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Unit Master : Akshay Goyal & Ramit Nahar


The 21st century is predicted to be an era of unprecedented planetary change. Humanity is facing ecological challenges that will transform the way we inhabit this planet. Phenomena such as climate change and rising sea levels to air pollution & the water crisis are redefining how we live in our cities. Architectural academia as well as praxis has a legacy of working on planetary issues. Especially, the mid 20th century was an era of bold visionaries and ambitious design projects that explored radical design solutions for the future. There was a strong belief in the power of design to impact and transform the way we live, work and play. From the paper architects in Europe and the Metabolists in Japan to practitioners such as Buckminister Fuller and Paolo Soleri as well as counter cultural phenomena like the Whole Earth Catalog, the visions inspired a whole generation. In recent years this disciplinary interest has primarily focused on either the specialized practice of engineering ‘green buildings’ or using ecological principles to design the urban landscape. However there is an urgent need to architecturally reimagine our buildings and architectonic systems, using 21st century developments in technology and synthetic biology, so that our built habitat can contribute to sustainable futures.  Unit 3A3 is situated in this scenario and strives to develop a toolkit of design systems to counter these challenges. Working on three intuitive approaches of ‘restoration’, ‘remediation’ and ‘resilience’, the unit investigates how designing for the urban built habitat can be used as an opportunity to impact the wider urban ecology. Using a combination of digital techniques, mechanical systems and natural processes the unit will seek to develop prototypical solutions that can be embedded in an architectural project at various scales. Unit 3C2 seeks to work on the ‘future as a project’ once again, speculating on design possibilities to develop real world solutions to the challenges of this century. 

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