On the 30th of November 12 people
attended the session at Brand New Day's office.
Dominic welcomed us to his office and
we were quite impressed by it and its positive atmosphere. Large
size models for the Crown were displayed on the tables, together
with proposed plans for the Residential zone that were produced
a few years ago in collaboration with David.
A discussion followed on the large
masses of the galaxy model. If the galaxy is realised, what will
be its proper manifestation? As presented, it is a mass-model.
The land coverage of the buildings in some areas is very high.
Such a model is not going to be built as is. The next step is
yet to come.
It is important to question
whether the physical conditions that such a model suggests are
suitable for living. The concept must be formulated in our
lives. The model must be changed to the extent it is found
necessary after matching it against proper performance criteria.
What is the Crown, merely a necklace
of buildings that stretches out without pulsating main centers
of activities? Do we need to review the abstract concept in
order to allow for such knots of pulsating life? Together with
the Plaza, the Town Hall Annex could have served a good purpose
in forming the beginning of such a nucleus on the Crown. Why
does development in Auroville always tend to disperse? Is it a
consequence of the galaxy concept because the concept does not
contain centers that generate clustered development?
Development ought to start in
integration with the Crown, including in the process all aspects
of urban design. It is useless to have hundreds of scattered
buildings and, one day, try to connect them. It will not work.
Let us be clear about the difference between architecture and
Some important question were addressed:
Is the Design of the city a
dimension that inherently needs to be detached from the life
of the human world in order to express the new
Is there a conflict between Form
How do we look at the relation
between the life of this world, the life that people are
bound to live in the external reality and that of the
'spiritual' purpose of Auroville, as this relation is
embodied in the Form and Content of the City?
To define the question further,
does the contact between the two mean that the new life is
lost when acknowledging the nature of the physical world and
its workings, and on the other hand, is that world deprived
of what is sound and real to it by the touch of the new
life? Is there in all this necessarily a flaw?
The answer is built into the very
purpose of Auroville. There can be no such a division. The aim
of Auroville is to fuse the two (or discover their existing
oneness) - including the challenges of the evolving external
world. Furthermore, in our Integral Yoga there is no conflict
between common sense and spirituality. So the question seems
superfluous, but even so, once we start discussing how Auroville
is going to proceed in its growth as a city there is some
unclarity on this point.
We are often reminded of the
importance of the planning process. If it is right, the outcome
will be constructive. The key to this process is team work,
public participation, collaboration. At the meeting next week we
will try to earmark some areas of development for our exercises
in urban design.