From caves to skyscrapers, human being is in the need of extending his body in to space. A house, regardless of its scale, design, material, besides protecting, provides a place for a person to have a private area. Like body, which is split into outer appearance and inner system, a building is also divided into exterior and interior. Outside – of a human being and a construction – is mostly for others, while inner is intimate, personal and private.
The house is often built with bricks, stones, concrete, wood, steel, glass, but in reality, it is fabricated with an individual’s dreams, desires and aspirations. His ideas of a perfect home – not far from the concept of eternal residing in heaven – manifest in the way his small structure is constructed. Thus, in our cities we find houses with extraordinary features, exuberant details, excessive elements as they satisfy and satiate the notions of taste, comfort and class; often in contrast with the mind-set of person who is trained to design a living space, the architect.
In most cases, buildings we see in our surroundings are results of many conflicts and compromises between the owner and the designer. Usually after a house is complete on the plan of an architect, the inhabitant start making changes, some permanent, other temporary, so a house – like a piece of thought – never reaches to an end or conclusion. New residential societies in our environment are a pastiche of our notions of beauty, modernity and affluence, derived from Dubai, borrowed from Bollywood, and inspired from Disneyland.
As mankind requires to live indoors, the practice of architecture continues – regardless of its innumerable and diverse directions. The present issue of Art Now Pakistan reflects on the state of architecture from multiple perspectives. The art of architecture is analysed by two practising architects in their essays, along with focus on the life and work of a leading architect of our times.
The current issue is an attempt to understand where we live, how we live and why we live; since our homes, those ‘silent spaces’ (borrowing a term from Indian architect and writer, Gautam Bhatia) talk to us in a language beyond words. Texts included in present edition of Art Now Pakistan, translate this diction into our familiar vocabulary. One feels there are many gains in that sojourn, an exercise to make us comprehend ourselves through structures we make, design, and build: Place in which we live, love, dream, play, eat, enjoy, relax, fight, suffer, die – and read.