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Architects must blend traditional wisdom & modern science, with eye on sustainability: Naidu
By TOG News Service
Feb 29, 2020

TOG NEWS SERVICE, MAMALLAPURAM, FEB 29, 2020: THE Vice President of India, Mr M Venkaiah Naidu yesterday called upon all architects and town planners to keep conservation and sustainability at the core of all their plans. He wanted them to amalgamate tradition and technology to improve the built environment and also work towards sustainable development. Interacting with students of the College of Architecture and Sculpture in Mamallapuram, Tamil Nadu, he urged students to strive to safeguard and promote the invaluable culture and heritage of the country. He wanted them to blend traditional wisdom with modern science, in their respective disciplines.

Talking about the world heritage site Mamallapuram, Mr Naidu said that the place stands testimony to India's great heritage and that the Pallava sculptures of Mamallapuram and temple monuments such as the Shore temple, Ratha temples, Cave temples , and Arjuna's Penance or Descent of the Ganges exhibit a rare grace and balance, besides the grandeur of architecture. The Vice President opined that there could not be a better place for an Architecture and Sculpture college to be located. He said that one could not only see the great diversity of architecture but also see its evolution in these monuments.

Stressing the need to promote eco-friendly green buildings that use less water and optimize energy, Mr Naidu urged all professionals involved in designing new buildings to take full advantage of digital technology to build ‘smart buildings' with automated operations. He asked architecture students to find innovative solutions to address the phenomenon of rapid urbanization and explore ways to create amenities in rural areas that were on par with urban centers.

The Vice President also advised students to read more about literature, art forms and gain more knowledge. He asked students to enhance their understanding of Indian art forms including sculpture. Mr Naidu also asked institutions such as the Architecture College to promote research and innovation that could make our cities happier and safer, and our buildings greener and more cost-effective and affordable. The Vice President also appreciated the Government of Tamil Nadu for encouraging students to pursue a career in crafts such as the sculpture by providing them training and skilling. Earlier in the day the Vice President visited Stucco (Sudhai), Stone, Metal and Wood Sculpture Work Studios, the Architecture (Brick) Work Studio and Traditional Painting Work Studio in the campus and saw the statue of Lord Venkateshwara.

Stating that sculpture was one of the best art forms to express Indian culture, Mr Naidu stressed the urgent need to recognize and promote the inherent skills hidden in youth. For this, the Vice President suggested incorporating skilling as an essential part of the education system. "Schooling and Skilling Must go together," he said. The Vice President appreciated Mamallapuram sculptors for using the hammer and-chisel technique for carving and also for following the time-consuming process enunciated in various Shilpa Shastras. He lauded the exceptional skills of the sculptors and their ability to replicate complex pieces of art of the Pallava era. "Immensely happy to have seen the work done by students of the Architecture and Sculpture College. A visit to this center of excellence in art and architecture makes me feel rejuvenated", the Vice President added.

During his visit, the Vice President also unveiled the statue of Saint poet and philosopher Thiruvalluvar in the institution's campus.

The Minister for Tamil Official Language, Tamil Culture and Archaeology, Mr K K Pandiarajan, Additional Chief Secretary to Government, Mr Ashok Dongre, and the Principal of Government College of Architecture and Sculpture, Mahabalipuram, Dr.Rajendran, and other faculty members were present during the Vice President's interaction with students.