DetailsThe current global scenario has triggered extensive debates on not only our future as a sustainable global economy but also on the need to return to our ‘origins’. For aficionados of the built environment, this need translates into material, constructional, technological, and systemic evocations. We are bound to ask questions that look into the future - how should we build, what should we build, with what should we build, with whom should we build?
At School of Art and Architecture, Sushant University we attempt to integrate these questions into a yearlong discourse around a material that has its genesis in the past, yet is versatile enough to respond to the technological challenges of the future of mud. We delve into its making, its use, its potentials for hybridisation, urbanisation and universalisation- what we are calling Mud Futures. We bring together the people of mud, deliberate on what is the mud of people, all the while enquiring into what is mud?
Announcing iPAC 2021-2022: Mud Futures
iPAC 2021-2022: Mud Futures is a global year-long multi-host multi-location conclave on the futures of mud in architecture conceptualised and conducted by the School of Art and Architecture, Sushant University.
The conclave is an opportunity for a global platform for ideas, thoughts, research and architectural projects centred around mud. Here, mud is considered as a material, as an approach, as a vehicle for sustainability, and as the source of an ideological imperative for the future of the built environment.
The overall intents of the conclave are:
• Take stock of innovations of its application in the urban context
• Exchange of knowledge resource
• Conduct workshops to experiment with new ideas
The conclave will have conferences, seminars, research projects, conversations, workshops, certificate courses, pedagogic interconnections, faculty development seminars and many more platforms to delve into three larger themes:
ORIGIN (July, 2021 - September, 2021)
The thematic track ‘Origin’ traces the influence of mud on architectural processes. The discussion aims to look beyond nostalgia of past and explore the urban use of mud, rooted in its indigenous systems.
This session will attempt to understand association of mud with its context like culture, people society and land. This will entail issues around accessibility of the material by people and notion of its aesthetics and quality.
‘Origin’ explores the idea of indigeneity of mud. The discussion will shed light on meaning of mud which is ever-changing and goes through a process of re-intervention. Moving beyond the popular image of mud, being poor man’s material, the discussion will evaluate the drivers of mud urbanity. The session aims to position mud that can evolve to regenerate itself as a symbol of strength, protection and practice.
What are the inherent qualities of mud that respond to popular appropriation creating alignments within societies and cultures?
TRANSFER (October, 2021 - December, 2021)
The thematic track “transfer” engages with the ways in which propagation of traditional knowledge happens into varied settings of the world in a multi-dimensional manner. Through a nuanced exploration of the proponents, knowledge and values associated with mud, it brings into consideration the cross-population of unique systems and identities. The process of cross-population brings into focus negotiations across boundaries of usage and appropriation, culture, practices and material evolution, concepts of diversity, abundance, and universality to manifest distinctively across space and time.
The discussions aim to raise questions about the possible triggers of evolution and demonstration of mud as a symbol of community empowerment.
Mud as a mainstream material of the people, techniques and policies and its versatility are addressed to understand the challenges it undergoes to evolve from the private to public realm. The transnational and cross-cultural transfer have immense potential to bring innovation through exchange of labor, tacit knowledge, material, and methods, in which people themselves acts as multipliers. The process of transfer also implicates the need to skill-up to assimilate mud into the contemporary scenario.
How does transfer of knowledge lay the grounds for adaptation and evolution of traditional wisdom around mud to meet futuristic compulsions?
October - Organizmo, Colombia
November - Austrian Academy of Sciences, Austria
December - University of Adelaide, Australia | SAUH Asia
MOTOR (January, 2022 - March, 2022)
The thematic track, ‘motor’ focuses on the various impetus or catalysts that are likely to drive change in the urban environment. Events, movements, academic and popular thoughts, have the ability to propagate the use of earth as the cardinal construction material in the future, acting as agents of ‘mudification’. The prolific use of mud is enabled by the growing discourse on sustainability, protecting natural economies and the need to rework new economic models of developments.
While commenting on advanced technologies and innovation the discussions come a full circle to ask questions about human values such as identity, contextual response and notions of wellbeing in the futuristic world.
Present academic and action research within earth architecture has immense potential to cause large-scale displacement of contemporary standard building materials. Through ‘Motor’, we highlight situated modifications of technique and process that can generate a new urban vernacular, amalgamating high technology with traditional knowledge systems. The ‘new’ and ‘old’ or hi-tech and low-tech material synthetisations are opportunities that could drive the future of responsible interactions between people and built.
Will this lead to a process of ruralisation that can generate ecological and balanced urban settings and a return to origins through the vehicle of mud?
January - San Jose University | University of Berkeley USA
February - Newcastle | HBBE, UK
March - SAA, India
URBAN ORIGIN - August 6 - August 7, 2021
Co-Hosts - Brac University, Bangladesh
Speakers - Asaduzzaman Noor, Architect Yasmeen Lari, Architect Waleed Shaalan, Architect Jalal Ahmed, Prof Dr Vibhuti Sachdev, Architect Marina Tabassum, Architect Rafiq Azam, Architect Khandaker Hasibul Kabir, Artisan Abdun Nime, Artisan Azit Roy, Prof Zainab Faruqui Ali, Dr Sajid Bin Doza, Prof. Soumyen Bandapadhyay, Architect Mona Doctor-Pingel, Aruna Bhardwaj, Dr Mohammad Faruk, Srijani Hazra, Prof Fuad H Mallick, Prof Amrita Madan, Dr. Tanzil Idmam Shafique, Himanshu Sanghani