In the context of growing concern towards human – nature conflict, the way our cities are being built, and the way equality and ecology are neglected in our current development paradigm, a value-based approach like Responsible Building becomes the need of the hour. Responsible Building is a design concept, whereby the process of building or construction (be it living spaces, furniture, fabric etc.) is done with a sense of minimising adverse ecological, social and economic effects – at all stages of building life cycle – planning, sourcing material, technology use, engaging workforce, use of energy and natural resources, management of waste and so on.
As designers and practitioners, we are often aware of the ill-effects of disregarding environmental factors but have little or no control over these given our marginalised positions. There are umpteen examples of alternative design solutions and indigenous / traditional wisdom which can help us achieve sustainable goals. However, we are often bound by external systems such as government policies or dominant market practices.
To effectively contribute towards a socio-ecological transformation process, an engaged and dedicated group of 25 established designers, architects, planners and social entrepreneurs came together to undertake a rigorous 15 days training course on Transformational Capacity Development Programme (TCDP). The training was organised in three parts over a duration of three months. In between the trainings, the group networked in triads, continuing to practice the tools they learned at the training and refining their Breakthrough Initiatives (BTIs). A BTI is a commitment from each of the participating professional on creating a Responsible Building example through their work, using TCDP.
The TCDP process enables change makers to conceive initiatives that simultaneously in time solves problems, shifts systems and creates new patterns. The tools used in the training are meant to bring about a paradigm shift in the way the designers look at themselves; at complex systems within which they operate; and at ways of designing interventions for getting sustainable results. It goes beyond finding technical solutions to complex societal struggles, and deep dives into combining technical knowledge with personal values.
The three-part training took place from July - September 2018 at Anandgram, Sanskriti Kendra, in New Delhi. The concept partner for the trainings was Eco-Logical Foundation (ELF) based in New Delhi. The training was conducted by Gulan Kripalani. The BTIs were graphically documented by Santosh Nair and Ajay Gupta from CloudsandArrows, and were literally weaved into an impressive collage towards the end of the training workshop.
FES and ELF plan to bring out a compilation of all the BTIs along with Video testimonies of the participants on the transformative journey they undertook during these three months. Look out for more on these on our website in the coming months.
For photos from the training workshop, follow the link.