Architecture is about individuals, their context, their culture and the negotiation of the many transformations that occur within. The thought first occurred to me, not, as one would expect, through travel or from celebrated architectural masterpieces, but during a casual visit to a small village, Bandadra, in the outskirts of Mumbai in India.
Considering the design solutions employed in the meagre village, there were three things I could conclude about it with absolute certainty. First, as a framework, it maintained a practical conventional approach; the intention was precision. Second, in terms of lifestyle, it strived to satisfy its essential requirements; the lesson was relevance. And third, it attempted, even within its limitations, persistent gestures towards innovation; the idea was of a vision. So, if X was the situation and Y, a variable in design input, then my idea of an appropriate value of Y became the most precise, relevant and visionary negotiation between the influences on and the consequences of X.
Granted, the nostalgia for various contexts - prisons or public squares, formal or informal settings, forests or cities, history or modernity - may be a subjective affair, but my curiosity lies in the negotiation between what architecture is meant for in the physical realm and what it can achieve in the psychological realm. I am convinced that architecture is so much beyond simple drawings on paper; something far more demonstrative of individuals - and their culture, politics and society - that it represents.