Sunday, October 6, 2013

bottled madness.

The list of stupid reasons people have given me about drinking "bottled water" are just increasing. I'm almost at a point where I'd like to carry a knife around to threaten people who drink out of bottles, and then conveniently throw it out.

There is a reason that corporations are cashing in on this billion-dollar industry, there is a reason the world is running out of potable water, there is a reason this really unreasonable stupid system works.


you, tourist with a bottle in your hand, you IT employee who thinks it's your bloomin' birthright to have bottled water when perfectly good potable water comes out of your taps. You lazy ass commuter who thinks buying water is better then carrying it, YOU.

So don't give me rubbish about how it "tastes" better, is cleaner and "healthy"...and if want to argue this, please do, I'd be happy to counter. (but because I'm really really pissed off right now - please watch Tapped before you say anything or else your head will get bitten off)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

I seem to be a verb...

Environment's and man's future - by the visionary genius of our time.

I came across this book, randomly lying around in my sister's Tarnaka apartment a few years ago. I was interested, only because I saw fuller's face on it. I looked through it, took it home, and forgot about it. It has been on the back of my mind, and somehow I just knew I should carry it with me here. I carried 2 books to Chicago from hyderabad, this was one of them. I am now fascinated and am going to make a set of my own graphics with stuff in this book....everyday, as I uncover more interesting ideas from this book, I shall make them my own. They are not going to be like the book, the whole collection is what makes them what it is, I just want to get the ideas from this book out there.
Hope whoever comes across these like them.

I seem to be a verb...the cover page? or the back page? A linear book!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Nari Gandhi, Lonavla, Mudh Island and other stories

I am going to start with an experience that I really treasure. Early 2009. Lunavla. Mumbai, 2 Nari Gandhi houses. Great people.

For those who are not familiar with the work of Nari Gandhi, please see this link. He was a man of few words, and like him, I am not going to say much. I hope the photographs speak for themselves.

I might add a few more details when I can...Thanks to Gurjit for the trip, it changed a lot of my perspectives on architecture, and some other things. 

I have decided that this blog needs more attention. so. re-attention.
here goes.

Friday, March 9, 2012

A video from a while ago - it made me consider something. If we were to create an "architect's oath", one that every architect takes before being allowed to build; that would it be? what kinds of statements would it consist of?
So then I went ahead and asked google uncle. Apparently, people have thought of this before (I couldn't really be the only one thinking about this, could I?) I found a few online - some serious, some parodies here, here and here. This is a debatable point - can an "oath" really control what we build? what exactly should the oath be about? and how specific or vague can it be? are we even entitled to an oath?
As I ponder on this idea, would love to know what others think.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Love architecture? Here.
Words elude me today, but I would love to hear what you have to say.

This is why architecture is still a part of my life, and will stay so.

Monday, February 20, 2012


The Harvard University Loeb fellows of 2012 were in Hyderabad on the 17th of Feb courtesy of Prof. Rahul Mehrotra and Architect Nanda Kumar at one of our Cinarch weekend events. It came as a pleasant surprise when I saw the mail announcing it, and an even better one when I looked up the speakers and their backgrounds. This is what the Harvard website says about the fellowship and the fellows.
It was a surprisingly laid back event considering the speakers and the moderator, though a little more crowded than usual; Prof. Mehrotra's previous tryst with Hyderabad, if i remember right, was at The Park and was covered by CNN-IBN.

Here's my impression of the talk. The talk was divided into two parts, 'the city' and 'the street', the city worked for me, and the street, just didn't add up. Although Prof. Mehrotra did mention that it was a broad categorization, and I think it did add a little to the initial understanding of the event. Each fellow spoke for about 10 minutes - the first of them were Ian Lockwood and Peter Park; transportation engineer and a city planning director respectively. They brought up issues of the failed highway systems and transportation alternatives - both focusing on how cities, and their systems influence the people in the city, and how rarely we seem to notice that. Ian lockwood talked about how the outlook of transportation engineering needs a change, and how it needs to focus more on the interaction between the city and its people with more walkable neighbourhoods and find alternatives to the car as a basic means of transportation – a phenomenon we see as a rapidly emerging as a solution to our cities in India. Peter Park also talked about the highways as a failed model of ‘development’ and described some solutions in mixed land use, transit oriented development, neighbourhood and downtown plans and form-based zoning (I didn’t really get some of this – and hope to explore and learn more about our cities by following his work). Both Ian Lockwood and Peter Park stressed on some positives they noticed from the week they had spent exploring Mumbai – dependence on public transport, permeable ground planes, higher densities and such. They also stressed that India should learn from the mistakes of the west, and try not to emulate the highway systems that created unsuccessful cities like Detroit in the US.

I wish we could take the ‘my way or the highway’ approach to cities here, but the one thing that struck me as a concerned citizen – examining their observations from the point of view of an architecture student who’s constantly complaining about her city is that of un-enlightenment. Some of the positives they noticed, the order in the chaos – it’s just that. It’s unfortunate that all that good is not the result of structured planning or strong public or political will – it just so happens that some of the jugaad that we come up with works. That, and the fact that our legacy in well designed historic cities has left us with a few lessons, and maybe some sub-conscious good sense.

Christopher Callot talked about urban infill and real-estate development, captivating to me and P, but it apparently didn’t impress the set of noisy students sitting behind us. I really wish he'd elaborated more on cultural influences of his work, just for a little bit more context, I guess. Anne-Marie Lubenau’s talk was one that I was really waiting for. I found the work she does fascinating but I was unable to grasp the essence of it, or how such a model could work in a developing country like India. I never really got around to finding out – we decided not to badger the panel with India-context questions, and the mouse in me didn’t venture any further. Her talk, however, was very enlightening on how the community can be a major force in changing the landscape of a city – a similar message to that of Inga Saffron, an critic and investigative architectural journalist from Philly who seems to tread the dangerous and murky waters of politics and corruption to make sure her city does not accept bad design and architecture. With a simple narrative and a little humour, she managed to keep the audience immersed till her very last word. Kudos.

The second set comprised of talks by Jean Lauer (, curator Andres Lepik, Aga Khan Awardee Anna Heringer, and founder Aaron Naparstek,

Jean Lauer touched on another v. important aspect, describing the role technology can play in making design more accessible and transparent – find out more about her work here. Despite my techno-code-virtual-world-phobia, I was convinced. Aaron Naparstek had before-after images from cities that described very well that potential for change and hope where there seems to be none (do you hear me, o whiny architecture students?) Andes Lepik introduced us to the world of architecture exhibitions, although I got the feeling that half the students in the crowd did not know what a curator was, and Anna Herringer’s presentation on sustainability, beauty and design just blew my mind. Her simple yet profound approach to material, community and ‘architecture as a tool to improve lives' was a fitting end to the event. she even topped that off with a ‘dhanyavadamulu’ and she even said it right (wonder if I could have!?!)

I hope we have more of these talks often – it keeps us on our toes and most importantly makes us think. Maybe next time we could un-invite the people in the audience who feel obliged to start a 10 minute monologue in a Q&A session. An embarrassment, every single time! The design community in Hyderabad needs to understand brevity, or lose out on good opportunities like these.
Apart from that, a great evening – I’m extremely glad I kicked my feverish self out of bed to attend. I have a lot more to think about, new ideas to explore – and a blog to revive.

Hope to be able to add a few photographs and a video or two of the speakers. Any contributors?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

This is where I was last night. More about it soon, hopefully.

Friday, February 17, 2012

#13. testing again.

A prosaic pedestrian pining for her piggyback promise.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

a week away from civilization spent talking about how civilization can be made a nicer place to live in. and as we headed home i couldn't help but realise that i hadn't missed the city one bit. i didn't miss my internet as much, or the constant sound or vehicles that i once believed had a very soothing quality of constancy. i missed my peace of a few days, but that was entirely attributed to the company i had. crude unlikeable company.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

...and so the first screening happened today.
i think around 10 people turned up. which is pathetic. yes. on the other hand, it's a considerable number for this situation so yay!
i was supposed to feel good about this. but i didn't.

just a teeny bit. maybe. but it disappeared pretty soon.

and now the time problem's stuck.
damn. if only design came that easy.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

6 days of walking in the hot sweltering 40+ Delhi sun.
80+ hours on the train.
30+ cups of chai.
1700 photographs.
30 theses models.
400+ theses sheets.
30 people on the parliment house floor.
"long years ago we made a tryst with destiny..."
Raj ghat and Shantivan
The ford foundation
Shakti Sthal, the emergency and political principles.
1 very amazing person.
hundreds of MP houses.
2 long roads. the king's way.
The diplomatic enclave, patriotism.
many many vierendeel girders.
tons and tons of open faced concrete.
green green Delhi.
C2: to finally know that I am also a part of history.

the stats dont really matter, they sounded nice. so.
the trip was great. a lesson in history. a few in architecture.