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Apeejay’s foundation made me follow my idealism of regenerative architecture: Tushar Mittal



Tushar Mittal

Tushar Mittal (30), an alumnus of AIT-SAP, batch 2008-2013, is the author of Book, “Beyond Sustainability: moving towards regenerative architecture” published in 2020. He did his masters from Singapore. He has worked in both private and public
institutions in India and Singapore. He has been involved in research on Additive Manufacturing with academia and won A’ Design Award in 2018 in Milan and has also served as a guest jury at National University of Singapore. He has co-founded his Regenerative Design practice, City Lab India along with his wife.

How do you see yourself in the Architecture world?

I consider myself a lifelong student of architecture as there’s so much to learn and appreciate that one has to always be eager and curious to know more. A long time back, my professor once told us in class, being curious is one of the most important skillsets that one can have. As without context and a desire to be curious, any facts or information received becomes analogous to a person providing a phone number: entering it into short-term memory for immediate use, but having that knowledge depart just as rapidly. 

I personally believe in the autonomy of architecture as a discipline which means that part of the purpose of architecture is to construct new forms of knowledge that relate to the advancement of the discipline itself. The aspect of knowledge creation through architecture is interesting as well as challenging but indeed something for which the society as a whole can appreciate the role of architects in society. 

There are many thought leaders who believe architecture is way beyond its boundary and transcends further, similar to a complex machine that as a whole works perfectly but individually each nut and bolt is essential for its functioning. I am a firm believer in this philosophy which transcends me towards ‘Regenerative Design’.

How important is sustainable architecture?
Sustainability has set the right foundation for the discourse on limited resources, human actions, and their repercussions on the environment. But it has failed to raise the conversation beyond this and confined itself to ‘let’s be better’ than what we are.
That’s why I make an argument for going beyond sustainability and regenerative architecture, which is the progression. To sustain is not merely enough in the present scenario and it needs a major overhaul.

What made you inclined towards regenerative architecture?
I think it’s the natural progression for anyone who understands the carbon footprint contribution of the construction industry and how we as architects need to be a lot more responsible about the way we construct and define the scope of projects.
Regenerative Architecture(RA)  as the name suggests is about restorative justice in the context of the built world. It is the practice of engaging with the natural world that forms the building block of architecture.  It uses limited resources and works on replenishing and enhancing our environment. RA is process-oriented that takes the approach of systems thinking where the needs of the community, along with the integrity of nature are at the forefront of design.

How was your experience of having global exposure?
The globalized economy has created an urgent need to form a globalized outlook today and I am glad that I decided to pursue my Masters from National University of Singapore. It opened new avenues for learning from not just college but also people from diverse backgrounds. It brought fresh perspective to many of the things that I thought were the norm that has helped to trigger new passions.

What made you write a book?
This was a passion project from my bucket list that I was always working on in the background of my day-to-day hustle but Lockdown last year did provide good enough time to introspect and put many of my learnings into writing. The idea was simply to share my understanding on the subject of ‘sustainability in architecture and how we need to go beyond the jargon of the green accreditation agency and the economy that drives it. I am glad that I was able to put forward my thoughts and have received some great responses and feedback not just from the design fraternity but other professionals as well.

Values and learnings you got from Apeejay?
Apeejay has set the right foundation for a lifelong journey in architecture practice and like a building, it is the most vital component that would ensure longevity. Some teachers are still my mentors and I get advice from them. I have gained valuable lessons from peers, seniors, and juniors many of which have transformed into a lifelong friendship.

“An architect, who is a city planner needs to be political, thinker, visionary and have opinions.”

-Tushar Mittal 

Asst Editor ( Newsroom ), who has an experience of a decade in core journalism. Credibility, courage, timelines and media ethics are some of her professional traits.You can reach her at: [email protected]