I have recently made a trip to India to work with EMI, a non-profit engineering and design organization. I assisted with the conceptual design of Blue Haven Children’s Home & School, a program and continued vision of TellAsia. (The design can be seen on the Open Architecture Network here.)
It was a great experience for one’s first time in India, to get involved so directly with a non-profit for whom you believe in their cause. The design is for outside of Lucknow, in Northern India, then we continued design work in New Delhi, at EMI’s main office, for the remainder of my internship. My first-hand account can be found on my other blog, Meghazine.
A friend of mine, upon planning her travels to Vietnam, brought up a good point I have remembered since then. Though it’s beneficial to soak in one’s surroundings, it is also important to have a keen eye for specifics. Sort of a prolonged, one-man game of “I Spy.” While she planned on observing women’s societal roles, as a former women’s studies major, I wanted to focus on traditional and vernacular building, mainly in terms of using localized materials.
And that’s what I did. I stayed in Northern India, traveling, as I said, to Lucknow and Delhi, but also even more northern after my internship to Manali, Jispa, and Leh, very distant places from the more metropolitan Delhi. I have an album on Flickr of photos I feel fit into this category of local building practices, and have chosen some key shots to display for you here. Please feel free to comment or add links to your own collections of traditional building.