“What do we mean by education?” “What is design?” “Can design be taught?”
These were some of the questions a small group of innovative pioneers – huddled in the attic of Le Corbusier’s Sanskar Kendra museum – asked themselves when they set about creating what would become the National Institute of Design (NID) in Ahmedabad, India’s first design school. The year was 1962, and not only were there no designers in the country, the profession of design, for Indians, simply did not exist.
One of these pioneers – who would head the industrial design department, help formulate the school’s curriculum, and train its faculty members – was Kumar Vyas. Born in 1929, Vyas remained at NID for three decades, and continues to work from his office on the campus he helped create. His numerous articles and books were essential to establishing India’s current design-rich environment; two years ago, he received the prestigious Sir Misha Black Medal for Excellence in Design Education.
Vyas’ experience designing a design education is not only a fascinating journey, but also a source of inspiration – if architecture education took Vyas’ lessons to heart, and re-examined itself from square one, how would it be different? Read Victoria Lautman’s interview with Vyas after the break, and tell us what you think in the comments below.
In recent years there has been a lot of talk in the United States about our aging population, mostly in terms of social security funds and medicare. We have asked how we should deal with the impending problem that our elderly will outnumber the population that will serve as their caretakers. While speculations for a solution have generally settled within the realm of the economy, urban planners and architects are asking a different set of questions and looking for solutions regarding how we design. It is important to note, that while most of the discussion has been framed about the aging “baby-boomer” generation, Jack Rowe – speaking at the symposium for Designing Homes and Neighborhoods for an Aging Population in Washington, DC - pointed out that this concern is a conservative estimate of the bigger problem in our “demographic transformation”. In fact, the trend is far more expansive; medical advancements and a longer life expectancy mean that for the next few generations each aging population is expected to outlive its parents and will exceed the population of its children. This makes the issue at hand a more over-arching concern, or as Rowe later states, an issue that all members of society must face.
This is why we must think about architecture and urban planning in terms of adaptability for the aging, as we have already starting thinking about it in terms of handicapped accessibility.
More after the break…
Lundgren Monuments in association with Vital 5 Productions is proud to present The Architect and the Urn – a west coast exploration of the cremation urn as architectural object, June 3 – July 18, 2010. Twenty-five architects from Seattle to Los Angeles approach the design and concept of housing human ash in this complex and conceptually rich exhibition.
Americans have an unhealthy relationship with death and remembrance. Death care has become a multi-billion dollar industry almost devoid of artists, designers and architects. Instead it is clogged with mass produced plastic urns and heavy, uninspired blocks of imported granite. With the choice of cremation on the rise, more and more of our departed friends and family are returning to us in the form of ash. In the design savvy culture that we live in, it is amazing how few interesting choices exist for us to address this transformed matter. The Architect and the Urn exhibition is assembled to approach this social trend and help fortify the ideas and forms that define our very last residence.
Curated by Greg Lundgren, The Architect and the Urn is on exhibition at the Lundgren Monuments boutique located at 1011 Boren Avenue, Seattle WA 98104. You can see the complete poster after the break.
Landscapes of Quarantine features new works by a multi-disciplinary group of eighteen artists, designers, and architects, each of whom was inspired by one or more of the physical, biological, ethical, architectural, social, political, temporal, and even astronomical dimensions of quarantine.
Landscapes of Quarantine began with an eight-week independent design studio directed by Geoff Manaugh and Nicola Twilley of Future Plural. Each Tuesday evening, from October to December 2009, a multi-disciplinary group of studio participants met to discuss the spatial implications of quarantine and develop their own creative response: the resulting work forms the core of the Landscapes of Quarantine exhibition.