LEARNING FROM PEOPLELet us get down to some basic issues, now.
|Katkari Tribal hamlet in Maharashtra, India|
Children play 'Homemaking'
Drawing your house with a stick or lime powder on ground yourself is elementary way to start designing. Children used to play 'ghar, ghar' (home, home) once upon a time, and find a right place. It's basic instinct. Now they play games on mobile phones (in cities).
A student of architecture was writing a thesis on topic 'Spaces for Children'. She gave one of several examples of children used ‘umbrella' for the game (in urban areas) for ‘house’. To build a shelter – a basic need – is an instinct, animal instinct.
You don't need a measure tape. You are the life-size measure and scale, both. 'Anguli, viti, haath, vaav, purush, 'foot' etc. are ancient Desi scales of measurements.
Clay is sustainable building material
You can also make a Model back at home. A lump of prepared clay for a model is excellent. A model in clay could be modified while working. Take care, when not working on it, to keep it moist and soft by covering it with damp cloth. For scale and proportion, take a paper cut-out of a human figure (picture) and fix with pin on the clay base of the clay model.
Many sculptors make 3D 'sketches' of their concepts in clay, not only on paper. See for example, Henry Moor. They believe clay, wood and stone are living materials, not POP or concrete.
(I introduced 'clay model' at Architecture College (AOA) in 1990s. Now, Malak, my friend, builds mud houses!).
I advocate self-help housing for EWS (Economically Weaker Section) projects by the Agencies - NGOs and Govt. Many people in the bracket of EWS, e.g. those living in slums, are peasants; they have skills in building and maintenance of their houses. Building by self-help, with limited budget, is most economical system.
Government introduces Third Party Intervention in Shelter
The fact is peasants practice Life-size Planning and Designing their Houses and Habitat. This practice has been going on for millennia. They are successful because they are one with Lind-Water-Life. But who could convince Agencies? They make paper plans because they want to control the resources, which are provided by Mother Nature – Srishti.
I am not an activist. Being vacationist I believe in action by self – by myself.
Remigius de Souza
(Mumbai | 21-01-15)
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