Design and Culture

Mindful Conversations

Design and Culture

Canadian Centre for Mindful Habitats and Bachelor of Interior Design Program, Algonquin College, Ottawa present a cross-cultural series of 8 webinars, 2021 titled 

“Mindful Conversations.” 

Curator and Moderator: Pallavi Swaranjali

Student Organizers: Bachelor of Interior Design Program, Algonquin College, Ottawa

“Mindful Conversation: Culture and Design,” attempts to start a multidisciplinary and cross-cultural conversations about Culture and Design 

A pair of speakers, one from North America/Europe/UK and one from the Indian subcontinent, are brought together in a conversation in this series

In a collaboration with Algonquin College, Ottawa, Mindful Habitats seeks to have cross-cultural conversations under the following broad themes

Technology and Culture

Regional and Traditional Cultures: Age-old spatial-cultural wisdom

Socio-cultural nuances and the practice of design

Material and Culture

Techno-Narratives: The Real and the Virtual

This session focusing on cultural heritage documentation where Katie Graham and Joy Sen discuss digital-cultural storytelling. Katie Graham presents examples of the projects she has worked on in Canada including the Canadian Parliamentary Precincts Project while Joy Sen discusses his work in Kolkata and the sacred ancient city of Varanasi in India. What constitutes and characterizes the translation from the real to the virtual in a cultural context? What is the nature and role of cultural memory and imagination in the real and the virtual? Does technology aid, alter, reinforce, morph, or recalibrate the understanding, dissemination, and preservation of culture?


Speakers:

Dr. Joy Sen, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur

in conversation with

Katie Graham, Carleton University, Ottawa


Date and Time:

March 12, 2021, 9:30 AM EST (USA and Canada) and 8 PM IST (India)

Navigating the Conundrums of Digital Knowledge Creation

Digital technologies have profoundly transformed the study and documentation of cultural heritage. Sambit Datta and Stephen Fai engage with questions on how digital dissemination, sharing, and curation of such projects happen? Sambit Datta highlights the geometric reconstruction and analysis of a 10th century temple (analog and digital), Spatio-temporal analysis of a corpus of Asian temples (singular to multiple) and dissemination, sharing, and curation of digital and cultural knowledge (single author to co-creation). Stephen Fai reflects on the projects recording materials and methods of construction in the religious buildings of early 20th century settlers on the Canadian prairie,  recording Canada's neo-Gothic Parliament Buildings and the knowledge creation and dissemination  through the project “Multimedia Inventory of Architectural Heritage.” This webinar raises such questions like -- Who are the audience for such projects?  Does the process of digital cultural documentation give rise to its own culture? 

Speakers:

Dr. Stephen Fai, Carleton University, Ottawa

in conversation with

Dr. Sambit Datta, Curtin University, Perth


Date and Time:

March 6, 2021, 9:00 AM EST (USA and Canada) and 7:30 PM IST (India)

Rethinking Building Craft as an Urban Catalyst

Architectural and Urban Designer, Shannon Bassett, Laurentian University and Kavita Jain, a conservation architect and heritage professional from Jaipur, India discuss the opportunities and challenges of preserving and continuing age-old traditions and practices and their impact at the urban level.

Speakers:

Shannon Bassett, Laurentian University, Sudbury

in conversation with

Kavita Jain, Vivekananda Global University, Jaipur


Date and Time:

March 13, 2021, 9:00 AM EST (USA and Canada) and 7:30 PM IST (India)

New Continuities

“New Continuities” brings in the uniqueness and wisdom of regional, vernacular, and traditional spatial practices which emphasize cultural sensibilities, sense of place, and context-specific meaning and measures of age-old spatial-cultural wisdom. Riyaz Tayyibji uncovers the regional wisdom of Gujarat and coastal areas of India while contemplating on if/how these can be imported into contemporary design practice. Shawn Bailey reflects on the joys and challenges of percolating his design teaching with a sensibility of Indigenious Knowledge systems.


Speakers:

Riyaz Tayyibji, Anthill Design, Ahmedabad

in conversation with

Shawn Bailey, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg

Date and Time:

February 20, 2021, 9:30 AM EST (USA and Canada) and 8 PM IST (India)

This Thing called Cultural Space

Ronn Daniel, Ankur Choksi, and Sidhartha Talwar bring in theoretical, historical, and practice-derived insights to the question : What is a Cultural Space? They debate on if/why some spaces are more cultural than others ? If/how/when does a designed space and the culture it responds to intersect/collide? In such a scenario how is the brief developed, what is the project methodology of design and construction, and the nature of the project narrative. If architects pursue the making of a cultural space, how are those stories of making heard after the building is built and is in use? 

Speakers:

Ronn Daniel, Kent State University, Kent

in conversation with

Ankur Choksi and Sidhartha Talwar, Studio Lotus, New Delhi


Date and Time:

March 20, 2021, 9:30 AM EST (USA and Canada) and 7:00 PM IST (India)

Emergence and Improvisation

Ambrish Arora and William Willoughby discuss the qualities of Emergence and Improvisation as necessary and beneficial attributes of the design process. Does a process like that warrant the translation of socio-cultural aspects through design in the built work? Do the prioritization of socio-cultural aspects and design ever compete with each other? Looking at emergence through a historical, theoretical and professional lens, this session questions our present understanding of design in academia and practice.

Speakers:

Ambrish Arora, Studio Lotus, New Delhi

in conversation with

William Willoughby, Kent State University, Kent


Date and Time:

February 27, 2021, 9 AM EST (USA and Canada) and 7:30 PM IST (India)

The Continual Creation of Culture: Memory, Diaspora, and Material Culture

This session explores material culture and its relation to history, memory, media, and popular culture, exploring its historiography, socio-political consequences, and temporal complexities.  Debasri Basu discusses objects of material culture through her research in partition literature and cinema that bracket the momentous “Partition of India” in 1947. Her research also looks at popular culture through the lens of diasporic writers and filmmakers. Michael Windover discusses the visual and material culture of radio in Canada. He considers, for instance, how radio receivers can operate both as mediators of instant communication and mnemonic devices, allowing users to travel virtually across geography as well as back through time, to create imagined boundaries and communities. Both speakers highlight the continual creation of culture through their investigations in design, literature, cinema, and radio.

Speakers:

Debasri Basu, Maulana Azad University, Kolkata

in conversation with

Michael Windover, Carleton University, Ottawa


Date and Time:

March 24, 2021, 9:30 AM EST (USA and Canada) and 7 PM IST (India)

Celebrating Disruption

Celebrating Disruption brings forth the architectures of celebration and the celebration of architecture, playfully accentuating the qualities of predictability and disruption as complementaries. Vibhuti Sachdev shares insights on the material culture of festivals of courtly Jaipur, identifying festivals as times of what she calls “amplified living.” She discusses the predictability of the festivals while highlighting the adaptations of rituals and traditions over time. Roger Connah shares how a studio for the National Institute of Design in India both celebrates and disrupts the norms of design thinking. Here the Nexus studio(1986) utilized, disrupted, and celebrated objects, events, and actors on the Paldi traffic roundabout. Through these discussions, the speakers deliberate on culture, architecture and design as both celebration and reference for rethinking modes and channels of rich and amplified living

Roger Connah and 

Speakers:

Vibhuti Sachdev, Sushant University, Gurgaon

in conversation with

Roger Connah, Carleton University, Ottawa


Date and Time:

March 27, 2021, 9:30 AM EST (USA and Canada) and 7 PM IST (India)