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A Case For Benevolent Violence

Part 2 Project 2002
Dushyant Desai
First name Last name
Kamla Raheja Vidyanidhi Institute Mumbai India
The argument questions permanence which is selectively administered to certain cultural products. The curatory powers controlling such selections are dissected, analyzed. It perceives permanence, in all contexts, as an unnatural, unhealthy phenomenon. Such ill health characterizes folds in time. Cities thus become living laboratories; the context. The unhealthy protections offered, are now dealt with, within the purview of architecture ( a cultural product). Thus proceeds a critique of popular modes of understanding the past. All commentaries occur, identifying the industrial revolution as one of the most seminal vectors acting out of recent history.
Domains where the past and the present interact, where protective definitions were in place, are characterized by an intense violence, meted out by newer, contemporary forces. Selective benevolence on the other hand creates monuments. The argument advocates a non-prescriptive, empirical, benevolent violence at such folds in time.

Architectural expression is sought at one such fold in time, in Bombay, within an area , which is classified as a heritage precinct (offered protection by municipal laws) which houses the most powerful conservationist lobby in the country. The architectural programme acts with surgical precision ( literally so), and auctions parts of the existing frame on site, as well as at other locations, all within legal frameworks, while the ferris wheel makes a carnival of it all.

The argument inserts a living organism into the system, which systematically cleans it ; eats itself eventually. All that remains is the auction house,the gantry, which eat everything, every insert over time.

Dushyant Desai
First name Last name

Doing a Design Dissertation Project related to issues as sensitive as conservation and heritage movements, was a challenging assignment. The challenge was well taken.

The student developed systems of understanding commendably. The first argument defined all production as cultural and all space as the realm of cultural proceedings.

The advent of the industrial revolution, ushering a new cultural realm becomes understandable. The case grows around the fact that this new realm facilitates duplication,which creates situations where the aura of the original gets reduced to a subsidiary position.

The classical case built thereafter, shifts his attention on to an built form, industrial in it’s origins . The built form selected, on account of much misuse, is dilapidated from within, and has been declared as a cessed building much earlier than it’s newly aquired ‘heritage value’. A clear understanding of the structural system facilitates him to undertake the removal of the structural members, which creates a situation where he matches the demands of the heritage regulations in that the outer shell is preserved.

The new program narrates a humourous critique of the issue at hand. His sensitivity as an architect is well demonstrated by his handling of spatial configurations. What is amazing is the maturity he shows in generating an understanding, both in terms of heritage, as well as the technology in play in this instance.
I thoroughly enjoyed my association. An assignment well conceived, and truthfully executed. The maturity is praiseworthy.

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