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Grey matter

Yesterday at work, we viewed a project through various lenses – the architect, user, the developer and the government, namely. As we tried to gauge the project, it sort of posed a question to our method – can one truly call a project successful or failure ? What if something works economically, but fails functionally ? Or the aesthetics are a drab but efficiency exceeds expectations ?

I guess, then, architecture can be seen as grey – it doesn’t really read as black and white – yes or no – success or failure. This greyness comes into existance when a project is trying to tackle multiple things. It’s multiple threads not allowing us to generalise its outcome. Maybe then, the very first criteria to gauge a projects is whether it responds to multiple stimuli from its varying degrees of context. When project attempts to tackle multiple things, it is a conscious response to those stimuli.

Meanwhile there are projects that are myopic in nature – caught in it’s tunnel vision of achieving one thing, ignorant of many other aspects. Projects exclusive in their intentions. They have one goal, maybe two at a maximum, and charge at them with blinders on. In a country like India, people claim to have “bigger problems” than to try and respond to the said bigger problems. Ironic, isn’t it ?

This isn’t to say that grey projects are all encompassing – as if that were truly discernable – let alone achievable. (Or is it ?) They’re at least trying, more aware of their context, their end products an amalgamation of various challenges. They may drop the ball on some, coaxing us to remove our blinders and view it as a concoction of its challenges.


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