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)
Beauty or artistry of the photographs aside, I think this exercise was useful in one important aspect : Usually describing experiential or emotional aspects of a design in all two dimensional media had been a paradox for me. You were still essentially imagining and ascribing intangible elements to a very objective setting. Approaching this from the other end, here instead we had to filter through the enormous social and emotional implications of a live space – and choose to paint it with a particular emotional brush.