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Individual, but not alone


‘Pre-requisite to the proposition of this theory is the belief that ‘architecture’ is one field of knowledge based creative application.’
The process of ‘self-documentation’ can make things simple and clear to you in a very subtle but definite way. You can either choose to be a Gandhi, carry out your own experiments and leave it there for others to benefit from it themselves, or be a Hitler and yell out with conviction, all your findings and beliefs for the world to know and, if intellect permits, follow. No matter what heroics you might have done in five odd years of your architectural education, when you eventually step out of the protective and carefree zone, you will be tested only on the basis of what you can do. What you have done will be a thing of the past, and if anybody had to benefit from that, it was you and you alone.
Suddenly your professional aptitude will start preceding your architectural one. How fast you can locate a file in a heap or how efficiently you can replace a book in a shelf will determine whether you are ‘bright’ enough. If we are to accept the fact that we are a third world country, then architecture is more about articulation than art. How simply and quickly you can ‘art’iculate and communicate the most complex of your ideas, is what will get you to the place where you aspire to be. And of course pre-requisite to that is, you should have an aspiration which you understand. Not a borrowed one with a borrowed understanding.
Carrying over from the first sentence, which is a ‘sum-up’ statement from my design thesis, the approach to architecture needs to be singular, but its process and execution inter-disciplinary. Since I was supposed to be writing on my PT experience, and failed miserably to isolate four months from six years of architectural pursuit, and moreover, since this could perhaps be the last time I write for sappenings, I will just go on and conclude with what I think is most needed to be said and understood.

It is important to realize that personality needs to be individualistic, not your professional attitude. You might sit and work in the remotest corner of your studio, but when it comes to a 3.5 hectare development, you need to step out and do whatever it takes to make sure the right thing happens on paper, first, and then on ground. Democratic rule will rarely present opportunities for you to make a difference from your corner. Not everyone gets to be a Glenn Murcutt!
In order to be an architect one needs to be a better citizen and professional first. Once you are that, you won’t have to put any extra effort to be ‘different’ in your design. Your personality will itself reflect in your work. Could there, then, be a more original output?! There is no such thing as a creative designer or architect. There are only creative human beings. Being an architect would require being creative in life itself. Whatever training I have gone through so far has reinforced these very beliefs of mine. How you choose to live your life, is a decision you should leave to your own instinct.
And then simply live it.

Written for Sappenings in 2008 after returning from PSDA, Delhi.

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(Anonymous)
Oct. 31st, 2008 05:03 pm (UTC)
HEy, the above is very pessimistic, hard core ironical, and too much introvert. first of all, to write such a post, you will have to be unbiased.
you will have to be neutral to understand your own bias first. i think you are not seeing the world in a 'weltaschunng' manner. once you do that, only then you can generalize. well, generalize might not be the right word, but you tend to do it in a very ironical way. i think, professional world has just given up to the needs of the day. there are many groups (unfortunately not in india) who are raising a lot of questions through their work.

what makes people like gandhi different is his integrity of thoughts, and the courage to stand by his ideas. can you image driving a country out of another by non violence? well that was the most out of the box idea then, but you will have to sustain it fully...like he did.

i also do not think that the approach needs to be singular...you may like to read some of venturi...well...i can go on with all this, but i am in total disagreement with this post!

also, question if you must fall in love with your work, it may be close to your heart, but there are always different perspectives. and that is where i say, that you may be very biased towards your work. look at it neutrally, and then you will understand the true nature of your work.

Anuj. (www.anujdaga.blogspot.com)
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