People have realized the importance of the spaces they inhabit and are more conscious now of what they want to furnish them with.
People have spent so much time cooped up in their homes during the lockdown, that they now want their spaces to be more airy with more ventilation and natural light entering indoors. In fact, there has been a paradigm shift in the thought process of people. Also, the disruption in the supply chain forced people to use local products, which is a very positive fallout of the pandemic. I really hope and wish that these changes are retained and that people don’t go back to their old ways of living.
It’s important to realize the value of designing with respect to the context.
Daylight and natural ventilation can drastically improve our built environment. To maximize daylight and keep the heat out, we have to design as per the climate and site conditions. The placement of windows and openings, the orientation of the building, and the use of local materials must be taken into consideration.
As architects, we need to adapt and practice and inculcate in society a sense of good design that is contextual. Living in a glass building is not contextual. We follow trends to show off and it turns into a vicious cycle which is difficult to break away from. Let there be a sense of pride in sustainable and contextual design that lasts generations.
We must help prevent urban migration and develop technologies that support local artisans.
There is a need for sustainable rural economies in our country and to promote products made by local artisans to support them. Their standard of living needs to be improved; and we have to look in a broader sense at the solutions that promote their industry and craft. We have to minimize wastage, and reuse as much as possible. The way forward is using local craft, integrating technology, and minimizing consumption.
Sustainability should be a lifestyle and not a trend.
Trends is a word I shy away from; we can’t follow trends that are wasteful. Spaces mattered even before the pandemic; it’s just that people did not pay close attention to them. Architecture has to keep evolving because the context keeps changing and the reason why new designs and innovations happen. Else, the architects will keep doing the same thing again and again. So, architecture cannot be static as it is constantly evolving. But its evolution should not be wasteful.