Boundlessness of built environment


The evolution of design, as a whole, is the result of cultural boundaries to guard political power, professional responsibilities and privileges, says Nikita Bajaj Pathak

The term built environment touches all aspects encompassing the buildings we live in, generally described as man-made or modified structures that provide people with living, working, and recreational spaces. As architects, we aim to achieve an integrated, environmentally conscious approach to building designs. The fraternity in the industry has been consistently discussing how to meet the climate targets, reduce heat island effects and limit the impact of the built environment over the past few years. The built environment dictates how societies develop while expressing their cultural infrastructure while also negotiating the abstract world of policies, council guidelines, building codes, and laws. All this coming together creates visible structures that allow for comfortable living, business activities, and transport networks.

As architects, we appreciate that the inhabited urban built environment is made of boundaries, demanding how we look at spatial data representing the architectural and material characteristics. Architectural boundaries are a determinant for the spatial subdivisions of the built environment. The sequence of boundaries is designed to better appreciate how abstract spatial data refers to the empirical social reality of the material presence of the built environment to its inhabiting society. The types of boundary lines create a built scheme with analytic units that are at once ideational and empirical.

The evolution of design, as a whole, is the result of cultural boundaries to guard political power, professional responsibilities, and privileges. But one must also understand the performance attributes associated with the design of buildings and design professionals. There is a need for better communication and negotiation among the stakeholders and financial institutions through policies and regulatory agents to user groups. This is done by simply finding different positions and priorities while still respecting the viewpoint of all parties involved. Encouraging the architecture fraternity to integrate sustainability thinking within their projects will require assurances that assessment methods be transparent in use while being complementary to other tools and processes. With this approach, architectural and design boundaries can be conveniently created with the help of non-sustainable materials for the betterment of the built environment.

The success with the current generation of the built environment method lies in the perceived simplicity in declaring an industry’s expectation of what constitutes a built environment and its construction. While architecture is governed by various boundaries of rules and regulations, it also comes with its own set of ambiguous and limitless opportunities to explore the realm of design. The solution to complex design involves a wide range of influence and time frames requiring the ability to appreciate the inter-relationships between a broad range of conflicting requirements.

The principal task of architecture does not only concern the production of objects, but it also helps in creating suitable spatial dimensions at various locations. It offers an interplay between spatial features of constructive elements involved with the perception of user experience. The boundless architecture further comprehends architectural situations from the perspective of experience and not of design. The key consideration of design is the way in which people experience the buildings created for them, be it governed by boundaries or the freedom of boundlessness.

While the terms ‘roof’, ‘base’, and ‘wall’ do appear to be quantitative and physically accountable along with being bordered, the individual concepts do not primarily refer to constructive contexts while representing an aesthetic doctrine of building shapes. Design is not just limited to locating terms within the history of architecture, nor are concepts generalised within a broad socio-cultural context. Concrete architecture and built environment, at the end of the day, concentrate on the situative contents of the respective term in connection with concrete structural-spatial form.

(The author is an architect and the founder of Design21, an architecture and interiors company.)



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