Saturday, January 29, 2011

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Down to Memory Lane - CEPT- Architecture, Planning

Good Design ignites Social Change
I stopped by to my school, while on a trip to India for Vibrant Gujarat and my mind went into memory lane. I remember visiting  CEPT  campus every time I visit India and each visit has turned a feast to my eyes. This time, I was amazed one more time with the new scenes popping out into my old etched pictures of the campus. I tried remembering what we did during my time. I could not remember distinctly and I decided to write about it. The campus had many buildings including canteen or a large food stall/building. Everyone goes to the canteen for a cup of tea, well the cup contains hardly two sips of tea (only Gujarati will not mind this amount of tea, anyway that is besides the point or it requires another post), and you sit on the benches designed and constructed by students. You get to see the whole campus and get to meet faculty members as well as students.

When I see these tall brick walls of the buildings, they always look different. They seem to have different personality and seem to have conversation with me. They have art works and they are not frames but temporary large art prints. Some walls have direct paint depicting students' ideas. These are done by students and they are temporary. They are changed as semesters change and each year, I visit the campus, they have different theme and different artwork on them. The red brick walls are pretty but the paintings give them personality of that year's students. Also, along with the 2D arts and paintings, there are 3D sculptures including wooden and metal forms, part of the curriculum and workshops are scattered casually with the students on the campus. Even the benches on which students and faculty members sit together for a cup of tea encourages to create communication between scholars and students. Check out the photos and details of the design elements such as steps creating level deferences and defining spaces, trees creating shades and benches, etc.

Generally, parents do not allow their children to draw and paint on the walls of their homes. Here, these big kids are allowed and encouraged to experiment on the walls. This is an example where the design ignited the behavior which in turn made the design better, exciting and meaningful. I am 100% sure that architect Mr. B. V. Doshi knew the social and educational benefits of these walls while designing the campus.