MM School of Architecture organized a National Seminar on "Architectural Design-Research to Reality" on 4 th April, 2018, by Ar. Kunal Mathur, Prof. Prabhjot Kaur, Prof. Harveen Bhandari and Ar. Preeti Bhatia. The seminar was conducted for the students and faculty to understand the connection between 'the research as knowledge builder' and the 'demands of reality as knowledge implementer'. The discipline of architecture needs easily legible tools for the reconciliation between the knowledge and its implementation in architectural discourses. It is a well-known fact that architectural design earns validity through execution and at the same time architectural intentions are curated through knowledge repositories enriched by research whereas transforming architectural ideas into realities requires the completely different acumen of a practitioner. Hence, the idea behind the seminar was to investigate the journey of architecture from research to reality in the search of lessons and inspiration which might better our designs and create architectural reality which enhances everyone's well-being.
Chakshika Verma, a student extended a warm welcome to the esteemed guests of the day and everyone else present in the seminar, after which a token of gratitude was presented to the honourable speakers. The customary Lamp lighting ceremony was then conducted by all the dignitaries and Prof. Aradhana Jindal, principal, as a tribute to mother Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge and to symbolically inaugurate the seminar.
Prof. Deepashree Choudhury gave a brief introduction to the seminar after which Ar. Kunal Mathur, an esteemed guest speaker was called upon the dais to deliver the keynote address of the seminar. Ar. Kunal Mathur is a principal architect of Yetinder Mathur Architects & Engineers and is engaged in the architectural field since 1982. According to the esteemed architect, the concerns and challenges today are to understand our culture, preserve and develop innovation and high performance buildings and infrastructure for all. It involves sensitivity training and sathbhavana as the ultimate aim of architecture is "next of godliness". As per him, research to reality is a designer's choice and this reality must have a deep focus on creative process involving the mix of measurable and immeasurable aspects as it's the designer who leads the way with free thinking and research.
After the golden words of wisdom by Ar. Kunal Mathur, began the dissertation presentation competition so as to give wider platform to the students and letting them learn through practical performance. The 5 best dissertations of Vartika Sharma, Ranjan Juneja, Akshay Chachra, Savneet and Shreya Bhattacharjee were presented which represented excellent research regarding some of the cruel questions pertaining to their thesis projects which were selected after rigorous screening from 65 for the final jury award.
Along with the dissertation presentations, the students and the entire fraternity present had gathered some pearls of wisdom from the other experienced speakers present as well. Ar.Prabhjot Kaur, who has her field of specialization in Architecture Education and Contemporary Practice, is the first women architect of Punjab to acquire PhD in Architecture.
She enlightened everyone present with her talks on "Importance of Research in Architecture" in which she shared her own experiences regarding designing and incorporating research into design. Then, Ar. Harveen Bhandari, who is currently working as a Deputy Dean- Research & Publications, Chitkara School of Planning and Architecture, Chitkara University, talked on "Architecture of Shaktipithas- Research to Reality" in which her aim was to enrich the pilgrim experience and to preserve the sacred heritage. Later, came another eminent speaker, Prof. Preeti Bhatia, who has been graduated in 1984 from CCA and has completed her M.Arch in 'Architectural Education and Research' in 2016. She has worked on residential and landscaping projects majorly in Himachal and in Tricity. She shared her views on "the Question- Before and After" in which she talked about the contributions of various eminent researchers in this field.
The seminar, then headed towards another very important session, i.e., the 'Open Jury for Dissertation Posters in which an open jury comprising of 15 selected dissertation posters submitted by VII semester students in Dec. 2017 was held. These dissertations were undertaken by students to research certain key aspects concerning the thesis students decided to pursue in their VII semester, so that they get equipped with required knowledge before taking a plunge into their thesis semester. Along with this, there was an exhibition of 3 prize winning posters prepared on the subject of 'energy efficiency in ancient structures' and the prize winning entries of INSDACH 2018 floated by Steel Authority of India Competition.
The seminar was then followed by a panel discussion on 'Architectural Design- Research to Reality' with Ar. Kunal Mathur as moderator. In the discussion, the honourable guests shared the dais with Vartika Sharma, Shreya Bhattacharjee and Prakhar Vishnoi of 8 th semester.
Announcing next was the names of the winners and the award ceremony for the best dissertation presentation competition, followed by the winners of the best dissertation poster competition and the best 3 posters on 'energy efficient structures', done by 3 rd year students as part of their academic curriculum. Following this, these students were felicitated by the esteemed guests and Principal, MM School of Architecture.
Prof. Aradhana Jindal, Principal, awarded the token of gratitude to all the honourable guest speakers. Ar. Roza Pahuja extended a very hearty vote of thanks to the honourable speakers for taking time from their respective schedules and enlightening everyone present with such informative talks. The students and everyone present had a lot to take away from this seminar and the experience will be cherished forever.