Seeing though the global lens- Hindu School of Architecture students spent a day with Dr. Nezar AlSayyad of UC Berkeley

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Dr. Nezar AlSayyad, Professor of Architecture, Planning, Urban Design and Urban History from UC Berkeley visited Hindu School of Architecture on 16th December, 2017 and engaged the students over a riveting session around “History in Urbanism.” Dr. AlSayyad started his talk by bringing home a beautiful concept- “the world is all about your frame of mind!” Being the renowned academician in Architecture, Dr. AlSayyad derives his inspiration by traveling across the geography- and his visit to India has seen him travel avidly from the desert to the hills, the plateau to the forests, everywhere! It is based on his vast experience; he encouraged the young architects of Hindu School of Architecture (HSA) to take the advantage of the strategic location of the school and try think of how to make every small or big space meaningful for the world.
“Architecture was fundamentally meant to uplift the poor and middle class section of the society. However, that message got eventually lost in the rat race of the 21st century and architecture became
a predatory profession- a profession that started serving the interest of the client at the expense of general public and ordinary people,” elaborates Dr. AlSayyad thoughtfully. His talk brought home the idea as to just how important Ethics as a concept is- for architects to imbibe. He further sheds light on how HSA and all architecture students need to be extremely careful about striking the right balance across “physical, social, environmental and economical sustainability.”Dotted with anecdotes, Dr. Nezar AlSayyad’s talk became even more interesting when he urged the audience to think and ask themselves- “to what extent can you migrate to influence your design?” He explains how the usage of instruments can limit one’s way of thinking and creativity. Therefore, it becomes extremely important to “free yourself from the fetters of instruments and give room to imaginations.” While the acclaimed professor of Architecture draws his inspiration from the places he travels, he also thinks that films and movies are a great way of learning about the world and gathering information. “Do keep your eyes on what you see in the backdrop of the subjects,” and indeed, that can broaden the scope of young architects’ mind to a great extent.

However, how does talk like these help young architects develop broader perspectives around the subject of Architecture? “With initiatives such as these where we get to hear from global faculty, we get the chance to see how architects operate in other countries. We get to literally hear from the horse’s mouth about the global practices and pick important insights of the global industry,” says Bhanupriya Sharma of 3rd year, B.Arch., Hindu School of Architecture.

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