Submitted by Pappal Suneja

Architectural Journalism Competition Announces Winning Stories for Series 7 & 8 In India

India Architecture News - May 29, 2018 - 08:01   14061 views

Architectural Journalism Competition Announces Winning Stories for Series 7 & 8 In India

Architectural Journalism Competition, India: Series 7 was themed as "Why Architects must write?"

Concept brief was described in the competition for this as "Although this profession is gathering some limelight due to the few gigantic names allied with it, yet this does not seem enough. There is just not adequate familiarity with this field among the younger, budding, future architects. There hasn’t been much about how to begin with, it in the first place, let alone making it a fruitful journey. This can be attributed to the much-believed fact that not many architects write. Also, to be published at some reputed place needs mettle. Maybe this is the reason why some of them even hesitate to start. However, knowing a systematic journey would be helpful. Only then, they could begin, explore and establish themselves in that arena".

Series 8, was themed to discuss the "Aesthetic Root Diversity in India"

Concept brief was described in the competition for this as "We find aesthetic root diversity in India, which could be explored to a massive extent through architectural journalism. Take for instance any religious place wherein the idol is placed on a higher plinth for reasons such as portraying a supreme power higher than us. Meanwhile, if there are certain places where the same is structured at a lower plinth; one could be curious and explore it through architectural journalism. Also, when an architect conceives a design that further has turned into a building, why not let it be known to the public?"

The organization has announced the winning stories and the winners with their abstracts are as under:

Abstracts: Series 7

Student Category Winner: ‘Hey Architect, Write it up!’ By Ramneet Kaur, B.Arch Final Year, Guru Nanak Dev. University, Amritsar

Abstract- "Hey Architect, Write it up!": Isn’t it a great feeling to tell about your work to the world? To showcase your designs and let everybody see the magic that you’ve tried to create? What another way could be better than writing about it and getting it published!

Designing buildings or spaces is a very interesting process which involves inputs from various fields like engineering, art, etc. A successful design is never the first drawing created on the drawing board. It undergoes rigorous discussions with structural consultants, plumbing, HVAC consultants, client, etc. to reach the final stage. All these people give their ideas, cause modifications in design and lead to the final product. The site situations and constraints are important aspects that shape the design. So, designing involves a lot of effort, demanding work, and hopes of all those involved in the project, which means that the process is very important. All these factors make the whole journey from paper to building quite fascinating. Each journey has its own challenges and limitations which make every design unique. Thus, writing about it is a terrific way to illustrate the story behind the design known to everyone. And if the work gets published, then the audience also increases.

"Special Mention’ for Student Category":  ‘The Juggling Act – Living between lines and spaces’ by Anisha, B.Arch 4th Year, Acharya NRV School of Architecture; Bangalore

Abstract- "The Juggling Act – Living between lines and spaces": “So, what are you studying child?” the older gentleman asked me. “Architecture” I replied. He frowned slightly, and then cheerfully said, “Oh! Engineering! That’s very good!” My teachers fondly recall the time when they were students pointing out the same situation in different versions. Years passed, the situation remains the same.

In a country that boasts of its varied religious belief systems, an architect is rarely consulted when a common man builds a house. Instead, astrologers, priests, contractors, and engineers are consulted, and plans are drawn. This results in a gap between the common man and an architect. Although there has been a great improvement over the years, people are more aware of the varied options other than engineers and doctors, architects still don’t get their limelight. They are often an afterthought to the common man. The misguided belief of appointing an architect applies only to the upper strata of the society. In a developing country, it becomes invariably important to bring forward the group that shapes the country’s future image.

"Special Mention" for Professional Category: "Why Architects must write!" by Ar. Rupali Deolalikar Dehade

Abstract - "Why Architects must write!" – Architecture can be described as a symphony of creativity and technicality. It is, in a way, a Poetry woven by juxtaposing the built and the unbuilt spaces. It evokes emotions and reactions. It is a process and a product (output). It is a reflection of an eclectic mix of culture, society, and individuality. It touches all of us, in various forms. Three terms often used in architecture – massing, aesthetics, and functions are inadequate to define Architecture. It is a multi-dimensional communication of visions, ideas, whims, symbolism, and individuality.

In times of instant gratification, today’s generation has no time and inclination to understand the underlying nuances of the expressions that architecture presents. Neither do they have the tools to express their architecture as a language for the expressions and communication of their visions of built and unbuilt environments. The younger generation only perceives it as a means to win a project and a tool to earn the compensations.

Abstracts: Series 8

"Special Mention_1’ for Student Category":  ‘Indian Architecture- A Manifestation Of Cultural Plurality’ by Ruchika Aggarwal, B.Arch 3rd Year, SCET Surat

Abstract - "Indian Architecture- a Manifestation of Cultural Plurality": In the words of Mark Twain, “So far as I am able to judge, nothing has been left undone, either by man or nature, to make India the most extraordinary country that the sun visits on his rounds. Nothing seems to have been forgotten, nothing overlooked.”

India, being one of the largest and eldest civilizations in the history of the world, is a goldmine of a mammoth of cultures and societies. Each ethnic group contributed its bit to the evolution of the Indian social system, art, and architecture, language, and literature, like threads, are interwoven to form a beautiful fabric. India is home to many of the finest cultural symbols of the world which include temples, churches, mosques, forts, performing arts, classical dances, sculptures, paintings, architecture, literature etc.

"Special Mention_2’ for Student Category":  ‘Aesthetic Root Diversity in India’ by Mamta J & Afia Siddiqui, B.Arch 3rd Year, NIT Raipur

Abstract - "Aesthetic Root Diversity in India": Since the beginning of time, the human race has always been keenly involved in exploring the existence of another world which has an inbuilt philosophy of universality as well as individuality and possibilities of diverse interpretations, to create a framework to visualize and create space and form. Aesthetics is an important criterion of perception that distinguishes one frame of reference to another. Architecture is derived from the fact that instead of seeking for a universal solution and absolute truth it is more relevant to explore localized cultures and modes of creating architectural forms.

When we look at the architectural heritage of India, we come across an incredibly rich reservoir of mythic images and beliefs – all co-existing in an easy and natural pluralism. Each is like a transparent overlay starting from the ancient arts to the present modern world all intertwined with each other. India, as being one of the oldest civilizations on the planet, with the most diverse cultural history and inhabited by multiple races, religions, and languages is a goldmine for the study of architectural evolution throughout history. Each transition or inclusion of new culture has created an impact on Indian architecture and art.

Jurors for these Series were:

Prof. Krishna Rao Jaisim: Principal Architect Jaisim-Fountainhead

Prof (Ar.) SS Behl: Dean Student Welfare, Guru Nanak Dev. University, Amritsar

Ar. Pappal Suneja: Freelance Architectural Journalist, India

Ar. Surinder Bahga, Chairperson B&C IIA Punjab and Principal Architect, Saakar Foundation

Ar. Sangeet Sharma, Practicing Architect & Author Chandigarh

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Top Image © Pappal Suneja (Part of Padmanabhapuram Palace Complex, Kanyakumari District; Tamil Nadu).

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