The Indian Institute of Architects (IIA) virtual Natcon 2020: Transcend has concluded successfully on 11th and 12th July 2020. IIA hosted this wonderful online event using a multifaceted platform. Vice President of India Shri. M. Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated the event. All the delegates, panellists, master speakers, and renowned architects from India and across the country took part in this and discussed on a range of topics, including resilience, transcending, innovation, inclusiveness and self-reliance.
The presence of industry stalwarts, including Mr. Marion Weiss, Ar. Rahul Mehrotra (Founder RMA Architects), & Ms. Michael Manfredi (WEISS/MANFREDI), Mr. Sonam Wangchuk (Engineer & Founder, SECMOL, Ladakh) and Ar. Moshe Safdie (Safdie Architects) made IIA Natcon 2020 memorable. They spoke on 6 sessions over the two days.
The virtual inaugural ceremony of this two day’s event was addressed by Vice President of India Shri M Venkaiah Naidu. He summoned up the celebrated architects of the nation, to adopt and promote Green architecture. He also encouraged them to widely use renewable sources of energy such as solar energy in future construction projects. At last, he urged the architectural fraternity, to develop smart cities and fulfill Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream of Housing for All, while conserving the legacy and local sensibilities of each region. He further advised the architects to engage with the adroit a d skilled local craftsman and artisans who are keeping our culture alive.
Sonam (Top-left) | Weinfred (Top-right) | Safdie (Bottom-left) | Rahul Mehrortra (Bottom-right)
There happened three sessions- TRANSCEND, RESILIENCE and INNOVATION on the first day, which was attended by industry frontrunners such as Ar. Sanjay Mohe (Mindspace Architects), Ar. Rita Soh (President of ARCASIA), Ar. Debatosh Sahu (Espace), Ar. Monolita Chatterjee (Design Combine), Ar. Azmi Wadia (Azmi & Sarosh Wadia), Ar. Vaissnavi Shukl (GSD), Ar. Sheila Sriprakash (Shilpa Architects), Ar. Jelle Therry Ramboll (Ramboll Studio), Ar. Parul Zaveri (Abhikram), Ar. Vivek Bhole (Neo Modern Arch), Ar. Mitesh Dixit (Domain), Ar. Jit Kumar Gupta (Architect & Townplanner), Ar.Krishna Rao Jaisim (Fountainhead), and Ar. Naresh Narasimhan (Venkataramanan Associates).
Ar. Rahul Mehrotra (Founder of RMA Architects) was the keynote speaker for IIA Natcon Transcend. He talked about the Covid19 migrant crisis and said: “it was unquestionably inhumane, which is evidence that the biggest design challenge going forward will be to design for ‘flux’”.
He considers the most relevant question as per current situation when such pandemic has engulfed the entire world is how architects must re-embed themselves in society.
In the first session, panellists talked about the connection of between the built and unbuilt spaces, the pandemic playing a role in how the future of architecture needs to shape up and focus, its response to the unbuilt environment as well as the health impact of the built spaces on the user. The second panel discussion revolved around resilience and the unpredictability that the pandemic has brought about. Both the panel discussions were enthralling. The third and the final session for the day saw the idea of innovation through four women architects.
On the second day, there was a session on three themes- INCLUSIVENESS, SELF RELIANCE AND INCLUSIVENESS & INNOVATION. Ar. Vinayak Bharne (Moule & Polyzoides Architects), Ar. Leena Kumar (Kumar Consultant), Ar. Divya Kush (President of IIA), Ar. Habeeb Khan (President of COA), Ar. Jabeen Zacharias (President of IIID), Mr. V.Suresh (Chairman of IGBC), Mr. Satish Magar (President of CREDAI), Ar. Tushar Sogani (TSDPL), Ar. Biju Kuriakose (ArchitectureRED), Ar.Sameep Padora (sP+a), Ar. Abin Chaudhuri (Abin Design Studio), Ar. Amarja Nimbalkar (Amarja Nimbalkar Associates), Ar. Michael Samuelian (Samuelian Consulting LLC), Ar. Ameet Babbar (Babbar & Babbar Architects) and Ar. Fahed Majeed (Amarja Nimbalkar Associates) joined this session and shared their points.
The discussion was focused on the challenges and possibilities of building inclusive societies, public spaces and cities and with the role of architects in bringing about this change.
The most gripping panel discussion on self-reliance was moderated by Ar. C R Raju, Jt Hon. Secretary, IIA. The question that has been pointed out during this session is how self-reliance has been an integral part of vernacular architecture and traditional practices that unfortunately has been lost to globalization.
The panellists on the session talked on some pertinent issues like how technology is the future in terms of changing cities and altering design where buildings can become more flexible, adaptable and smarter in their use. It would also aid in understanding how a smarter design can be executed with a computer as against a hand drawing.
The closure of the entire NATCON 2020: Transcend event was a surprising 32-minutes musical extravaganza, which comprised 43 architects on the flute, keyboard, tabla, guitar and vocals, indubitably, nominated from 100 entries from across the nation.