Statement of Purpose: Masters of Sustainable Design Maitreyee Milind

Statement of Purpose: Masters of SustainableDesign                       MaitreyeeMilind MuleyI believe in the power-idea/essence of Architecture and LivingEnvironment in constantly changing lives of human beings. For me, theessence of a design is as important as how it looks aesthetically, but also howstrongly it is built and carried forward with keeping in mind to design for thepresent with an awareness of the past for a future which is essentiallyunknown.Reflecting on my educational experiences, the fiveyears of my study in Bachelors of Architecture from a renowned institution fromUniversity of Nagpur, gave me the opportunity to explore different and actualworld of architecture right from its basics. In my first criticalexposure to Urban Planning and Design, as a student of the fourth year ofArchitecture, I got an opportunity to work on the documentation of the Tibetansettlements in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, India as a part of curriculum. Thisstudio helped me in exploring the basics of Urban Planning and Design assubjects as well as anexposure to Sustainable materials and techniques as it lies in the northernpart of India where climate plays an important role to design.

In thefinal year of my undergrad, the dissertationtopic was selected giving emphasis on the places where people usually don’ttend to go physically as everything can be done with the virtual social media.After observing Nagpur city keenly, my emphasis was on developing the existingscience center by adding, altering and reframing the activities. The mainthrust was on the Intelligent Building Design strategies and climate responsivearchitecture to design the project.

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Hence, I felt that it was Urban Planningand Design, which I had a latent crave for.After having one year work experience in architecturaldesign worked on several projects like designing and execution of a bungalow, aschool, also worked on two three interior design related projects which gave meconcrete platform in the field of architecture. This exposure lead me toexplore allied professions related to architecture, after studying the building form in its isolation; I researched more on myspecial interest in the study of their groups with respect to their urban setting, social andenvironmental context. I took a step forward in my milestones, to pursue my Masters ofArchitecture degree in specialization with the emerging field Urban Design fromone of the most renowned architectural schools from Mumbai University. Twoyears of academic training in Urban Design transformed my instinctiveimagination about Urban Design into systematic and comprehensive knowledge. Duringthis master’s course of my education, we worked in groups for the local studiosheld in the college. Right from first semester studio, where the objective wasto read cities through the lens of Italo Calvino’s book chapters and torepresent and map the various layers of making a city. To the second semesterstudio, ‘Bhubaneswar Studio: Evolving Strategies for the IncrementalDevelopment of the Urban Poor’ curated by SPARC, TISS and UDRC (Study housingunder PMAY in assistance with UDRC) the objective was to map & document theslum housing in Bhubaneswar & Cuttack, Orissa & provide affordablestrategies for the same.

To the third semester studio, ‘Mumbai Local Studio:Developing Methods for Participatory Local Area Planning for an area underSpecial Planning Authority’, this project was to explore and develop variousmethods & tools for the local area planning for an area in the city ofMumbai. It was expected to follow a participated approach for theinvestigation, mapping and documentation. Hence various stakeholders, theirclaims, conflicts and aspirations were supposed to be mapped. Coming down tothe dissertation in the last semester of my post graduate study, ‘Strategiesfor Integrating the Existing Rehabilitation Settlements (As an Impact of SEZ onProject Affected People)’ the emphasis was on the day to day urbanization anddevelopment. This thesis explores the prospects & problems of emergence ofSpecial Economic Zones due to urbanization, causing macro as well micro levelimpacts on the surroundings life. Using Normative and Analytical dimensionapproach through the parameters of Urban Design, the investigation for thethesis was carried out to know the impacts of the SEZ & the postimplementation evaluation for the project affected people & rehabilitatedzones.

This thesis attempts to develop a User Manual based guidelines for theRehabilitated zones as an impact of SEZ on Project Affected People. Thisexperience of master’s study of two years lead to learn many different ways forhow to keep intact the existing settings, policies, materials, andtransformations, structural sciences that urban design divides into,but I felt the need forsustainable urban development which is a prerequisite for creating asustainable city, as the basic matrix of the city required for life and thefuture of the city.. Adding as a part of curriculum and extra curriculum activities, mycurious instincts drew me to several creative activities affiliated with’National Association of Students of Architecture’ (NASA) and ‘BuildingInclusive Urban Communities under European Union’ (BINUCOm) Erasmus+ Programthroughout my undergraduate and post-graduate education. Coming back to my hometown, I startedobserving with a critical mindset and exposure towards the city, I realizedthat architecture and urban design to be an essential part of the growth goinghand in hand, nevertheless,sustainable architecture and sustainable resources are completely ignored,because it might be unprofitable in a given time.

Energy efficiency isimportant as a essential for the survival of human society. Whileworking on the latest urban level project in the office which I am currentlyassociated with in the city of Nagpur, the project is about the ‘Development at Futala lake for multimedianighttime spectacular shows’ the project is basically a lake side developmentfor the users which involves people from various background likegovernment officers, social workers, architects, urban designers, urbanplanners. This experience is helping me in understanding the functioning ofgovernmental and non-governmental systems, design principles of a streetdevelopment keeping in mind its users and the responsibilities of an urbandesigner and theimportance and awareness of sustainable development while working on thisproject.  Also the dissertation for post graduate studywhich I did was basically on the same lines of growth and urbanization and it isstill an ongoing project. These examples which I came across in my experiencetill date, I believe that there is a lot to happen, the growth at the urban level is maximizing with respect to allurbanized issues and development. In coming few years there is a lot ofdevelopment in accordance with how to best use its land and resources with aneye towards future growth and revitalization.

I believe that thesolution to this problem is provision of affordable housing, better housingpolicies, economic development, better recreational and transport facilities.However, the requisite amount of knowledge in the field of sustainable designis required to reap the benefits of these solutions is lacking. Hence, I feelthe urge to go in deep to gain knowledge and to do research in the field of sustainabledesign and development.  It is for this lack of knowledge andexpertise that I aspire toattend Savannah College of art and design. Gaining a Masters of Design forSustainability degree from Savannah College of art and design will help meunderstand and address the problems effectively with the already gainedknowledge in the field of Urban Design. I wish to attend courses such asLandscape Design for Urban Design, Economicsof Urban and Regional Development, Sustainable Design, Emerging UrbanIssues. Thesecourses will help me understand and address the issues faced by many cities.The most important aspect of urban development is the economic development ofthat particular area or region.

Exposure to the economic development strategiesin the United States of America will help me understand and address theproblems faced by developing countries in the future. The city of Savannah,being a vibrant and aesthetical and originated on Savannah River has taken agreat initiative to develop the living for all kinds of users. The experienceof living in Savannah city and studying at SCAD will grant me an opportunity toobserve and experience the problems and prospects of sustainable development. Learningand Observing these studies will help me in devising policies and addresssimilar problems which have arisen in India through research being a veryimportant part of the study. I will bring an Indian perspective to theacademic field at SCAD  and contribute tothe class with the professional experience I have gathered over the past 1.5years and the master’s experience of two years in the field of Urban Design.Further, in association with SCAD, I seek to identify root causes of rapidurbanization in India and try to apply the processes of sustainable developmentas a whole and to go further for the research in continuation.

 Having studied at SCAD, I aspire to visitdeveloping countries and work with governmental and non – governmentalorganizations involved in sustainable designing of cities. Subsequently, Iintend to return to Nagpur, my home town and togive my contribution in the field of Urban Design and Sustainable design forclean and friendly environment, housing with proper infrastructure startingfrom micro level to the macro level, considering all the needs and development ofcommon people. Also, I would like to communicate with people at large andsometimes in particular, through my architectural designing and planning asultimately effective communication at every level is essence of success, growthand development. The knowledge and exposuregathered at SCAD will help me greatly in contributing not only to the otherparts of the world, but also in researching and addressing various issues backto the country and fulfill my aspiration of being a successful Urban Designeras well as Sustainable Designer. I take this opportunity to present mycandidacy for The Design for Sustainability in program at your esteemedinstitute.