Tuesday, July 31, 2007

What does neuroscience have to do with architecture?

John P. Eberhard, Latrobe Fellow and founding president of the Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture artfully considers the question: What does neuroscience have to do with architecture? In this groundbreaking book Architecture and the Brain: A New Knowledge Base from Neuroscience Eberhard asks whether it would not be useful to have solid evidence based on fundamental studies to back up the intuitions of the architect, valuable evidence to convince clients to make good design decisions on behalf of the eventual users. I havent read the book but the topic is interesting .

"Science is not just about enlightenment… It also has the potential to bear fruit. No revolution can truly be said to have occurred until the knowledge it has delivered is put to use in some practical way. John Eberhard was one of the first to envisage how neuroscientific findings could inform and enrich his own profession - architecture."

- Rita Carter, Foreword Architecture and the Brain

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Tour de Delhi

The kingdom of ' Patiala '

Durbar hall , Patiala

Quila Mubarak , Patiala

The central courtyard , Quila Mubarak , Punjab

Sheesh mahal , Patiala

Sheesh Mahal , The chandelier

'Patiala ' is a city in the punjab state of INDIA . Patiala district is one of the famous princely cities of erstwhile Punjab. I was reading about various restoration going on in various historical sites in India , and found the forts and havelis in Punjab .
The Patiala house got series of rulers who wanted the all round development of the state . After the revolt of 1857, many artists, artisans, administrators, musicians and chefs who had had no choice but to flee from the Mughal court shifted to the court at Patiala. This added tremendously to the prestige of the Patiala court and understandably heralded in the golden era of the state. The next several decades saw Patiala reach the very pinnacle of its glory in fields as diverse as music, architecture, art, education, painting, masonry, crafts and culinary traditions.

INTACH is non profit organisation which is working on the conservation and documentation of the historical sites across india .

P.S - i was born in Patiala .....and i have been seeing all those buildings

Monday, July 23, 2007

Maltese Falcon

The 289-foot Maltese Falcon, launched in spring 2006, is that engineering dream come to life.

Under sail, the square-rigged Falcon evokes the magnificent clipper ships that raced across the oceans in the late 19th century. But Perkins' creation is more New Old Thing than mere tribute to the past. The heart of the boat's technology is a novel rigging system called the DynaRig, designed by Dutch naval architect Gerald Dijkstra and based on a half-century-old German concept. The genius — and risk — of the DynaRig is its use of freestanding masts that rotate to adjust sail trim and tack the boat. There are practically no external ropes or wires, no traditional rigging of any sort to brace the spars or control the nearly 26,000 square feet of sail. The 15 sails deploy at the push of a button, rolling out from inside each hollow mast along recessed tracks on stationary horizontal yardarms. When Dijkstra's drawings first came in, the CEO of Perini Navi, the Italian company that built the ship, muttered, "Whatever that is, it's not going to sail." Fellow mega yacht owner and media tycoon Rupert Murdoch looked at them and asked Perkins, "Is it going to look so frightening that people won't go on the boat?"

from wired

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Dharavi Redevelopment Project

Asia's largest slum - Dharavi,Mumbai, INDIA

"It is a dream project that envisages giving 5 to 7 lakh people living in Dharavi their own dream houses."

Satellite image

The uniqueness of DDP is that it is self-funded; a group of builders and developers will build free of cost houses for all the hutment dwellers of Dharavi on the very land on which their huts are standing today.Dharavi has been divided into 10 sectors and sectors will be developed by different developers.Once the project is completed, say, in seven years, Dharavi aspires to become a world-class township within Mumbai city. It will have 70,000 to 75,000 residential-commercial units with ultra-modern amenities in hygienic conditions.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Insight's Verdi and Sync Design Concepts Receive Gold and Silver IDEA Awards

Insight received top honors from the International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA), a celebration of the best product designs of the year. Insight won Gold for the Verdi Lawnscaping system and Silver for the Sync public washing system, both in the Design Concept category.
Some of the world's hottest designs, innovative problem-solvers and coolest concepts were among the winners. Of the 1,691 entries this year, only 20 were awarded the Gold and just 19 earned the Silver.

The Verdi Lawnscaping System is a modular landscaping alternative to traditional grass lawns. An interlocking tile system with built-in irrigation, it transforms any space into a customisable, environmentally sensitive landscape. With dramatic population increases and subsequent higher demands for resources, water conservation will be a necessary part of household behaviour. Verdi practically eliminates the need for high-pollution mowers and inefficient water usage, making it beneficial for any climate. Pre-seeded tiles come complete with region-appropriate plant life, further ensuring a sustainable landscape.

The water collection system integral to Verdi stores the rainwater and/or household grey water in reserves within each tile to enable an efficient plant growth system with little maintenance required. Plant tiles have a mesh layer above the moulded channels in the base, allowing water to drain through, yet preventing plant growth into the water storage area. Next is the growing medium, composed of non-woven natural fibres, which wicks water up to the plant life via holes in the mesh layer. Topping off the growing medium is the pre-seeded fertilised organic compound, which contains the basis for the plant life that will inhabit the tile. A nutritive, dissolvable film printed with soy inks seals the top of the tile, protecting the contents of the tile during transport without using unnecessary materials.

Modular accessories, such as solar-powered light tiles and shrub planters, give Verdi a degree of versatility unbeknownst to most backyard do-it-yourselfers. Additional tiles include path tiles, which are installed for rigid walkway surfaces and patio areas. The common base tile is fitted with a variety of inserts, including recycled glass composite, bamboo, or moulded recycled plastic for the path tiles, extending the aesthetic possibilities of the Verdi system. The solar light tiles have an illuminated perimeter powered by a central solar cell array. The cells also connect to the pump as its source of power. Plants that require more space for root development can be planted in the shrub planter modules, allowing users to incorporate shrubs and small trees into their custom lawnscape. Edging tiles close off the outermost irrigation channels and secure the entire tile system to the ground via stakes.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Chelkash ....a sketch ....

chelkash is a famous story by MAXIM GORKY. chelkash as a character is quite interesting and the sketch below is how i imagined him while reading the story .

"The universe is not made of atoms........but of stories."

An extact from the story " Chelkash ".

Darkened by the dust of the dock, the blue southern sky is murky; the burning sun looks duskily into the greenish sea, as though through a thin gray veil.

When the dock laborers, knocking off work, had scattered about the dock in noisy groups, buying various edibles from the women hawking food, and were settling themselves to dinner in shady corners on the pavement, there walked into their midst Grishka Chelkash, an old hunted wolf, well known to all the dock population as a hardened drunkard and a bold and dexterous thief. He was barefoot and bareheaded, clad in old, threadbare, shoddy breeches, in a dirty print shirt, with a torn collar that displayed his mobile, dry, angular bones tightly covered with brown skin. From the ruffled state of his black, slightly grizzled hair and the dazed look on his keen, predatory face, it was evident that he had only just waked up. There was a straw sticking in one brown mustache, another straw clung to the scrubby bristles of his shaved left cheek, and behind his ear he had stuck a little, freshly-picked twig of lime. Long, bony, rather stooping, he paced slowly over the flags, and turning his hooked, rapacious-looking nose from side to side, he cast sharp glances about him, his cold, gray eyes shining, as he scanned one after another among the dock laborers. His thick and long brown mustaches were continually twitching like a cat’s whiskers, while he rubbed his hands behind his back, nervously clenching the long, crooked, clutching fingers.
The idea behind the whole exercise is to translate one form of creativity into another .

Volume 10: Agitation!

columbia laboratory came up with volume 10 :Agitation!

Jeffrey Inaba in the openning message talked about the range of agitations across the spectrum of architecture and showed that it’s much more than rabble-rousing.
The issue was published in january 2007 .

There is not much work in architecture that incites discord with the prevalent views held by the profession. There are few agitators, or figures who rattle the bones of our institutions by challenging established values. And there are few that feel agitated, or disturbed, about this as the overall state of today’s situation.

The scarcity of agitation is agitating. In lectures, panel discussions, and academic presentations, there is little impulse to go on the offensive or to express a view that is unsettling. Not a lot is being said that would indicate disagreement even among peers that embrace clearly differing positions. Constructive commentary and supportive engagement are replacing contention. Painstaking effort is made to arrive at complementary views rather than to spark conflict. The lack of agitation has given way to a state of calm. Overall, one can sense the growing belief that insight is best gained through balanced discussion. Even in schools with reputations for promoting lively disagreements and articulating polarizing views, there’s a feeling that all is quiet on the western front.

Few of the headlines .....

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Green building in India

Case study – CII Sohrabji Green Business Centre in Hyderabad
Architect – Karan grover & Associates
Contact – Kirti towers , Tilak road , Vadodara , India
Date of completion of project - 2003

The `Green Building' concept is gaining importance in various countries, including India. These are buildings that ensure that waste is minimized at every stage during the construction and operation of the building, resulting in low costs, according to experts in the technology. The techniques associated with the `Green Building' include measures to prevent erosion of soil, rainwater harvesting, preparation of landscapes to reduce heat, reduction in usage of potable water, recycling of waste water and use of world class energy efficient practices.

The Green Business Centre is a unique and successful model of public-private partnership between the Government of Andhra Pradesh, Godrej & Boyce Manufacturing Company and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), with the technical support of USAID.

The building has been awarded the prestigious `Platinum rating' under the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) programme of the U.S. Green Building Council. It has been rated based on the features of water efficiency, sustainable site, energy efficiency, indoor environmental quality, materials and resources.

•The entire waste water in the building is treated biologically through a process called the `root zone treatment system' and is used for irrigation purposes. There is 35 per cent reduction in potable water use in the `Green Building' vis-à-vis a normal building. This is achieved by low water fixtures, use of storm water and recycled water.
•The building site is regarded as a sustainable one. Extensive erosion and sedimentation control measures have been adopted to prevent erosion. Rainwater harvesting is another measure successfully executed at the building site.
•Technology for real time monitoring of energy consumption helps to save energy. There is 50 per cent savings in overall energy consumption in comparison to a normal building.
•About 20 per cent of the energy requirement is met by solar energy.
•The materials used for the buildings are either recycled or recyclable .The materials include fly ash based bricks and recycled wood.
•A considerable portion of the construction waste has been recycled within the building.

Ajanta and Ellora Caves

India is full of surprises , and when i saw Ajanta and ellora caves , i was not prepared for what i was going to see...Thanks to all those university trips that i got that chance and the freedom to enjoy the beauty of India.......These caves are one of my favorates ....
The caves are 30 km from Aurangabad It houses 34 caves covering a distance of 2 km in length. 12 of the caves are buddhist (600 AD to 800 AD), 17 hindu (600 AD - 900 AD) and the rest jain (800 AD - 1000 AD). These caves definitely serve as the finest example of religious tolerance practised by man, fact made obvious after observing how well the current religions coexist in a same neighbourhood. Ellora caves served as chapels (Chaityas), monasteries (Viharas) and temples for the monks.


Sunday, July 1, 2007

The beautifull ' Jodhpur'

Was flicking through my old pics .The old uni days , the trips,the hot discussions ...tht pic backs three year when the class went for a trip to Rajisthan ...one of state with abundnce of beautifull historic buildings.