Assitant Editor, Indian Architect & Builder Magazine

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'Architecture ‘is no longer part of any urban tissue. It exists; at the most co-exists.' What is your take on Architecture and 'identity'?

The search for identity is a slow process of assimilation, internalisation and reaction that requires a long engagement with the context. The apparent mis- interpretation or a superficial reading of the issue of identity then results in a recursive reaction that comes from a purely aesthetic judgement which disregards the process and focuses only on the object. How crucial are fundamentals and values like 'context', 'roots' in architecture?

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    R H

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    Jan 12 2014: I am not an architect, but understand that architecture is an 'art form'. At his/her height, the artist is to interpret some aspect of their identity, which often reflects the identity of their surroundings. Your lament that much architecture is 'recursive' and 'disregards the process...' is, for me, less a concern for architecture as a true reflection of identity (I believe that most truly gifted architect/artists consider context, roots, etc in their designs) than a call for an investigation into the process of the commissioning of architectural efforts.
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    Jan 14 2014: Great topic. Sorry it expires soon.

    I think that architecture is expressing our cultural level and sometimes economic status, from great stress to ultimate prosperity. Our postmodern architecture, in my modest opinion, is very poor in terms of new ideas and it has a great lack of knowledge about the best classical tradition in history.
    I recently spoke to a very successful young architect about some project and mentioned Filippo Brunelleschi - the young architect did not know niether this historically important in history of architecture creator of Dome, nor heard his name.

    New materials, new structural engineering methods, new restrictions and demands coming from the authorities, all put together create many difficulties for a truly telanted architect, who might have really original ideas.

    Here is a great need to build a futuristic place but not based on outdated "modern" ideas of robotic worlds, "bold" or "bent" structures and colors --- these are over a hundred years old already!!
    I hope that some day we will be able to see a very graceful design reflecting a better, more peaceful human world, practical and sustainable, without insulting and badly distorting the natural design.