We are committed to encourage Gen Z and provide them the platform to share their views and vision for the future. It is a small effort to boost their confidence and also make them future-ready. In the Gen Z series, we present you a fourth year architecture student named Riddhee Madan Patil from Kamla Raheja Vidyanidhi Institute of Architecture and Environmental Studies, Mumbai in India.
Riddhee Madan Patil talks to Johnny D about her insightful journey as an architecture student, her course and how the pandemic has changed the process of learning.
What does architecture means to you?
I look at architecture as something that should bring a change in the society, where it creates spaces for public interactions and discussions. It should make a difference in the lives of the people utilizing that space and ease out the living, the movement and also create an unforgettable experience. I feel architecture should not only look upon the aesthetics and experience of a space, but also should fulfill the needs of the people. It is an amalgamation of various things.
Architecture is an art in its own way that interacts with people, as well as, its surroundings. Lastly, architecture should not be only for the rich who can afford it, but also should serve the poor.
How has it influenced your life as an architecture student?
I have always been curious about structures and places since childhood, especially heritage structures. After entering the stream of architecture, I look at things, places and people through a very different perspective. Architecture has made me realize that the way in which a structure is designed and constructed talks a lot about the era in which it was built, history of a place, the context and the people benefiting from it. It provides a lot of unwritten information. Architecture has broadened my views about various topics other than architecture.
Which Indian or international architects have inspired you to choose this field? Please write why.
It was my inclination towards the field of art that got me into it. However, now that I have been exposed to various architects, there are few projects that have increased my curiosity. In the Indian context, I am really inspired by the Indian architect Charles Correa. I think responding to the context and to the diverse cultures form a very integral part of designing in India. It is not only about India, but also even in general responding to the context is very important which Charles Correa created effortlessly.
I also like how Charles Correa preferred using local traditional materials that maintains the identity of the space. It is also the way he designed, where the structure just sits perfectly and blends in with the surroundings. It is also the scale at which Charles Correa worked with, that makes the human experience more lively and intimate. Most of his projects have this human scale, especially it is seen in projects like Jawahar Kala Kendra, Bharat Bhavan and Kala Academy.
Renowned Italian architect Renzo Piano is another architect, whose works I love. His structures are designed in such a manner, that they have strong visual elements and concepts. Two of my favorite projects are ‘The Pompidou Centre’ and ‘Auditorium Aquilla’.
How has the pandemic changed your learning process since the last one and a half plus years?
In the beginning, it was a task to adapt to the online medium, because all of a sudden everything shifted to screen – the discussions, concept building, designing and modelling. Even though things still work fine now, in my personal opinion, architecture is such a field that cannot be practiced or learned in isolation. Group discussions and one-to-one interactions with the faculty and classmates in a physical space are an integral part and mandatory.
The online medium has restricted the exchange of ideas that used to happen in the studio spaces. Even though, virtual discussions are still possible, the fact that one could just roam around the studio looking at other projects and get inspired from it has reduced through the online medium. The one-to-one interactions, site visits and hands-on activities play a very important role in our learning.
Please tell our esteemed readers about your institute and course in the third year.
Kamla Raheja Vidyanidhi Institute of Architecture and Environmental Studies is an institute that makes the student question the nitty-gritty of the project in every possible way and not only look at it through the designing process. The discussions and studios at school have helped me broaden my view in terms of architecture and social issues.
The third year revolves around institutional architecture and public buildings. It was also the first time we had to design projects, while resolving the structural detailing through working drawings. The SEM5 project was based on one’s neighbourhood. We had to analyze and understand the neighborhood and identify the user group and the program suitable for the user group and the neighbourhood. On the other hand in SEM6, a project brief along with the site, the user group and program was provided.
Image Courtesy: Riddhee Madan Patil