New Delhi [India], September 25 (ANI/ThePRTree): The International Conference on "Blurred Boundaries: In search of an Identity" organized by SMEF's Brick School of Architecture kickstarted on Friday, 24th September 2021 on a thought-provoking note. Dr Nitin Karmalkar, Vice-Chancellor of the Savitribai Pune Phule University, Pune inaugurated the conference.
He spoke about the blurring boundaries of education owing to cross-cultural pedagogical mingling and how the theme of the conference was very relevant to students. Dr Karmalkar urged everyone to contribute towards the global discourse of tackling issues of climate change and sustainability. He emphasized the need for a sensitive development of the built environment embracing the Panchatatva or the 5 elements, conservation of natural resources and a holistic approach to design- embracing varied interconnected aspects of regional, geographic and cultural diversity.
The Convenor of the conference Pooja Misal and Co-convenor, Dr Poorva Keskar also addressed the audience and spoke about the relevance of the theme and the importance of identity and its role in bringing about a sense of place and a feeling of responsibility towards resources.
Following the inauguration there were sessions with academic paper presentations on diverse themes. The first session chaired by Dr Amit Srivastava from the University of Adelaide on 'Space as an expression of democracy' discussed detailed and cogent arguments around human rights woven into Space, Place and Architecture.
The paper presenters touched upon issues related to Architectural Autocracy, Politics of Gender and issues of Social Exclusion of marginalized communities and discussed ways to move forward to include diverse identities into the built environment. The next session on 'Architecture and the Local Community' chaired by Dr Shaji Panicker from the Manipal Institute of Higher Education, Dubai saw deliberations around crucial themes of identities of micro communities and aspects of associated economies, aspirational changes and evolving place identities.
The Theme 'Resilience in the Era of Change' chaired by Ar. Rob Fleming from The University of Philadelphia, USA probed into issues in the larger urban realm and dissected causes to arrive at resilient solutions that embraced context, community and connections.
These stimulating sessions were followed by an interactive session with International Universities that offered a gateway to students to network and explore higher education opportunities. The presenting universities included the University of Adelaide, Australia; the University of Palermo and the Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Dubai, UAE.
The first keynote speaker of the day was Ar. Jacob van Rijs from MVRDV- the architects of the Future Towers in Amanora, Pune. The projects discussed by Ar. Jacob showcased varying typologies of buildings that broke boundaries in terms of redefining the design program, moving away from the typical to the radical in a bold attempt to embrace yet redefine spatial identities.
One of the projects discussed- The KU. Be House of Culture and Movement in Denmark brought fresh perspectives of multi-use holistic spaces catering to Sports, arts, music, meditation, reading, all clubbed together in a playful jigsaw. The keynote address emphasized the need for out-of -the box solutions to everyday issues around architecture and people.
The second keynote speaker for the day was Ar. Ernesto Klingenberg, founder of L35, Spain and architect of Solitaire World, a mixed use development in Pune. Ar. Ernesto graced the campus of Brick School and addressed the audience from there. His talk raised the meaning of Identity and highlighted the ephemeral connotation of the term.
He spoke about how identities are created, not derived and that the built environment in any region should be designed with certain universal values. According to him, humans despite differences in regional identities share similar aspirations and desires. Through his talk he took the audience through his various international projects situated in different countries. His projects wove context and technological innovations to create elegant spatial interpretations.
Day 1 of the International conference was packed with intellectual academic deliberations and a rich repository of architectural projects presented by international experts. The 2 days that follow will further the discourse through panel discussions, a design competition and more keynote addresses. Visit the brick website or follow them on facebook and instagram for more details.
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