I am a student of Architecture from India/ As an
architect in the making, I am applying for the M.Arch program at the Bartlett
School of Architecture. Two years ago, in design school, I first came across
‘The Gaia theory’ introduced to me by my lecturer at that time. The theory
entails that ‘Everything in nature is interconnected’ – and this left me
perplexed as to the affluent unintended consequences that simple design choices
can lead to. On further enumeration by my professor, the potential
environmental degradation results that I as a simple designer can be a cause to
– completely baffled me. A general notion was passed by my classmate that this
was not a worry of ‘our time’. After that day and specifically that moment of
realization, I walked with the weight of not knowing. I didn’t want to be
unintentionally responsible for causing damage somewhere else and for making
choices in process that had impacts that were far beyond my intention as a designer.
Sustainability, I believe is a catalyst for innovation and we desperately need
to think differently about it as designers. At that juncture I knew the path I
wanted to take as a designer and with this message etched in my mind I embarked
on a journey, my thesis, titled ‘Sustainable Vertical Urbanism: Rethinking the
Skyscraper’ wherein I am experimenting with sustainable solutions for the
future of our environment and communities through an investigation into the
qualitative translation of a horizontal sprawl into vertical urbanism through a
skyscraper.

On looking at where mankind is headed and at the rate
at which we are doing so, the tectonics of architecture must metamorphose from
the logic that its scope goes from being limited, to something exponentially
greater than that. What would that be? Maybe it could be Architecture with a
purpose and role in partaking amongst the various dynamics of bringing forth a
purely sustainable way of living. In other words, it can be a work of
architecture that truly effectuates the synergy between Nature and the ‘Human
Living  Machine’. Thus, my architectural
dissertation ‘Nature and The Human Living Machine:
The Interface’ ruminated over these questions and delved into the various technologies involved in Bio-Climatic facades, its performance
and design.

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               I am currently pursuing my B.Arch
degree at The School of Architecture and Planning , Anna University, India. During
this time in an award-winning competition entry – ‘An Urbanscape in motion’ for
the ZONASA convention 2016, which was an urban response to a probable dystopian
future reality. The proposal was a self-sustaining amphibious pod which
exhibited macro and micro dynamism during times of emergency. By exploring
these concepts and possibilities I came to an understanding that architecture
is a form of knowledge situated within a broader context of environmental and
global engagement which builds on strong historical and theoretical foundations
that actively reframe our contemporary cultural and environmental conditions.
The particularity of architecture as a complex organism in the society and its
symbiotic relationship with it is what drove me to further improve my
understanding in this matter by pursuing a post-graduate program. This is why
in my opinion, the M.Arch program offered at The
Bartlett is a favourable route to take my interests further by being a
part of a speculative design environment that questions the various layers involved
in the process of design realization.

               In addition to my work in the
classroom, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed participating in a wide range of activities
at university be it cultural, academic or sports. Managing to perform well
enough in college, I was honoured to be endowed with two merit-based
scholarships.  Competition drives me and
I thrive on challenges which are what led me to strike a balance between both
my studio-work and extra-curriculars. I’ve cherished being a part of the
university’s student council for two years as the University treasurer
(2015-16) and presently as the Student Council President (2017 – present).
In this role, I was responsible for organizing various events and securing
funds by communicating with various businesses. This coupled with the
Presentation of my ideas at city-level forums, most recently at the Chennai
Architecture Foundation, have been a testament to my continually evolving
public-speaking and communication skills. Throughout my life as a student
wherein I’ve been a part of a number of performances involving classical dance,
music, and theatre at various competitive levels, I witnessed the fostering of
the improvement in my confidence as well as my competence to be a versatile
member of the college community.

In
terms of the professional training I have received, being entrusted with
numerous projects and tasks helped mould my understanding of the practical
aspects of architecture. I spent a year gaining experience at architectural firms,
which helped  expand my undergraduate education
by imbuing them with disciplinary and technical precision to engage in various evolving
design methods. Some of the large-scale projects that I was exposed to at the Internationally renowned architectural firm – Ong, Kuala Lampur and RSP Design Consultants,
Bangalore helped better my ability in working efficiently both independently
and as part of a team while meeting deadlines under pressure.  During my time at KSM Architecture, I had the
opportunity to imbibe their approach to design where functionality and simplicity
were the main focus with due regard to climatic parameters which were of
paramount importance as well. 

Overall, I expect that my undergraduate and
professional experiences will be immensely useful when in graduate school, as I
will be able to draw upon the skills that I have learnt to possibly overcome
any challenges that I may face.  I am
looking forward to improving my dexterity in temporal thinking as well as the
factoring in of sustainability as an integral layer of design and thus, have
decided to apply to the M.Arch program at your
university. Being one of the premier institutions in architectural
education, I think the University College of London would provide an
unparalleled atmosphere for student experience, comprising of distinguished
faculty members with great expertise in the field. Given the opportunity to be
a part of this prestigious institution, the experience in London which is a socio-cultural melting pot would
equip me better with a vast amount of opportunities. It will help me acquire
the skills needed for  when I intend to
take my ideas forward in the future as I form my own architectural stance and begin
to practise professionally back home in India.  

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