Ahmedabad is a perfect example of co-existence

Ahmedabad is a perfect example of co-existence

Form, function and affordability or Form, function and sustainability. I think they go togethe...

Form, function and affordability or Form, function and sustainability. I think they go together, you know, if it's sustainable, it's also affordable. Actually, it would be form, function and appropriateness because everything has to be appropriate, appropriate to the place, people and program. Nothing is good or bad, it's always appropriate or inappropriate for the place in question for a given function in that particular context. So contextually relevant, responsive and responsible is the right way of looking at a design concept. Ahmedabad is the first city to get the heritage tag. How do you keep it that way when modern architecture has become a norm? Ahmedabad has always been progressive; I make a distinction between a static history versus dynamic tradition. history is a dead tradition, while tradition is a living history. Over six centuries, the design of houses in the city has evolved, the evolution has also mandated the use of new technology and material, but despite these changes the city has managed to keep its DNA intact. So, I believe Ahmedabad is a perfect example of co-existence of the modern and traditional schools of thought. So, I don't see a conflict, but when we say heritage, it borrows from the past. It is not only architecture, it’s the way of life which has been experienced, a lifestyle which the place has demonstrated through a set cultural tradition for countless years. The fact that the traditions have remained relevant connotes it has played a relevant role in the development of the city. So, the spirit of Ahmedabad should be maintained to keep the heritage intact. What materials do you approve of for a built environment we can be truly proud of? There is no set formula as such, it's all about being contextually appropriate. There is enough wisdom in continuing with the traditional material owing to its performance. For example, if you think of brick and lime, the way it matures, it adds a degree of robustness also by improving the strength of the given structure where it is used. Each material has its own characteristics, limitations and potential, for a given context, hence it is necessary to pick the right one and apply it within its own potential. The array of traditional materials which has been used time and again offers numerous advantages, it is useful in mitigating the challenges of the local climate and hence its use remains relevant till date. In contemporary times, the overrated or overuse of concrete and glass is worrisome, we should use them wisely and judiciously. Glass is a great material for interiors because it aids transparency, visibility etc. But utilising it in the southern or western sides of a structure means unnecessary heat gain and increased HVAC costs. How do you use technology to help create a safer built environment? Technology is a tool which can help us improve our quality of life. The perception that technology is something very high-end is a fallacy. A lever arm as also a wheel epitomises technology. So, when it comes to making a choice, we should opt for technology which can reduce human labour, improve the ease of comfort and benefit the environment.

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