Allied Studies, Sabaa Giradkar

Environment as a Practice of Care

The course explored, deliberate and constructed newer questions around what is environment beyond the popular discourse of looking at it as a resource or a commodity and hence something that needs to be saved, protected or preserved, having Humans at the Centre. The centrality of Humans is identified as unethical and has been criticized by environmental philosophers over many decades, urging the need to look at Environment holistically which includes the non-human layer as well. This course hence disassociates from finding the instrumental value or the utilitarian relationship between the man and everything else, be it the (identified) animate nature or the inanimate objects of our everyday life. It rather considers that the human-non-humans are constantly moulding each other through their intimate and affective encounters. It is then that they both own each other rather than one taking over the other.
So as to build on these encounters the method used was of walks in and around our individual houses. Starting with a walk having no defined objective but to wander, to then eventually growing to identify subconscious pauses, to further building these pauses as the points of curiosity. Detailed note making of our observations was set as a requisite. Navigating through the moods, feelings and attitude rather than the cognitive layer of thinking, knowing, conscious image making and problem-solving we arrived at the ‘(Object)Being of our interest’. These curiosities around the being were shaped through fearing, craving, strangeness, obstruction, ignorance, admiration, awkwardness, excitedness, calmness, security for each one of us. This exercise opened up the idea of looking

The navigations were then curated by moving through Places. Yi Fu Tuan in his book ‘Space and Place. The perspective of experience’ talks about how space and place are two interrelated entities where place is a pause and space is movement and which is formed of multiple places together. He suggests that these spaces are also formed through the nature of experiences and the built experiential perspective. The individual experiences with the beings over the time transformed curiosity as multiple metaphors of care: fear as triumph, craving as confusion, strangeness as tactility, obstruction as ownership, ignorance as home ,admiration as friendship, awkwardness as dominance, excitedness as temporality, calmness as inhabitation and security as beauty. These metaphors were generated through building anecdotes around the being and its environment.

The overlaps of the individual places and the metaphors across the anecdotes curated the collective ‘Field of care’ drawing. This drawing is neither an abstraction nor real but a bridge between the two, which also attempts to bridge the practices of art and architecture. The drawing talks of the urban complexities, infinite possibilities, multiple associations or encounters built through psychogeography.