Sir Ratan Naval Tata is an Indian Industrialist and former chairman of Tata Sons. He had graduated from Cornell University College of Architecture with Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture. Tata also graduated from Harvard Business School with a degree in management. Ratan Tata was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2000 and Padma Vibhusan in 2008, the third and the highest civilian honors awarded by the government of India. He has also received several state civilian honors like Maharashtra Bhushan in 2006 and Assam Baibhav in 2021 for his contribution towards furthering cancer care in Assam. He is a well-known philanthropist who supports education, medicine, and rural development. He has supported the University Of New South Wales Faculty Of Engineering with a program that helps to provide improved water for challenged areas. When he was a part of the Tata group, has done several charity works. He is well known for being a strong supporter of sustainability and has contributed to several sustainable projects in the form of charity.
Since he works extensively for charity and promotes sustainability, he as an architect would be interested in sustainable buildings and would probably be interested in humanitarian architecture, which would guarantee better access to facilities across impoverished areas of the world, especially shelter.
Humanitarian Architecture serves the purpose of providing shelter. It mainly focuses on making shelters accessible at affordable costs to people to resolve the problem of homelessness. He would probably invest in such organizations or partner with organizations to contribute to the cause. Rather than just providing shelters, he would also be involved in constructing schools, so that children in impoverished regions also get access to education.
Architecture and charity, going hand in hand would help in improving communities across the world. Philanthropy, combined with architecture, could help in improving societies and allow impoverished areas to grow, by providing them with growth opportunities like shelter, access to clean water, education, etc.
As an architect, he would aim to make the buildings sustainable. Sustainability, could be achieved by taking several measures. For example, when vernacular materials are utilized, and local skilled labor is employed, it is one way of sustainability, as it helps to provide jobs to the generally unemployed public, and also would help to reduce the freight charges.
He probably would also be interested in cost-effective construction techniques. He might also discover new cost-effective construction techniques which are region specific. Region-specific, cost-effective construction techniques would help in utilizing more effective construction techniques, respecting the climate and cultural sentiments.
He would be involved in product design also, then just constructing buildings. Products or inventions that could help in the betterment of impoverished areas.
Ratan Tata had previously invested in Goodfellows, which serves the elderly. The founder of the company Shantanu Naidu, invented a dog collar that would help identify stray dogs and keep them safe from accidents, a work greatly appreciated by Ratan Tata.
He would be involved in works that help to improve the lives of the elderly. He is also well known for promoting young and budding entrepreneurs, so he might be interested in an artists’ village or cultural village, which would help promote local artisans. Artists’ village provides workshops for people interested in learning the art. It would help to increase the flow of tourists, helping the local people earn income and have a better livelihood. Such works would also help to improve the conditions of the impoverished areas as there would be an inflow of income. It would also teach the local artisans to monetize their skills by setting up shops where products made by them, could be sold. Examples of such arts are pottery and weaving.
To conclude, Ratan Tata would be an architect, who would be heavily involved in humanitarian architecture. He would also be invested in projects like schools, hospitals, and welfare organizations which could help in the betterment of society. He would design sustainable structures. The structures would be designed so that, it benefits the people of the region rather than cause issues for them. Even if he is involved in commercial projects, he would ensure that the pollution that is being emitted from those kinds of commercial projects wouldn’t harm the people in the surrounding region.
Ratan Tata, as an architect, would still be heavily involved in humanitarian and philanthropic works. He would be one of those architects who believe that architecture and charity should go hand in hand. In today’s fast-paced days, it is difficult to find architects who work for humanitarian causes. These kinds of architects are comparatively fewer in comparison to urban planners, landscape architects, conservationists, etc. Ratan Tata would be an asset to the field of architecture as an architect. He would be able to stand out from the crowd of architects, for his versatility and style of work.
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- Tata Trusts. (n.d.). Ratan N Tata. [online] Available at: https://www.tatatrusts.org/about-tatatrusts/ratan-n-tata.