p.p1 slum designing a community center for them

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0px 0.0px 0.0px; text-align: justify; font: 12.0px ‘DIN Pro’; min-height: 15.0px}My interpretation of Architecture has evolved in three different contexts, each one stronger than the other: Architecture as a Place for all People, Architecture for the People and Architecture within the Details.In architecture school, when I spent some time with the people in a slum designing a community center for them I realized that architecture has a very idiosyncratic place in the life of our societies. Most buildings get built because they are commissioned by a corporate concern, private entity or an individual, someone with easy access to resources – monetary, social and political. Yet architecture, or at least most of it anyway, is a public good: What one entity builds the other must live with, and often, for a very long time.

Even though there is nothing wrong with the situation of producing buildings that serves the best of the client’s interests, it sometimes less reliably serves the public. We should find a way to balance of power so that the rest of us get buildings and places that is good for us too. [i.e.,] Architecture is more than just buildings. It is a Place for all People.

Often when I think on these lines, a parallel thought process that runs in my head is the fact that in most buildings people are added as an afterthought.  Due to the ephemerality and project character of the industry, sometimes architects don’t have to bother with the usage that much and can afford to detach themselves from the mess that usage and everyday life is going to bring upon theirs buildings. Architecture should rather design for the people using the buildings than see the building in isolation. You need to be sensitive to and interested in the people and the world around it, which is changing at the same speed and is very fascinating. A building cannot be sustainable only in the literal sense, just by using the right set of materials and technology. It needs to be sustainable in a cultural sense and tell us something interesting and inspiring.

[i.e.,] Architecture is already violent – you always dig a foundation.

So, do it for the right reasons: do it as Architecture for the People.Having been given space in architecture school to attempt solving various hypothetical solutions, the exposure to the professional world and the direct experience of human and social nature gave me a very different take on things. It’s not very often that all the forces that need to coincide to actually make a project proceed are happening at the same time. It made me realize that just because there are so many people in the world with so many things to do, we mustn’t settle for mediocrity. We should take time to do quality work, focus on the details, reject the prosaic and always strive for something better. Only in buildings that move us, there is an element of care – a feeling of sense, passion and involvement.

I learnt few hard lessons on the way – there will probably be no hyper – growth, but shelter is a fundamental need and perseverance in the field won’t go out of fashion. [i.e.,] Architecture needs patience because Architecture is within the Details.


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