The Initiative for Green Habitats represents a long term commitment towards providing solutions for the creation of Sustainable Built Environments. This blog attempts to provide an insight to our views, commentaries on our work, ideas that we are working on, and provoke thought where there are more questions than answers.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Pinning down the culprit/s...a work in progress

An implanted idea- began agreeing with it as I went along. It’s this; a while ago, I mean a few decades ago we seem to have known how to build sensibly- almost appropriately, being respectful to what we had, doing sensibly what we did and going about our affairs like we knew tomorrow was going to be another day and then, almost suddenly, we seem to have just lost it, living life itself in this most insane manner.

In these deliberations I'm attempting to try and pin down a culprit (that brought us to being where we are now)- may be one may be a combination of many, I'm not sure- which is why it will be a work-in-progress for some time to come. I want to try and bring it down to being an object or an invention rather than a large concept like 'technology' itself.

Here's my first strike at the first victim in that direction:

The AC we all love, yet some (like me) love to hate
Let’s begin by looking at what an Air Conditioner does, very simplistically speaking.
It does something to a certain quantity of air- by the end of which it is possible for me make the 'interiors' of a space cooler (generally what's required in our latitudes). Have you heard of anyone air conditioning the outdoors??.....Drawing the same line of thought further- its easy to see that an 'enclosure' is normally what's required to use an AC well. Now flipping that thought around the converse seems probably truer, enclosed stuffy spaces are what might have needed some mechanical means of ventilating it. Lo! And behold! Here comes Captain AC to our rescue. Remember how relieved you've felt when you turned on that AC in your car on a sultry sunny afternoon when the outdoors left you no reason to believe that you are very different from the kebabs being grilled at the store nearby?
The funny thing with the AC is that since we love it- we need it to work well- that's when we begin making enclosures these air tight containers- these matchboxes that we've come to call 'offices', 'apartments', ‘malls’ (this last one deserves a verbal bashing of its own, I shall soon)!
Should just one aspect of a whole eco-system (read the building here) hijack the attention we pay to all other facets? Should we in this struggle to make Captain AC work forget a dozen things that we enjoyed as parts of the built environment? Whatever happened to breathable outdoors that brought with it the whiffs of pleasantness, to those little places from where one could watch the rain and be sprinkled with those spluttering droplets- each to his own safe distance from the rain- enjoying it all along, to the other many things that these matchboxes of today lack?

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