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361 Degree Conference - TFOD Report

Posted by
on March 26, 2015 at 05:05 PM

The 361 Degree Conference with DIS. Architecture: Discourse, Intuition and Syntax in architecture, as the theme this year - saw an amazing turnout, as wonderful presentations by top architects from across the world swamped us through the three enlightening days at the Nehru Centre, from the 4th to the 6th of March 2015. 

© Courtesy of 361 Degrees

Every architect has a journey that’s been travelled which has been influenced by educational, cultural and circumstantial factors; a story to tell because of their discourse which leads to their intuition that justifies their structural syntax. The 361o conference 2015 which ran over a 3-day period had eminent architects of the likes of Massimiliano Fuksas, Wendell Burnette, M N Ashish Ganju saw over 1000 attendees including students and professionals. The inaugural lamp was lit by distinguished dignitaries including Maulik Jasubhai, I M Kadri, Yatinder Singh Suri, Hemant Shetty, Christopher Charles Benninger and Massimiliano Fuksas. 

DAY ONE: The Inaugural Lecture by Massimiliano Fuksas

Christopher Benninger gave a succinct introduction of Massimiliano Fuksas; calling his work “kinetic” and “deep understanding of functions of light in his space creation”. Ar Fuskas’ lecture took us through his evolution as a designer which showed his technique, material use, sensitivity to function and keen dedication to accept challenges. His design philosophy ranges from creating gaps to allow light passage whilst creating tension, to enforcing water-bodies which he believes soothes both the environment and the user, onto covering large spans with what appears to make the structure “float”. This reflected his deep understanding and creativity with materials, ranging from concrete, wood to copper and glass to tensile fabrics. His work ranges from community spaces to luxury brand projects showing his design dynamism and sensitivity.


DAY TWO: Ar. Wendell Burnette

Day two saw architect Wendell Burnette, a self-made architect cover his enigmatic work titled “CONTEXT AS MATERIAL” which gave perspicacity into his thought process and design sensitivity. He believes architecture is a process of distillation and the spaces between buildings are just as important as the spaces inside buildings. Ar. Burnette’s use of materials was rather fascinating with mill finish steel and reflective concrete being used in his structures. His end statement created quite a wave among the audience when he compared an architect to a chef. 

Ar. Sheila Sri Prakash

Ar. Sheila Sri Prakash compared architecture and dance. Explain bhava, raga and thala in architecture she emphasised on the creation of “drama” which is key to her design process. Her ability to incorporate small niches for every function that occurs in a structure, integrating yet segregating them, stood out giving out her theme of “holistic sustainability”.

Ar. Boonserm Premthada

Ar. Boonserm Premthada’s lecture titled “multiple meanings in architecture” displayed an oration of his journey of understanding architecture in a step by step process, which he explained in the design of the Kantana Film and Animation School. His philosophy of creative destruction, creation of lightness, connectedness, meditation and being one with the environment was depicted. Simultaneously his attempt at salvaging a dying process of using local hand-made bricks which are a dying practice showed his sensitivity to indigenous perseveration. 

Ar. Prem Chandavarkar

Ar. Premanand Chandavarkar’s lecture gave a crucial insight into the successful relationship between theory (what we learn) and practice (what we do) in architecture. It outlined how theory and practice are the roads that bridge a general outlook and a specific detail. He then went on to explain the working of CnT in a concise yet insightful manner, highlighting how every firm has the personal quest of an individual, a joint quest of the firm, research process, and how this turns into a reality with the built form and then needs to be archived, critically analysed and finally influence.

Dr Singh Intrachooto

Dr Singh Intrachooto’s lecture began with a series of questions that he put out, voicing his concerns about the world and what we done to it. He pointed out to the disasters and catastrophes that have occurred in the recent past, all a reflection of human activities. Subsequently he pointed out to the amount of resource utilisation and waste generation that construction and built environments create, feeling strongly that the need of the hour is UPCYCLING. What followed was an insightful and enriching journey into how he has dedicated himself to extensive research and practice of salvaging and reutilizing construction waste. Ranging from construction debris to various glass forms such as scraps, tableware waste and glass sludge, to foil wrappings, banana rope and coffee waste, which he has successfully converted into beautiful building materials, Intrachooto urged that similar practices be adopted worldwide ending with examples of how sustainability and controlled use of materials can lead to a healthier world.

Ar. Kazi Ashraf

Ar. Kazi Ashraf’s virtual presentation showcased his deep belief in the relationship of building with nature. He spoke strongly of Louis Kahn’s design principals. His emphasis on the relation between a land and the structure standing on it showered light onto the importance of landscapes which reflect the climate. 

DAY THREE: Ar. Peter Clegg

Ar. Peter Clegg’s discourse is a rather interesting one. He collaborates with renowned artists and sculptors. His works reflect a keen sense for effective organisation of spaces whilst keeping their aesthetics in mind. His design also reflects his understanding of the site and surrounding whilst keeping in mind the users of the space. His journey to the Arctic Circle was a rather fascinating insight as it shows his deep respect for the depilating resources that we need to conserve today.

Ar. M N Ashish Ganju

Ar. M N Ashish Ganju’s presentation called “DISCOVERY OF ARCHITECTURE” threw light on the crude reality of present day situations such as mass poverty and scarce resources that the country faces today. He emphasised on elementary construction techniques and conservation of indigenous building practices. His philosophy suggested the “act of building with awareness of evolving universe” and “regeneration with learning” further explaining that self-learning is far more beneficial than being taught, as only then will future architects be successful.

Ar. Osamu Ishiyama

According to Ar. Osamu Ishiyama, the act of builing is a process and not a result. His work exemplifies compassion as his structures are empathic, designed as homages for disaster affected areas or for the “minority” such as the blind and handicapped. He also shared his “mind-map” which covered his thought and approach to work, the causes which changed his thought process and his plans for the future, where he hopes his structures can stitch people together.

Ar. Rachel Neeson

Ar. Rachel Neeson started with explaining architecture as a layered relationship where the context and setting form the main objectives, not a particular style of building or designing. Her love for constraints she believes helps her build better. Her work ranges from city-centre projects to campsite developments. Her sensitivity to the site, decides on the materials, colours and textures that she adopts. 

Ar. Vinod Jayasinghe

“BE KIND. BE SIMPLE. MAKE SIMPLE INTERESTING” this is the motto Ar. Vinod Jayasinghe believes in. Showing his work through a video presentation, he displayed several of his projects, letting them speak for themselves. One could observe the use of locally available material and “simple” designing technique in his work which was a breath of fresh air.

Ar. Alberto Kalach

Ar. Alberto Kalach’s work showcased traditional architecture in a contemporary manner. The principles of repetition and order were observed throughout his design. He also incorporates a lot of greenery in and around his structures which throws light on his sensitivity to the environment. 


The stories of these architects though different, pointed to a generic similarity which voiced the thoughts, ideas and reflections of their stories in one another, creating a successful dialogue and critique. The design dialogues between the architects and the audience stimulate and invigorate the process of design thinking.

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