Mo­han­bir Singh & Ar. Manin­der Kaur, Creative De­signer Ar­chi­tects (CDA)

Creative De­signer Ar­chi­tects (CDA)

MGS Architecture - - Changing Face of Indian Architecture -

Ar­chi­tec­ture to­day stands at a junc­tion where it has still not truly found its iden­tity and is still evolv­ing as an ‘ar­chi­tec­ture in tran­si­tion’.

The ar­chi­tec­ture and de­sign of build­ings in In­dia has evolved through a se­ries of con­tex­tual eras. The past le­gacy of the Bri­tish Raj is quite ev­i­dent and is be­ing blended to­day in a col­lage of re­gional In­dian tra­di­tional ar­chi­tec­ture with their req­ui­site cli­matic re­sponses, thereby pro­vid­ing a more re­gional def­i­ni­tion to the ar­chi­tec­ture that is preva­lent. Ar­chi­tec­ture to­day stands at a junc­tion where it has still not truly found its iden­tity. In a for­age to con­nect with its roots, it’s still evolv­ing as an ‘ar­chi­tec­ture in tran­si­tion’.

The in­di­vid­ual has a need to be in propin­quity with na­ture. Co-ex­is­tence with na­ture is es­sen­tial for mu­tual well-be­ing, which is get­ting de­pleted. The ur­ban dy­nam­ics in­di­cate an alarm­ing surge in mi­gra­tion rates thereby stress­ing ur­ban spa­ces for their op­ti­mum utiliza­tion. As a re­sult, the city grows ei­ther ver­ti­cally or the green spa­ces get built upon, con­fis­cat­ing the open greens from the peo­ple and ir­ra­tionally hyp­ing the ideal cost of liv­ing inside a met­ro­pol­i­tan. The pop­u­la­tion, in response, tries to move away to the sub­ur­ban ar­eas and trav­els to city for work, re­sult­ing in an in­ten­sively over­loaded trans­porta­tion sys­tem. In such a con­text, the ar­chi­tec­ture de­mands an in­te­gra­tion of green ter­races within the build­ings, pro­vid­ing peo­ple with green open spa­ces to har­mo­nize and in­ter­act with na­ture.

An­other crit­i­cal as­pect of the rapid ur­ban­iza­tion and the astro­nom­i­cal pop­u­la­tion growth is the in­crease in waste gen­er­a­tion and its mis­man­age­ment. Hence, the ar­chi­tec­ture of to­day also needs to fac­tor highly ef­fi­cient waste man­age­ment sys­tems, well con­cealed be­low the city. The fo­cus of ar­chi­tects and de­sign­ers to­day, should be on how to in­te­grate the life­style of hu­man be­ings with na­ture, mak­ing it into an evolv­ing or­ganic life­style so that ul­ti­mately the hu­man be­ings don’t be­come sub­servient to a pro­gres­sive tech­no­log­i­cal life­style, but rather, the tech­nol­ogy

is sub­servient to hu­man be­ings, and the ar­chi­tec­ture be­comes a re­flec­tion of the con­tin­uum of evolv­ing hu­man race, be­ing able to pre­vail its re­la­tion­ship with ecol­ogy mov­ing for­ward in a sus­tain­able way.

New build­ing tech­nolo­gies and soft­ware have widened the play­ground for de­sign­ers to ex­per­i­ment and put for­ward the most fit­ting de­sign with a highly sim­pli­fied ex­e­cu­tion.

Ad­vance­ment in com­pu­ta­tional tech­nol­ogy in ar­chi­tec­ture is two-fold. The first as­pect re­lates to com­pu­ta­tional de­sign and the other analy­ses and sim­pli­fies the ex­e­cu­tion of com­plex build­ing de­signs. Con­cep­tu­al­iza­tion through soft­ware such as Au­todesk MAYA, Rhino and Grasshop­per have al­lowed the for­mu­la­tion of de­signs that are con­ceived as a response to cer­tain pa­ram­e­ters and vari­ables in de­sign, as a com­pu­t­er­driven process aimed for a de­sired ex­pe­ri­ence and ef­fi­ciency. This out­break in de­sign process is in­trigu­ing and rad­i­cal, and has un­doubt­edly carved a niche for it­self.

The other as­pect of com­pu­ta­tional tech­nol­ogy in ar­chi­tec­ture is BIM, which tends to fine tune, an­a­lyze and sim­u­late com­plex build­ing struc­tures and ser­vices, mak­ing the en­tire process sim­pler and ef­fi­cient. These tech­nolo­gies have clearly widened the play­ground for us as de­sign­ers to ex­per­i­ment and put for­ward the most fit­ting de­sign in the best pos­si­ble way with a highly sim­pli­fied ex­e­cu­tion. The soft­ware are also a sig­nif­i­cant cat­a­lyst in con­ceiv­ing a sus­tain­able de­sign vo­cab­u­lary for the fu­ture of our built en­vi­ron­ment such as con­cep­tu­al­iza­tion of dy­namic-re­spon­sive fa­cade sys­tems, heat-re­silient struc­tures and be­yond.

Use of mod­ern ma­te­ri­als will see ar­chi­tec­ture evolv­ing

Rapid tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vance­ments have re­sulted in new types of com­pos­ite ma­te­ri­als to ex­hibit the char­ac­ter­is­tics of tra­di­tional ma­te­ri­als like brick, mud, etc with the de­sired con­tem­po­rary aes­thet­ics. Glass, for in­stance, has been in use for a very long time, but now it has started to im­bibe func­tion­al­i­ties that are quite dif­fer­ent from what is was orig­i­nally con­ceived for, i.e. as a trans­par­ent ma­te­rial to al­low light inside a build­ing.

Con­tem­po­rary pos­si­bil­i­ties with glass are enor­mous, from be­ing able to reg­u­late the amount of heat, light and acous­tic con­trol to evolv­ing as a highly ro­bust and dy­namic struc­tural ma­te­rial com­pos­ite. Use of mod­ern ma­te­ri­als will see ar­chi­tec­ture evolv­ing and the role of ar­chi­tects and de­sign­ers in this re­gard will not only be lim­ited to in­te­grat­ing the tech­nolo­gies, but also to guide its evo­lu­tion to pre­serve the hu­man way of life, and not go too over­board with tech­nol­ogy.

If, within the over­all de­sign process, con­struc­tion tech­nolo­gies like pre­cast, PEB’S, and dry­wall fit in, they can pro­vide mo­du­lar­ity, along with econ­omy and ease of de­sign.

Con­struc­tion tech­nolo­gies like pre­cast, PEB’S, and dry­wall have ac­tu­ally brought in a lot of flex­i­bil­ity, econ­omy and func­tion­al­ity into ar­chi­tec­ture. How­ever, they have their lim­i­ta­tions, as they are yet not be­ing able to per­ceive com­plete una­nim­ity with the ar­chi­tect’s imag­i­na­tion. So, yes, within the over­all de­sign process, they have a sub­stan­tial role, where they can fit in and pro­vide mo­du­lar­ity, and, of course, mo­du­lar­ity brings econ­omy in con­struc­tion and ease of de­sign.

How­ever, they have a long way to go be­fore they can fully com­pre­hend, match and achieve the ex­tent of ar­chi­tec­tural imag­i­na­tion we en­vi­sion. And, of course, if in the de­sign process, these pro­vi­sions are in­te­grated well at the con­cep­tual stage and they are given the right amount of lead time, they can con­trib­ute sig­nif­i­cantly in meet­ing the as­pi­ra­tions of the ar­chi­tect and the var­i­ous stake­hold­ers.

To fur­ther com­bat this disconnect, the tech­nol­o­gists should prob­a­bly have a di­a­logue with the de­sign teams to pro­vide the de­sired flex­i­bil­ity, which would, in turn, pro­vide the ar­chi­tects with a lot of per­mu­ta­tions and com­bi­na­tions to put these tech­nolo­gies in such a way so that it is able to meet the de­signer’s vi­sion.

Aakash Health­care

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