In today’s time, India has no defined architecture; we seem to have lost our traditional and vernacular approach under the heavy whipping of British colonization.
Leave alone the rampant housing structures, our city houses have lost their Indian flavor too, being overshadowed by the dominance of European architecture. The havelis’ which stood on our soil pre-partition days were walled enclosure with a collection of numerous rooms each responding to its own function and the open space in between served as a collective space for multi functions’. The traditional architecture adhered to strict and sacred laws of building, allowing lots of open space and consisting of spacious courtyards
That does not mean we do not have good housing or houses now, we do, but they exists as dots on our geography. These dots are property of the rich and somewhere good architecture is available to them alone; of course, here the small time developers with their xeroxed apartments mushrooming on every breathable space will tell us they build for the masses in response to what they want and will tell us they do no wrong.
However you and I, as architects know that if we design on basis of focus group we will pretty much land up with copies of existing.
I ask my fraternity –
Should we as architects work towards empowering our associations and our council to do two things in wake of what’s building up-
- Force the builders to use the best designs, to use quality materials and if have to build densely, build well.
- Educate the people in our planning departments about what constitutes as great, sustainable and useable architecture.
Let us join hands to walk the road less travelled-and give post independence architecture a new meaning!