Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Wherever you may roam!

This post is originally from Pradeep Chakraborty's Blog!

I recall editing an article of this name during my days at DiSyCom, way back in late 1994. Those were the early days of cellular/mobile telephony in India. At a seminar on mobility at the Taj Palace in New Delhi in early 1995, I had the first-hand experience to learn what roaming was all about, thanks to a nice gentleman from the ITU.

Today, 13 years down the road, roaming is hardly the subject to discuss. People take it for granted that if they are carrying a mobile phone, they MUST be roaming. Its also one of the safest bets for operators to make money.

I recall, in December 2002, in Hong Kong, some colleagues from India were unable to call home as they weren’t on roaming, and I had to lend them my phone to call. On the contrary, I was once stuck in Munich as I wasn’t on roaming and couldn’t call, and had to seek help from a ‘friend’ at the airport.

Of course, I’ve noticed in places across the Asia Pacific, such as Hong Kong, China, Taiwan and Singapore, that people buy local SIM cards in order to save on roaming costs. Even I’ve done the same on several occasions.

Today, we have come a long, long way as far as mobility is concerned. Soon, video roaming or the ability to make video calls, while roaming, would be upon us. I wonder how people would take to that experience! Also, it’d be interesting to see how the operators charge consumers on video calls and especially, video roaming.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Ishita’s dream about digital architecture

This post is originally from Pradeep Chakraborty's Blog!

It’s special when you know that the young kids of today pay special attention to something spectacular, something different, and want to carry that forward.
I would like to mention her about Ms Ishita Goswami, a student of architecture, who has been fascinated with the works of Kas Oosterhuis, a famous Dutch architect.

Ishita has analyzed Kas Oosterhuis’s work into two parts. The first part relates to her own style, for example, his building forms that highlight reference with context. As explained in Kas’s Salt Water Pavilion, its form is like a giant whale resting on the shore. His Garbage Transfer Station building form resembles bacterial bodies, while the Laussane Art Museum has been designed keeping the surrounding views in mind.

The second part of her analysis relates to Kas’s digital architecture. Although, she presently does not relate to this style of architecture, she has expressed keenness to pursue it, should opportunities arise.

Certain queries invade our mind. Would this type of architecture click with the common man, who generally conceives building forms as rigid and would perhaps, never imagine his shelter chaiging form?

Architects generally mold people’s vision of what architecture is and can be all about. Before Kas’s digital architecture came up, the architecture created by earlier architects was perceived to be static. Public at large also got accustomed to such static architecture, and they see all of that as an architect’s vision. Kas’s style of architecture has managed to revolutionize architecture and created a new kind of vision. His work has been acknowledged worldwide.

Does all of this indicate that digital architecture would be a future trend? Ishita believes that digital technology may not be an alternative architecture. It has definitely revolutionized the art & science of architecture in a way that has never been seen before.

It is a step to bridge the gap between the physical space the new digital virtual space. Digital technology helps in the interaction of the building’s body with the environment. It has created a building with a brain, or rather, a building that has emotions!

In the Indian context, digital architecture may take some more time to gain ground. However, with the growing awareness and acknowledgment of such kinds of works, more and more architects are becoming interested in exploring this field.

India has always welcomed new technologies.The concept of intelligent buildings has come up in India and many buildings are being built with sensors. This might be the beginning of the digital revolution in India. As a student of architecture, a step has already been taken and now it is up to Ishita and the other upcoming architects who are interested in this field to carry on this torch further.

My best wishes to youngsters, such as Ishita. May their tribe increase!