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Suhasini Ayer                                                               Gallery

SuhasiniIn and out of context..

My evolution as an architect up to the point of the educational experience in SPA Delhi was 'normal' in the absolute sense of the word. But then having decided to live and practice in 'Auroville' has given me an experiential learning which is not 'normal' in the sense of types of projects that had to be designed. Most of them are expected to be done with absent client bodies, no access to information, lack of technical staff and consultants, no coherent town planning guidelines, and built under intensive supervision and criticism from uninformed and informed community members.

For ten years I worshiped at the altar of the god of ecology, sustainable materials, appropriate technologies and materials, climatic design, alternative energies and water conservation and waste water recycling. A whole series of projects and designs were done taking into account the available labour resource and skills, till one realised that this is all common sense and it cannot compensate or replace the urge to indulge in pure design.

Now my way of looking at design and architecture is that it is  an active collaboration between the people involved - the potential users, the builder, the site, the climate, the culture and the architect. It is like a choreography that takes a life of its own, that you can only mould with your preference, experience, skills and available opportunities. These last 15 years, I have done all kinds of designs , which include residential, educational, recreational and semi-industrial spaces, which all have been built. 

What I look forward to, and wish for, is to be able to find the challenges in terms of design and architecture which allow one to create elegance without artifice, beauty without being contrived, comfort without having to indulge in irrelevance and which, finally, allow one to be truthful without becoming dogmatic. I also hope, one day, to be lucky enough to find the ultimate client who can afford giving us the time, space and resources to experiment, as all architects are limited or unlimited by the commissions that come their way.

suhasini@auroville.org.in

 >>see also: gallery community Prarthna Pour Tous


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