Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Globalization, building technology and architecture

by Shashi Bhooshan

Are we losing control over our architecture, technology and sense of identity? Or are we developing ourselves to be masters of a postmodern global culture? Are we slowly succumbing to the pressures of an economic and cultural globalization or are we developing skills to inflect the global juggernaut to our ends?
This essay is an attempt to evaluate the current scenario of trends and changes taking place in architecture and construction industry and technology in India largely as a result of the on-going globalization of its economy. The hypothesis here is that technological changes are never neutral and is prompted not so much by economic compulsions alone, but more by external influences and cultural incursions of a global phenomenon. This I believe is first manifested in developing taste cultures and style in the name of superiority of a mythical ‘world class’ and creation of a sign system and myth supposed to be denoting world class and progress. It will be argued that by its very nature, the process, at least in the short run – I think, a fairly long short run even if that be so, will heighten the dichotomies with in the industry and social consumption of architecture as the cost of construction will be rising without commensurate increase in the affordability of large proportion of people. As a cultural phenomenon, if this will create a postmodern society, a la USA, or will it create social tensions in India is something which requires investigation and debate. For the purposes of this paper, we will restrict the arguments only to the building industry.

Globalization and architecture, photo by ultraBobban
more about globalization:

Globalisation, Cleaner Energy and Mega-Cities: Options and Messages for Turkey/Istanbul

The Missing Organizational Dimension in Urban Sociology

Boredom in a Globalized World

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