The Unevitable Urban Change !

The partial night view in the City Hall sectio...

Image via Wikipedia

In discussions with Arif Sahab during the time I was interning with him, his view point regarding the change in the cities came into discussion. His conclusion has been simply, “PEOPLE WANT TO BE MODERN”. According to him, people are sick of those chains of traditions that are holding them back.

This discussion came about from a thesis proposal that I had been running by him, it was in its initial phase, and it was more of an idea than anything concrete.My idea was that people of different ethnic backgrounds lose out on their cultural identity in cities, where the lack of diversified housing lacks in tending to their needs.

Arif Sahab – whose opinion is worth more mine any second of any day – disagreed with this thought process of mine, for his experience said that people move to the cities because they want to be modern, and embrace a  new and fast-paced life. Continue reading

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Last week of my internship!

From next week, I would start the countdown to the end of my internship, and then it would be time to move on to my thesis! I am not sure that I have my topic all figured out yet. But I know it has to do with keywords like: media, culture,impact, globalization, urban setting, display of culture in urban setting, cultural roots of those cultural displays in the urban setting, the study of various minority groups in this regard, the designing of such a venture, the inclusion of the impact of the latest studies revealing the impact of creative industries on these cultural trends! Well maybe it would find its own pathway eventually! But it is shaping up, don’t  you think so!

Anyways… since I had time before my semester started, I had joined Arif Hasan’s office for internship and he was nice enough to keep me around! And being in his office is like being in a treasure hunt. But you have to make the effort to find the hunt. You just don’t get it like that! But really, even that is not much of an effort. All you have to do is to get your ass of the chair, and stroll to the little room, with the huge steel cabinet which has all of his work stored away! Now it’s not just any work. It’s the work from the time of Romance, and when the entire era marveled at just the right pace of life, when people still made houses for generations and generations to come! I am talking of an era when no computers existed and you had just the paper and you, and the feel of the paper under your skin! Continue reading

Architect: A Designer or a Technician?

A recent discussion with Mr.Arif Hasan- has led me to ponder over the question ” Are the achitects of todays have simply been reduced to being a technician? ”

Arif Sahab seems to agree with this point of view. I however, as I said, pondering. As the days of my internship continues, I have come to miss some of the hustle bustle of the studio – mind you, only some!

Architect or a Modern Draftsman?

Except for a small portion of designing in the over all work of building something, the rest gets dragged into redoing the bathroom, and the piping according to how the mistress of the house really wants.

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Most of the day me and my colleagues simply stay in front of a computer screen, changing one line or the other, making lines into polylines so that they can be extruded, or simply banging our heads against the wall when we can’t.

Besides this, today in Pakistan at least, the role of the architect has simply been limited to designing a house which is already pre-conditioned in the imagination of the client. More than that you can’t do. Here we have simply been limited to designing a sequence of spaces and to come up with the best way to link them with each other.

Partial – again I am talking from a completely Pakistani perspective- it is also the fault of the Education System. As the fields of engineering and science become more and more specialized, the Educational Institutes have taken it into their head that the degree of Architecture doesn’t need focus much on the structure, mechanical or plumbing side of the designing. That is the work of the many graduates of the same universities that are graduating wearing the caps of Structural Engineer, Mechanical engineer or HVAC Specialist.

This leaves the poor architect to simply sit in front of his computer and then works on his CAD, as one by one almost every thing starts to rely on the machines, from calculating wind loads, to light distribution, living nothing to the faculty of imagining by a designer. He is now simply a tool, a mere technician, who works on a machine like a machine, worrying over the Plot style tables and exploding of dimension.

We have definitely come a long way – from being the master of all arts to a person who is now limited to simply being a technician.