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TECHNICAL PAPER PRESENTATION
Devising Building integrated Micro Wind Turbines for Contextual Applications with Thermo-Chromic Coatings for Energy Efficiency

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CO-EDITOR FOR 2018
CO-EDITOR FOR 2018

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CO-EDITOR FOR 2018
CO-EDITOR FOR 2018

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SHILPASAGAR MAGAZINE

Mirror

Key words: Civilizations, Goals of Nations, History, Progress, Psychology, Harmony, Reflection

 

Evolution or Re-Evolution?

In the 4th millennium BC, the Indo-Iranian borderlands flourished with towns of fertile soils that gave birth to sophisticated and universally appreciated human civilizations. In these earliest chapters of history, the Indus Valley humans with their marvellous ideas have awe-struck even the most advanced analytics and historians.

Google describes a “civilization” as the process by which a society or place reaches an advanced stage of social and cultural development and organization. In essence, these extraordinary civilizations resulted as societies began coping with the managerial needs of various situations that developed due to environmental unpredictability and constraints, competitions due to superiority and occupational specializations and most importantly as populations grew in large and dense numbers.

Isn’t this how villages, towns, cities and nations have come to existence? When talking about the “Art of Nation Building” one must acknowledge the essence of its origin. For example, what overshadowed the Harappans’ marvellous planning was the flawless architectural attempts to solutions. Clearly, most remarkable evidences etched in their history are their architectural remains. The incredible grid patterns, the Great Bath, city walls and the magnificent Acropolis with lower cities display their sheer urban planning skills. Doesn’t the beauty of Nation Building lie here? Pearl Buck, an incredible American author said, “If you want to understand today, you have to search yesterday.” It is undoubtedly true that, when we want to appreciate today and work for tomorrow, we must learn from yesterday.

Architecture is a similar art that has been playing its role of impacting humans and their societies. The soul of nations is found in its people, thus “a bird without wings and a man without art are both condemned to wander in low places; they can never soar up to those unrivalled heights”.[1] (Mehmet Murat Ildan, William Shakespeare) Such is the role of architecture since the beginning of the time- Evolution. Conscious understanding of architecture and its impacts has only led to a Re-evolution of human civilizations, that we call countries and nations today. The goal of a nation is to achieve a stable political and economic system which thrives with harmony making a specific “identity”. Likewise, Architecture is a gust of wind that harmoniously blends into the nation and makes a conscious or unconscious “identity” for it. Because, in the end, it is always about the Identity. All nations in the world work, war, progress, expand and flourish only for the sake of the “Identity”.

Breeze can only be felt, it cannot be seen unless it is a storm or a hurricane. Architecture is 90% of what one feels and only 10% of what one sees. The feeling at the mighty Eiffel Tower plays ten times the drama than what the eyes merely see. This is why the beauty of any piece of architecture is never felt even 10% when their images are seen as compared to what it feels like in its vicinity. The vibes of a city or a country are how the characters react to their surrounding architecture. The streets, the walls, the windows and all colours play the background of a place’s painting. This is why majority of the posters of any country are just paintings of their buildings. Australia shows off the Sydney Opera House, India – The Taj Mahal, UAE – The Burj Khalifa and so on.

Major reason for the “vibe” of a place is its landscape, streetscape and cityscape. Conscious designs of structures to suit the existing context or the unconscious design decisions may change the way a place is viewed. For example, portions of the Mumbai city are a result of years of gradual architectural reflections of lifestyles. Beginning from the tip at the Arabian sea, the Gothic designs graduating to Art Deco and Art Nouveau Styles along the same coasts, hiding thousands of slums that lead to sub-urban areas - a gradual blend in lifestyles and cultures is reflected. Generations have passed, people have changed, but what remains and reminds of the erased, untold legends are the architectural remains. The new have brought the glass, steel and aluminium facades that reflect the everlasting skies and stories of many generations’ buildings beneath it.  This is the true essence of architecture in nation building - never forgetting the past or the roots of the society on which it attempts to stand stable and get an identity.

The Statue of Liberty stands gloriously, always reminding the purpose of the United States to its country men. Thus, the role of architecture remains to appreciate the part of the life our civilizations have left behind for us. Not only does it intend to uphold their virtues, but also plays a role in appreciating the world around us. It acts like a lens through which we view our experiences. It holds us on, covers us above and guides our visions. The Jewish Museum is an example of transformation of a structure into a discourse about Jewish-German history. It integrates physically and spiritually, the meaning of Holocaust into the consciousness and memory of the city of Berlin. Similarly, the most celebrated - Falling Waters, is an example of an architectural model that appreciates the nature it lies within. The water that flows below and the foliage that reflects in it, are all the views the building sets us into. The purpose of architecture in nation building is to realise these necessary elements of the nation’s culture into its people’s lives.

Along with reflection of the past, developing Architecture with time and age to delete the errors of the history is the key to push the wheels of a Nation’s progress. Cultures and Traditions have had many flaws and restrictions, Gender-bias being a major drawback in many. Ironically, most magnificent architectural pieces give a testimony to such dark practices. Progress only means erasing such practices from the nation’s present to inspire the next batch of the nation’s architects.

Architecture is just a state of being. People dwelling in the slums experience one face of this and the ones residing in the most luxurious homes experience the other. However, an ideal nation is the one that can bridge the gaps between these experiences to make it equal for every citizen. One of the three basic necessities of life is “shelter”. Although architecture is never about just buildings, its main domain lies in building these shelters. Architecture lies in reasoning- for what is right and what is resourceful. As mentioned in the beginning of this dialogue, strategic planning for people to thrive and live a sophisticated life since earliest civilizations lies in foreseeing the obstacles and seeking architectural solutions to problems. A successful nation is one that first solves its urban and rural planning for its people to have a meaning experience of life. It can take a political and economic stand only when it uses this tool of foreseeing the nation’s future. To shape a nation’s future, only an interplay of architecture and science an bring a fruitful result. Architecture is a simple mirror of such technological and scientific progress.

“We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.” [2] (Winston Churchill, speech in the House of Commons on October 28, 1944) This is ironically true. As much as the amount of reasoning that goes behind designing architecture of a place, even more questioning goes behind how much it affects the place it emerges in. One can never escape its effects. Psychology of people is based on the direction architecture leads them to. A dull, mechanized and opaque architecture of a nation leads to a very plain and dormant quality of living. It feels lifeless and undramatic. The health, mind, personality and behaviour of its citizens too turns in subsequent planes. All this, in turn negatively affects the security, psyche and lifestyles of all age groups, before affecting the entire nation’s progress in an unfavourable direction. One thing that is guaranteed to make people feel negative about living in a place is when there a constant sense of being lost or disorientated, which of course is the result of a fundamental architectural flaw.

A visible manifestation of security in a nation is only through its architectural decisions. Amplification of any human interaction occurs majorly through design solutions. Hence, architecture is the backbone of human lifestyle and human chain continuity. It has the power to make and break relations between nations in the world. The Great Wall of China that separates the country from its neighbours is in contrast to the character of the CCTV headquarters in Beijing, a design that is open to cultural interchange and a symbol of transparency. Thus, the choice of architecture serves up the unique “vibes” of the cities within a nation on one platter. India, for example is the most culturally vibrant nation on the world map. The mélange of traditions in its metropolitan cities brought together from distant parts of the nation is clearly visible. Harmoniously, all homes are built with innate colours of religious and cultural tolerance.  Every brick laid down for the house is placed with strength and style to accommodate thousands of cultural variants together.

“In Lucknow, India, there lies a street where, during Goddess Laxmi’s pooja, all nearby meat vendors cover their shops and when namaaz prayers are performed in Masjid, the adjacent Temple’s rituals pause.” It is by chance that two social contexts overlap, but by choice the architecture of the place adapts. What can assure a greater security than this? This is the identity of the nation, that is built upon the strong history of its past, still playing the drama in lives of its people today. People, adapting to live harmoniously and progressing together for a better tomorrow only to etch their stories in the pieces of architecture of yesterday, today and tomorrow.

 

Architecture plays the role of a mirror, only to reflect how every nation has been building since evolution, to give them million chances for re-evolution and re-evaluation.

  

 

References:

[1] Mehmet Murat Ildan, William Shakespeare 1

[2] Winston Churchill, speech in the House of Commons on October 28, 1944 2

aksa

(Urdu word for Reflection, Urdu language is the current prominent language used in Punjab, Pakistan- Site of Harappan Civilization)

Dry Soil

WHY ENDURE?

What is a crisis?

“A crisis is any event that is going to lead to an unstable and dangerous situation affecting an individual, group, community, or whole society.” -says Wikipedia. Can this mere definition justify the actual UNSTABLE & DANGEROUS situation? The disturbances it brings and the traumas that follow? The individual, the group, the community and the whole society either break or take the crisis in their own ways, with their own capabilities and their own will. There is a threshold for any anxiety to transform into a whole ghostly experience with eyes just searching blindly in the darkness of the “Crisis” only to find death or disaster. An individual may seek support of the group, the groups of larger communities or the entire society making a chain of hope to stand against an unstable or dangerous situation. The question that then arises is, “When do these situations actually turn into a “Crisis”? Exactly then, when even one individual from the chain of hope falls back. The light thus keeps dimming to eventually turn into the “Darkness of Crisis”.

It is sort of easy to explain this entire concept to the world right now because we’ve already assumed this to be the Crisis of 2020. Many will argue when the current scenario is illustrated as the “Darkness of Crisis”. “We can be strong and get through this easily!” “This is just a phase; this too shall pass.” “Go Corona Go!” These will be the arguments of the privileged. Let us look into a few others’ point of views. “They are heartless. They are treating us like we don’t belong to this country” “We want to be in front of the eyes of our loved ones. Here, we are wandering on the roads in this heat. There is nothing to eat and nowhere to go.”  “I have been surviving on biscuits and water for the past five days as I cycled over 1,000 kilometres. “In the last few days, we have seen so many examples of farmers throwing away their produce due to crash in the prices – tomatoes in Madhya Pradesh, chilli in Andhra Pradesh, milk in some areas and even watermelons.” These are the cries of the one half of the population that seem to be muffled on an average. These labourers, Workmen, Cultivators and Small-Scale Businessmen comprise 49.8% of the total population, major bearers of the country’s economy.

Strategies must originate from there. Where does a tree grow when the roots are week? Does a beautifully built Structure ever stand still enduring all the instabilities without a strong foundation? If all the Educated, Rich and Economy Class of our country become the face to represent any nation’s spirit, then the working class becomes the deep-rooted foundations of the same bill board. In times of crisis, it is only possible to move forward if the back story is embraced. The first strategy hence is to deal with the education and skills of the working class. No, this is not a long-term process, but a very viable and immediate resulting sure-shot activity. Strengthen the skillset of the workmen and expand their knowledge base. Simple steps like RERA verified skilled labour at construction sites, ITI based technicians and Mechanics can bring about a quick and miraculous change in the current scenarios. When human meets with technology and uses his knowledge, the wheels move forward. For example, a thoughtful and decent NMC bill that was passed in Aug 2019 which  envisaged defining Community Health Providers (CHPs) as persons granted a licence to practice medicine at mid-level is a perfect example of how educating people at various levels to protect respective communities in the times of “crisis” like today makes the difference.

It was protested by all the reputed doctors and MBBS graduates of the country in fear of replacement. If such a “crisis” was ever foreseen, the protests and riots would be out of question. The lack of human support in the hospitals today is crystal clear. If workmen were educated, they would’ve come to invaluable help today. The ratio of sufferers to doctors is extremely high. The ratio of workers to jobs, of skills to workers, of illiteracy to skills is higher. A simple equation to equalize all the ratios is to multiply with knowledge. It brings self sufficiency in the nation. “In yourself right now is all the place you've got.” quoted by Flannery O'Connor clearly emulates the current scenario and the very next strategy to adopt. Every individual, group, community and society if becomes self-sufficient, on no day shall the sun set for them with helplessness. This quality must be embraced in all realms of human life. Beginning from livelihood, essentials, economy, social relations, resources and even the environment. This strategy sounds vague but actually when listed with laws makes the route crisp and clear.

Dating back to about 50 years when major globalization did not take place, the jobs assumed by families were being their own business’ owners. While some owned those businesses, some worked every day within their community for the same business. Within a kind of job, there was self sufficiency and the economy cycled. The sellings and purchases stayed within a society with geographical borders. Hence, there wasn’t any higher hand that consumed major shares of economy in a single society. Only when there is a exclusive product that has value overseas and in various regions it was transported. It is clear from this, how each individual never remains jobless, each group is always working together in a type of job, each community in co relation makes the society self-sufficient. Various geographical boundaries of such societies came together when exported product was out of purchase. This system skilfully kept all individuals at different levels engaged, yet distant when ever possible. It blended the livelihood, economy, essentials, social relations and resources all at hand and brought it within reach.

Making this analogous to the current situation, the strategy that must be employed begins with origin. Develop skills, impart knowledge and introduce technology to all and allow opportunities to practice the job at their place of domicile. This will first eliminate the need to migrate and make focal points in the cities and towns. “Namak aur roti Khayenge, Delhi Nahi Jayenge,” explains the plight of the migrant workers in Delhi (and rest of the nation). In times of “crisis” like this, migration and reverse migration when prevented, eliminates 50% of the problem and gives better solutions for the government to look into medically too. Gives better census data to provide essentials, financial and medical facilities. Providing opportunities ranges from providing bank loans with reasonable interest rates to markets for products to reach and facilities to transport. If a systematic centralized transport plan is developed-similar to uber and Ola, it becomes simpler to keep a control on the economy travel and equal benefit through government services to all the citizens irrespective of the status of the person. This network of transport enhances country-wide market to products and also opens more job opportunities to drivers, carriers, logistics etc.

Providing an individual, group or community at their own place of residence with a government platform and facility to sell products without any burden of travel or excessive transport costs logically makes the 100% use of online services. The future really is in human aided with technology. When one half of the population is smoothly functioning on online services, the other half needs no extra push. Bringing every product ranging from agricultural produce to all factory produce of a society to online platforms, the buyers too will be exposed to more products directly from the manufacturers to the buyers. Communities harmoniously can avail such benefits and process transportations safely, with more sanitized goods to their co-operative housing societies and gram panchayats. Thus, villages, small towns and tribal areas shall assume power within their geographic limits. Here comes the strategy to give the local governing bodies more freedom to provide health and financial benefits with their own self-sufficiency. Every resident of a local area pays taxes, a percentage of which must be deposited at the local level to assume for their medical emergencies. Every citizen must be entitled via registrations with is ID to a bed with basic facilities like oxygen masks, first aid services and surgery equipment from his tax allowance. A hospital with excess beds is never an issue, a hospital with excess patients is.

Human life today is counted in numbers. When the crisis fell upon us, the death of the first person was a red alert. When numbers started increasing, it was a slap on humanity clearly showing the weakened strength in the chain of hope. Hope now comes from the doctors in the hospitals. When there is no hospital, where is the hope? Medical facilities and doctors with graded levels at various stages is a must. This strategy only can strengthen the chain again, because the value of human life is never counted in tens, thousands and lakhs. It is counted in the satisfaction of every individual of all the societies. In this time, everybody owes their lives to doctors. The educated, illiterate, daily waged and professional, all men stand at the doors of the hospitals for support. The privileged and the educated, the face of the nation must use all their resources this time to shine bright. No technology is alien to them, innovations in work and livelihood must go on while the foundation workers build themselves up again to stand strong. All international online businesses must not stop and allow for economy circulation while the country heals. All resources must be put at stake in this crisis only to see fruitful returns in no time.

Along with technological and economic sufficiency, the natural resources and environment must be held close to each nation’s interest. When nobody, no foreign country looks to us, you still have the sky covering your head, clouds looking upon you and the earth holding you on to it. Now is the right opportunity to revive all the methods to harness renewable resources – cause minimum damage to the nature and receive even greater returns. Stringent laws to ban and regulate the air, water and waste emissions into the environment. The simple answer to “Need or Greed?” right now, is NEED. Easy and helpful government permissions for companies based on renewable resources of energy will foster more establishments of the same kinds. A growing economy in that direction is the first step to a more organized and non-breakable system of any nation.

In this manner, a “crisis” must be dealt with. Strategies, originating from the affected individuals, groups, communities and societies must develop. On the grounds of education, to self-sufficiency of livelihood, economy and resources while protecting the nature as it shelters us, the strategies must develop in that chronological order. There are immediate actions and long-term solutions, but beginning to repair now, even amidst the crisis, makes a huge difference. Unemployment is not an outcome of an unstable situation; it is of an unstable system. The system that affects all; ironically, these same “all” constitute the system. When this simple logic is discovered, everything falls into place very easily because not only necessity is the mother of invention, it is also the father of enlightenment and action. The only fault here is, getting enlightened only at the time of necessity, when a “crisis” falls upon us. The fix to this fault is directly etched in our textbooks. Realising before it is too late. Better late than never, get all these actions and enlightenment into the textbooks of the next generation. Books are loaded with syllabus edited from 10-20 years old syllabus, with no real and current knowledge. This is the only reason why people must go to academies to do crash courses for an IAS examination. Renewable resources with real-time practical solutions, beneficiary laws, economy logics and administrative principals must be included up to matriculation studies. Students specializing in these courses are a meagre percentage who are not alone capable of bringing about any revolution. Every citizen has the right to know them all and that’s when enlightenment does not come only at the time of necessity but the nation stands strongly with preparedness.

Human values in the end overshadow every situation. In the darkness of the “Crisis” shadows are not visible. Only when there is light of hope, human shadows cast itself. Hope, lightened by right knowledge is the only strategy to fight a “crisis”, a strategy to overcome any impact, be it the COVID-19 or a weak human chain.

~ “The wise remind themselves that ‘This too shall pass’ even when things are good; the foolish, only when things are bad.” - Mokokoma Mokhonoana

Endurance is not easy, but why endure when it is already impure? Grow like a tree, there’s no better strategy.

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PREVIEW- DESIGN DISSERTATION