CRITICAL REGIONALISM

As the time is passing, our tradition is getting lost. Modern buildings are rising day by day in this urban world. As the land is decreasing manipulation of modernism and its concepts are happening day by day. Buildings are growing according to the conditioned technology. The conception of culture and its interpretation is changing along with the time.

A critical architecture should move away from today’s fast moving technology and go back to the nostalgic historicism. Culture of the region should be given importance at the same time looking towards today’s techniques. The intention of critical regionalism is to involve the use of elements or ideas taken from a the important features of a particular place and put it in the design. It is the maintenance of a critical self consciousness. The implementation of something taken from the inspiration in such things like the range and quality of materials to the topography of the site. Hence it is really important to keep our culture within.

PHENOMENOLOGY

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Architectural designing is a unique way of thinking and experiencing a space. Phenomenology provides a sensory experience by establishing architectural space and experiential elements. It is defined as the manipulation of geometry, light and shadow, materials by providing an impact on human senses. It makes everything look discrete. It creates an integration of senses and abstract architecture. It creates a different kind of involvement with the phenomenon of space, light and shadow. A design depends on its form and function, hence it is important to make the human senses react to it. It reacts to memory of leaves a memory.

Architecture and The Crisis of Modern Science , a book written by Alberto Pérez-Gómez explaining about the importance of human memory in experiencing a place. Also in the book “Thinking Architecture”, Peter Zumthor who talks about the exposed materials which blends with the nature slowly. He defines how a space should be oriented such that it will guide us to a place but also giving the freedom to let us go. Each characteristics play a significant role with our emotions.

DECONSTRUCTION VS DECONSTRUCTIONISM

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Its been always a confusion between what deconstruction and deconstructionism is? To be honest even i m still confused. I think deconstruction is something which is reduced down to its constituent parts in order to reinterpret it. Deconstructionism is the process of deconstruction. Fragmentation can be another best word to explain deconstruction. The whole structure which appears to be or is broken into many pieces still making it look like a whole.

The Wexner Center for the Arts by Peter Eisenman has metal grids which are exposed. He wanted the taste of deconstructionism and incompleteness.

The manipulation of the structure happens leading to distortion, dislocation of the building. The beautiful concept of deconstruction causes a controlled chaos.

UTOPIA

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Can we imagine a world where everything runs so perfectly? Is it a ‘UTOPIC’ city we are expecting for? There are so many of such questions arising during the process of designing.

Archigram an architectural group started producing drawings in a different way where all the structures where technically represented. They wanted to show new realities through there projects. One of the project named ‘The walking city’ which explains how we can look into the developmet of a city in a technical way. They thought creating a walking structure will help saving the space and also will show the volume of the building it is covering up. Everything depends on their own perspectives. It how you see the world and approach to it.

Architecture is not only about building huge and beautiful buddings but the surrounding around it matters. It play an important role. Archology which is the the study of architecture and its ecology which helps us know the play of nature and climate on a building.

Diagrams and Parametric Architecture

The word diagram which is repeatedly used in the process of our design works. Have we ever thought what a diagram is? Diagram is an abstract means of thinking about organisation. It helps us put our initial ideas in a simpler and easier way. Diagrams gives one the flexibility to think in many different ways. As the Ar Stan Allen said diagrams matters in a design. Toyo Ito another architect whose one of the famous work Sendai library which was made out of so many diagrams explaining the vertical and horizontal structures. The continuous sketching helped him to develop a strong element in his design.

PARAMETRIC DESIGN-It can be said as the repetition or the occurrence of similar elements which forms into a geometry. Taking the example Selfridges Building which has a structural framework on which circular elements are laid repeatedly. Sagrada Familia is also a parametric structure. Looking into the Indian context, Auroville having its beauty spread from Matrimandir. Matrimandir which has repeating disc frames in a spherical shape. Their is also a beauty is the continuous appearance of elements.

ARCHITECTURAL POLITICS

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How do you think architecture and politics come together? Architecture is something which helps politics to reveal their hopes, struggle, expression and power. Architectural politics is also something which brings out the culture of the society. In olden time beautiful buildings were constructed all over the world which stood out with all strength and pride. Political parties created many huge structures which showed their wealth.

POST MODERNISM

Post modernism which started in the late 19 century. It was a break away from the rigidity of modernity. Its a return of wit, ornament and reference. The reactions of this period was largely against the views and ideology of modernism. It was against the intellectual assumptions but purely based on moral relativism. Robert Venturi, Frank Gehry, Michael Graves were few post modern architects.

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The picture tells tells that ” its not a pipe, its a picture of pipe”
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Mundros exhibit of an inverted urinal which was a contrast .

Michael Grave one of the best architect of post modern period who came up with the Portland building. The building which highlights the elements used and the simple geometrical way in which it is arranged. It is symmetrical having a rectangular facade. It was considered as a major walk away from modernism.

Post modernism arose with few questions- “what is housing and what if the function of the buiding is not identified from outside?” . Such types of building are know as UNIVALENT buildings. Example: Mies van der Rohe architect’s Seagram building.

STRUCTURALISM

An architectural style which started in 20th century . It explains how a building acts or reacts to the surrounding through its structure. The is always an important structure which makes a building stand. It need not be a physical thing but an be a basic idea which will be the main idea or value. Structure helps us exploring space in different manner. Each way of construction or ideas gives varieties of experiences.

Nakagin capsule tower which is made of two basic structures, the main two tower and the small capsules. The precast capsule structures are then later attached to this main two heavy pillers. Other few examples are Kimbell art museum, Habitat 67, Orphanage of Amsterdam. These buildings are designed for the democracy allowing people to make changes it.

It is a complete set of relationships, in which the elements can change, but in such a way that these remain dependent on the whole and retain their meaning.

O Memorial aos Judeus Assassinados da Europa, também conhecido como o Memorial do Holocausto, é um memorial em Berlim, Alemanha, às vítimas judaicas do Holocausto, projetado pelo arquiteto Peter Eisenman e o engenheiro Buro Happold. Fotografia: João Bambu no Flickr.
Structuralism, one differentiates between a structure with a long life cycle and infills with shorter life cycles.”Hertzberger
( Memorial in Berlin )

STRUCTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY

Claude Levi Strauss defines the ideas how structure woks also in culture. He explains how two opposite object can connect of come together to form a whole structure through structural anthropology.

Talking about structuralism there comes another two important terms: signified and signifier. “Signified” is some information of values which are expressed. “Signifier” is the source which expresses. This makes the topic and the concept more interesting and looked into.

POLITICAL SYSTEMS

Debates are something which makes the topics more interesting and creates keen interest in us. A debates was conducted on the topic socialism vs communism vs capitalism and which will benefit a large number of people. It was a heard choice for us because each of it had there on values and ideas.

SOCIALISM is something where a country is controlled by private sectors. There wont be a over all factor which controls the private sector. Talking about its application, it can applied to a country like India because there are so many private companies running all over the country. It also brings up a controversy saying that these private owned companies works only for their beneficial.

COMMUNISM, which i think will work the most. It is where people are paid or earned according to the work which they do. Work of individual efforts the key points of communism. Amount of work will decide how much you are to be judged on.

CAPITALISM , which has a strong government controlling the private sectors under it. What makes this more workable than communism is that there are so many provisions from the government. Example scholarship for educating students, railway facilities and many more.

Being from Kerala i strongly support communism because only hard work will lead to success. India is a democratic country hence each individual has to be treated for what they require.

Modernism continues

As modernism continued it was completely moving away from the traditional style of architecture. Eric Mendelssohn a German architect who came up with a lots of interesting woks. Each of his works were different which emphasis the material characteristics of the elements.

Few of his works like Mossehaus in Berlin, where half the structure designed by him. The building clearly shows the difference between olden style and modern style of architecture. Curved surfaces with glass material have been used. More of simple geometry which is put together still keeping a strong stability in them. Einstein tower which is a tower for the radial theory of reactivity. It is made using the combination of reinforced concrete and steel mixture. Hat factory is a large scale project which has been designed beautifully having an opening running through the middle.

Richard Neutra also a modernist Jewish architect. The specialty of his buildings was that it adapts with the surrounding environment and flows along with type landscape. Selection of materials is also a key point. All of his works are made of steel, glass, and reinforced concrete.  Kaufman Desert House which is appealing constructed. The concept of large windows that directly opens to the landscape which helps them to blend with each other. The most important aspects are the plan is simple having a center point from which the building extends to different sides.

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