It is compelling to consider the inherent promise of the unbuilt project, especially competition proposals. These projects, usually symbolized by a provocative first sketch, are often upheld as the purest expression of architectural ambition. They are seen as ‘unadulterated’ visions of what could be and holding more value than the proposals which have had to engage with the clients, the site, and other contingencies over time. They promise newness – unencumbered by these shackles, free to imagine provocative new ways of inhabitation.
It is my contention though, that it is the shared and negotiated vision, coming as the result of finding consensus, managing budgets, and spending an adequate amount of time in conversation and contemplation, that is of greater value than the pristine, unmediated projections of so many competition schemes and hypothetical propositions. Like David Chipperfield says, one is hoping to engage in this ‘conspiracy of circumstance and participants’.
We must move away from the seductive notion of the creation of architecture as a form of immaculate conception and celebrate it as the result of negotiation and ‘reflection in action’. A form of shared authorship and the outcome of a ‘scenius’.
The provocation is the start of this conversation and not, in my mind, an end in itself. I am a lot more interested in its afterlife.
Bijoy Ramachandran is a partner at Hundredhands Design, a Bangalore based architectural practice.
He currently serves as the Design Chair at BMS College of Architecture, Bangalore.
Bijoy has an undergraduate degree from Bangalore University and a masters degree (in Architecture & Urbanism) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA.
He has also attended the Glenn Murcutt Masterclass.
Apart from architecture he has also produced two films on the celebrated Indian architect Sri B.V. Doshi.
Both films have been nationally and internationally screened at colleges and film festivals.