Tuesday, 19 January 2016

I keep on asking myself: are we using the same vocabulary?

I came to India as part of my Studio at the D.I.A. master program at the Bauhaus school in Dessau, Germany. November and December, we 14 students from all over the world and 9 students from India, spent in the slum area in Noida, Sector 15.

Each week we were having a new professor with a new task to be completed. Quite an intensive, but very very fruitful studies. We worked in groups. Only few submissions I did on my own. 

I would love to share one of the pdf's for the the week 4, when we were talking about Education. As an architectural students we were asked to come up with an architectural answer to a problem of disinterest in education from the kid's side who live in the slum area. 

We started to look for the origin of the problem and coming up with different small intervention ideas. We even felt that what is needed is a spark of fire that will light interest and show different possibilities in life to the kids and their parents. In order to do that we discussed an option of organizing a movie screening on the street, or making a graffiti, or organizing an excursion etc.. All of these actions hardly could be named as "architectural" if we see it through the academic point of view, where we need to master our knowledge on drafting, sketching, model making and thinking.

In the middle of the week we were given an existing empty site, 32x40 m at the corner of the slum area and we were asked to design a "school" or something that is related to "education". We created programs, drew our plans, sections and perspectives. 

For me, the question was left: by doing so, making a building at the 32x40 m plot, is the client still the same? Are we reaching out the kids at the slum area? Why someone (private business, city administration, state etc..) will invest in this building at the slum, meaning illegal, area. As an architect am I playing with the wrong cards? 

Few days ago my father sent me a link on this video by Ole Scheeren - Why great architecture should tell a story. Through out the speech we can hear "vast", "gigantic", "huge", "big", "public space", "communal space", "sense of belonging", "sense of sharing" etc.. 

Few weeks back I was at the talk by Rod Hackney - India: Community Architecture to Suit. 

Question was pumping in my head: are we using the same meaning for these words, or we have different vocabularies? I came back in my mind to the Education Week in Noida project: is the client still the same? 

Its an open thoughts that I am humble to share it with you in order to discuss. Please, feel free to express yourself and share your thoughts. Architectural world definitely has many faces.

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