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The Indian Institute of Architects (IIA) Natcon 20...

The Indian Institute of Architects (IIA) Natcon 2020 – the first virtual event concludes successfully

The Indian Institute of Architects successfully conclude its first virtual Natcon, TRANSCEND 2020. The event was inaugurated, by the Vice President of India Shri. M. Venkaiah Naidu. All the Master Speakers, Panelists and Delegates from across India and other Countries participated with the IIA in its endeavour to think beyond the normal way of doing things and discuss topics of transcending, resilience, innovation, inclusiveness and self-reliance.

The two day’s event started with the virtual inaugural ceremony addressed by Vice President of India Shri M Venkaiah Naidu. He called upon the architects of the country, to adopt and promote Green Architecture and also added that the use of renewable energy sources such as solar energy should get implemented in the upcoming building projects. Lastly, he urged the community, to develop smart cities and to realise PM Modi’s dream of housing for all, while preserving the heritage and local sensibilities of each area, and engaging immensely talented local craftsman and artisans who are struggling to keep our culture alive.

IIA Natcon 2020 was made invaluable by industry stalwarts who spoke on 6 sessions over the two days and was attended by people from across the country. The Prominent speakers include Ar. Rahul Mehrotra (Founder RMA Architects), Mr. Marion Weiss & Ms. Michael Manfredi (WEISS/MANFREDI), Mr. Sonam Wangchuk (Engineer & Founder, SECMOL, Ladakh) and Ar. Moshe Safdie (Safdie Architects).

The first day’s program had three sessions – TRANSCEND, RESILIENCE and INNOVATION which were joined by industry leaders such as Ar. Jelle Therry Ramboll (Ramboll Studio), Ar. Sanjay Mohe (Mindspace Architects), Ar. Rita Soh (President of ARCASIA), Ar. Debatosh Sahu (Espace), Ar. Naresh Narasimhan (Venkataramanan Associates), Ar. Parul Zaveri (Abhikram), Ar. Vivek Bhole (Neo Modern Arch), Ar. Mitesh Dixit (Domain), Ar. Jit Kumar Gupta (Architect & Townplanner), Ar.Krishna Rao Jaisim (Fountainhead), Ar. Monolita Chatterjee (Design Combine), Ar. Vaissnavi Shukl (GSD), Ar. Sheila Sriprakash (Shilpa Architects) and Ar. Azmi Wadia (Azmi & Sarosh Wadia).

The keynote speaker for IIA Natcon Transcend Ar. Rahul Mehrotra (Founder of RMA Architects) talked about the Covid19 migrant crisis and said “it was unquestionably inhumane, which is evidence that the biggest design challenge going forward will be to design for ‘flux’”.

He believes the most important question to be addressed today pertains to how architects must re-embed themselves in society.

The first session saw an enthralling panel discussion where the panelist spoke on the connection between the built and unbuilt spaces, the pandemic playing a role in how the future of architecture needs to shape up and focus, its response to the unbuilt environment as well as the health impact of the built spaces on the user. The second-panel discussion veered around resilience and the unpredictability that the pandemic has brought about. Architect Mitesh Dixit of Domain averred that architecture is no longer valued by what is done or whom it addresses but what drives it is the profit it offers. The third and the final session for the day saw the idea of innovation through four women architects.

The Day 2 of IIA Natcon 2020 was based on the themes – INCLUSIVENESS, SELF RELIANCE AND INCLUSIVENESS & INNOVATION. These sessions were joined by industry leaders such as Ar. Biju Kuriakose (ArchitectureRED), Ar.Sameep Padora (sP+a), Ar. Abin Chaudhuri (Abin Design Studio), Ar. Vinayak Bharne (Moule & Polyzoides Architects), Ar. Leena Kumar (Kumar Consultant), Ar. Divya Kush (President of IIA), Ar. Habeeb Khan (President of COA), Ar. Jabeen Zacharias (President of IIID), Mr. V.Suresh (Chairman of IGBC), Mr. Satish Magar (President of CREDAI), Ar. Tushar Sogani (TSDPL), Ar. Amarja Nimbalkar (Amarja Nimbalkar Associates), Ar. Michael Samuelian (Samuelian Consulting LLC), Ar. Ameet Babbar (Babbar & Babbar Architects) and Ar. Fahed Majeed (Amarja Nimbalkar Associates).

The panel discussions themed around inclusiveness focused on the challenges and possibilities of building inclusive societies, public spaces and cities and with the role of architects in bringing about this change. Some of the issues posed to the panelists were – How can an architect be a catalyst to facilitate this culture of inclusiveness through sustainable solutions? How do we address an increasingly challenging socio-political environment?

The panelists talked on the most pressing topics of this time. Ar. C R Raju, Jt Hon. Secretary, IIA, moderated an enthralling panel discussion on self-reliance. The panelist on the session pointed to how self-reliance has been an integral part of vernacular architecture and traditional practices that unfortunately has been lost to globalisation. The panel discussion veering around the evolving new avenues in architecture shed some light on how technology is the future in terms of changing cities and altering design where buildings can become more flexible, adaptable and smarter in their use. It would also aid in understanding how a smarter design can be executed with a computer as against a hand drawing.

This year the sessions surpassed the boundaries of social inequality and inadequate habitat for the needy. The Natcon featured expert talks by internationally renowned Architects and panel discussion on the range of topics that are related to the profession of the society. Each of the sessions presented a unique perspective. The Transcend allowed the stalwarts to discuss and take collective steps from this quiescent period to perceive to rebuild and equitable and Inclusive environment to serve the aspirations of all sections of the society.

Lastly, to mark the closure of NATCON 2020: Transcend a 32 minutes musical extravaganza was put together comprising 43 architects on the tabla, guitar, flute, keyboard and vocals, of course, shortlisted from 100 entries from across the country.


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