Statement of Purpose: Masters of Sustainable
Design                       Maitreyee
Milind Muley

I believe in the power-idea/essence of Architecture and Living
Environment in constantly changing lives of human beings. For me, the
essence of a design is as important as how it looks aesthetically, but also how
strongly it is built and carried forward with keeping in mind to design for the
present with an awareness of the past for a future which is essentially
unknown.

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Reflecting on my educational experiences, the five
years of my study in Bachelors of Architecture from a renowned institution from
University of Nagpur, gave me the opportunity to explore different and actual
world of architecture right from its basics. In my first critical
exposure to Urban Planning and Design, as a student of the fourth year of
Architecture, I got an opportunity to work on the documentation of the Tibetan
settlements in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, India as a part of curriculum. This
studio helped me in exploring the basics of Urban Planning and Design as
subjects as well as an
exposure to Sustainable materials and techniques as it lies in the northern
part of India where climate plays an important role to design. In the
final year of my undergrad, the dissertation
topic was selected giving emphasis on the places where people usually don’t
tend to go physically as everything can be done with the virtual social media.
After observing Nagpur city keenly, my emphasis was on developing the existing
science center by adding, altering and reframing the activities. The main
thrust was on the Intelligent Building Design strategies and climate responsive
architecture to design the project. Hence, I felt that it was Urban Planning
and Design, which I had a latent crave for.

After having one year work experience in architectural
design worked on several projects like designing and execution of a bungalow, a
school, also worked on two three interior design related projects which gave me
concrete platform in the field of architecture. This exposure lead me to
explore allied professions related to architecture, after studying the building form in its isolation; I researched more on my
special interest in the study of their groups with respect to their urban setting, social and
environmental context.

I took a step forward in my milestones, to pursue my Masters of
Architecture degree in specialization with the emerging field Urban Design from
one of the most renowned architectural schools from Mumbai University. Two
years of academic training in Urban Design transformed my instinctive
imagination about Urban Design into systematic and comprehensive knowledge. During
this master’s course of my education, we worked in groups for the local studios
held in the college. Right from first semester studio, where the objective was
to read cities through the lens of Italo Calvino’s book chapters and to
represent and map the various layers of making a city. To the second semester
studio, ‘Bhubaneswar Studio: Evolving Strategies for the Incremental
Development of the Urban Poor’ curated by SPARC, TISS and UDRC (Study housing
under PMAY in assistance with UDRC) the objective was to map & document the
slum housing in Bhubaneswar & Cuttack, Orissa & provide affordable
strategies for the same. To the third semester studio, ‘Mumbai Local Studio:
Developing Methods for Participatory Local Area Planning for an area under
Special Planning Authority’, this project was to explore and develop various
methods & tools for the local area planning for an area in the city of
Mumbai. It was expected to follow a participated approach for the
investigation, mapping and documentation. Hence various stakeholders, their
claims, conflicts and aspirations were supposed to be mapped. Coming down to
the dissertation in the last semester of my post graduate study, ‘Strategies
for Integrating the Existing Rehabilitation Settlements (As an Impact of SEZ on
Project Affected People)’ the emphasis was on the day to day urbanization and
development. This thesis explores the prospects & problems of emergence of
Special Economic Zones due to urbanization, causing macro as well micro level
impacts on the surroundings life. Using Normative and Analytical dimension
approach through the parameters of Urban Design, the investigation for the
thesis was carried out to know the impacts of the SEZ & the post
implementation evaluation for the project affected people & rehabilitated
zones. This thesis attempts to develop a User Manual based guidelines for the
Rehabilitated zones as an impact of SEZ on Project Affected People. This
experience of master’s study of two years lead to learn many different ways for
how to keep intact the existing settings, policies, materials, and
transformations, structural sciences that urban design divides into,
but I felt the need for
sustainable urban development which is a prerequisite for creating a
sustainable city, as the basic matrix of the city required for life and the
future of the city..

Adding as a part of curriculum and extra curriculum activities, my
curious instincts drew me to several creative activities affiliated with
‘National Association of Students of Architecture’ (NASA) and ‘Building
Inclusive Urban Communities under European Union’ (BINUCOm) Erasmus+ Program
throughout my undergraduate and post-graduate education.

Coming back to my hometown, I started
observing with a critical mindset and exposure towards the city, I realized
that architecture and urban design to be an essential part of the growth going
hand in hand, nevertheless,
sustainable architecture and sustainable resources are completely ignored,
because it might be unprofitable in a given time. Energy efficiency is
important as a essential for the survival of human society. While
working on the latest urban level project in the office which I am currently
associated with in the city of Nagpur, the project is about the ‘Development at Futala lake for multimedia
nighttime spectacular shows’ the project is basically a lake side development
for the users which involves people from various background like
government officers, social workers, architects, urban designers, urban
planners. This experience is helping me in understanding the functioning of
governmental and non-governmental systems, design principles of a street
development keeping in mind its users and the responsibilities of an urban
designer and the
importance and awareness of sustainable development while working on this
project.

 

Also the dissertation for post graduate study
which I did was basically on the same lines of growth and urbanization and it is
still an ongoing project. These examples which I came across in my experience
till date, I believe that there is a lot to happen, the growth at the urban level is maximizing with respect to all
urbanized issues and development. In coming few years there is a lot of
development in accordance with how to best use its land and resources with an
eye towards future growth and revitalization. I believe that the
solution to this problem is provision of affordable housing, better housing
policies, economic development, better recreational and transport facilities.
However, the requisite amount of knowledge in the field of sustainable design
is required to reap the benefits of these solutions is lacking. Hence, I feel
the urge to go in deep to gain knowledge and to do research in the field of sustainable
design and development.

 

It is for this lack of knowledge and
expertise that I aspire to
attend Savannah College of art and design. Gaining a Masters of Design for
Sustainability degree from Savannah College of art and design will help me
understand and address the problems effectively with the already gained
knowledge in the field of Urban Design. I wish to attend courses such as
Landscape Design for Urban Design, Economics
of Urban and Regional Development, Sustainable Design, Emerging Urban
Issues. These
courses will help me understand and address the issues faced by many cities.
The most important aspect of urban development is the economic development of
that particular area or region. Exposure to the economic development strategies
in the United States of America will help me understand and address the
problems faced by developing countries in the future. The city of Savannah,
being a vibrant and aesthetical and originated on Savannah River has taken a
great initiative to develop the living for all kinds of users. The experience
of living in Savannah city and studying at SCAD will grant me an opportunity to
observe and experience the problems and prospects of sustainable development. Learning
and Observing these studies will help me in devising policies and address
similar problems which have arisen in India through research being a very
important part of the study.

 

I will bring an Indian perspective to the
academic field at SCAD  and contribute to
the class with the professional experience I have gathered over the past 1.5
years and the master’s experience of two years in the field of Urban Design.
Further, in association with SCAD, I seek to identify root causes of rapid
urbanization in India and try to apply the processes of sustainable development
as a whole and to go further for the research in continuation.

 

Having studied at SCAD, I aspire to visit
developing countries and work with governmental and non – governmental
organizations involved in sustainable designing of cities. Subsequently, I
intend to return to Nagpur, my home town and to
give my contribution in the field of Urban Design and Sustainable design for
clean and friendly environment, housing with proper infrastructure starting
from micro level to the macro level, considering all the needs and development of
common people. Also, I would like to communicate with people at large and
sometimes in particular, through my architectural designing and planning as
ultimately effective communication at every level is essence of success, growth
and development.

 

The knowledge and exposure
gathered at SCAD will help me greatly in contributing not only to the other
parts of the world, but also in researching and addressing various issues back
to the country and fulfill my aspiration of being a successful Urban Designer
as well as Sustainable Designer. I take this opportunity to present my
candidacy for The Design for Sustainability in program at your esteemed
institute.