DESIGNS FOR THE PROTO-CITY: DISAGGREGATION OF THE FUTURE
Havells Insignia ADEX series organised by Realty+ Masterclass featured Architect & Urbanist Madhav Raman, Principal & Co-Founder, Anagram Architects who highlighted the importance of integration of architecture, technology and lifestyle.
Madhav Raman’s interests in cultural histories and urban economics has added depth to his practice as he brings insight and experience in transit, urban ecologies, multi-disciplinary strategies and new technologies to the projects. His work focuses on promoting a reconnect with ecology and responsible lifestyles through design articulation and innovation. According to architect Madhav Raman, cities are the expression of the society and in the present pandemic, people have been forced to rethink the traditional practices and belief. Same holds true for architecture and design.
Giving examples of some of his projects, Madhav Raman elaborated, “In the building called The Digit, the approach of our design was to investigate the notion of identity (corporate, organisational and individual) and its urban projection. To this end, we explored, semiotically, the most common idiom of identity, the thumbprint. The shimmering, fluttering, red screen perforated with the company’s logo on the front elevation of the building is an idiom for its “digital identity”.
Connecting three generations of a joint family in the residential project is The Cleft House built on a narrow plot facing a busy city road in a dense precinct. Conceived as a breached monolith, this residence with faceted stone facades mitigates heat gain and visual intrusion through a jagged naturally ventilated central void putting a vibrant social courtyard at its heart.
An example of contextual design is the South Asian Human Rights Documentation Centre (SAHRDC) building located on the periphery of the planned city abutting the semi urban settlement has the flanking wall conceived as an animated, dynamic skin that reflects the bustle of the street while its porosity playfully engages with the street corner. A six brick module is laid in staggered courses that create twirling vertical stacks and an undulating surface. The methods of brick-laying were devised through deep on-site collaboration between the masons and the architects.”
Ar Raman also shared his design initiatives that involved the community such as the Project Sammaan that aims to redesign & improve community sanitation facilities in urban Indian slums. It brings together architects & designers with empirical researchers, waste management experts, community engagement specialists & project management teams, intrinsically involving government & local urban bodies.
Another example is that of the project Malakpur Akhara – Earthmade Gymnasium for Malakpur village. The Panchayat wanted to prevent social youth erosion and sought a modern akhara for wrestling and kabaddi on mats, while hosting tournaments and drawings sponsorships and attention from professional leagues. The sports facility comprising three circular pavilions arranged around single story ancillary spaces made out of rammed earth will be an international wrestling and kabaddi arena, transforming the village from a folk wrestling hub into a modern regional centre..
NEED FOR COLLABORATION
Vivek Yadav, Senior Vice President, Havells India Limited applauded Ar. Raman’s diversity of projects with a purpose and agreed that there were a lot of changes happening in people’s lifestyle influencing the space design and also creating an opportunity for innovation. He added. “As a solution providers, we are keen to work with specifiers and influencers to come up with best technological products for the present and future needs. And for that end we have established a research lab to invites designers to collaborate on finding new solutions.”
Architect Raman agreed that there is a need of collaboration among all stakeholders of the construction sector and such initiatives are the need of the hour. “While in the West, technology has been led by innovations in materials. In India communication and entertainment is leading the technology breakthrough. ”The three sustainable technology trends in Indian architecture going forward will be – technology for water efficiency & sanitation, energy-efficient technologies and online communication. Additionally, city planning norms will have to become more inclusive by integrating the unplanned pockets of urban settlement within the city development by the planning authorities. This calls for disaggregation or detailed observation at micro as well as macro level of city growth.”
Vivek Yadav too was of the view that there was a need to adopt to changes effective like low energy factors and efficient usage of space and construction materials. “Commercial and residential buildings use a huge amount of lighting which need to be addressed through smart lighting and energy saving systems to reduce energy consumption.”
The discussion concluded with Remal Behl, Head for Enterprise Business, Havells India Ltd summarizing the session and emphasizing on Havells approach towards providing sustainable tech solutions and promoting collaborative platforms for the industry.
“Artificial Intelligence enabled Smart technologies that need minimum human intervention for asset management, space usage and optimization of resources like energy and water consumption will be the future of built spaces. Covid has fast-forwarded the trends like WFH that were there in the offing. Most importantly it has changed our way of looking at spaces and its functions. People have now discovered new uses of the same space. So, this is an exciting time for us as designers,” Madhav Raman.