the following statement was written
by me at UWC Atlantic College
& London in 2012
My tools are philosophy and art; with those I draw my keen interest in architecture. Exteriors and interiors, like faces and minds, create spaces in which people, ideas and artists survive. Form and function seems another terminology that encompasses this thought. I have existed as a nomad since I can remember, therefore my existence in places, and spaces, are landmarks of my life’s journey. Every city: Kolkata to Singapore, Kuala Lumpur to Amsterdam, have all impacted my personality as I have fed from their contrasts. Pursuing the IB became again another opportunity for change; hence I changed my environment, and chose to leave my bedroom in Holland, and enter an international bedroom of four, allowing into an apparent cavity stimulus from around the world at the United World College of the Atlantic. Suddenly a limiting personal environment forced my mind to stretch; my exterior thinned as my interior expanded. I built in me outlets where once there was a thick debris of ideas, establishing a purpose for my being. As Ernest Dimnet once said, “Architecture, of all the arts, is the one that acts the most slowly, but most surely, on the soul.” From personal experience, I know this to be true, as my immediate natural and built surroundings have affected my conscience the most. Architecture is in my opinion the closest an artist can get to God by means of facilitating life on land: being a part of the faculty for the built environment.
In my view, architecture is directly related to society and culture. It is an art form, which gives geographical locations personality by impacting the needs of people. Art has been a consistent area of growth for me, which is what lead me to study it as a part of my IB. After the first year I was compelled to attend summer school in the University of the Arts London, which exposed me to many artists’ work as well as the atmosphere of being an art student in the respective disciplines: painting, film and media, fashion, design and spatial design. I found spatial design most intriguing, as it required not just an idea, but a growth of ideas: it exercised imagination in a cohesive manner, where life was added to every discipline and brought together to produce art which could be touched, walked through and had the ability to physically control emotions. Along with summer school, I took advantage of living in Holland and started visiting an architectural organization called Stroom where I attended two lectures: ‘Utopia and Architecture from Plato to Koolhaas’ and ‘Making sense and nonsense of the (near future) Sentient City.’ They increased both my knowledge and curiosity in the field complementing my interest in architecture with philosophy and society.
My interest in philosophy is an umbrella for literature, sociology and even politics, and this I use to inform film. Curiously, the links between practicing architecture and creating film were not obvious to me before. Having created films, one of which was screened at the British Film Institute at the 25th Lesbian and Gay Film Festival 2011, I knew I was fond of the immortal format and the eccentricity with which it could be used to convey thought. In architecture I find the similar sense of intuition is required in understanding how to manipulate a space, with the same degree of liberty in creating depth, forming direction or even limiting or expanding upon knowledge as a means of defining an ideal.
Becoming increasingly interested in architecture I continued ceramics and took part in my college’s architecture activity, which involved students interested in architecture coming together to draw, share perspectives, give critique and ultimately construct our individual architectural visions. It allowed me to learn not only about drawing and architecture in various countries but also the actual psyche that differentiates my creative vision from that of my peers, which often again has a socio-economical and cultural influence, alongside an aesthetic.
Due to this socio-economic influence and responsibility I feel that the art form can directly impact I would like to eventually work as an architect in the fields of development and sustainable design. In my high school career I was the President of MUN, which included attending THIMUN as a delegate of France for the Economic and Social Council as well as being chair of the ECOSOC Committee at Atlantic College’s MUN. At the American School of The Hague I worked on the SustainASH Group to make the school more eco-friendly. At Atlantic College I worked with two friends to draw a proposal for AC Solar, a scheme for the school to generate its own electricity using solar panels. I also worked in the pioneering team for a student initiated Environmental NGO called Project Possible, which is no longer running now. However, being part of a team and working in positions of leadership has taught me to communicate ideas effectively and learn from those around me.
Having an inventory of interests, I would want to make my training as an architect transferable to other fields of work I would like to partake in. As what I call my nomadic existence has essentially influenced both my art and myself, I want to use my emotional tools to develop my cerebral tools in order to create similar spaces for others to grow creatively and be able to give back, as I hope to do myself in the near & current future.
Note I'm adding in 2023: I foreshadowed my own future, even though everything changed and didn't go exactly as planned. I have now created that space, for myself and others, and I defend it fiercely - MZL. Read more under performing art.