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‘Architecture genres vanishing'

Special Correspondent



The Aranmula Palace, which is built in typical Kerala architecture style.

THRISSUR: The Thrissur branch of the Indian Institute of Architects (IIA) will organise here on Saturday a seminar on ‘Vanishing identities'.

The seminar will discuss the role of architects in preserving the identity of architecture specific to locations.

“Each town or village has its own identity on the basis of its climate and geographical features. Traditionally, architecture reflected these traits and had no global model. The seminar will discuss how local architectural features can be preserved,” says M. M. Vinod Kumar, secretary of IIA, Thrissur.

Speakers at the seminar include architects Sathya Prakash Varanashi of Bangalore; Ernesto Bedmar of Singapore; Muhammad Rafiq Azam of Bangladesh; and Gurjit Singh Matharoo of Ahmedabad.

Homogenisation of culture and architecture is a natural consequence of globalisation. Taste, technology, market and finance are no longer restricted by national boundaries.

“Every young architect would like to ape the Big Stars of architecture such as Saha Sadish, Tadao Ando and Cesar Pelli. They turn out to be cheap imitations as they are out of sync with the climate of locations and geographical characteristics. Architecture becomes meaningful and practical only when it responds to local needs,” says Mr. Rafiq Azam.

Mr. Varanashi observes that identities do not vanish.

“They only change. As one identity becomes weak, it recreates itself into a new one,” he says.

He explains, “The term, ‘identity', refers to a recognisable act of being identified with context, characteristics, ideas and appearance. This statement, however, hides several meanings of the subject. The inner courtyard of any typical old house can be recreated today – maybe with glass and grille. Will you call this old or new?”

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