What is a current trend in international home design that can be implemented here?
There is a very, very substantial movement, moving away from the brutal, minimalistic design of the 1980s and 1990s towards a natural, gentle approach that is guided by the functionality of a home in an environmentally-sensitive way. People are designing homes again, not trying a lot of deep architectural experiments. Architects have begun to consider issues such as responding to how you control natural light or how you integrate the landscape into the construction of the home. It’s percolating into all aspects of home design, from the furniture being chosen to the products being used during construction.
I recently moved to Delhi and have been disappointed with the city’s architecture. What is wrong with it and what needs to be done?
Delhi has an extremely rich architectural heritage, but Delhi’s contemporary architecture is driven without any sense of historical progression. There is no reference to the fact that the buildings are in Delhi or in India. No thought goes into planning for the weather here. Buildings are simply thrown up without any thought as to the context they are placed in. Nor are they buildings radically modern enough to set them apart from the rest of the world as cutting-edge architecture. A major problem is the building regulations and strict controls of authority. The building regulations are antiquated at best and the levels of authority are redundant. This creates the mediocrity of modern Delhi. A solution will have to come at multiple levels. There needs to be a reworking of all planning and zoning bylaws. The current Master Plan of Delhi is a complete farce. The Master Plan of 1962 had much more vision than the Master Plan of today. And the Urban Arts Commission needs to be rethought. They don’t have a vision or clear aesthetic sense of what Delhi should be.
Manit Rastogi’s architecture firm Metamorphosis follows environmentally sensitive design methods. Tell him what you think at firstname.lastname@example.org