The buildings are living interpretations of our encounters crafted in the form of surprises, the rhythmic play of light and shadow, materials, textures, and colors to construct an artistic symphony. Stories are extensions of our imagination where we feel joyful, safe, and creative. The collective connection we share with nature, people, and places has fascinated me since childhood, leading me to develop the skill through observation and experimentation while forming the narrative. People, places, and their anecdotes are at the heart of architecture. Community, the fragmentation of myth, crafts, art, literature, and mythology, shapes our society. The way I interpret the human mind, behavior, and feelings has been shaped by my curious exploration of these subjects.
A tale of designing Human-centric spaces
Humans are elegantly layered through various myths, values, and beliefs, so it is significant to understand the human mind and its relationship to the environment for user-friendly spaces. Playing with materials and colors, solidity and lightness, while appreciating the context proposes a sense of remembrance. Connection to the earth and sky, inside and outside, far and near creates an engaging experience for the user. The designer should design a story creating scenarios where one is sipping the morning tea and resting his back on the solid wall while the light is creating drama on the Kota stone.
The way one approaches the space curiously and it opens into the nature composed of fragrance, sensing it one walks towards the rushing water to feel the peace within and connect to it. Thus designing a story creates an interactive engagement between the building and the user. Stories and learnings are passed on through generations so they can unite to the roots of their essence. Each aspect of the building incites our mind and creates experience such as the touch of the materials, the sound of space, and the smell of the air. Creating the journey of approach, confronted, surprises, and pauses with connection to the environment. Consequently, buildings are viewed as a narrative that is interpreted, confronted, and related to the movement of the user. One should always consider these inquiries while designing.
Does our building interact and evolve with the environment?
Does it provide an opportunity for interaction?
Does it belong to people or it is just a static entity?
Art of understanding connections
“I design from the inside out. The play of light is vitally important- after all, it makes the greatest difference to one’s quality of life.” – Geoffrey Bawa
Connections are an integral part of human nature. We relate to places, things, people, and nature and develop a living place. Nature is a configuration where we experience ourselves and find a connection in that solitude. In terms of culture and values, human beings have evolved and grown to understand how to live in a meaningful society and feel alive under the stars by observing the nocturnal patterns of trees, and smelling the fragrance of flowers. The context is the blend of specific styles, cultures, beliefs, and methods preserved through time in art forms. The built environment is shaped by the movement of surprises, the use of sustainable materials, and the impact of natural light. The relationship between inside and outside spaces should not create a threshold but develop the continuity of the space, connecting with the environment. In the 21st century, we are so focused on form-making that we are neglecting the needs of the user and connectivity to the environment, thus creating too little experience of space.
Sarkhej Roza: Story of silence and joyful space
Sarkhej Roza is an architectural monument of Hindu-Islamic style. The culture, community, art, and literature are blended to form an architectural wonder. Roza’s journey begins in the narrow pathways of the neighborhood where residents live in harmony together. An archway leads into a courtyard with trees shading the space, and activities like teaching and sketching are held there. A play of light is created by perforated stone jalis that offer the journey from darkness to light. The long and huge textured stone walls have minimal openings and jharokhas are carved out of stone in the Islamic style. Sarkhej Roza is one of my favorite buildings which has made me curious about how architecture helps to connect community and place resulting in profound experiences. It is an architectural silhouette designed to create a story through spaces. It is a tale of architectural elements and environmental contextual incorporations beautifully crafted like a painting. The play of light and shadow through stone jalis, understanding the touch of the rawness and softness of the stone, exploring the connection between the earth and the sky, and central court for community engagement lead to unknown paths resulting in understanding the values and culture of the community and experience of the spaces.
In the 21st century, it should be a paradigm shift where architecture should be focused on humans and their experiences. Architects and designers should examine themselves so that their structure articulates their dreams, joy, and curiosity creating an interactive narrative to be remembered.
Tale of experiences and memory
Gazing at all the colors,
Walkway designed to smell the flowers in the way with huge trees shading the pathway, Sunlight entering the room,
Sitting on the windows and feeling the rawness of the stone,
A grandfather telling the story to kids on the deck silently watching the reflection in the water,
Kids running in the garden with bare legs, feeling the grass.,
To value the creation of the cosmos.
- <https://www.archdaily.com/895039/juhani-pallasmaa-architecture-is-a-mediation-between-the-world-and-our-minds> [Accessed 5 May 2022].
- Sahapedia. 2022. Sarkhej Roza, the Living Monument | Sahapedia. [online] Available at: <https://www.sahapedia.org/sarkhej-roza-the-living-monument> [Accessed 5 May 2022].
- 2022. [online] Available at: <https://gharpedia.com/blog/sense-of-place-in-architecture> [Accessed 6 May 2022].
- Man’s World India. 2022. The Nature-Inspired Interior Designs Of Geoffrey Bawa. [online] Available at: <https://www.mansworldindia.com/culture/art/nature-inspired-interior-design-geoffrey-bawa/> [Accessed 6 May 2022].