2014. I wasn’t as open to the idea of the study of building, construction and cities, as I understood it. I definitely had the aptitude. I could draw a straight line on an A4 sheet and had a vague idea of complimentary colours. Straight into School of Planning & Architecture, Vijayawada , a two hour lecture about a dot on a plane didn’t hold any relevance or importance to me mainly because I was ill-read of the subject and unaware about how it was going to affect me. Doing countless number of sheets without any aim, I felt like I was whiling away my time for no reason. I was too lazy to ask questions but in retrospect, I’m glad I didn’t. Design is like the music on my playlist in so many ways. Fine art yet Subjective. The beauty lies in the difference of each song, each straight line in this case. Many say there are principles that define the science of Urban Planning and it might take me a while to understand it and philosophies I link them to. That is when it will all start to make sense.
It will be very unfortunate if I cannot look back at my four years at design school and not remember the valuable quotes from lectures or workshops that, in the end, will teach me the value of this art. I find myself lucky that I found out about this early enough because now in class, I end up writing the words that have a purpose of more than just exams.
Just like your favourite song playing during that perfect sunset by the sea, it is overwhelming at times. You realise that it is all a part of the oldest story that was ever written; that every human, social and cultural condition continues to influence built form, habitable space and working of cities.
Planning is design. A very cohesive term. Good design to me would mean great aesthetic with quotient that is either well defined or exists without a limit. I’m not sure I would be a planner in practice for the rest of my life but I’m certain there will always be moments in my life where I look fixedly at a facade of a great building or the interiors of a tiny cafe for a moment or two longer than a normal person only to be interrupted by the smell of well made coffee and cheesecake.
Author: SaiSiri Nallaparaju, a planning student from SPA Vijayawada