By: Priyanka Arjun
Reviewing jaipur architectural festival
Back on my architect desk after attending Jaipur Architectural Festival, 2019 over the weekend. It was organized with annual Stonemart exhibition. The emphasis was mainly on building with stone and hence the reason for me to attend.
There were brilliant thought-provoking sessions by Architects like Sarosh Pradhan from Nepal who reminded to inculcate the practice and life in a holistic way. He works in natural surroundings, and his peace and yoga is reflected in his work. Or one can say his work is reflected in his life. Here I ask myself how my Yoga has affected my work, as I work in cities and mountains as well. Or how an architect who works in hustling city can keep peace in his work? His work of restoration is commendable.
Architect Dorji Yangki shared the GNH, Gross National Happiness of Bhutan and her list of building principles is worth sharing. The domains of GNH include psychological wellbeing, health, education, time use, cultural diversity and resilience, good governance, community vitality, ecological diversity and resilience and living standards. Our nation has a lot to learn from the neighbors where the impact of building is so sensitively dealt. She also shared her work as progression of traditional Bhutanese Architecture, which was beautiful. However, personally I feel adding innovation to the architecture will create new history for future generations. But again measures will be required to control the ugly architecture mushrooming in cities of India.
Against the current definition was Architect Manish Gulati, who says vernacular has to be adaptable in the world where everything is possible and we have technologies to support our vision. His work has developed on algorithms of building in its surroundings, making simulations of a building living its course in a particular environment and refusing the conventional ideas. He is right in saying that there are places where stone is not available anymore, it is not the new local.
I was thinking on the same lines, as an advice to us architects who work extensively in stone. Its better we use it wisely in a preservative manner, before all of it is gone. Stone is a non-renewable resource, we should use it mindfully by designing for minimum wastage. This puts up a question on sustainability of stone as an architectural material
Well, the best part was interacting with Architect Dean D’Cruz, former Boss. Discussions went on from design ideas, upcoming works, dealing with organic forms, stone as loading walls and more. These conferences are curated to stir the thought processes and everyone can learn from the speakers or the attendees or the exhibition. Time to implement the seven Verses in Stone taught by Architect VirajChatterjee from Hongkong.
Thanks to JAF, Stonemart, CDOS for organising the event and displaying PAA’s project at the panel gallery.