Friday, November 17, 2006

Auroville architect Anupama Kundoo

Editorial: November 2006 Be careful of what you wish for, or you might turn into Wolf Prix: reflections on the 2006 RAIA national conference November 10, 2006. In Apil 2006, architects gathered at Darling Harbour in Sydney for “the future is now!”, the annual RAIA conference. The conference gathered together an interesting mix of speakers as stylistically and philosophically diverse as Carme Pinos, Elke-Delugan-Meissl, Kerry Hill, and Andrew Freear from Rural Studio...
However, despite the optimism and atmosphere of good-will permeating the conference, for me there was a disturbing subtext which seemed to underpin the entire event, and which told a story all the more powerful for not being explicitly articulated. This story is architecture eats its young, or turns them into monsters, and is best exemplified by the presentations of three architects: Anupama Kundoo, Timothy Hill, and the keynote speaker Wolf Prix.
Anupama Kundoo is an Indian architect in her thirties who heads Kolam, an architecture, design and construction unit established under the Auroville Foundation in south east India. In addition to research, design and construction of architectural projects, Kolam also undertakes innovative urban management studies; the architectural education of rural students; experimentation with construction and infrastructure technologies for sustainable development; and hands-on workshops and seminars in schools, institutions and universities.
Anupama’s presentation was a joyful and delightful tale of can-do attitude and problem-solving in challenging situations. She contextualised the problems facing a rapidly developing India – urbanisation, globalisation, sustainability, and concrete – and walked us through projects where locally made clay vessels become ceilings, and buildings are “cooked” to perfection. Her willingness to embrace the constraints of the local – community, technology, materials, skills – and turn them into successful and beautiful buildings was inspirational for those of us who may be frustrated with planning regulations or a slow broadband connection. posted by beatriz maturana @ 8:19 PM...

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