‘Architects must redefine rules with changing times’

Jaipur, Feb 3: Globalization has altered the role of architects as master builders and they can no longer work aloof. Thus architects need to redefine their roles in the changing perspectives, said Martha Thorne, an American architectural academic, curator, editor, and author at the India Stone Mart, 2017 today.

Speaking at a knowledge session of the Jaipur Architecture Festival which is being held concurrently with the India Stone Mart, said : “”When there is globalization in any field there’s the danger that every place becomes similar, or in this case the danger that schools can become similar or standardized, all trying to approach architecture and the academics of architecture in the same way… I think what’s really interesting is to try to look at schools and see how they try to differentiate themselves.”

Rajeev Kathpalia, an eminent architect talked about the new Andhra Pradesh capital being built in Amravati for which the state government has pooled 33,000 acres of land from farmers of 29 villages.

Woven around the theme of blue of Krishna river and green of the pastoral landscape, the capital city is planned to spread over a 217.23 sq.-km area in Guntur district while the metropolitan capital region spans 7,420 sq. km encompassing large parts of Guntur and Krishna districts. Amaravati is being envisaged as “a smart, green, sustainable city”, with zones consisting of a central business district, residential areas, green zones and waterbodies.

The blueprint for the core area has four distinct regions: Amaravati Government Core comprising Assembly, Secretariat, High Court and Raj Bhavan; the downtown area that has a central boulevard, convention centre and recreation facilities; the city gateway; and a 30-km-long waterfront. It also has provision for a piazza with two iconic towers and a garden much bigger than the Brindavan in Karnataka.

The ninth edition of the ‘India Stone Mart’ is being organised by Centre for Development of Stones (CDOS) with Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) as co-organiser. Rajasthan State Industrial Development & Investment Corporation Ltd. (RIICO) is the Principal Sponsor of the event.

Unique Stone Products on display

The Stone Mart’s ‘Shilpgram’ is essentially a stone artisans’ pavilion where around 30 artisans are displaying their products. Set up by Centre for Development of Stones (CDOS) and Rural Non Farm Development Agency, the aim is to provide a platform to stone artisans from all over the country.

From idols, home décor items, kitchenware, barware, decorative wash basins and wall panels, flower pots and trays, the items on display are varied and beautiful. There are also 2D and 3D designer wall panels, stone jali panels, shot glasses, ashtrays, mobile holders, tabletops, Buddha busts, among others. These products are made out of various types of stones like limestone, sandstone, marble, black marble, granite, gem stone, lapis lazuli, blue agate and inlay among others.

Naresh Meena of Somati Traders, one of the artisans exhibiting at the Shilpgram, is someone whose stone productshave been used in Mukesh Ambani’s ‘Antilla’ – one of the world’s most expensive building. Highlighting on how they have adopted modern technologies and techniques, he says: “Water jet and other modern technology with a combination of traditional craftsmanship adds to architectural work and style.”

Sikandra based artisan Attar Singh Saini has been exhibiting at the Stone Mart since 2006. “Domestic buyers mainly from Gujarat and Bangalore have shown keen interest in my work which is basically home and garden décor items made out of sandstone and stone jaalis”, says
Attar Singh.

Another Jaisalmer based artisan Khuda Baksh’s products such as indoor waterfalls, flower vases and pots have been used in hotels in Jaipur such as Marriott and Chokhi Dhani, among others.

The objectives behind this stone artists’ pavilion initiative are manifold. Apart from organizing the artisan community, this medium also gives the artisans a chance to directly showcase their skills and products to the national and international stone community.

The Stone Mart is on till 5 February at JECC, Sitapura.

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