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Architecture - The Mother Of All Arts !

By Madhusudan Santosh Chandak

Architecture - The language an innovation. It is about imaginations and dreams that house the lives of many. Its ideas make people connect with the world they live around in a better way. It gives humanity a simple prefix of 'Socialism' before considering it being as much a living being as any animal and enhances the aspect of him being 'Civilized'. It is the culmination of the intellect for the core reasons of shelter and comfort. It is that dream of man which comes to stand very much alive and impactful whilst considering the converging landscape profile that the earth is a witness to. It is a new world, a world made by man, a dream standing true to define the nature of change, of growth, of evolution.

Architecture is a miracle creating a space that can help communicate with the emotions. Without it 'Space' seems to be just an empty volume; but its presence makes the emptiness of space seems to present itself with innumerable opportunities. It is an everyday part of the life as we live in and around it. Miraculously architecture has an ability to control the emotions and feelings through its volume, colors and shapes. It helps one achieve the emotional state of a space where he wishes to act. It is needless to speak the distinct aura that it creates around temples, houses, offices, parks, and how human behavioral response differs with each one.

The presence of architecture is in fact such an obvious aspect of life that its absence would make life relive the ways of the wanderers. But then of course it is life's way - To strive and make something that it could be dependent upon and then grow peacefully. It is the learning and gift of nature first for shelter then for comfort until today its an intangible part of our lives. Architecture isn't the need for existence but it sure is a habit that makes us far more human – Beyond comprehension. Architecture can be personified in many ways as for an architect every design of his is as mortal as life itself though not in literal sense. Every design has a language, an expression, and a visual- an impactful presence. It responds to one's needs, to one's ideology. It is just like a metaphorical mirror reflecting its designer, its user, and also its society. It has the ability to speak on behalf of its reason for existence. It boldly expresses the strength and pride of an administrative and political presence. It expresses the divine and serene aura of a religious presence.

Architecture is not just about a 'Structure', a 'Mass' but is about way more, a history, a past, a legacy, an image of the society it lives in, the economy it develops and the progress it witnesses. It is a response, a culmination of not only one's needs and dreams of life but also one's greed for power, for dominance. It has the power to turn an empty space into a bit of life - An unusual way of creating memories -

A way to see 'Nothing' as an 'Opportunity' to do something - A glass always half full!

At its core architecture is a design field. Any architectural step is a collaborative effort of not just the architect but many distinct individuals from distinct fields. So it is very essential for an architect to have the knowledge of the work and the ways of those individuals. While becoming an architect, one is trained to partially explore, learn and apply oneself in many directions making him not only an architect but also an artist, a civil engineer, an interior designer – An Innovator. Architecture has spread itself to great extents growing firm roots in many aspects like heritage restoration, town planning, landscape, journalism, etc. Though is this a less known fact by a major part of the Indian society. There are many such factors and aspects about architecture which are either very less known or neglected or even knowingly being compromised.

Architecture is a secondary need being only for comfort after fulfilling one's basic needs. Though architecture today has developed a utilitarian image modernity and grandeur it still stands to tell many excellent examples of architecture for people with a much-subdued way of living. This section of society comprises for more than 60% of the total Indian population who strive hard to keep their unstable everyday economy, safe, and preserved. It is these majority people who unknowingly find architecture unaffordable, expensive rather. It is very necessary to promote affordable and decent low cost - efficient architecture for these people, as they lack the knowledge of pure architecture. This is the main reason for the architectural values and principles being less known. An efficient solution for this will be a process of adaption to a certain extent that architecture needs to endeavor. It includes promoting a minimalistic way of architecture, sustainable on the long run. This will help develop a healthy, open and accessible relationship between the society and architecture.

Architecture is a slow and a time driven process evolving with time, but doesn’t really change at an instant all together. As eras pass on it reveals various phases, styles, languages with which the meaning, importance and need of its existence changes symbolizing the growth, evolution of society. It has been quite a while now that architecture hasn't witnessed any prominent transformation, at least not on a scale noticeable enough. It is quite 'Dormant' when compared to the frequently changing nature of today's society. This rapidly fluctuating trend of society doesn't quite believe in a rather settled way of living. Its only time until uneasiness spreads due to stagnancy. This is what is being experienced by the architecture today. The same style being seen all over, too much similarity has made its moral 'Architectural Value' fade away. Only a change, an evolution, a rather noticeable one can earn the society's attention and gain importance.

This is where the core principles and creative processes in architecture play a vital role. They bring design innovation and uniqueness by a creative, thoughtful and justified application of these principles. The process forms the base of architecture comprising of varied principles like balance, symmetry, rhythm and many others .Though these seem not necessarily required but are an unavoidable and intangible component. They give the design its language, its relativity to function and users. They are responsible for the visual impact of the design, the vision and thoughts they instigate by giving a space a distinct aura.

The first step in the design process is the emergence of a 'Concept', a thought, a thread which helps justify its presence, where it stands, for whom it exists and settles. It makes the design belong to the space it is in. A vital aspect here is 'Planning'. Good and functional design planning is the key to a successful, efficient and sustainable design. It revolves around many factors like a detail analysis of the site, its surrounding, the climate, lighting, ventilation, cost and energy efficiency, etc. Only by a thoughtful analysis and application process - The design earns functionalistic efficiency and emotional satisfaction.

Architecture is an exhausting process with lots of time investment, night-oil burning, unending imaginations, paperwork, presentations, multiple rejections, delays, understanding the client as if a psychologist, meticulous detailing, and what not. Well, it does seem pretty crazy, obsession rather. It is the reason why people generally call architects crazy and lost and laugh it off, letting them to be where they are for all that matters is these same laughable factors of the field are just a journey with much more to be fascinated, to be anxious, eager about. But then, above all is the sweet essence of satisfaction, being a creator of something for someone else which would live on for years to come, standing as the fruit hard earned for far more worth of reasons. Every design connects with the growing lives of complete strangers, as an architect tries to impart a part of his lifetime of work, wisdom and learning into something that doesn't belong to him, and as he expresses his gratitude for trust and dependence with his creation.

Design application is a challenging task for the client, the engineer and the architect to agree and work on. Its very much important here that all of these people have verbal mutual clarity and intellectual understanding for only then will the output, and the satisfaction will be all together achieved. The language of communication, and the level of understanding greatly differs between the architect, the client and the engineer. The language used must match the wavelength of the listener, only then can any good come out of it. Architects have a very exaggerated, and an overwhelming language hard to connect by a commoner as either the words are totally new or they seem to have a complete distinct but a rather obvious meaning. While the client requires a simple and understandable language the engineer responds to talks of conventionally known technical language. Architects need to be fluent in both of these and adapt themselves from their exaggerated dictionary being a hyperbole. It is experienced by the students while on field studies where while communicating with people it comes to light in an absurd way that how little known is the field. People tend to respond to architects as draftsmen making "House Maps" or as building constructers or in the worst case scenario they might have never heard of any such thing as architecture at all!

With the rapidly growing population, the need for housing, infrastructural amenities, and modified landscapes is also ever-increasing. Every design in some way or the other does have a negative impact on the environment. Architecture is too one of the biggest reasons of environmental degradation. Right from its construction with all the excavations, the infill of eco-insensitive materials, dumping, wastage, breakages, finishes, followed by its need of huge chunks of electricity, water, and exhaling heat all its life time just makes one feel how much down could we go while soaring higher with our greed. its not just about a single building but when combined together an entire urbanized city's impact is completely incomprehensible. Its so huge that the wind patterns, vegetation, temperature, humidity , soil quality, ground water tables, gas contents in air, flora and fauna all get a severe hit. One can commonly experience it while just travelling from a lush green forest to open grasslands to small villages to huge urban spaces - how noticeable the changes are within a short distance. There are many factors capable of environmental impact. Green, sustainable architecture are the need of today. There are many factors helping the same through design like maximum day lighting and effective natural ventilation with non-conventional energy sources, help maintain the indoor conditions comfortable saving active energy utilization. Effective and smart material use helps save material wastage without compromising strength. Long life, sustainable and disaster-proof structures prevent infrastructural and economic loss. Even Design Planning at a larger scale like town planning can help encourage less use of polluting transportation and other services.

Architecture is one of the most important aspects of the world which if given the time and belief can solve many problems commonly faced by the world. It stands to give the world a livable, sustainable and delightful future. Architectural impact when combined with society's will, can bring a positive transformation in the human greed to consume earth. It projects a future where the present could be lived to the fullest delight and where the crazy and mad dreamer guys - "THE ARCHITECTS" could once again have created an era that wouldn't need any words to speak of the evolution of today's society into self-realizing, co-existing, humanity who would finally know that –

"Architecture is the way of past to live in the memory of the present.

It is the way of the present to be the future of a dream!"

By Madhusudan Santosh Chandak

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