Creating and developing a design for any community is rewarding. However to be involved in the design of a life-changing scheme in India has been incredible. For the past two years I have worked with the Loving Community in Ahmedabad, which has overcome challenges such as leprosy and severe flooding. This has meant that our design decisions needed to take these into consideration.
Architecture students from De Montfort University (DMU) were given a chance to fly out to India for three weeks to understand how a design can be created for a completely different climatic region. The Loving Community, a community that was once segregated due to residents having leprosy, can flood up to two feet during monsoon season. This results in waste water running through the village, forcing people outside of their homes or having to raise their valuables off the ground.
As a Part 1 Architectural Assistant, I flew out with students last year to help teach them how we can design 50 new homes for the Loving Community residents. We helped them review the decisions which need to be considered when creating a design concept. I initially visited to build up of the first two homes in this community and during this time I had the chance to see the construction of the first six homes. These have all been designed by architect Anand Sonecha (SeaLAB). Anand is now currently building three further houses.
I am currently out in Ahmedabad again this year in Partnership with DMU and Pick Everard continuing to work alongside Anand, teaching them how we can build a library in India. This year DMU are bringing more students as part of their 2nd Year Project to the Loving Community and are learning how to design a library for the Loving Community.
It's fantastic to see the students getting the chance to learn the basics of how to survey a site in rural area without precise measuring tools, creating the concept design and a final design that can be proposed to the community. In their first week the students have been talking to the residents about their journey to Ahmedabad and how they came about to form the Loving Community. At the end of these three weeks they will understand how a suitable location can be chosen with the data collected.
Next month, a new group from DMU will arrive into the Loving Community to focus on conceptual design of the children's library. I look forward to seeing how the design progresses over the next couple of weeks.
Document each with a qualified team of professionals to understand the ramifications of building in that specific place. It is an approach which considers the best environmental sustainability practices.