I have always been fascinated by knives, the clear purpose
of blade, as an implement to part, cleave, sever. Designed to held by hand and deployed by a
stoking motion. Stylized and fashioned over time, and yet the the purpose built
directness of knife is a joy when encountered. One that does its job perfectly,
a balance of shape, weight and
proportion. So a sugar cane stripper, in a village in Bengal completely
I cannot entirely explain its beauty, one has to see it
used, the effortlessness and the appropriateness to task and skill of hand. And
fit. The Crudeness only ramifies it “perfection” if you could call it that.
The knife here, is one side or edge of an unfolding. One
where I want to talk about directness of purpose, shape, use and response. The
other edge is a window. The connection
may seem a bit farfetched, bu I hope I can string together a certain aesthetic
History and theory, somehow have a knack of complexifying
things. And often to a point where the conversation becomes hard to follow,
laborious and altogether disjointed from the simple pleasure that the practice
of architecture and its obvious aftermath – the building , are supposed to
Design is most often a search, an enquiry into the nature of
things and their relationships as part and whole which together provide a
framework for expression and creation of both the built and the not built. I
use the word not built, as different to Un-built, to clearly identify the act
or decision of not building certain things or parts of buildings or space – like
not building a wall in certain parts to provide apertures that can act as point
of entry – doors, or communication – windows.
These decisions sometimes are results of stand points and
intellectual exercises and some times of a considered and carefully mediated
response to condition of site or location or topography or geography that
inform the omission.
Much of the time, the articulation of the omission is guided
by our altogether urban (and thus fairly sophisticated responses of form and
function that are created from a surfeit of resources and technologies), born
in synthesized environments that are completely controlled and regulated and
overflowing with choice.
Our obsession with systems and technologies sometimes I feel
lend a certain sterility, and disconnect. We become of higher orders than the
environments we live in.
With this background then, when one encounters the primitive
answer it is both satisfying and liberating.
A window, doing what it must - made from what is available, with no
desire for beauty or celebration, no call for intellectual validation or flag
waving. Nothing but pure window. And when you look closer then, a story
Labels: architecture, BAMBOO, BENGAL, BLADE, DIRECTNESS, FENESTRATION, FUNCTION, GRILL, IMPLEMENT, KNIFE, MUD ARCHITECTURE, MUD HUT, purpose, RURAL BUILDINGS, shape, SUNDERBANS, TOOL, VILLAGE HUT, WINDOW