Architecture Practice Strategies During the Pandemic 2020

The paper titled “Practice Strategies During The Pandemic 2020”, has a focus on the younger and emerging practices alongside a few established senior ones, in the major metros of Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi and Hyderabad in addition to tier II cities too. The article aims to highlight the globally and nationally unexpected economic boot camps into which Indian architectural practice found itself due to the unfortunate outbreak of COVID-19.

Share Post:

Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email

Architecture Practice Strategies During the Pandemic 2020 2

 

The Brief

 

At ArchitectureLive!, we are working on a curatorial article collating the resiliency ideas strategized by various young and older Architectural Practices across India, during the Pandemic in 2020. The paper titled “Practice Strategies During The Pandemic 2020”, has a focus on the younger and emerging practices alongside a few established senior ones, in the major metros of Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi and Hyderabad in addition to tier II cities too. The article aims to highlight the globally and nationally unexpected economic boot camps into which Indian architectural practice found itself due to the unfortunate outbreak of COVID-19.

Upon that note, we aim to connect with some Indian architectural firms and request them to share their stories of challenges unfurled in their practice as we all ventured into the uncharted path of a pandemic stimulated recession. We also follow up by documenting ideas generated by the offices to tackle the situation and get back up to speed with pre-pandemic or any novel post-pandemic practice routines too. Our objective in this documentation effort is to bring to light the resiliency ideas from different corners of the profession in our country, with supplementary stories of how the lockdown influenced different practices. This article is also an invitation calling offices to share their experiences of any benefits, issues and measures of sustenance during the pandemic, to publish with our article at ArchitectureLive!.


 

The Background Study

 

Global and national economic challenges seen during the pandemic

As we witnessed the year 2020 bring most work cycles into a hiatus, the global development watchdogs labelled this phase as the largest economic crisis seen in decades. The World Bank, for instance, estimated a 5.2 % contraction in the global GDP levels (Global Economic Prospects Report), in June 2020. This rate is nearly twice the prediction of global GPD growth rates for the year 2020. Parallelly, the International Monetary Fund also pointed at an already weak growth in October 2019, at the time of which the COVID-19 outbreak was brewing to bring us to the unprecedented global pause. In India, the national income estimates for March to June 2020, showed a major contraction in all sectors, including construction and allied areas. These reports also asserted that India is on the brink of officially entering an economic crisis.

 

The state of Construction and allied production areas during the pandemic in India

India, said to have had strict lockdown measures after promulgating pandemic and disaster management laws which were a restraint to our routine activities. On that note, the sectors allied to the Architecture and construction saw a steep fall. The construction sector experienced a contraction of 50.3% as opposed to the 5.2% growth in 2019. The manufacturing sector saw a contraction of 39.3 percent in April-June of 2020, against a growth of 3 percent in the same period a year ago. And finally the Financial, real estate and professional services experienced a contraction of 5.3%, over a 6% growth in 2019. 

 

The questions posed to Architecture practice

The Council advised all architecture firms and colleges to close down for a couple of weeks initially, when the outbreak was new. Unexpectedly, it extended to beyond six months. The progress with areas of architecture practice such as the on-site progresses, client relations, in-studio and contracted staff, construction laborers and more, appeared to have been hindered. Largely seen, some challenges were shrinking of monetary resources which typically rendered budding designers and their teams uncertain for the professional course ahead. 

As site staff and contracts were seen to pause and disintegrate a labour network too, a looming migrant worker crisis unfurled adding to the built environment’s woes. In addition, infrastructure work by state authorities and bodies were also halted leaving the associated designers and consultants stranded with paused commissions. Architectural internships were also halted, affecting academic opportunities.

 

Measures by the Council of Architecture

The Central Government released elaborate safety measures to be followed by everyone for the lockdown and post lockdown period. Drawn from them, the Council of Architecture, India, released a system of operation (SOP) for Architectural Firms and Institutions. The President of the COA sent his personal word in multiple letters to implement the safety measures in order to avoid any unforeseen harm amongst students and architects alike. The COA office was also announced as closed and all license registrations and any grievance redressals would happen through emails. 

The president of the COA followed up by encouraging the colleges and offices to adopt new methods of operations such as online examinations and work-from-home. In addition to this, the COA also prompted everyone to digitize all communications like meetings and other professional and casual gatherings. The SOP also highlighted the necessity to sterilise all office spaces and advised all architectural and non-architectural working staff of the colleges and offices to use personal transport. All measures put together alluded to the need of a novel pandemic and post pandemic modus operandi for architectural practice and education. 

 

References:

First Advance Estimates of National Income, 2019-20 (pib.gov.in)

Press Information Bureau (pib.nic.in)

The Global Economic Outlook During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Changed World (worldbank.org)

World Economic Outlook (imf.org)

GDP Q1FY21 data: All sectors barring agriculture contract (moneycontrol.com)

Which are the world’s biggest economies by GDP? | World Economic Forum (weforum.org)

The Distributional Impact of Recessions: the Global Financial Crisis and the Pandemic Recession (imf.org)

Lessons from the Global Financial Crisis in the Age of COVID-19 (imf.org)

Pandemic Could Erase More Global Wealth Than Financial Crisis – Bloomberg

Global Financial Stability In Pandemic Aided By Financial Crisis Reforms, Says FSB (forbes.com)

ILO warns: Pandemic to worsen global unemployment to 25 million – Manila Standard

COVID-19: Stimulating the economy and employment: ILO: COVID-19 causes devastating losses in working hours and employment

An economist explains what COVID-19 has done to the economy | World Economic Forum (weforum.org)

Context: A world in lockdown – Global Energy Review 2020 – Analysis – IEA

India GDP Q1 Growth Rate Data 2020: India’s economic growth slips 23.9% in Q1 of 2020-21 (indianexpress.com)

Analysis: How Secure are Construction Workers in India During COVID-19 Pandemic? | Centre for Policy Research (cprindia.org)

www.coa.gov.in

Comments from architects and students (from Chennai and Hyderabad) on how the altered state of practice and education appeared during the lockdown.

One Reply to “Architecture Practice Strategies During the Pandemic 2020”

  1. Hi we are very young conservation architect form working on real site restoration of 150 year old live cultural site.
    I would like to know that how we can ne part of all community.
    Anyways we can connect with forum?
    Kindly suggest.
    Your all collation is great and we would like to be part of it.
    Regards

Share your comments

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

You May Also Like

Earth House, at Kanakapura, Bangalore, India, by Svamitva Architecture Studio

Earth House, at Kanakapura, Bangalore, India, by Svamitva Architecture Studio

Situated in a 28 acre site, the Terravana also called the Earth house is a design intervention that travels along the lines of earth and sustainability. In a plot size of 34.4×60 ft the unit focuses on a minimum footprint integrated with greenery. The interior setting transcends with the Pairing of age old technique of lime plastering with mid-century themed furniture. With delicately chosen décor that complements the theme of wellness and the colour palette of natural tones exhibits strength, sound and health. – Svamitva Architecture Studio

Read More »
Studio Emerald

Happy Head, at Hyderabad, by Studio Emerald

Tucked into the affluent neighborhood of Film Nagar – Hyderabad, Happy Head is a wellness destination that prides itself on being the primary and sole branch of its kind in the Indian context. The country’s first I.V. Clinic, this venue is a collaborative alliance amidst its founder who has a celebrated presence in the hospitality genre and the team at Studio Emerald. 

Read More »
LOUVERED HOUSE, at Bangalore, by White Shadows Design Studio

LOUVERED HOUSE, at Bangalore, by White Shadows Design Studio

The house was designed for a textile businessman from Rajasthan whose family spans three generations. The design brief consisted of three luxurious bedrooms, ample living spaces, entertainment and service areas.

The 30’X40’ site located in a growing residential area and flanked by dense multi dwellings on three sides, has a road to the West thus creating a design challenge.- White Shadows Design Studio

Read More »
Cinema Multiplex | 6 Screens, at Pacific D21 Mall | Dwarka | New Delhi, by ivpartners

Cinema Multiplex | 6 Screens, at Pacific D21 Mall | Dwarka | New Delhi, by ivpartners

The capital’s new sub-city of Dwarka is coming as the next international diplomatic hub. Brimming with new developments and destination retail experiences it is being developed under the Smart City project. Located on the Metro interchange station this mall is home to a six-screen mega multiplex. Circumscribing a large atrium, the cinema is fronted by retail & flanked by a generous food court. Here, the design narrative needed an elegant new approach speaking a vibrant modernist language in luxury entertainment. – ivpartners

Read More »

Subscribe to Architecture and Design Updates