presenting WORKSHOP's previous projects

27.01.13 | day 1 building community ii

Today was the first day of our second AA Visiting School, being held at the British Council’s building in New Delhi. The aim for the two-week project is to explore design ideas and test materials for Project Hariharpur. We have decided to work with mud, and with the help of Dhruv Chandra Sud (an architect with a lot of experience using vernacular methods in Himachal Pradesh) we will be building a 1:1 mock-up in the gallery as part of our upcoming exhibition. The first day was an introduction to the way in which we work, and the nature of the next project. We were really excited to have a talk from Kamath Design Studio, who have done a lot of socially engaged participatory projects, as well as worked extensively with mud. We met Revathi Kamath a couple of weeks ago when we were doing our initial research into earth architecture, and its through her contractor that we are sourcing the mud for the workshop… so we´re very grateful for her advice and support!

In the afternoon, we introduced the participants to Mr. Misra from ITRHD and Shiban Ganju, an architect who has been developing some initial ideas for the school project. We were also joined by Pankaj Misra, who we met during our recce trip to Hariharpur, and who very kindly brought a sack of earth for us to test for compressive strength, once we have made an adobe brick with it here in Delhi. Here´s an account of the day from Divya Singh, a 5th year student at the School of Planning and Architecture here in Delhi:

hello!
how was my day?
well, amazing!
it started with a brief introduction and it ended with a meeting with the  former secretary of prime minister of india.
everyone is good! everything looks positive.
and they aspire to do a lot.
bring changes!. in the villages. like hariarpur.
its near varanasi.
and we can go and do some site work if we wish to. after march 1st.
i thought so yesterday. and today is the beginning.
but after talking to the ppl involved and those villagers.
everything seems quite positive and aspiring
they r so ready to do it.
they just want us to develop a prototype.. which they can develop at their village with the help of other villagers.
and they r here to tell us the conditions, their requirements and they even brought the mud from their village, so that it can be tested here and a prototype is made keep such a soil in mind.
they r musicians
and they do farming to earn their living.
so basically this prime minister’s secretary wants to preserve the cultural heritage of this village.
its nt just this village but 3-4 villages, with weavers, musicians and potters.
they r basically shifting to big towns to have a better standard of living.
and by providing a low cost vernacular building, we are trying to empower the community and regenerate well being.
so that they can preserve what they have.