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  • Tejashrii Shankarraman

Architecture for the Common Man

The following article was written on the 25th of October, 2015. It was a time when I had spent close to six months living away from home and traveled to a couple of cities. The entire experience pushed me out of my comfort zone and triggered some thoughts within my head. This was the first in a series of thoughts being penned down, resulting in questions which led to more articles being written.

“Design, in my opinion, is ultimately a process of self learning and introspection. The designer invests a portion of himself/herself in every project and comes out of it having learnt something. A designer needs to be sensitive to many issues and such forethought must reflect in the design process.

Over the past five months, moving to a new city and travelling in and around has left me with thoughts to gather, but I don’t find myself equipped enough to comprehend and apply them. This is what I look forward to learning.

They say that Architecture is an elitist’s profession. And they are right, for it takes an evolved and sophisticated mind to appreciate a space. But SHOULD it be an elitist’s profession ? I personally believe that design should provoke anyone (rather, everyone) to think. To think and become more than they are at that moment. Most people are ignorant of Architecture and the power it has to impact lives. You feel its impact and you may even embrace it, but only few are truly aware of it.

Whether people should be made aware of this power, or left as it is, is a debate in its own right. However, the bottom line remains that every space has an existential power waiting to be tapped. And I think I will spend the rest of my life trying to learn how to tap this power. ”

Looking back on this almost two years later, I still agree that Architecture is a profession of self learning and one needs to have the spirit to endure it in the long haul. However, I still find myself pondering over the idea of the role of Architecture in society, its moral responsibility and how to manifest it in the world we currently live in. Maybe another two years down the line, I may have answers to these questions or you may be able to answer them for me.

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