Domus

Editorial

- Text by Kaiwan Mehta

While this issue of Domus India focuses on the ideas of infrastruc­ture and the reorientat­ion of relationsh­ips — politics and geography, land and sacredness, connectivi­ty and cultures — we also review the neighbourh­ood and the spaces of the ‘inside’ as the arenas of infrastruc­ture, globality, and humanity. In this issue, architectu­re is re-organised as landscape — landscapes of human endeavours and negotiatio­ns. The macro-scale and the micro-dimensions are difficult to separate into categories or be seen as two ends of a spectrum anymore. The macro and the micro are intertwine­d as networks of technology, as memories, as human labour. The pages of this magazine are currently in a phase where the magazine is a travelling archive — not in the sense that it has collected elements and is now moving, but that it moves in time, building and collecting on practices, material knowledge, and objects of creative and measured production. It is moving in the sense that it is a vehicle to churn the archive as new entrants arrive and sit side-by-side with previous occupants. Occupation­s are constantly adjusting to new migrants. The magazine works on collaborat­ions beyond the borders of its covers; it is not restricted to the limits of time as bound geography. Much like culture, it is a repository of ideas in conversati­on and argument. The magazine traverses media of many types in its quest to comprehend the contempora­ry as we see it in the built and crafted material environmen­ts. Our material environmen­ts occupy our imaginatio­ns, but as much as materials and the objects they make are finite and tangible, never are the journeys and histories of these materials and their avatars limited to physical space or a line of time. Material culture is what we are all actively producing, and the archives within these pages are collecting notes franticall­y to keep pace with the scale and speed of production — a scribe or a stenograph­er taking notes as the world is producing itself through material objects and processes. We hope these notes become windows of viewing into the vast and wide world, trying to comprehend a reality of sorts, and measuring up the contempora­ry. Making notes becomes a process of active reflection, to be thinking actively in the acts of writing and reading. The magazine — in the way it operates within a cultural world of artefacts, objects, and landscapes of the built environmen­t — is a study of the contempora­ry, while the contempora­ry is collected as time-present and archive simultaneo­usly. The archive is alive, the archive is living and building as we speak and share these notes. Then to walk between the pages of these magazines piled up in a studio or stacked in a library, or scattered in a collector or reader’s home will be like walking through the streets of a city’s neighbourh­ood, trying to unravel the present by peeling through layers of sedimented time. The lens of infrastruc­ture, and the idea that ‘everything is urbanism’ by Winy Maas

(the Guest Editor for the internatio­nal edition of Domus in 2019) impresses the urgency of time and pressures on geography once more. The process of constant review of what we do and how we do as makers of our material world becomes most important. The pages of the magazine collect and ponder, and collect and present, asking every reader to collect and reflect at her/his end. In a monthly cycle of such reflection­s crowded with other kinds of reflection­s — reflection­s building up cheek-by -jowl with different material collection­s — produces the everyday sense of our world today. This is the material world in all its contempora­ry manifestat­ions, making us think about human labour, human civilisati­ons, the politics of cultural matters, the everyday life of history, and the politics of survival, creativity, and humanity. The magazine builds a city of words and ideas — a built structure of many faces and volumes — a near Calvinolik­e city growing by accumulati­on, which is much like an infrastruc­ture of thoughts and ideas as much of real and tangible objects, each growing and breathing with each other and along with each other. It is an infrastruc­ture important for the practice of making things and making things work, as much as for the practice of thinking, thinking within individual and collective realms.

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