Auroville July 2019- Building Sense Now!

Auroville July 2019- Building Sense Now!


I think we need to focus on where the problems come from before we start addressing the symptoms. Because otherwise, it’s like trying to fix the leak without closing the tap. …that is an element we should just separate before going down to the organic structure of this program. Many times we get asked, “what does an architect actually do?” …we should connect with the layman better. I am just going to come in on this because a lot of very important points are getting lost in the discussion… All of this is also about knowledge development and not just taking the existing knowledge “as is” because the world is changing society is changing… We [architects] can be extremely self-critical and that self-criticality come from taking the onus of all things on to ourselves in the profession. How that happens I’m not quite sure. This is essentially a commitment of time… …quite appreciated the diversity of the group that was invited because most of these events tend to be all of the same kind and they are all patting our back and saying how good we are and everyone outside the room are ones that need to be changed. So this was different. For me a good experience to have the ones who need to change and the ones who can change other in the same room. In a way this sends a very positive message… If you look at housing, what the buzz word? “Rapid production” “Rapid buildings” etc. etc. But you know, that method has both opportunities as well as dangers. [inaudible] laughter. I still feel we need campaigns. We need to write a lot. We need to write about buildings… Buildings sense now! As a community we are selfish and we don’t share our learnings. What we learn…the mistakes that we have made. I agree with Prashant. I offer what I have learnt in the last 25 years, with lots of experiments.. Er…practically and I have failed many times. I am ready to share what ever I have learnt. Last two day were very introspective, and I am happy to have met a lot of you. May of you that I have never even met before. and I think that it is about starting with a small commitment and taking it to a large level, for me at least I think, I feel we can all make it happen. I go back with a renewed commitment and a resolve that you have to live the principals of sustainability through the lifecycle of the projects and take hard decisions not only in the beginning but continue to do through the lifecycle of the project. We had two days of intense brainstorming session. I feel guilty that I didn’t scale up [sustainability]. So, I think I will scale up and my commitment will be, in Coimbatore, we have over 100 engineering colleges and 20 architectural colleges… I plan to impart the knowledge of sustainability to them. For that I need evidence-based materials. So I will be in touch with Ipsita and all of you people. Thank you! Applauds Personally, I would like to give my time to work on products which are various building industry products. which are in the [sustainability] innovative segment. I really agree with Mahesh. Whatever we have also learnt in the last 20years of practice we would like to share thought projects and more importantly our mistakes. What really appealed to me most was the way this was crafted. The day one was the synergy of everybody’s ideas that brought out four distinct areas where we could work and also made us understand what our leanings or strengths would be. That’s why it has resulted in a concrete solution for me, at least, to take it forward. I believe in sustainability… and I have stayed quiet on some aspects of un-sustainability practices – “Vaastu” [Indian feng shui]. I have stayed quiet abut it for too long. I have resolved not to keep quiet about it now. I got a sense of urgency. More and more than ever before For me, I really liked the diversity of positions that have been brought into this forum and the experiences that have been shared together is mind-blowing. I’m glad that we didn’t end up with solutions that are just focused on governments or a third agency outside our group here. And I hope I can continue to be a part of this. I would hope that there could be a slightly wider non-professional representation in such forums. People will challenge stuff like what we just put up [as solutions]. We have a huge population which doesn’t have a roof on their head. We are the ‘haves” sitting in this room and talking about what can we do. I think that if we miss the social aspect and the social impact of everything that we do, and this labourer on the side is struggling to build what we are designing, if we don’t take care of that… When we when we talk of sustainability, it’s a very very incomplete discussion. …we should share more about what we have done [in the sustainability space] on this platform and whatever way we can do it …creating a good sourcebook or people who can work on certain avenues would be very nice. When we see such huge gigantic issues we are like the deer look at the headlights. And in our head lot of complex theories are happening on how this could change and that could be different. But you yourself should try and run. We can’t change the city. We can’t change the urban environment. There are lots of issues. We can’t do anything [ourselves] about the slums. What can you do and what can YOU do. Let’s try do somethings ourselves and that’s we have come here. I didn’t know what to expect when I came here. I do a lot of workshops and things and I have to say I’m very impressed with this very nice atmosphere and frankly there is an openness of this group. I speak to a lot of people and there are sitting there like.. and you have to really.. slap them. Like wake up! So really thank you for your time and openness and I know the challenge is big and I like to comparison with the deer in front of the spotlights. But I think what we can do it is what we just did. Just take a little bit of time from the busy busy world and schedule and take the time to reflect and think.

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