Closure Review Feedback

Photographs: Sukhmani Brar, Siddharth Singh, Abhinav Pandey & Ketki Bhaskar Reviews: Kindness, Curiosity & Conversations In my engagement with the regular academic processes of interior design & architecture since the beginning of 2019, I have been emphasising on the use of the term ‘review’ instead of the prevalent ‘jury.’ Architectural pedagogy has for long adhered to a counter-productive closure of studio processes in the form … Continue reading Closure Review Feedback

The Creative Self and the Burden of Inadequacy

The reason most of us intertwine our identities with our work is because of catharsis. In the isolated individualism of the industrial and post-industrial societies, work happens to be our closest continual companion: weathering our grief, joy, exuberance and turmoil with us. A personification of this companion leads us to get infatuated or fall in love or get obsessed with our work, which we see as a reflection and image of ourselves. This condition is perpetuated by the pairing of hard work with success. Perhaps the expression of our deepest emotions in the stories, characters and situations of the pre-industrial context led to a catharsis of release. Today, however, we find ourselves unable to let go of this companion and catharsis has become a trap rather than a release. Continue reading The Creative Self and the Burden of Inadequacy

Four Designs for a Place for Performance

Although the four designs are hypothetical, they have emerged in response to real conditions of the sites and participants’ experiences. All four projects are definitely realisable. If my assertion betrays some doubt it is because I do have some. Not about the practicality of the projects. The designs, in fact, are very practical. I have been wondering throughout the process: ‘Why don’t such places exist?’ Of course, they do, but not enough to become recognisable as a common entity and experience in our daily lives. The question does turn out to be one of daily life, specifically pertaining to the urban middle class context. Our post-industrial socio-economic model is one of outsourcing: care of children and elderly, healthcare, food production and preparation, education, life events and rituals, culture, memory… Almost every need of our lives is catered to by providers of goods and services. In fact, that seems to be the promise and bedrock of urban life.  Continue reading Four Designs for a Place for Performance

Synthesis in the Creative Process

Be it design or visual or performing arts, we are working with multiple ideas to address multiple needs. All these ideas need to come together into a space for design, graphic and performative interventions. Further, the ideas need to converse with each other as well as the context of space they inhabit. The diverse ideas need to negotiate and reconcile with each other and the space that frames them. What follows is the adaptation of the ideas in terms of their form or sequence and relative positions or a combination of these. Continue reading Synthesis in the Creative Process

Towards a Performance

I believe that it’s very important for spatial designers to engage in theatrical and performative exercises to become aware of the subconscious exchanges between bodies, spaces/ spatial elements & people. We explored this creative process through various smaller exercises which were successively integrated into a very short performance.  Story Narration Participants were asked to re-collect instances which triggered or the memories which were triggered by … Continue reading Towards a Performance

Morning Rituals

The morning routine of individual centring through drawings in Phase-1 was replaced with collective embodied work in Phase-2. I used a mix of my warming up and stretching exercises, with Pranayam (focused breathing from yoga), followed by a ball game and then exercises in movement; ending the first session with Savasana (focused relaxation exercise from Yoga). This hour-long routine is intended to centre the participants not only with respect to their mind and body, but also in relation to each other and the space. I believe this to be an essential beginning to the day as we proceed into the design of a place for performance. Continue reading Morning Rituals

Design Pedagogy for a Place for Performance

This program carries a dual ambition made acute by the circumstances triggered by the pandemic: 1. Designing a place for performance2. Facilitating the design process through multidisciplinary engagements The realisation of both ambitions demands attention to the common constituent ecology of emotions and their embodiment within the self as well as with others. The process began with the application itself: preparing the participants for the … Continue reading Design Pedagogy for a Place for Performance

Emotive Collage

A very intriguing question emerged from the discussions around the process of the collage. Even small forms presented in two or three dimensions are very nuanced and layered in the facets that they share information through: material & texture, light and shadow, colour and form.  Imagine how complex then is the creation of a space, which, in addition to the qualities enumerated above, also includes the dimension of inhabitation (enveloped by the elements making the space) and time (movement and pause). Such complexity can be overwhelming. Continue reading Emotive Collage

Summarising Phase-1

Working continuously online, without even sporadic occasions of sharing space tends to make us take for granted our accountability to the others that we work with. Online we also seem to miss out on opportunities of inspiration and improvisation, which otherwise could be readily available when we witness each other’s processes in person.  Continue reading Summarising Phase-1

Mapping Inhabitation

A significant and ambitious part of understanding the site and context of a design intervention is the mapping of one’s emotional association with various parts of the site. To carry out such a mapping we need to look beyond the transactional aspects of the site and design such as entrance, toilets, offices, cafe and so on. Ascribing only functions to the various areas and locations disregards the human dimension of inhabitation. I categorise inhabitation into the following kinds, which perhaps encompass all states of our being in a space: Solitude – being alone (not necessarily lonely); Intimacy – being with another or in a small group; Congregation – being in a large group. One of the most important realisations following such a mapping of inhabitation is that not only do we acknowledge all that already exists on the site, but it also creates the opportunity of appreciating the existing elements and conditions and accommodating them within the design. Such accommodation is essential to an ecological architecture. Continue reading Mapping Inhabitation