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In sight | December 2013

2014: What to expect?

We speak to architects across the country about their New Year resolutions for 2014 that would impact their work and the society. Evidently, there is much in store.....

The last month of the calendar year is perhaps the right time to reflect over the events of the year that's about to pass into history, to rejoice over the achievements it has brought and to make grand plans for the fresh year that's waiting on the threshold. Let's take inspiration from some architects and designers who share with us their New Year resolutions for 2014. It's going to be a good year!

"For the coming year, we have lots planned. We are known for our out-of-the-box designs and from the next year onwards, we plan to use a lot of natural materials like stones and wood. We also plan to encourage Indian artisans to do work in a contemporary form and to use minimal imported goods, which will encourage our Indian artisans to showcase their skills and talents."
Aamir Sharma, Principal Designer, AANDH

"My new year resolution is to carry out better work and add more thought to what we do, considering the environment and population of this country. There are a lot of projects that we have lined up for the future."
Hafeez Contractor, Principal Architect, Architect Hafeez Contractor

"New year resolutions remind me of the saying æ If wishes were horsesà'. Imagining that they are, here are my New Year resolutions. I will design with climatic response as a top priority and not let anything, anyone or any rule overrule it. I will design with environmental concern as a guiding principle for all projects and not let anything, anyone or any rule overrule it. I will design with my instincts as the final deciding factor and not let circumstances dilute or overrule it. The society would be the first to feel and enjoy the impact. The design fraternity would then sit up, take notice and hopefully be able to do the same in their projects so as to make their own impact on the society. This in turn would be able to move the overall design scenario of the country towards a more humane environment where architects are able to actually accomplish what they always set out to do but sadly, rarely accomplish!"
Jasleen Kaur Changani, Principal Architect, Studio C

"Over the past year I have seen advertisements for architects by major national institutions where the essence of the notice is to lure architects into unethical bids against one another for reduced fees. Supposedly brand name architectural firms undercut their fellow architects, and broke the rules of the Council of Architecture, winning major commissions by bidding less than half the minimum fees allowed by their own professional institute, and by the statutory body that certifies them as fit to practice. Surely, this is the most threatening situation ever to confront our profession. Corners are being cut at the expense of the public and future users.

Respected architectural firms are charging fees as low as 1.8 to 2.4 per cent of the civil works cost, often agreeing not to charge for air conditioning, and to quote on a rupees per square foot basis valid over a number of years. I resolve to use the Right to Information legislation to uncover these ill deeds and will post the findings on the net in full detail. This can only raise the standards of the profession and bring back lost prestige for the fraternity! I will also initiate discussions with my fellow architects as to what would represent a reasonable "sliding scale"for reducing fees marginally, as the sizes of projects increase."
Christopher Benninger, Prinicpal Architect, Christopher Charles Benninger Architects

"As a team, our resolution is to be more demanding of ourselves, to work more efficiently and to focus on projects that challenge our creativity.

We believe in updating and upgrading our knowledge of newer sustainable materials in the market. The biggest challenge we face today is the general ignorance regarding the use of sustainable material and green architecture. Hence, our focus would lie in educating our clients and convincing them to adopt technologies that make a difference to the overall well being of the society.
Kanhai Gandhi, Principal Architect, KNS Architects

"Our energies shall be geared towards the effective delivery of architectural projects currently under construction, particularly in Mumbai. We aim to launch a research and prototyping lab called @ NU.DE. This shall be primarily research-based and we aim to draw linkages with projects in the pipeline or future projects.

We would also like to reflect on architecture and its role as a catalyst towards holistic social development, particularly in the realm of disaster mitigation and relief work. Hopefully, we would extend our initial concepts for deployable architecture in the aftermath of a natural disaster into the domain of prototyping and field testing.

There is also a reading list of books I need to get aggressive with. Hopefully I can carve out some serious reading time.

Lastly, there is nothing that excites us more than design and innovation. We at @ NU.DE look forward to continue to probe, research, explore and build. Hopefully it should be a very exciting 2014."
Nuru Karim, Founder & Principal, NU.DE

"New year resolutions are passT ... every single project getting out of our studio should be socially, environmentally and contextually relevant. And we ought to be proud of the product!"
Ravi Sarangan, Principal Architect, Edifice

"This year's resolution for me would be ægiving back' to the field from which I have learnt so much. Society has given me a lot - the mentors from whom I learned, the inspirational people whom I observed and derived energy from. Now is the time, I believe, when I can give back and share whatever knowledge I have gained with the new comers to this field.

With this motive, a small group of architects (which I am a part of) has taken the initiative to start visiting design colleges and conducting workshops. We hope to take up this activity more zealously and with top priority in the coming years. It gives immense pleasure to talk to the freshers and students about the future of design. They are budding with new ideas and fresh enthusiasm, and their enthusiasm is contagious; it rejuvenates me and I, in turn, learn from them too.

As far as the resolution for work goes, I'd like to make it finer in terms of functionality, sustainability and aesthetics. At the same time, I'd also like to share lots of past experiences with others and propagate the idea of giving back to the society."
Dipen Gada, Principal Architect, Dipen Gada and Associates

"My New Year resolution is to bring more exposure to my team and get closer to making JTCPL Designs a self-managing organisation. To achieve this, I would want to refine our service offerings continually and reach international standards. I also want JTCPL Designs to achieve their best projects till date in 2014, which will enable us to educate, empower and excel in our chosen field of corporate and banking interior design."
Ninad Tipnis, Prinicpal Architect, JTCPL Design

"This New Year resolution is to try to add some writing to my work day and to write in the broad sheets and general media outlets, not limiting myself to industry-related publications. From a design point of view I look forward to designing more in steel next year and ideally have more design time to work on the projects on the table.

I would also like to be able to teach a little more than I have managed to in the past several years."
Martand Khosla, Principal Architect, Romi Khosla Design Studio

From promoting sustainability to mentoring the new generation of architects, from enhancing personal achievement to reforming professional practices, our architects have certainly set themselves ambitious, yet achievable goals for the coming year. Here's wishing they fulfill each one of them!

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