Aug 30, 2012

Sometimes you appreciate unintentional grunge architectural experience!

Even architects refrain to talk about the darker intuitive side of architectural experience.  

Looking through a dirt clad window glass pan on a rainy day at  your half a century old sparingly used ancestral house, mysteriously thrilling fog and  street light setting as viewed from the window of a motel room in no man’s land where you stayed last weekend on your way back home from a road trip,  flickering interplay of light and shadows projected on the walls and roof  of your bedroom by the light of traffic passing by on the adjacent street,  bizarre abstract patterns on the under maintained damp bathroom or subway walls,  grunge white noise of much awaited rain pouring on the garage tin shed,  looking at the engulfing silence of valley from the balcony of a remote hill resort experiencing the shear lack of artificial urban sound of which you are used to or an experience of strange inquisitive damp smell while you are getting down the basement stairs in a dimly lit surrounding, you at times experience unspoken, unperceived, un-designed and unintentional side of architecture further accentuated by the time of year and day, your mood and company or absence of other people at that particular time.   

At times you feel so tiered of popular architecture, popular formula of architecture, formula of what should be and what not and all the glorification and stubbornness around what is popular, those are kind of beautiful, but they are every were, architectural orders, theories so much overvalued so abundantly repeated, interiors so much commercialized so much in order, so much restricted, so much formalized, you are left with no choice but to live in an environment which appeal to neighbors, your housing society and society at large, even You don’t know what you really want to experience. Spoon-fed architectural experience of what is good and what is bad being taught to architects as well as future prospective clients in the school. They are taught to create wonderful architecture but no one encourages them to create wonderful personalized architectural experience no matter even if its eccentric on conventional benchmark, experience of space which you can’t really create with the popular architectural tools, styles, mass education, thumb-rules available and being used widespread today. For example if you have already decided that a particular room, should have a particular lux level of lighting, particular illumination level,  uniformly distributed across the room with slight variation here and there as prescribed in the architectural bible or bylaws or general practice or as limited by the market availability and client’s choice of fixture, you can’t create an architectural experience which is thrilling, mysterious, inquisitive and even hauntingly sticky at times even for a moment, which are human psychological needs and part of their personality to experience such environment, at least just for sake of fun. No wonder at times you cherish that moment of darkness in the rainy damp evening or moonlit night when suddenly there is power cut for a brief period, because you have just experienced the dimly lit darker side of architecture which was never intended for you to experience in its original form, but only you know that how much it means to you to experience that very silence of spatial darkness, that mysterious view of dusk from the dark corner of your room, that stillness of ambiance and lack of bright LED light, that passionate experience in the beautiful and diluting sphere of space and light created by that single candle lit on the dining table, that momentarily grey sheds of otherwise bright and warm colors of interior walls. We are talking about darker side of architectural experience which induces a momentarily feeling of introspection to the occupant through its very silence, stillness darkness and grunginess, many writers, directors, photographers, architects, and artists will be able to relate to such experience. Grunge architectural experience which in thought provoking and inspires you at times and which is innate human psychological need somewhere buried in the subconscious under the monumental load of popular architectural experience!  

By: Anoop Jha
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