Allied Studies, Malak Singh Gill
Human Ecology and Architecture

Anika Pugalia and Krisha Dharaiya

If we consider the builtform as a product  then the intent through which we study these techniques or apply them in our practice largely talk about us, our core values.

We first looked at the idea of intent.The idea of having a philosophical orientation and the importance of one's own core values . The course started with us doing case studies of  different projects having the idea of sustainibility.It was different as along with looking at the technology used, materials, we tried to see what their philosophical orientation was(architect’s). What was there intent and what was it they were trying to sustain?

After that we tried to see the idea of technology which is just a medium to sustain the core values which is true to one. We engaged in discussion like how technology is the outer manifestation of one's core values and in order to change the culture one has to go back to the intent.

The dialogues on these different ideas helped us look through these terms of "technology", " Intent" from a different lens, 'Human ecology ', where the people were also an important aspect of our study.

Throughout the course we discussed how materials play a very important role to understand what effects or effects they produce,  what natural cycle they follow,  so if we take out a material from its system once we use it,  would we be able to put it back or not?.  If we consider employing local labor who are familiar with the building making techniques would that help sustain or rather add to the smooth flow of work culture in that region?

Case Study: Handmade School, Neha Shah
Case Study: Wall House, Anika Pugalia
The site visit at Kamshet to one of Malak's ongoing projects helped us understand different aspects of design and construction which happens on site.

Apart from conceptual dialogues and discussions we also worked on technical aspects of building.

The hands-on experience of constructing an arch was really an informative and fun experience! We worked as a team of 20 along with our mentor scraping and logging through mud, lime and occasional rains. For us it was fascinating to know the properties of the materials and what happens to them when water or any other material is added to it as well as its reaction when exposed to the atmospheric conditions. How proportions play a vital role in acquiring a desired outcome was also something that we acknowledged from this. We understood how difficult the process of construction is, with us in the shoes of workers, lifting bags of lime and digging through logging mud, we realized the efforts and manpower a simple 3 meter brick arch takes to make. We understood the calculations and techniques required, how to use various tools etc.