Philosophy

For me, it is difficult to imagine any activity as unrelated or cut off from the totality of life. Architecture too, in its greater vision, is life itself , thereby communicating, responding and belonging to the fascinatingly interrelated web of life.

Thus, any serious architect's approach to his architectural design would evolve from his understanding of life. To me, the outer manifestations in space are reflections of the quality of our inner space and vice versa. It is our duty as architects to redefine and expand upon the brief given by the client so as to give him much more besides satisfying the functional requirements in terms of the design's environmental relevance, quality of space and JOY.

In today’s technocratic consumeristic, urban life style, I feel concerned about various issues that are making our lives as human beings poorer. Could I design spaces that would, in whatever small way, contribute their share in responding to these concerns in a positive manner?

The issues that I attempt to address through my work are -

 

1. An overall fragmentation resulting in a schizoid state of life :

Can my designs reflect an inherent sense of unity and harmony with various natural and man made elements and forces?

 



2. Man moving further away from Nature :

It is difficult for me to design anything in which Nature is not an inherent part. Can this symbiotic relationship between Nature & architecture act as a catalyst in bringing man closer to Nature?

 



3. Man is being isolated and is missing the meaningful interaction with fellow human beings.

Can our Architecture help in bringing man closer to man? Can we design humane spaces with man at the centre?

 



4. Overcommercialization and deterioration of human values, information overload and overconsumption resulting from greed.

Could commercialisation in architecture be reduced by shifting the emphasis from saleability to sanctity, from glossy wrappings to inner content, from superimposed architectural gimmicks to function and climate related forms, from overindulgence to restraint? Can value based architecture act as an agent of social change?

 



5. The blunting of our sensitivity – leading to a boring, predictable monotony or an imposed, gaudy ensemble.

Could our architecture, the spaces that we live in evoke a kind of time perception that nurtures sensitivity?

 



6. Too much dependence on technology and an overall loss of identity in a mass produced environment, with a sudden break in the traditional socio cultural continuam as well as the handcrafting skills of craftsmen.

Can our designs be modern and still keep continuity with tradition, history and social cultural values?

 



7. Destruction of natural resources and disturbing of the ecological balance.

Can our designs be geared towards sustainability?

 



8. An almost total irreverence to the contextuality of site and climate.

Can we not ask the site what kind of building it would like to have?

 



9. Most of our modern living and work environments make us feel exhausted and dispirited. This happens inspite of all the measurable prerequisites of a good work environment. What is amiss?

Can our designs include this immeasurable dimension of the “human spirit” that will rejuvenate us and integrate us with the wholeness of life.

 



Though I appreciate the work of a number of modern architects, like Wright, Corbusier, Kahn, Sterling, Foster, Ando, Doshi, Kanvide, Correa and so many others, the major inspiration for me has been from the past – the monuments as well as the vernacular architecture ( Architecture without architects). I have been travelling, observing, imbibing various architectural responses to life and reinterpreting them in contemporary architectural vocabulary.

 

Architecture as a shaper of space (Space as an important attribute of our lives) has been explored by me in various ways – as a symbolic metaphor, an agent of socio cultural change, as an interpreter of Life’s values, as an expression and barometer of human aspiration and sensitivity, as a relevant, functioning organism within the great interconnected environmental totality.