Better World, Design
February 21, 2011
If I was a designer or architect who’s going to be in New York City between now and May 21, I definitely would make a point to see the Center for Architecture’s current exhibit, which opened February 10. Called “Jugaad Urbanism: Resourceful Strategies for Indian Cities,” it’s all about how to design for today’s large urban cities by studying the inventive “make-do”s of India’s slums. That’s right, India’s overcrowded, packed-in living spaces have a thing or two to teach us about using limited resources, a subject Herman Miller has always had an interest in.
In fact, the term “Jugaad” specifically refers to the resourcefulness and innovation that Indian people demonstrate every day, from jerry-rigging cars and busses to turning plastic pop bottles into street lamps.
The exhibit, says Margaret Castillo, president of the AIA New York chapter, aims to educate both local and international audiences about the critical issues of growing cities. “While Mumbai may seem a world away, the lessons learned from its empowered citizens and designers can be applied to rapidly expanding cities such as Rio or Guangzhou.”
The exhibit is organized by resources — land, water, energy and transportation. It and features everything from products and prototypes, including a new low tech concept for community toilets, to lectures and Bollywood films.
“There’s always this narrative of failure and tragedy when one discusses Indian urbanism,” said curator Kanu Agrawal. “But this represents solutions; people respond creatively where there are shortages of resources.”
It’d be worth checking out even if you’re not a designer, don’t you think?
Photo 1: Jugaad canopy, New Delhi. Photo credit: Sundeep Bali.
Photo 2: Mumbai’s chawls, built in 1916. Photo credit: Rajesh Vora.
Photo 3: A jugaad chandelier constructed from cables and recycled bottles. Photo credit: Rajesh Vora.
Better World, Design
May 5, 2010
Here are 10 buildings that make you want to cheer—for their beauty as well as sustainability. And they are winners in American Institute of Architects (AIA) 2010 COTE Top Ten Green Projects. Check these out and learn about the best in green design solutions.
355 11th Street (Aidlin Darling Design) San Francisco: Reuse of a historic industrial building; Califoria’s first LEED Gold Building.
Homer Science & Student Life Center (Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects) Atherton, CA: Natural ventilation, daylighting, a green roof, solar panels, and a virtual dashboard that shows energy and water consumption in real time; LEED Platinum.
King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia: The country’s first LEED certified project and the world’s largest LEED Platinum project.
Kroon Hall, (Centerbrook Architects and Planners; Hopkins Architects), Yale University, New Haven, CT: Replaces a brownfield with a net zero energy building.
Manassas Park Elementary School + Pre-K (VMDO Architects, P.C.) Manassas Park, VA: The building is a teaching tool; its sustainable design is integrated with the curriculum.
Manitoba Hydro Place (Smith Carter Architects and Engineers; Kuwabara Payne Mckenna Blumberg Architects) Winnipeg, MB: A “living building” that dynamically responds to the local climate (b-r-r-r).
Omega Center for Sustainable Living (BNIM Architects) Rhinebeck, NY: Environmental education facility and a net zero energy system, featuring natural wastewater treatment.
Special No. 9 House (KieranTimberlake) New Orleans: Affordable housing with customizable, sustainable options for the devastated Lower Ninth ward.
Twelve West (ZGF Architects LLP) Portland, OR: ZGF’s office is a living lab of urban sustainability; expected to earn LEED Platinum.
Watsonville Water Resource Center (WRNS Studio LLP) Watsonville, CA: A functional, educational, and visual extension of the water recycling plant it supports.