely, learning in the last 10 years has evolved-from a teacher imparting knowledge and information to how information is received and used. For example, in the construction curriculum, earlier emphasis was on teaching the material and its types, now there is lesser stress on technical information of material, and more on how do you look at material, what happens when different materials meet. Information then was not easily accessible, but now is readily available so the emphasis of education shifts, from just imparting information to more analyzing. The other evolution has been in the modes of teaching. Earlier the structure gave importance to undivided information and large concentration spans, but now to a mode of divided and short attention. Learning needs to mould itself as the society and culture changes. There is still a struggle to teach in a distracted condition. How do you justify vertical studios in relation to evolution in learning? What vertical studios essentially does is, it provides varied set of choices. From the institution perspective, it is very difficult to decide on what to teach and what not to teach. Increase in options suggest that different people learn different things. Earlier, the bachelors education was a comprehensive generic learning; the ‘jack of all trades’, and masters was for ‘specialisation’. So what the institution allows now is, the freedom for students to chart their own paths and being able to specialize. For example, electives earlier were more general, but now are more subject specific. So from the institution’s perspective it is more varied. Even vertical studios. What do you think of liberalization in a creative background with respect to learning? Being liberal is a prerequisite for learning in the creative field. Liberalization both in thought and actions is required. It is an outcome of a system, or of anything. There can be a system, which appears to be rigid on paper, but people may interpret it to be free. So though the education system is not liberal, the learning environment can be very liberal. The other way around is also possible, when on paper the system is liberal, in a sense to have many choices of subjects etc.; being only one aspect of liberalization, another aspect, is for example extending jury dates, when to teach and when not to. This aspect is getting more rigid in the new system. So all aspects may or may not be liberal. In the old system there was freedom and flexibility in extending dates etc, but not many choices of the studios. Now, the way we see liberal has changed, we are making systems which are more liberal, everything from space allocation to timetables.


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According to me, an ideal design school would be where each student would be given 7 main design projects to be done and he/ she could work at his/her pace and give jury at their own time. Open to be discussed with whomsoever needed. The speed at which people learn is not the same, so even if you are deciding the content of education, the fact that there are 5 years, is not liberal, the fact that there are studios, is not liberal, the fact that all semesters are 16 weeks, is not liberal. In practice, there have been architects who design outstanding buildings a night before the client comes and some who take 5-6 years to design a building. Systemisation is a result of administration, certain orders are administered to simplify the system, creating rigidity in an educational system. With the advent of computing, we can make much more complex administration systems possible to get desired results. It is possible to get a range of faculties for discussions, to get a much more diverse range of opinions. Education in a design field is not prescribed, it is rather based on experiences and what you discuss. Hence it is necessary to do, discuss and learn with 10 people. But in a classic administrative sense it is problematic to employ 10 people for one studio. In that sense, is our current education system a liberal environment? It can be much more. Was it a liberal environment earlier? No, not even then, administrative systemisation always exists. There is also the aspect of informality, freedom to talk and discuss with anyone. However this is outside the system and depends from person to person. Is the administration tending towards professionalization? It is tending towards accountability; not professionalization. Accountability from the entire system. Not only in terms of quality of teaching, but also on the amount of hours of teaching. What will be the new developments in relation to the curriculum and the campus? In relation to the curriculum, I do not know of anything new. In the last 2 years, there have been many changes. The major change has been a reduction in the number of courses, still not reaching an ideal situation. Earlier, the maximum courses were in second year with 10 courses, posing the question of distraction. Now it is 6 courses, which is now stabilized. The current 2015 batch curriculum is also now accepted and stable after a lot of heart burn. However still open to discussion, is whether to make design and research as options in the tenth semester, which means to have one more taught studio like studio 8 or 9. Some argue that, not everyone is able to do research, some more interested in design. While others argue, that everyone should do research, because it teaches two aspects of design; synthesis and analysis. In relation to the campus, there are plans for new construction on campus. But there are no concrete plans apart from the library building. There are also plans of extending this(school of architecture) bay towards the canteen or making a block between the west wall of this block and the canteen. There are also discussions to make a new block near the GIDC, for workshops. But do expect new facilities on campus.

The eye of the storm Varun Shah

A

lot of the situations from everyday life feel random at the face of it, but if further ruminated upon,these things may have complex reasons behind them. Like illusions that deceive us, trick us into believing something else. The new academic allocationis one such illusion. There is a certain degree of randomness in any system. Sometimes within that randomness, emerges an order, strong rigid concepts that contradict the disorder. There cannot exist any system devoid of atleast glimpses of chaos. Our academic system is prone to such oscillations from order to chaos and back again. Originally the studio selection and allocation system was straightforward. Minimal choices, predictable courses and acquainted faculty members. It was orderly and systematic with a set of time tested procedures, implemented into the structure. There was little room for an element of disorder in the system. Like in all dormant thermodynamic reactions, all you need is a catalyst to jumpstart the process. Here, the catalyst was the new system of design studio’s which was introduced this year. A different system which would offer more choices, cover a wider range of topics and have a better student faculty ratio. This was done with the idea of “vertical studios” in mind . What it means was that two batches would be combined and treated as one.Almost like combining two elements in a closed system according to thermodynamic concepts. This obviously was met with resistance from multiple fronts. It was going to take a while for things to settle down and for order to emerge from the disorder created. The allocation process, was a mess in itself. crudely and inefficiently done. But as time passed, the dust finally settled down and people got used to the new system. Amidst GBM’s and canteen chats, students seeked to establish a new order, rules to ensure the systematic working of the selection process next time. Now, the overall opinion of the situation is drastically different. There are no more complains and no more regrets. It is as if the disturbance disintegrated with time. Emphasizing, that in the end everything tends towards order. The period of randomness soon seemed insignificant in the timeline and was disregarded. This begs the question, “What happens in the end ?”. “Does all order crumble under the influence of disorder like the castles built in sand washed away by the sea?” Or does order break away and emerge from chaos like the harmony of a single instrument in an orchestra?”


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The beauty of

O

rder is a lens to look through. Anything and everything can be looked through a parameter of order to better our understanding of things. An understanding of order may not seem to affect our daily life in a big way immediately. But with a careful study to get to the deep layers of order many invisible factors come to the surface. “The beings of nature try to keep the cyclical pattern of life and existence to live in coherence.” At first glance when I look at these words, they seems very contrasting to one another; nature - cyclical pattern, existence coherence. But if looked at with a perspective of new sciences, it is fundamentally not two states but rather a continuum that we as beings of nature try to search for. As David Bohm says; “The world as an undivided whole in constant flux in which all parts of the universe are constantly interacting” The uncertainty and unpredictability in this constant flux are the moments, which makes this campus. Our sense of being a part of the larger group on this campus and to have a role to play, is what keeps our life purposeful and exciting. The parts David Bohm talks about, their action in shaping up or charging the others parts somehow generates that flux or energy in our case too. The individual becomes less important for the cause of generating the larger whole. This is what it is to be in this campus, the ideal state, where lots of information is exchanged and brainstormed; it is impossible to let this place go and have some resistance when there is a change. Resistance suggests a sense of belonging when there is change to a non-ideal state. Ideal state here is just a concept. The constant flux never let it become

Harsh Desai

place and space

YannimaPikarli by Tommy Watson

a physical reality. And that’s where the beauty lies; we know it by the term ‘Chaos’. The ideal state could be understood in sense of a equilibrium. Individuality lies in unpredictability or in uncertainty. An individual’s every action brings in uncertainty, as we all are very unique. We, as individual, have to bring forth that uniqueness to keep the ‘whole’ working and evolving. Our very own personal way of doing things and thinking things brings richness to the overall ‘whole’. To add to this complexity but to make it simple, Karl Pribram a very well known professor of psychology and philosopher, had come up with an idea of morphogenetic resonance. What it means in simpler words is that what has happened before has some influence to the stage it is today and this is a constant dialogue too. Our association of the place and space has deep memories of belonging and that can’t be transformed rapidly. “In everything that nature makes, nature records how it was made. In the rock is record of how the rock was made. In man is the record how man was made. When we are conscious of this, we have a sense of the laws of universe. Some can reconstruct the laws of the universe from knowing just a blade of grass. Others have to learn many, many things before they can sense what is necessary to discover that order which is the universe.” - Louis Kahn So Lets get graphite out, So Lets get yellow all over, Lets explode; explode so much, That the flux says enough now!!! Go get some sleep. References - Bohm, David. Wholeness and Implicate order. - Pribram, Karl. The implicate brain. - Morphic fields and Implicate order, A dialogue with David Bohm.


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an opposition srinivas narayan


33 entropy

an na

OPPOSITION NOITISOPPO TO

A discourse on the inevitable change Malay Doshi

Freedom of expression

I

n an era, which might just be called the time after the Charlie Hebdo attacks, does an individual really need to justify his/her take on a creative project? Could it not be his/her response to the context as he/she perceives it? Is there a need for the individual to really be made to understand what is the way to design in that specific context?

A good example for this lies just in our own studios. With the same brief given to everyone doing the studio, the end results are not remotely similar, even if all of us might be doing the same processes to reach there. That is precisely because we all come from our ‘own’ experiences, things which are very personal and are definitely not the same for any other person in this world. Also because, we were given a certain freedom to choose a path of our liking.


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Although we have these variations, we are prominently a product of the same ‘Chain of Thought’; peas in a pod, taught the same values as everyone else who has come out of this school. The facial expression on all of our faces after listening to Zaha Hadid’s name would be pretty much the same, which proves a very definitive point: that of the ‘CEPT bubble’. It is, hence, not surprising to see the same reactions come to the design of the ‘new’ library as that to the ‘south facade debacle’: an instant uproar of people ready to tear the idea down, because, it does not do justice to the ‘campus identity’. So the question rises: What is the campus identity? Maybe an easier way to answer that question would be moving away from it and asking a simpler metaphorical question: What is your hometown’s identity? Or an even better one might be: What is your identity?

Changing times Surely, you would have a lot to say for that question, but the important thing to notice is that your answer would vary over a certain period of time. You definitely are not the same person you were a year ago, you don’t have the dreadlocks anymore, just got a new tattoo to ‘define’ yourself and are definitely using a trendier cellphone. Ever asked the question of ‘why’ there? Not really, because the times have changed; for some its to become invisible in the general expanse of people, for others it might be to stand out, but you did change nonetheless. Why is it then, that we still want to stick to something which has been chewed up and even digested now over the last half century, when it comes to building? Why is having something, which is not exactly what has been done before, but rather a new take on it, so bad? Of course, it is one persons point of view and it will remain that. Obviously if you would have done it, you would have done it differently; and there would have been people to find mistakes in that as well. Every person who has been to Barcelona is as mesmerised by the old town as he/she is with the gridiron planning towards the outer areas. Wasn’t that an outcome of change?

structure be present in isolation, as a quintessential node, between all the so called harmony around it; and provide a break from that which is being called a common architectural language?

Architectural Language That brings us to the question of continuing an architectural language. If one takes the example of any language, one could form a catch phrase as well as a limerick out of the same language, the same set of alphabets. These variations just happen when you change the occasion. If we continue the same logic in the architectural context, would the outcome not change depending on what is to be built? Would there not be a difference in a building that is to act as a central body versus buildings which are supposed to be spaces for creation? Could the harmony in the fragments existing on campus be perceived only because of the relationships that we form with them over time? By the time all of us are capable of formulating those relationships in sentences, we have already spent at least half a decade in this place; which is a long enough time for us to form these relationships in our mind. After all, the human mind is known to look for patterns in everything, even though none might exist. And so, would it be so bad to have a structure that is something different as compared to the rest? Maybe after a few years of it getting built it might become just as integral a part of the campus as everything else. Furthermore, it might just give an opportunity for us to experience something new and perceive other ways of going about design. It might just be even more interesting to call various architects from across the country for the other new buildings that are to come up, to make this campus a place for innovation rather than the ideal world of one mind. To conclude, this discourse is not trying to propagandise a specific object in any manner. On the contrary it is a call for everyone to be

Could the harmony in the fragments existing on campus be perceived only because of the relationships that we form with them over time?

We are all intrigued by the metropolitan way of design, one that retains harmony above anything else. Manhattan, Venice and Fatehpur Sikri are all products of the idea of the Metropolis. Yes, they are all very inspiring, but today; ‘today’ being the most important word here; all cities are growing at the speed at which they are, not because of that same metropolitan way of design. It is the idea of individuality that has risen above all today and that which has given way to the idea of the Meta-City: the city which, as Brian McGrath puts it, calls for the re-assemblage of the social and natural ordering. In an age of Post-Modernism, where inclusivity matters the most, why do we still dwell in the idea of the harmonic perfect? Why can’t a

more open-minded, and maybe leave some things of the past to be in the past. It is asking the question whether it is just change that scares us. Change, is what we as a species have been trying to defy since the beginning of time. Now that defiance could be creating neighbourhoods and later cities which form a familiar environment or just as simple as one’s desktop wallpaper. Could there finally come a time where one tries and stops denying change, stops hanging onto the familiar; to instead grasp ‘change’ by its neck and start a ride that might just lead on to something better? References - http://federicobabina.com/SPACECITIES - http://www.jazzberryblue.com/#!home/mainPage - https://www.facebook.com/bimal.patel.3990/photos/pcb.1074280172600563/107427820593409 3/?type=3&theater


35 entropy

in studios.. Aanal Mehta


tatvamasi october 2015 36

Ravivari

R

Vedanti Agarwal • Swati Khambhayta

avivari now: stretches on one long strip of shops, more or less linear but leading to a more concentrated and dense market, eventually taking you out onto the main road. Propagating an organized way of gathering what is needed. Ravivari before: was an agglomeration of shops, distributed in a way to take the customers through, not being linear but a mass to be traveled within and around, allowing to loiter, stop by, think and maybe come back.

In an egg, a closed system, the molecules collide not only with each other but also, with the walls which transfer some of its energy to the molecules of the system making them move faster, This increases entropy, with time. But if the egg breaks, the liquid starts flowing, to eventually spread out to its limit. In the Ravivari, the agglomeration of shops, increases entropy, creating a tight knit between the customers and stakeholders, to allow closer and disorderly movement making it alive and sustainable. The linear arrangement of shops has made an invisible line of movement, losing the scope of unconscious movement, which affects the overall environment of buying and selling.


37 entropy

Recommended Readings Steven Johnson, Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software, Scribner, 2002 : Explaining why the whole is sometimes smarter than the sum of its parts, Johnson presents surprising examples of feedback, selforganization, and adaptive learning.

James Gleick , Chaos, Making a New Science, Vintage, 1997 : This book brings together different work in the new field of physics called the chaos theory, an extension of classical mechanics, in which simple and complex causes are seen to interact.

Catherine Ingraham , Architecture and the Burdens of Linearity. Yale University Press, 1998 : Ingraham debates about the connection between theory and practice in architecture and also address themes in psychoanalytic criticism, poststructural theory, and feminist criticism.

Catherine Ingraham, Architecture, Animal, Human : The asymmetrical condition, Routledge, 2006 : This book looks at specific instances in the Renaissance, Enlightenment and our own time when architectural ideas and ideas of biological life come into close proximity with each other.

Jeremy Rifkin and Ted Howard, Entropy: A New World View, The Viking Press, New York, 1980 In the book the authors seek to analyze the world’s economic and social structures by using the second law of thermodynamics, also known as the law of entropy.

Jeremy Campbell ,Grammatical Man: Information, Entropy, Language, and Life, 1982: The book frames and examines existence, from the Big Bang to DNA to human communication to artificial intelligence, in terms of information processes.


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After colonizing all the minds in the school of architecture, the entropy bug has now invaded tatvamasi.


Tatvamasi 2015  

Tatvamasi is a student magazine, by the students of the school of architecture, Cept University, Ahmedabad.