Designing to Survive
On the occasion of World Environment Day, Pooja Bihani, Founder & Principal Architect, Spaces & Design shares her perspective.
Has the pandemic transformed our pre-existing notions of urbanism?
Definitely. We have moved 5 years ahead I feel in our understanding of habitat and environs and how homes and our workplaces play a huge role in our mental and emotional stability. And at the macro level our cities and other infrastructure.
How will building materials keep up with health & sustainability concerns?
I believe that selection of materials as well as techniques will now have to be more user friendly, long lasting and easily maintainable/ cleanable. This process has already started in homes and interiors and will carry forward at the higher levels of construction too. For e.g., ratio of openings may have to be increased per unit for need of fresh air and ventilation for wellbeing. In interiors the inclusion of a home office space is already a huge demand and change and the stress on more maintainable durable surfaces is high.
Do you think the current health crisis will pave way for planning reforms?
It should and it will as it is a mass movement and impacted everyone globally.
In your opinion, crucial steps required for restoring harmony and balance to the fragile ecosystem?
The case of restoration, balance, and preparedness is two-fold – internal and external. Internally, we need to do a lot of introspection, tuning inwards, and planning. Have planning systems, procedures, and implementations. So that we are prepared mentally and emotionally for the unknown. With the current socio-economic scenario, dynamics are changing every day. Client sentiments, team spirit and economics all are fluid and play a huge factor. Externally as a team who not only designs but also executes, we have taken focused steps. Stabilising one site at a time. One client at a time.
This is a lesson for us all. Hopefully, we shall all pass this with flying colours!