Being an Architect

Reflections on the profession, design, art, books and life in general
JUN

06

2014

Golden Temple Entrance Plaza project

A visit to the holiest Sikh shrine in the world will not be the same again. The experience will be enriched by the much awaited entrance plaza which is about to get completed.

The entrance plaza is a befitting solution to the urban chaos existed at the entrance which attracts over 1 lakh visitors on the week days alone.

An international design competition was called for by Punjab Heritage and Tourism Promotion Board to redesign the entrance plaza of Golden Temple in Amritsar. Entries poured in from all over the world and after much deliberation, Punjab Government selected the design by Delhi based Architectural firm, Design Associates Inc., and rightly so.

The design proposal aims to address the shortcomings of the current structure whilst creating an urban focus. The architect explains the salient features of the proposal:

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DEC

04

2013

Astronaut Pens: Not every solution is simple

"During the space race back in the 1960's, NASA was faced with a major problem. The astronaut needed a pen that would write in the vacuum of space. NASA went to work. At a cost of $1.5 million they developed the "Astronaut Pen". Some of you may remember. It enjoyed minor success on the commercial market.

The Russians were faced with the same dilemma.

They used a pencil."

Fantastic story, right? Except that's not what happened. NASA originally used pencils in space but pencils tend to give off things that float in zero-g (broken leads, graphite dust, shavings) and are flammable. So they looked for another solution. Independent of NASA, the Fisher Pen Company began development of a pen that could be used under extreme conditions and they succeded.

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SEP

14

2013

10 Things that a creative professional should never tell a client

I was tempted to have the title as '10 Things that an architect should never tell a client'.! Not always that you happen to read an article on a different profession and wonder how aptly it describes yours. 

Couldn't resist sharing the article titled '10 Things that a photographer should never tell a client' on the December 2012 edition of Better Photography magazine, because each line was relevant to architecture profession as well. Just exchange the specifics and see how it starts making sense.!

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Labels: architectural fees   architecture   architecture photography   architecture profession   Better Photography Magazine

AUG

02

2013

Are you replaceable

as an architect?

as an employee?

as an artist?

as an employer?

as a manager?

as a mother?

as a husband?

If so, most likely you will get replaced in near future (maybe except for the personal relationships.!!). And you have no right to complain!

For a client an architect may not only be the designer; but also a mentor, friend, technical and financial adviser, negotiator, innovator, artist and also one who care to share the journey. Her role becomes irreplaceable once client find real value other than the mundane details. Though design quality is still the single most differentiator, it is unfortunate that more often, client may not be equipped to fairly judge the quality of design alone.

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Labels: architecture   architecture career   architecture in India   Are you replaceable

APR

18

2013

What we forget when we design for public

Designing for public is always a challenge.

 

Be it a railway station, a cashier desk in a bank, a scooter parking area, a public library, a round-about in a busy street, or a pub, we cannot judge the design until it is used by the intended users for a specific period of time. Its very easy for designers to get carried away by the opportunity of creating something which is noticed by a large spectrum of users. We often try to "design" it such that it stands out and calls for attention.

Seth Godin observes the process of designing public interfaces in general in his blog.

 

First, do no harm--three rules for public interfaces

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