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  • It is very tempting to seduce ourselves, as architects or as anybody keen on architecture or otherwise involved in the design process that the answer to our problems lies with buildings. Do you actually believe you can separate buildings out from the infrastructure of cities and mobility of transit and the expectations and incentives of people?

  Approach to Architecture has to be a holistic one and cannot be done in isolation. We are living in times where our natural resources are depleting at an alarming rate and damage caused to the environment in the process is becoming irreversible. We cannot afford the luxury of ignoring the environment and the urban fabric while designing buildings. We shouldn’t approach designing buildings as just walls and roof but approach it like we are designing Eco-Systems.  Architect Sou Fujimoto has emphasized this point a lot in his architecture. He says the house is like an ecosystem within connected to a larger ecosystem (the city) which in turn is connected to the larger ecosystem. As Architects, I feel it is very important to understand this relationship and take into account the urban fabric around the site before designing a building.  

  • Why do people tend to believe that what is financially profitable (for developers) is not actually equivalent to economically feasible (positive impacts on social welfare)? How would you show that this does not necessarily have to be like this (but rather the opposite)?

  From an Architect’s perspective, the issues of urban regeneration, environmental sustainability and economic development, are first impacted by choices or organizations before reaching an Architect’s office. The basic choices are, where the developer decides to build. Those choices are further influenced by governmental policies. Also another factor is the thinking of the society and the way it wishes to grow. The architect has limited power; he doesn’t choose the site or has an power in the law making. To produce a sustainable and a an economic viable project, an architect must be part of a larger team committed to sustainable goals. Having said that, to achieve that goal it requires the attention of all of us, architects, developers, politicians, tenants, and the public at large. For things to be effective the awareness has to happen on a national and global scale.