Tag Archives: Architecture

The Butter In the Milk

There seems to be a misconception among general public that architects are half-nut and as if we live and think in some other way that common public cant understand. The moment an architect thinks the way he is supposed to, a building is not a good building for them. Its becomes “a good massing, a not so impressive visual impact”. This is generally the same that is thought about artists and poets. This has made me think a bit.

Lets think basics. Considering two cases; architects and non-architects. All architects were normal kids in their good ages. All engineers were also the same. So this divide of architects and non architects came up the moment their thinking process deviated. Architecture and architectural thinking sustains to those who are bad at mathematics. Lets put it the other way round. Technical thinking sustains to those who cannot think creative. And just because major part of the general public is not creative, it doesn’t mean being creative is a sin. And what is creativity? Is it just for artists and architects.?? Strolling through the Tathva stall exhibitions, I was thinking why my sister is lacking the creative mind. She used to be the one who used to sit beside me for all those drawing competitions my dad has pulled us both into. I remember we both used to go and sit in a big hall of the University Hall and keep drawing and colouring, staring, scratching, poking and back to drawing. She used to do better than me. After all I was the worst in the league. So by definition creativity refers to the ability of a person to think like a inventor, and to come up with a solution, an invention, an innovation. To create. Not to play jigsaw. Will talk about the “jigsaw” later. So in short process of thinking and finding solutions is creativity. A computer engineer is creative in his field when he can find a shorter and effective code for a simple task. Ubuntu is a creative piece of art in Programming. If the complex code of Windows XP which Microsoft could create was 1.4 GB And if Ubuntu could do that in 300MB, that’s creativity. A touch screen was a alien thing in the past. It’s a reality now. A transparent phone or a bubble phone is still not a reality. Any person who came up with the idea is a creative designer. So anyone who can actually make that is creative engineer.

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                 But it its NOT. Just because the idea is not his. The idea was of the designer who thought that a phone need not be always a piece of plastic. There is something called an essentialist character. The essentialist character of a phone is a communicating medium with the device, a medium through which we could tell the electronic device to ring up your dad or girl friend . So anything that can do that job well is a phone, when seen through a creative mind.

                So what I have concluded is that through course of time, the process of thinking about a new idea turned out to be the task of a designer and developing the design became the job of the engineers. And when time went further as it should, designers became more dedicated to the profession. There it met with situations were designers were very imaginative to the extend that a normal person could not understand. The common vocabulary between a designer and a developer got tampered. The situation now is that there is no common vocabulary between a designer and developer. The developer or an engineer thinks in terms of objectives and technical qualities and quantities. A designer does his job thinking about the human experience.  An architect designs spaces and visualises how good it would be if you can sit in your balcony reading the newspaper early in the morning when it is drizzling outside. The feeling of the persons  mind is an intentional and foreseen result that the architect wanted to provide. The thinking process that has gone behind it is hidden from the subject. The balcony would have been created in the eastern end of the residence which provides morning sun to wake your emotions. The roof eaves might have been designed just sufficient that you could touch the water droplets. There would have been textures or colours which bring up your mood in the space which a normal being cannot figure out the reason. So this way there are intentional inputs that a designer puts in in his design which look stupid but may have a foreseen uses to it. A single horizontal band of dark colour on the wall at the eye level can repel you from going near it. A bad designer would go for a “Don’t come near the wall”. So the point is a good designer plays with these psychology and manipulates the emotions of the subject.

              A society evolves when people live in harmony. People prefer to live in a gruop when they feel safe and comfortable. The The four  noble professions in the world are that of a teacher, a lawyer,  a doctor and a designer.  These are the four professions that ensures that the life of these people are complete. A person feels good to live in a society where he feels safe. Everyone looks to survive the day. When he is confident of surviving the day he looks for leisure. So in a society a teacher is the one who ignites the thought process in a  mind and guides through what is good and what is not. The role of education ends at a certain stage after which each individual is supposed to think and act for himself.  There may be few who were misguided. A lawyer ensures that the people in the society are living peacefully. The same to ensure that everyone survives. Law and Order are to restrict those who are misguided and to ensure a normal living. The law enforcing authority comes under a lawyer.  A doctor has to help a person stay in his healthy state of mind and body. Even the basic need here is to survive. When the three systems are functioning properly,  he is confident that he will survive.  That is when people start looking for a designer. When he knows that he can survive the day, he has started thinking how he can live better. Its not just about living spaces.  Anything from a gadget to a ear buds are for a better living. For comfort. “A car safety air bag is for survival and not for better living.”  Contrary point. True.  But the car itself is for better living. And not for survival.

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