Smita Dalvi

With this issue, the Tekton Journal enters its tenth year of publication. It has been an incredible journey for everyone involved in its conception and running. The journal has strived to bring together so many seasoned and budding researchers to share their studies, views, reviews and opinions with the community of architecture. This has all the signs of becoming a very valuable archive of so many different research directions pursued by scholars who have engaged with the built environment with their unique lens and dealt with a variety of concerns.

Many students and academics are drawn to the country’s rich historical legacy. Medieval towns and their built fabric contain valuable architectural and urban nuances which they try to decipher or unravel with a conviction that doing so has a relevance for the present and the future. Three papers in this issue appear to follow this line of thinking wherein the authors have variously examined the traditional water systems, environmental response of haveli, and elements of urban form, in the historical towns of Bijapur, Kathiawad and Jaipur respectively. We can ask a question as to why there is a never fading appeal in studying the past urban forms. Is it due to the disenchantment with the present state of architecture in our modern cities? If that is so, we must remember that mere documentation or romanticising of the bygone times is not going to cut as valid type of research, more so if the conclusions have nothing new to add to what is already known. The inquiry will have to be critical, inter-disciplinary and using creative methodologies such that the research brings forth new knowledge which can have a bearing on the way we imagine our cities and buildings today.

In this issue, we are featuring five papers that were earlier presented in a National Digital Conference on Sustainability in Architecture, Planning and Technology, held between 28th February 2023 and 1st March 2023, organised by Bharati Vidyapeeth College of Architecture, Pune. At the conclusion of the conference, the authors were asked to write full length papers and submit to Tekton for possible publication. From the submissions received by us, as per our policy, we short-listed a few relevant works for a detailed peer review and editorial review, and they were asked to revise the papers accordingly. The featured papers are the ones that satisfactorily completed the review and revision process. We acknowledge the efforts of the institute and the convenors Prof. Mukta Latkar-Talwalkar and Dr. Priya Bangle in organising the conference and encouraging the participants to submit their work for our consideration.

There are following papers included in this issue:

Chinmayi Mali, et el. In their paper document their experiments aimed at increasing the strength of adobe blocks made of black cotton soil which is abundantly available in parts of Maharashtra but is not strong enough. However, if suitable additives as stabilisers are identified, blocks made from it can become an affordable source for building in the relatively poor regions of the state. The paper documents the results of trying out several mixtures with varying compositions to identify the most suitable one to serve the purpose.

Srajati Tiwari, in her paper invokes cultural, social, and architectural significance of historical towns and cities and seeks a possibility to revive the neglected potential. For this, she uses a multi-disciplinary approach and a concept of Loci – The Reawakening Path to achieve social inclusion and sustainable development. The paper showcases case studies on the integration of public interactive spaces, such as Chaupars and Chowks, in Jaipur. It emphasizes the engagement of local communities, particularly indigenous social communities, in understanding and preserving the spirit of place.

Rucha Trivedi and Archana Gaikwad in their paper argue that most studies that analyse traditional houses for climate responsiveness lack scientific approach and generally are descriptive without any framework of analysis. With a wide variety of house forms, it is worth analysing various strategies used to respond to specific climate. In their paper, they propose a framework to analyse climatic responsiveness of traditional house form in warm and humid climates. Using this framework, a traditional Kathiawadi haveli is analysed by them while also triangulating the findings using other methods such as recording climatic data and interviewing users.

Mansi Patil and Neha Masalekar have studied the current practices for wind farm siting and operation along with comparative analysis of case studies and focused interviews with experts both in Global and Indian context to understand ecological planning approach for on shore wind farms sites. They aim to provide qualitative solutions for devising integrated ecological management and planning approach for on shore wind farm sites. In their paper they have analysed the existing condition of 3rd largest Indian wind farm at Brahmanvel, Dhule in Maharashtra.

Shruti Deogiri in her paper writes about the traditional water structures of Bijapur created during the Adilshahi period as an excellent system of water management. Her study focuses on the present water scenario and to overcome the shortage with the help of traditional water management and conservation techniques. It attempts to identify and map the medieval water systems to meet the present need and to know the socio-cultural background of the city with the context of the usage of the water. It also discusses all the options, the potential to revive these traditional water systems, and recommend the course of action to overcome the present water scarcity at its best levels.

Smita Dalvi, PhD
July, 2023

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