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.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Of cursive writing and philosophers…..

While at a recent event around town- I got to see the works of a bunch of …….people. For a change, what I saw was very different from the altars that I pray at and it was after a very long time that I was sitting down to listen to what (according to me are) the 'lesser Gods' had to say.
A lot of their work- and it was quite some bit, with more than eight odd people presenting- seemed like cursive writing, very beautifully written words. Most of these people seemed to have as work, exotically written alphabets with near perfect strokes slanting in the right directions.
My complaint, however, was that when one strung these pretty alphabets together- they didn’t seem to do much beyond forming a well-put-together happy song for kids. Some even bordered on being chirpy clap-along merry little nursery rhymes, but not more. It did not seem to me like they pushed or challenged any existing known paradigm….. and why, you may ask, is that so important !? Well, it is almost the subject matter of another entry- at another time perhaps.
A countable few among those speakers, I thought, sounded like philosophers who unfortunately dint seem to get the attention they deserved.
One of them particularly stood out. His courage to try something new was truly commendable. Sadly, he had a poor handwriting which made his work appear to be a scribbling. It was extremely hard to decipher and this I thought reduced that unsatisfactorily small subscriber base- further. From the murmurs I heard around me in the audience, I knew that what had appeared as an end result had done absolutely no justice to his struggles of experimentation. What I liked was the fact that this philosopher, who had a lot of sensible things to say but no cursive writing to boot, had at least 'tried'.
It brings me back to a discussion we were having around the studio a while ago, an excerpt follows: (Harsha stated it)
'I feel though that this debate about what is ‘good’ architecture as compared to kitsch (read glitzy facades and lots of glass and chrome surfaces) is a bit beyond architecture. One needs to address what people are aspiring for, what they want to be seen as, and so on. After all, architects don’t make projects; clients do (at lease most often). One thing I saw in some one like Anil Laul was that identity, and the ‘good architecture’ can wait; the environment, or more importantly, sustainability needed to be addressed first. Not that I prescribe to this view entirely, but I ask myself- what is more precious to me…. a world where all architecture (or most of it) is pretty and interesting, or, a world where the environmental balance is not tilted. The logic of the latter is over whelming- a pretty world wouldn’t survive for long if it turned its back on the environment.
Having said that, I believe that there is enough room for creating an interesting world with an ecological balance'
In conclusion, one wishes that philosophers wrote more legibly and cursive writers with greater thought.

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