Are you watching closely?

All the positive experiences of internship aside, there is a certain amount of specificity which I believe it breeds into you. I don’t mean this to say we’ve all turned 100% objective; but if even in the craziest of “architecture fantasies” (if that’s even a thing) you end up focusing just on the physicality, I saw a problem.

Which is why I was looking forward to the Urban Design studio of the 9th semester. We were introduced to a small exercise, for kind of getting our feet wet before jumping in straight:

Pick any human emotion, then click a picture of an urban space in Chennai depicting it. 

The condition being, of course, that people or a single person being the focus of the picture to depict the emotion should be avoided.

As a class, we were  pretty excited to be part of an exercise which had almost a basic design-esque feel to it. But of course, reading emotions from, or ascribing emotions to a living, thriving (in most cases) space was a much more layered exercise.

Here are a few samples from our submissions : (click on ‘Continue Reading’ to view entire post, it is image heavy)

Continue reading Are you watching closely?

An year of this blog – a lookback

When I started this blog a little more than an year ago, I had little idea where it was going to go. It was mostly fueled by the CAF events, and my own random musings from time to time. And every once in a while, convenient excuses like ‘real life’ would take over and I would lapse, only to be drawn back when a new idea strikes.

That is not to say this blog had been a chore – far from it. Writing and running this blog has been one of the most fulfilling, cathartic experiences in my past year, and I want that to continue. It would be very easy to pretend (to myself, even) I write so infrequently because good content takes time, or some other convincing white lie. However that is not the full truth.

I write at the pace I write because

a) I slack off sometimes; and 

b) I generally write to be written, not to be read; and finally

c) I pass up on a lot of stuff because I think they are not “worthy” to be blog posts.

And over the course of this year, I’ve discovered almost all of that can change.

I’ll make a confession – over the past year I’d have read more of non-architecture related stuff than architecture. And I’ve been hooked, too; while I still lack the patience to sit and read a whole book (something I can thank the Internet for), the Web has evolved its long format article which I like. Medium, the Guardian, and to a certain extent BuzzFeed – they’ve all slowly perfected the craft of presenting stories, ideas, all in digestible sizes of 10-15 minutes reading time. And I love it. I think it is a great idea. And it has been giving me ideas on the kind of content I could produce for this blog.

It is not that I’m going to be changing tracks. I’m just choosing to be less esoteric, and experiment with more types of content which would fit this blog. And try to post more frequently, of course.

Over an year, this blog had a small number of repeat, loyal readers. Thanks to all of you 🙂 And the limited number of comments I’ve received, also, have made me realise the potential of a written web medium like this.

If you were a reader the previous year, thanks for sticking on, and expect more. If you’re a new reader, go through some of the archives, and expect more.


P.S : The second edition of CAF Intern Mentorship programme is just starting. Do check it out.

5 lessons from my internship year

I finished my 11 month long internship at MOAD a month back. This post detailing my experience was long overdue, and here it is finally 🙂

I didn’t have a great deal of expectations when I joined, because I had never worked in an office environment before to any capacity. Now looking back, I see my lack of experience as a good thing, because it allowed me to crack myself open completely.

It was all not smooth sailing. There were times, I recall, when I would try to listen on to conversations about schedule of joinery and electrical and plumbing layouts, completely nonplussed. Then it would switch to discussions about light and spatial quality and I’d try and put on a slightly more intelligent face.

This is not another one of those ‘office is so different they didn’t teach us enough in college‘ posts. That particular dead horse has been beaten to a pulp so many times (even during discussions at office) that nothing exists there, not anymore.

With different offices and varied ways in which they work, some culture shock is only expected when you move to a completely different working environment. Anyone who moves into an office and hope to be good to go from day 1 would be deluding themselves. Without turning this into academia vs practice, I can say this, without hyperbole – interning was one of the most game-changing experiences of my life.

Continue reading 5 lessons from my internship year