Video Thursdays! Rem Leads the Way

Hello, all!

Before starting off this post, I want to share that I have created a little blog schedule for myself! It does seem too overwhelming to me right now, and that’s alright. As long as it’s generating excitement in me, I know I would be able to keep up with it. So, if you are following my blog, I will upload a whole different post regarding the schedule, where I will explain why exactly am I doing that. Acknowledging the title, Thursdays will be dedicated to sharing of videos. Be it art, design, typography or architecture.


So, today’s video is actually a trailer to the movie REM. The reason why this film was shot, was to show people how creating buildings is not about erecting a structure which would start enacting it’s functions, whatever that is supposed to do. It is not about what the architect needs but what the building’s users needs. And that is what Rem Koolhaas finds challenging.

Depicting the users’ experience through this film, which was one of the highly anticipated documentaries in the architecture scene, it examines his vast array of work through the eyes of the people that inhabit the designs.

To find out more about the film, you can also visit: http://remdocumentary.org/the-film-2/

Framed Curves

I discovered Moshe Safdie through his thesis project of Habitat 67. And as a student who had just begun understanding what this vast field was all about, I was in awe.

While the project was an experimental solution for high-quality housing in dense urban environments, the possibility of two design ideas into one project emerged. It dealt with 1. pre-fabrication, which around 1967 was just getting  kick-started and, 2. re-thinking the designing of apartments in the new age.

My joy of discovering his design in India, right in my land of Punjab, was insurmountable. Virasat-E-Khalsa, a museum of Sikhism, is located near Chandigarh. I could not stop gushing over how his structure stood right at my birthplace and I was unaware of it.


2016-06-22 12.38.28 1.jpgThe beautiful curves of the Virasat-E-Khalsa museum.

Curve

Smart Ideas

I have been reading up a lot lately on city designing and how the smallest of efforts can bring a huge outcome in any regard. Be it personal goals, work focus or on a larger scale of changing a city’s functioning.

Recently, I came across this video by IBM and it has to be one of the most functional as well as clever advertising I have seen. Kudos to the designers for making it simple yet effective.


Why Some Structures Hide

After a good lunch with my classmates at one of the posh cafes in Delhi, where I ended up paying more than I ate, a close friend and I were broke to go home on our own.Fortunately, her mom’s office was right across the street from where we were, and we waited for her to get free as a free ride was the only possible solution.

The office was the kind which was located in the clusters of homes throughout that area. It is usually the trend there, with either the entire structure housing the office, or a floor dedicated to the workplace with the rest being a functional home to someone.

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It was a beautiful area. Huge, flowering trees surrounded the central green square around which the houses were closely situated. It was quiet, with occasional sound of birds chirping, leaves rustling and a car honk sounding off some distant road. The houses were white with staccatos of brick lining somewhere, or glass and wooden punctuations, inviting people inside and showing them out. Occasionally, you would see someone look outside through those punctuations. Lost in thought, having tea, or reading a book (those are my favorite kinds).

This ensued a photography session between my friend and I. We just couldn’t get enough of the place. I chose my favorite wall, and her camera clicked away. After 50 photos, an old man walked towards the gate before which we stood. He was wrinkled, but happy. He had a walking stick, but the other hand was occupied in holding bags full of fresh fruits. He was having a hard time explaining what exactly he wanted to do and found the whole situation tough to handle. We understood and smiling at him, we moved from his way.

I couldn’t resist myself from complimenting his house, and blurted how serene and beautiful it was. He found the whole situation embarrassing and nodded his head as a way of acknowledging my words. And just like that, he went away.

On our way back home in the car, it struck me how similar the man and his house were. Shy, peaceful and quiet, yet active and full of life, he had a strong personality. He didn’t fear showing his flaws. In the same way, that white plastered house bared it all. Chipped paint, stained glass and deteriorated bricks. But it still stood tall, and let all the planters and trees decorate it, as if it were some piece of art.

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For a lot of people, it would seem that it is hiding like it’s owner. After all, the house is a reflection of its master. But I feel, like a treasure, it is waiting to be discovered by someone who would value it, just like the old man’s wise, occasional words would be waiting patiently to become a person’s morals.

Embarrassing

Hello, World

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The view from my room

Connected

With never ending design projects looming over the head throughout the semesters, I was a night person. Come home by 7, draft sheets, have dinner, start designing. And to stay up all night, have coke, listen to crap music and basically have more coke again. Days and nights were blurred, and rarely would I have a schedule that would go on for a week. Either way, I enjoyed that very much. It gave an amateur a feel of what architecture school is all about. Late nights, coffee/coke breaks, missing meals, running without bathing,  sleeping or even without money.

While my other friends who were pursuing different fields would be out for drinks, or would go for weekend trips, I would be in my PJs contemplating which material would hold my model the best. I forgot what music had once meant in my life, and friends would adjust their schedules according to mine because, deadlines. I would term that phase of my life, hectic.

More than losing touch with my friends, I was losing touch with my own voice. No value of decision making, no respect for my own design ideas because of the fear of judgment of ‘practicality’, and certainly no love for my mental health and body. I was on a verge of a breakdown. Of course it wasn’t that bad, the kind where you really stop functioning. It was the kind where you start questioning why exactly you do certain things, when it no longer gives you satisfaction.

I knew had to change. While I knew how important designing was for me, being sleep deprived and eating Lay’s for lunch wasn’t exactly the lifestyle I wanted. So, I took upon the challenge of a drastic change. I knew it  wouldn’t be easy so I gave myself a year.

On 31st December, 2015 I wrote a letter, noting what I would have achieved when I would open the same letter in 2016 end. Goals, little lifestyle habits, maybe exercising, achieving balance and patience. I needed all to get back on track.

And so, when I opened my windows at 4.00 am in the morning on 1st January, 2016 and sat down on my yoga mat for my first deep breath towards a happier year, I knew immediately that I connected with a spirit that I had long forgotten.

At What Speed Shall it be?

My grandfather’s house is pretty old, still standing strong after 50 years. Therefore every little thing I observe there, I have the urge of capturing it. Not because it seems ancient and out of the world, but because it gives me a strange satisfaction of contrast. I don’t know why, but everyday elements which display a sense of difference with its surroundings makes me feel alive.

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The fan regulator in my grandfathers house.

Numbers