Ar. Neelam Manjunath is an architect, planner, scientist, activist and theoretician, with two graduate degrees, in Science from REI Degree College, Dayalbagh, Agra and in Architecture, from Govt. College of Architecture, Lucknow in 1987. Her education, however, is much wider and includes training in several skills related to sustainable architecture, Media Architecture and Charrettee Training from Graduate School of Design, Harvard University, as well as a PG Diploma in Theology from Dayalbagh University, Agra.
She is a practicing architect since 1991, currently based in Bangalore. Her architecture is distinguished for the use of low energy materials and technologies with special emphasis on Bamboo.
Awards and Accomplishments:
Her passion for sustainable architecture and the use of bamboo as a sustainable material reflects in all her works of architecture.
Manasara, the celebrated saint wrote the oldest treatise on Indian Architecture Vastushastra, describing the science of design principles for buildings, from which our Studio Manasaram was born.
Vastushastra is a science of architecture that combines the five elements of nature and cosmos, ultimately balancing with man and the material. This mysterious science unifies the five elements called ‘Panch Tattvas’- earth, fire, water, sky and space and paves a way for enlightenment, happiness and prosperity.
We believe that to create a Space for human Existence transcending Time, it is desirable that the architect designs to cater to all the three faculties of Man – Physical, Psychological and Spiritual; possible by using these Panch Tattvas. Man inherited, developed and nurtured this good earth and is nourished by it. Ecological disturbances and environmental problems are posing a grave situation for humanity. The repercussions of our destructive action will be felt for generations to come. Indeed it may take another millennium to put things right.
We, at Manasaram are committed to fight back climate change by promoting the use of naturally abundant, easily renewable ,low energy , local materials. We have close to 30 years of experience in the field of Sustainable Development. Working with natural materials in itself has been an eye opener and put us on the path back to our roots. Using what is freely available on the site, i.e, Sun, Soil, Air, Water and Space ,and materials that are within our short reach are the determining factors in our designs. Creativity is a mere result of this challenge. Our designs take birth, grow and mature on the site.
Through our design, we initiate the building into the ecosystem at micro and macro level. We strive towards making the building a living entity , responding and growing like any other living being ,from dawn to dusk, from spring to summer, from rains to chilly winters ! When this goal is met, even to a small extent, the built structure becomes a thread in the web of all life, one with nature, nature itself!
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Vinod Gupta, of Opus Indigo Studio reflects on the evolution and challenges of the Indian architectural profession, emphasizing the need for architects to reclaim responsibilities beyond design to revitalize the industry’s trajectory.