Exhibition Think Global, Build Social! - ARCHITECTURES FOR A BETTER WORLD

TGBS @ Goethe-Institut Chennai

Fri, 02.03.2018 -
Fri, 30.03.2018

School of Architecture and Planning, Anna University

in cooperation with School of Architecture and Planning, Anna University

An exhibition from Deutsches Architekturmuseum and Architekturzentrum Wien.

The exhibition Think Global, Build Social! – Architectures for a Better World explores the theme of social responsibility in contemporary architecture. Conceived jointly by the Architekturzentrum Wien and the Deutsches Architekturmuseum, it will be available for presentation as a Goethe-Institut touring exhibition from spring 2015 onwards.

Architecture is currently in a state of crisis: on the one hand there is what is known as "starchitecture" – prestigious projects by acclaimed architects that serve to enhance the image of a few wealthy and politically influential clients – while on the other, there has been a massive rise in the number of building projects carried out in rapidly expanding megacities across Asia, Latin America and Africa with no architectural supervision whatsoever. In addition, an increasing number of people all over the world are living in slum conditions. The crucial question is therefore: what solutions can architecture offer to those segments of the global population that currently have no access to a well-designed environment?

Think Global, Build Social! showcases 12–15 current examples of an alternative approach to architecture – socially responsible practices that require greater personal initiative and creativity to develop low-cost architectural solutions that will improve living conditions for people in less privileged parts of the world. Many of the projects selected by curator Andres Lepik – which include schools, public spaces and residential buildings – have been developed through close collaboration with the future users and also incorporate local building traditions and techniques. Projects like these address the specific needs of those for whom (and with whom) they are being implemented, and thereby enable a two-way knowledge transfer. A number of common features can be seen in the various projects and approaches presented here, indicating that beyond the realm of "starchitecture", a very different kind of movement has been emerging within contemporary architecture for quite some time – one that aims to tackle social issues within a global society.

Exhibition design:
The exhibition design centres on the use of standard European wooden pallets. As exhibition designer Sanaz Hazegh-Nejad points out, these "are found everywhere, can be obtained locally and are also stackable." The EUR-pallets perform a variety of functions with regard to displaying the exhibits, which include a small number of scale models and films screened on monitors in addition to the project designs and large-format photographs (these will most likely be printed directly onto canvas). The pallets can be stacked horizontally to provide display tables, placed upright as movable partition walls, and can even be used to create seating opportunities for viewers. This simple and lightweight system makes it possible to divide up the exhibition space in relation to the five main themes, and at the same time it provides an unobtrusive and consistently neutral design solution. The use of standardised pallets also underlines the ecological and economic aspects of reusability and sustainability.

In terms of graphics, the exhibition sets out to make the projects accessible to non-specialist audiences by focussing on large-format images of the built structures and their users rather than abstract, two-dimensional construction drawings or floor plans. This visual emphasis is reinforced by the inclusion of selected short films.


  • Panel Discussion - Architecture for the Community

    Friday, 23.03.2018 , 6:00 PM

    Venue: School of Architecture and Planning, Anna University

    Panel members:
    Aneerudha Paul, Director KRVIA

    K Sudhir, Director, Commonweal

    Sharath R Nayak, Biome Environmental Solutions

    Moderatead by
    Mahesh Radhakrishnan, Principal
    MOAD-The Madras Office for Architects and Designers
    Trustee CAF – Chennai Architecture Foundation

  • Call for a Poster Presentation

    Monday, 26.03.2018



    ELIGIBILITY: Architecture students (The participating groups should be teams limited to a maximum of 3 members)

    FORMAT & ORIENTATION: A1 Size sheets – 2nos, Portrait

    On registration each team will be given a code number. ONLY CODE NUMBERS SHOULD BE MENTIONED while submitting your project.DEADLINES

    Registration until 20.3.2018
    Submission by     26.3.2018
    Soft copy to  be sent to tgbs.gichennai@gmail.com JURY & AWARDS

    A Jury of Resident expert will select the best projects which will be awarded.  The best THREE projects will be awarded a CASH PRIZE.

    Rapid urban growth, migration and displacement of people owing to socio- political conflict and climate change, have all contributed to the burgeoning number of urban poor and fueled a global housing crisis. Social disparity is on the rise as the lesser privileged section of people land up choosing to live life “on the edge” - both literally and figuratively - in fringe areas along urban waterbodies and other equally sensitive zones, in a bid to stay connected to the possibilities offered by a city. They not only place themselves in vulnerable positions with respect to natural hazards, but also compromise the environmental sustenance and quality of life for the rest of the city, by encroaching upon the city’s common areas, reservoirs and flood buffers.

    Life in such informal settlements means dealing with poor infrastructure, congestion, pollution, segregation and the insecurity arising from fear of eviction. However, all lives in a city are interconnected and therefore, we need to realize that improving the social housing situation can by itself be a viable tool to improve the collective well- being of the city as a whole.

    However, some of the commonly used “solutions” such as evicting families living in informal settlements to stacks of concrete tenements on the city’s periphery, only uproots them from employment, education and transportation links that the city offers, curbing their socio- economic prospects and leads to further marginalization.

    Given the magnitude and complexity of the condition, is it possible for us to come up with sustainable and innovative solutions that address not just budgetary constraints but that are also environmentally and socially responsible? Can we come up with ground breaking new ways for the city to accommodate not just the increasing population, but also their everyday realities, from access to basic resources to the aspiration for growth?

    This design competition calls out to student architects with a vision, who can think out of box to subvert status quo and produce architecture for the common good. Each team shall identify as their target group a community of informal settlements averaging 100 dwellings along the Buckingham Canal in Chennai. Following a comprehensive study of the underlying issues, the team shall come up with a design intervention that can enhance their prospects for a decent living and social upgradation. Designing a robust system or process, would be as important as the product or designing the architecture itself.

    Together, let us explore how design can be a tool to better lives and reduce inequality in society.

    For further information contact:
    Geetha Vedaraman / Programme Coordinator
    Goethe-Institut Chennai/Max Mueller Bhavan
    4, Rutland Gate 5th Street , Chennai 600 006, Tamil Nadu, India
    Tel.: +91 44 2833 1314, 2343, Fax: +91 44 2833 2565
    Mail: tgbs.gichennai@gmail.com Web: www.goethe.de/chennai
    Sign up for My Goethe.de:www.goethe.de/Chennai-meingoethe