Yes, this post is about being human and you may not like it.
Do you recall any moment when you behaved like a human? Yes, we are human and we always behave like one!!! Oh! is that true?? (this is an open ended question and I leave it to you.)
Yesterday, I met an architect in India, who refused to participate the bandwagon of star architects, designing concrete and commercial projects for certain section of population.
This lady, Neelam Manjunath, an owner of Mansaram Architects, has been working on sustainable architecture in India, which is not only affordable to Indian mass but is also eco-friendly . Her designs consists of only “bamboos, stones and mud”. Yes, these are the traditional methods of Indian architecture. Unfortunately, concrete and cement has replaced them in urban India, resulting global warming and un-affordable pricing of houses .
No, this blog is not about her promotion but the promotion of her thoughts, her values and inspiration towards our environment and society. This blog is about a desire or mission, to serve people in a simplest form and make living affordable and desirable for the last person in Indian village.
I met this lady yesterday and was happy to acknowledge her philosophy of enhancing the traditional Indian architecture to the next level which is modern and affordable.
Here, take a look what she has done to her office…http://www.manasaramarchitects.com/interior-bamboo-symphony.html
Isn’t that amazing? (photo credit: Krishanu Chatterjee – http://www.krishanuchatterjee.com)
How many of us, urban people, will ever think of making our office or house with bamboo? But she did it and according to her, the costing of building material was 30% less than what it takes for a concrete building. Even her house is made up of only mud, stone and bamboo.
Due to her effort, many bamboo artisans in India got job. She has trained many villagers to build a mansion out of bamboo. A few have already converted their basic bamboo hut into a beautiful bamboo house with the modern technique in their village and possibly are training others too.
Well, these are a few excerpts that I have shared here from her journey of introducing the sustainable building and homes.
Why Neelam Manjunath inspired me?
Whenever, I looked at Indian history and the forts or monuments , I always wondered what powerful and scientific our ancient architecture was. And then when I looked at what we have now, saddened me.
Those were the days when there were no fans, yet the breeze inside the building was cool and fresh. You can experience this in Rajasthan. And there is Ajanta and Elora caves, temples in Hampi that had musical pillars. There are actually many examples of excellent architecture that should inspire our architects.
Let’s not go that far, we can take examples of our traditional and regional dwellings. If you go to Indian villages, you will see that every region has different architecture that suits the geography of that region. For example, in north-east, you will see houses made up of wood,
So, in this blog, I introduced an architect, who could have earned in millions through her profession (her architect friends are already doing it) but she is fighting hard to get projects and grants from Indian government to execute such projects because of some obvious reasons that is not required to be written here.