Design for Living

The exercise was no less than an activity of designing ones dream house. Of course, it has a small and fixed plot area, but that only expanded my thinking in terms of how to efficiently use and occupy space. The house is meant for my parents, my frequently visiting grandparents, my younger brother and me. Thus, a set of three sleeping spaces along with other programmatic spaces of a living, dining, kitchen and a workspace have been incorporated in the process.

Courtyards, terraces and verandahs, all three form the transition spaces, or must I say, the spaces that connect one with the ground and the sky. The courtyards are like wells, with an endless sky to look at, at the top. The terrace on the -3M level is like a sunken bowl in the sky, it has become one of the coziest spots in the house. The verandah looks onto the terrace and shows the way to the workspace on top. The staircase is tucked along the pit wall, although it is simply a diagonal passage in itself, but when viewed with a terrace below, a courtyard and a verandah on the sides, and the sky on top, it feels no less than a stairway to heaven.

The process was tiresome, but only because it felt adventurous. The responsibility of thinking from the points of view of my family members, and thinking of which kinds of spaces would suit them as individuals and all of us as a family was surely a way of remembering the values and routine of my family. It made me come up with he assortment of spaces in terms of its purpose, area, adjacencies, volumes and nature of connectivity.

Various different media helped me in establishing the relations between spaces when simply a drafted plan was blocking my thoughts from reaching other dimensions. At first, the usage of some soft materials was only becoming an activity of pleasure for me, but later I realized how freely it helped me to think, modify and translate. CAD, pencil sketches, paper cutting collage, soft pastels, watercolor, buff board and glue, were some of the mediums that opened up my brain not just to think, but also to feel one with my body and create something intangible into tangible.

Mistakes, moments of self-doubt and demotivation were often submerging my will to work. But it was nothing other than this diverse process itself that helped me get back on track and come up with a design that may not be perfect, but definitely makes me feel like something has been achieved through the diligent following of a process.

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