Page 61 - Shashwat - Restoring Green Economy
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                                                                              between the entry and habitable
                                                                              areas that can be used as
                                                                              sanitization buffer?

                                                                               ƒ Why are verandas/balconies so
                                                                              minimalistic in comparison to
                                                                              covered areas, and those too are
                                                                              turned into storage spaces rather
                                                                              than being equipped for sitting?
                                                                               ƒ Why was an air conditioner
                                                                              installed in the window, which
                                                                              could otherwise have been opened
                                                                              to let fresh air in?
                                                                            Amidst these brooding queries, the
                                                                            usual functions of spaces had to be
                                                                            manipulated to suit the shuttling
                                                                            roles of being a “professional”
                                                                            during working hours and
                                                                            returning to the “personal” space
                                                                            thereafter. Consequently, the
                                                                            related experiences and meanings
                                                                            also altered. The entrance doorway
                                                                            which once welcomed our near
                                                                            and dear ones became a point of
                                                                            intervention and interruption. It
                                                                            also transformed into a zone for
             years (Düzen and Ekrem 2021). Its   begging for more open spaces and   sanitization and hanging masks.
             transcendence from being merely a   ventilation facilities in the safe   The living room, usually reserved
             “shelter” to a “home”, supposed to   confines and privacy of our own   for guests, was now thronged by
             meet expectations of inhabitants   homes. It also raised questions on the   children for attending online classes,
             of varied age groups, and rendering   common attributes of a home which   parents for online meetings, and
             meaningful spaces to all, raised   were earlier limited to the sense of   the elderly to simply walk around.
             doubts on the suitability of its spatial   belongingness, desire, and privacy,   Bedrooms became virtual offices and
             articulations.                  and were now oppressed with feelings   classrooms, while kitchens morphed
                                             of fear, anxiety, and alienation.   into quarantine areas as and when
             Bruno Zevi summarizes the real   Home, thus, became a place of   required. The dining room lost its
             essence of “meaning” and says,   introspection, contemplation, and   predominant meaning of sitting
             “Architects intend meaning for what   recapitulation. Many “What ifs” and   and having meals together, instead,
             they design; but users attribute   “Whys” hovered over the home with   it became multifunctional and got
             meaning to what they experience”.   the following questions on everyone’s   converted to a workstation or even a
             Therefore, the design of a home   mind:                        play area for kids (Jyoti 2021). Open
             should essentially respond to the     ƒ What if a family member   spaces – verandas/balconies – which
             needs of its users, and be a clear   unknowingly brings the virus   were mostly designed to meet the
             statement of their way of life such   home and all fall sick?  norms of building codes, became
             that they become a “part of home”                              the only spaces for “safe social
             rather than being just “inside home”.     ƒ What if there is/are not sufficient   interaction”. Those who were not
             The pandemic brought with it the   space(s) to isolate all family   fortunate enough to have such open
             law of inversion which rendered large   members?               spaces reached out to the windows
             public places into unused hollows,     ƒ Why isn’t there sufficient space   to soak in the much-needed visual
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