Sharda University’s International conference on ‘Futuristic Trends in Architecture’

Greater Noida, 15 September 2017: The 3-day international conference on ‘Futuristic Trends in Architecture’ organised by Sharda University’s School of Architecture and Planning in Education Park III is a treasure trove of professional insights combined with experiential wisdom. Organised in Greater Noida, the inaugural sessions at the conference saw eminent architects and academicians from across the country share their views on the best practices, new techniques and futuristic trends that have made their presence felt in the architectural domain.

The event began with the welcome address of Dean SAP Dr. Shovan K.Saha, who thanked the eminent speakers for their presence. The gatheringcomprised of renowned architects from all over the country, freely interactingwith young students.  Following the welcome address, Head of thedepartment SAP, Prof. S.N. Segal delivered the introductory note for theconference.

Prof. Chetan Vaidya, Director of School of Planning & Architecture(SPA), Delhi delivered the inaugural address. The issue of sustainablearchitecture was intensely discussed and Pro Vice Chancellor of ShardaUniversity Prof. Ranjit Goswami, enlightened the gathering with his vision onthe subject.Prof. Chetan Vaidya kick started the technical session, which was followed byone of India's most acclaimed architect and urban planner Prof. Christopher CBenninger’s session on the main topic, ‘Vision of the World.’ The sessioncovered climate change, resource constraints, insecurity concerns, affinity fortraditions, mechanization of skills & processes, and above all, everyarchitect’s inherent dream to be viewed as master creator. Prof. Manoj Mathur,Head of the Architecture Dept. at SPA, New Delhi, discussed at length on thesubject of ‘Critical Determinants of Futuristic Architecture and theirManagement’. 7 research papers on the subject were presented during theafternoon session, guided by Prof. Desh Bandhu’s able moderation.Stressing on the need for India to focus on sustainable living, Prof. ChetanVaidya, Director of School of Planning & Architecture (SPA), Delhi said,“We live in a country which is densely populated and diversified inculture. People of different communities and religions live this countryand several elements of the country’s diverse culture is displayed orreflected in the architectural styles. There can’t be one common size that fitsall in an overpopulated country like ours. Amidst the rapid growth inurbanization, there is a dire need for sustainable planning, innovative andeco-friendly solutions. Energy-efficient buildings and open spaces can keeppeople happier and healthier, as it allows them to connect with nature on aregular basis.” 

Great anticipation preceded the following session as renownedAmerican-Indian architect Christopher Benninger, who travelled to India in hislate 20s almost four and a half decades back, and has been here since,conducted a one-hour session where he shared his experiences aboutarchitectural typology and aesthetic features. He highlighted the advantages ofusing Indian elements and vocabulary; using exposed bricks, exposed concrete,central space, chimneys that can cool the internal space, skylights, teak wood,courtyard, jails that could help in connecting with the environment along withthe use of traditional materials and craftsmanship. 

The extremely talented architect and author of ‘Letters toa Young Architect’, Christopher Benninger said, “Being anarchitect is a profession which envisions future that combines development andinnovative solutions. In my recent work 'Livability', I have focused on howaround 70% of people who work in the informal sectors are unable to avail thebasic facilities of food, clothing and shelter. In my project called 'IndiaHouse' I have made use of simple and traditional materials that areenvironmentally sustainable and employ cultural continuity in the most modestmanner to achieve a solution to a complex building program. Let us all rememberto try out new, innovative and environment friendly solutions and keep learningto adopt new principles in the field of architecture for the rest of ourlives." 

In the final session, Professor Manoj Mathur introduced students toa massive open online course (MOOC) which was created to help students make useof innovative digital technologies and connect to teachers in their own comfortzone. Describing the contents of the virtual course, Prof. ManojMathur, Head of the Dept. SPA, New Delhi said, “As societies evolvedthrough centuries from one ecological pattern to the next, architects wereconfronted with new sets of determinants. As future architects, we need tobring in sustainable changes as per the needs of the people and their place ofstay. We need to redesign the space with the concept of compaction,contextualization and communication. Among the plethora of determinants,architects would need to skillfully scrutinize and recognize the relativeimportance of each element. They would also need to visualize the sum result oftheir various combinations that would optimally fulfill the requirements offunctional efficiency, sustainability and aesthetic sensibility.” 

 With the first day of the conference coming to an end, studentsand other participants were looking forward to further enrich their knowledgeabout the various dimensions of architecture. The second day also promises tobe full of engaging discussions on interesting topics.  Ar.Snehanshu  Mukherjee,  an eminent practicing architect will conduct aone-hour session on the theme ‘Response to Contextual Dynamics’ followed by asession on ‘Construction Technology and Management, by Dr. Prof. V.K. Paul, Head of the BEPM Dept. at SPA, New Delhi,. The technical session will befollowed by presentation of 7 more research papers by professionals andacademicians on these subjects and discussion, moderated by Prof. ShhilpiSinha.

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