Architecture As A Part Of The Process Of Nation Building

“We design the present, with an awareness of the past, for a future that is essentially unknown”, we design the present taking the inspiration from our past and history, we design it for the future without knowing how it would be. Like any other domain of knowledge, that takes inspiration from the past, the present architecture reveals the history of the nation.

As one walks down the street, he finds numerous art pieces, not in the form of paintings or any artistic masterpiece, but the greatest masterpieces created by the architects. The role of an architect is not just to create spaces suitable for different functions, but to define the spaces and the living of the people who use the space. The art of architecture doesn’t develop in isolation, but gets along with the development of the context and finally as a nation. Nation building is just not something that gets decided by having discussions about the economy, technology, politics and about how the citizens sustain their lives, its more about the development of the surroundings, the upcoming buildings with a different style of construction in itself.

Nation building is seen like the development of the nation which happens after the decisions taken by the state, involvement of the citizens and the fields of economy, services, art, philosophy, science and technology and several other aspects come into act with their hard work and the developments in their respective domains, but for a person the first impression about the place is through the glance of his surroundings, the high rise buildings, functioning of the spaces, and the buildings around them as a whole.

Architecture not only represents the art of designing, but the way of living of the people. A place or the nation to be portrayed as a developed country doesn’t really need to have skyscrapers or modernized buildings, the vernacular citing with respect to the context, materials and sustainability and the integrity of the cultures and the people with their style of living bestows the true meaning of nation building. The vernacular typology of the buildings, describe the culture and the history of the nation. Every state has its own culture, a glorifying past and a unique architecture style. The evolution of the architecture styles from one dynasty to the other, and got compiled as it was passed on to the nest generations and hence describing several other styles in one.

The architecture shouldn’t be perceived just as construction of buildings around, but as representation of lives of the people and these affect the way of our living, they shape our lives to a better version.

The art of designing and the development of the nation go hand in hand. The built spaces represent the social life of the nation, not just by their appearance but also by the consolidation of several lives of poor staying there, like the chawls in Mumbai, though being cramped and stacked represent the social lives of the inhabitants, mostly poor, similarly the several ongoing projects to build affordable and minimalistic housing for the poor, may appear to be simple and minimal but have a great impact in the process of nation building, creating a shelter for them within their affordability limit and help them stay together.

Amidst all the domains working towards the nation building, architecture is one of the most important aspect in designing a society and its environment, the lion’s share being to provide the vital need of the people “shelter”. Providing shelter isn’t just proffering a roof with four walls around and stacking several such units on top of each other moulding the space into a housing, but more of creation of a living within the spaces .It includes more detailed analysis of the relation of the inhabitants with the surroundings, the response of the design to the environment and the comfort provided.

Several cultures unify under the process of nation building, and this does relate to the architecture that takes into consideration the vernacular typology, the history of the evolution of the culture, the life styles of the people and the climatic aspects of its origin.

Unlike early times where architecture was seen as art n designing , in the world of modernism and globalization it has become more about the lives of the people. The globalization of the world has created more chaos in people’s lifestyles and, it’s just the rush hour in everyone’s life due to the increasing pressure, economy and the financial issues. This makes the life more automated and mechanized and very few people find themselves appreciating the beauty of architecture and design. This has created a devastating effect on the environment, there are no more relationships that are maintained between the nature and the buildings.

Designing is all about discovering new paradigms which take inspiration from the vernacular. Vernacular architecture not only explains the culture of the people, but takes into account the responsiveness of the design towards the environment, sustainability and the capability to stand against the harsh climate, under those circumstances.

In a comparison of the architecture styles from the Indian history to the present styles and designing, the historical monuments and temples define the majestic kingdoms and the massiveness of the structures portray the powerfulness of the king. The structures built during the British rule narrate the development of the nation, introduction of new building materials due to the revolutions in other parts of the world. The buildings in the present are more of stacking of blocks on top of each other more than the essence of creativity and the responsiveness of the design towards the environment. Due to the increase population the construction has become more of a chunk of mass being built. The design of a comfortable housing or a space with respect to its function has become just a dream for many. The designing is not just the comfort and space but also the affordability for all the classes of people living.

Designing is just not limited to the interiors of the space, but the exteriors play more important role in facing the public and to represent the community as a whole. It is more about the coexistence of architecture and the culture of several people who are the users of the building. Hence these become main aspects of designing. The appreciation to the vernacular history of the area, the scrutiny to make sure the design fits in with the environment and does not disintegrate the basic elements of the context.

Architecture is not a detached object but a part of the whole, it has to follow the norms and notions, and work concurrently with the users and the makers of the building. The architects take the responsibility of serving the client and fulfilling their requirements, but simultaneously work for the social obligation and the nation building. Thus architecture becomes an indicator of democracy, where it shows us the path of coexistence, to be dependent on each other, respecting all the cultures and unification of various people with different social backgrounds. At last maybe not the least, architecture is a process of living, an experimentation in itself that never ends, a large treasure of ides and creations and a substructure for the building up of a nation and the lives of its people. It is a world of fantasies, under the control of certain norms and notions but an endless journey of thinking and creation.

16 December 2021
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