Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Creativity & Real Estate!

Creativity comes from a conflict of ideas...Donatella Versace

Creativity is the greatest expression of liberty...Bryant H. McGill

Friends, you may wonder why I choose two quotes for the topic? Well first it’s about creativity & on humorous note creativity to me has no why & how?  Secondly on serious note I found the two quotes very parallel to each other considering the subject. Versace the great Italian designer says its conflicts of ideas! Let people express their ideas & from the conflicts of them only something creative is going to be the outcome. And McGill the writer says creativity is greatest expression of liberty! A very different dimension & its freeness of mind & system around which makes one able to express what idea he has thought of, is creativity! Means when we read & analyze the two quotes simultaneously we can take a common outcome; creativity is liberty of sharing ideas freely! As for creativity there has to be conflict of idea but this conflict isn’t forcing our ideas on each other but respecting them as each one has liberty to express them freely & then only the creativity can be at its best!

You will wonder where the topic is going in the context of creativity & real estate? Well, recently on FB i.e. face book I came across a comment by my friend with a photograph along of a beautiful ancient water storage tank with steps on all side of it, a typical of early architecture classic! My friend was saying with so many builders around why even one can’t make such structure now days?

Many a people thinks its waste of time on FB & why to take seriously the comments made over there? But for me I take it as my window towards the world around. It’s same like reading a book or watching a movie! The window is open doesn’t mean we spend all the time in home watching outside of window neither we keep it closed with fear that we will get addicted of watching out all the time! It’s up to us how we use the window & the time watching through it!
Addiction of anything is wrong, even may it be watching out of your home window, however beautiful the view may be!
The comment does made me to think a while as being an engineer as well developer by myself some where it does hurt me to acknowledge the bitter truth behind it. This is what I meant when I consider FB as a window to outer world. As now we have access to so many information as well data which wasn’t available earlier & that to on a click of mouse. Naturally we are bound to compare such things on every front, one way is let it go & another is think & try to implement it in our daily life. I always took later & that’s why I replied that post with my comment. But the subject kept on lingering in mind; really what has happened to creativity in our today's construction or say real estate industry?  Here I am deliberately saying real estate industry because it’s this segment which is responsible for major growth of the houses/buildings/ commercial premises in our country. Naturally the creativity factor will be applicable to this very industry first as it’s from here the new structures are being designed & built in our country or let’s consider our very city!

First look out what’s situation on this front around. No doubt things have been much improved in compare to early 80’s when the buildings were just a rectangular blocks with balconies & windows as necessity. Elevation wasn’t the main factor & that’s because a home was considered as basic need & nobody thought of adding any aesthetics to it. Also the bylaws governing the construction were such that there was hardly any space to accommodate the elevation needs. Slowly things started changing as more & more people started moving around the world courtesy higher education & IT industry. They came back with a demand for something different for the home other than providing a shelter. Sam was happening with the work places i.e. commercial buildings. People were getting aware about newer things in & look of the complex becomes as important as utility of the complex. At some places even replacing the utility, look used to get more important. Yet I won’t call it creative with due respect as creativity is not trying to design something different, its keeping things as simple it can be sticking to the very basic purpose of that thing. And to me a home has to be designed for the first to make the life of a person living in it comfortable! On this front we are still lagging a lot when it comes to design & built a creative home. Remember giving a club house or garden or high end amenities doesn’t mean a creative design of a complex. It has to be reflected in entire planning of the building right from outer look to interconnection of the houses within. It’s something one can feel by taking just one look at the structure. Still with change of building rules now the architect can accommodate many creative ideas & it’s heartening to see many are trying so. The outcome is occasionally now days we do come across a structure which is soothing to eyes as well serving the purpose.

Also when we say creative structures it’s not necessary that the term should be limited to residential or commercial buildings. It can be public building, bridges, museums, stadiums, temple even developing a traffic island or a garden i.e. anything. Important is it should reflect the creativity not harming the use of the structure rather making it easier with this touch of creativity, should be the criteria. Issue is in our country except commercial & residential buildings mostly rest all the development is carried by Govt/Semi Govt establishments where rarely the term creativity is considered while applying thoughts. They prefer to go by standard pattern of designs which are same from ages; for e.g. see the Govt Post offices or schools or administrative buildings. In western countries or developed countries even a small post office of fire station is designed with such a elegance that you admire the beauty of it forgetting the purpose for a while! Such sights make us wonder like my friend why in our country it’s no happening & that too when we have a heritage of so many such structures right from Kahjuraho temples to Taj Mahal to Pan Chakki at Aurangabad the list is endless! Our ancestors were way ahead on the front of creativity than we are today.

On a practical note I will like to mention that art & culture grow only when rulers allow such conditions in which they will grow! What we observe around is no one is interested in creating something good but to build either just to make money or survival! In such society you can’t expect creation but only money making products as that’s what most of the creators want as output! Look at the movies which make business & u will understand what I meant. Our creativity is being lost in fighting the system we are in! All we can think is FSI i.e. how much we can build on the said piece of land & sale more & more. Fault is in the system where the developer is the key & he is least bothered about the creative factor. An architect is the main thrust behind any project as any structure is his creation but fact is the architects are becoming victim of this vicious circle of Builder, FSI, Land & Salability! Result is, not necessary that a successful architect is a creative architect; rather a successful architect is the one who makes maximum salable area out of a plot. Same is with structural designers; the demand is for most economic designed structure making creativity taking back seat! Need is the developers should be aware of this factor & start respecting creativity in whatever he is developing. One should be proud of what one has built & smallest of the things should be created keeping this aspect in mind. Unfortunate the rulers either ignorant about this front or want it same way; as else there would have been special efforts to change this scene from them. We don’t try to encourage creativity in designing by making rules flexible to accommodate the creativity in design which will give liberty to the architects to make such structures.
Only hope is now in the form of common man as when its Industry or Govt, it delivers what’s in demand! So unless we don’t demand or respect creativity we are stuck to routine glass walls or sky scrapers, just trying to look different on the name of creativity!

Sanjay Deshpande

Sanjeevani Dev.

Envo-Power Committee, Credai, Pune

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