Being the first generation to grow up in a city, I always wondered why my city looks so different from all the other places in India I’ve been to.
Then one day I saw a foreign name, that I could barely pronounce, printed next to a map of my city on a diary that my father gave me. When I asked him about it, he told me that “Karbugier” was the “argeetekt” who “made” the city. This was my first introduction to the Master, and the word – architect. Upon reading more and more about him and his legacy, it felt like everything had started to make sense.
How every nook and cranny of the city was designed to the advantage of citizens, like a highly efficient machine. How my neighborhood park and weekly farmer markets were a part of the plan and not just negative spaces filled in, how the manhole covers were meant to help me navigate around the city, how my favorite place in the city, the lake, existed because of the strokes that the Master made on paper, the exposed buildings became a symbol of staying true to what you are on the inside, the Edict became a scripture.
That’s how his vision shaped my past, present and my future. What a humongous task it must have been to come to a foreign land and design for the people there, without prior knowledge about language, culture, lifestyle or tradition. Attentive empathy is a powerful tool, goal is to learn how to use it.