Topic for Debate
Architect's freedom
What you people think about the freedom of the architects from India and rest of the world. I think countries like America are more liberal than India, as in India we have very strict rules and regualtions and above all most of the people in India are not welcoming the new ideas, like use of steel in structures. So please ket me know your suggestions.

Warmest regards,
Mukesh Butail
Architect's freedom
Hi Mukesh. Architects in Jamaica on the whole are free to design within the guidlines set out by the building code. I think that the codes in the USA and UK are very strict. I cannot imagine India being worse than those!

The problem in Jamaica is usually with the client who would rather get the most spectacular design using little or no money. I am sure this is the case in many countries. The other major problem is trying to get clients to think of materials other than concrete block and of course the importance of planting trees.
Sharni Bullock
Architect's freedom
Hallo Mukesh, i think that the problem of creating the freedom u want in a design is one of the things which makes a great architect. well the main problem with the whole idea of freedom is getting the user to accept the fact of that architects know better. from where i come from; which is egypt, you should creat your own way of advertising your product to the user, using simple things like montage pictures of the site. a user needs a a tool which you provide for him to imagine or even more like dream of your product. what makes it hard for architects is that our project is that all the drawnings and designs we do that they are all on paper which make it harder for the user to understand the quality of this project or product.
Mohamed Mohsen
Architect's freedom
Dear Mukesh,
Freedom is always coupled with responsibility. If only Architects in India could learn to be responsible to the community and environment they could enjoy all the freedom that they want. The Delhi 'Notary Architect' experiment which failed miserably clearly shows that we are not as yet ready for Freedom of the kind you envisage.
Vijay sohoni
Vijay Sohoni
Architect's freedom
Dear Mohammad and Mukesh
Freedom isn't architect's aim, on the contrary it is only the challenge of constraints that makes a solution successful , for if there is no problem the solution would be devoid of responsiveness.

I also totally disagree with the notion of "Architects know better". well we know a lot more about building but if we dont listen and keep dictating the user on how he should live and think, we wouldn't produce good buildings and even more we would live torn between what each of us believe life should be.
Karim Elgendy
Architect's freedom
Hi again ...
dear Karim,
Thank you for for correcting my response & sorry for misunderstanding my notion, but what i meant is that we know how to solve architecture problems. in another way we should have the freedom of solving things which the client requires them. As architects we should prove our points, we dont know about the client's needs unless we listen to him but we know better how to solve or design what he/she needs.
Mohamed Mohsen
Architect's freedom

Dear Mukesh,

Hello there.


I don't think it's a problem of regulation as much as it's a problem in the people to accept the new trend in architecture, and this is not because people are stupid, but I think that people in the developed countries are much aware/interested about there daily habits and lifestyle ( i.e. finding a way to live better from the economic point of view ).


So they don't have time/effort to waist in such a process, and I'm not generalizing, I mean that most of people do this because they must insure to have a suitable income, thus you don't find people who can encourage creative ideas to be published because - simply - they will not gain any profit on the short run.


On the other hand, people of America and such developed countries understand the importance of culture, and that architecture is not a luxury, so you can find people who donate money and effort to help architects and creative ideas to be published and built, even if they are failed, but the community interacts and thus development happens.


So I think that beside having suitable income one must be well educated and have good cultural background, and this happens by expanding our brains by reading, participating in actions, ��etc.


This will happen when the whole community understand the importance of making all it's members - or at least the majority of them - having good education, and those people who are well educated will then understand the importance of culture, and so on.


Wishing you all the best,

Good Luck,


Hicham Maged
Architect's freedom
Dear Hicham
Povery causes it , the lack of interest in culture and architecture. Obviously if you are struggling to bring food to the table you wouldnt think about the aesthetics of architeture.

However that doesnt go vice versa, an example on that could be the great difference in interest in art and architecture between say the french on one side and the English and the americans on another, while both have almost the same economic conditions the french are way ahead in understanding and appreciating architeture than their counterparts who suffer a commercial-led life and culture.

It isnt a general rule. i agree with most of what you said but i think we shouldn't look so highly at the west.
Karim Elgendy
Architect's freedom

Dear Karim


I agree with you 100% but I��m not criticizing the people who can��t find the enough level to live in, on the contrast I always have an opinion that before you tell anyone to love Om Kalthoum or Beethoven go to the Opera or listen to contemporary musicians and singers ( youth ), they must have the right to live in the community in a better way, and give them the right kind of housing, not because they are poor they��ve the kind of housing they live in.


In fact I criticize our way of lifestyle, I mean the educated and powerful people who can take a role in shaping the real lifestyle of our community, but as you know, we��ll not re-shape the community ( Don Kichot for example ), because it��s a very complicated situation according to the many wrong belief between most of people in the developed countries.


Also I totally agree with you, about the differences between the French and English culture, but again why this difference is clear? Because they are trying to preserve there national identity, and don��t be a followers for others, and the demonstrations against the Globalization issue is everywhere, because beside the impact on the economy, it's aiming to cancel the own identity of the countries.


Also I believe that we �� developed countries �� have a very strong cultural content that we can use to build strong and well educated generations, example for this India & China; as they are strong development in many fields, so it��s not a complete matter of economy as much as it��s a matter of way of thinking��


So my opinion is: nothing is impossible to do, because we really can be something good if we focus on working harder, believe in our self deeper, but hey to understand our culture and heritage doesn��t mean to return to the past, indeed I mean to understand ourselves well and use the contemporary tools to go further in the present and the future. ( i.e.: to be ourselves not a clone or copy & past from the others).


Example on this: what the Muslims do in the past was real understanding for the concepts of Islam which means one is obeying ALLAH + working for improving the community, thus they start to understand the past civilizations ( Roman and Greek ) then they make there own civilization and we saw the scientists in many fields��


Well thanks for your opinion, and I hope that things can be better one day by our hands, not by the other's hand ...



Hicham Maged
Architect's freedom
Contrary to your perceptions, I do not think people in countries like America are more liberal to design. USE of STEEL structures in design is more to do with labour costs of concrete work than aesthetics.American architecture is far from being innovative...its not even inspiring or pathbreaking. It is die to the talent of extremely ambitious and challenging architects like Steven Holl,Frank Ogehry and Peter Eisenmann that non conformist architecture keeps being generated in extremely small amount in America.Most path breaking architecture is by European architects viz..Zaha Hadid,Rem Koolhaas,BErnard Tschumi..etc.American legal system has almost crippled the field of architecture to an extent that architects are in the mots high-risk profession. What has resulted out of sound quality construction practices, devoid of major innovations.In places like India, although innovation is at the high note...large cultureless housing construction is driven by the builder's lobby,, cement lobby..a thrust towards cheap affordable housing.In America such cultureleess housing is seen in the residential homes,(Midwest) which has frozen to its woodframe sloped roofed housing typo. The idea of californian houses is quite limited and in innovation ,ownership houses in India are more contextually appropriate and innovative than its Californian counterparts.Also in India there seems to be an acceptance on shoddy quality and failed construction practices.Toilet leaks and roof leakes is a condition accepted as a possibility than a abberance.
That is the reason I keep driving the point that in India, architects need to move away from discussion about Talkitetcture and work towards being leaders in promoting fault free construction. For that to happen, our grey-haired educationist have to step down the high stools of wisdom...and act intelligently to involve the public at large.

P.S Happy 55th Republic Day to all my Indian brothers and sisters
Somshankar Bose
Architect's freedom
Hi 2 all and a happy Republic day for all Indians,

I completely fail to understand that the discussion os mostly floating on a superfitial base rather than true ground realities of the developed and the developing countries such as India.

The dynamics on which the construction industry works for the architect remain different in U.S with respect to India, which in turn is reflected in basic differences in architectural expression in the two countries in general.

How many architects in India are really concerned about national issues like poverty, unemployment, sustainability, power crises, vernacular knowledge while actuall sitting down before the drafting table? The designs are generally blind imitations or minor evolutions of their western counterparts of high reflective structural glaze, alucobond, steel etc.
Reason : They have a market!
But, yet there are examples of great Architects such as J.A Stein who instead of embedding western style aestheics in India developed a well thought Indianized style in his designs...and the bottomline is HE succeeded immensely.
Buildings such as India Habitat Centre, India International Centre and the rest of Lodhi institutional area are livid examples to see.
On the other hand we have so called westernized architects like Hfeez contractor, Raja Aederi and so on who are the results of unwarranted architectural freedom.
Where does our philosohy go ?
Correa has rightly sed that the built environment has its influence on the users and hence designs must be done keeping this in mind.
Please give some thought to it....
Abhay R. Ambati


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