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Architecture (MA)

Lipika Kosambia

Lipika Kosambia, a graduate of Kamla Raheja Vidyanidhi Institute for Architecture at Mumbai University in India (2016), has a strong interest in the current state of the construction industry and the environmental factors contributing to carbon emissions. Her professional practice is characterized by an interdisciplinary approach that combines research, design, and media experimentation.

Lipika gained practical experience by working at KSA Architects and Mo-of (Mobile Office) for a period of two years. During this time, she was involved in a range of projects, from small-scale interior designs to large-scale residential and healthcare architecture. However, she observed a lack of consideration for important factors such as CO2 emissions, labor exploitation, and the use of recycled materials, which contribute to environmental hazards. This realization motivated her to join The Royal College of Art (RCA) as a significant opportunity to study and develop a promising portfolio that takes these factors into account.

In her first year at RCA, Lipika participated in AD07: Out of thin Air - Politics of Atmosphere. During this project, she constructed handmade CO2 bricks that can be used to build residential houses in rural areas of India, utilizing CO2 emissions from local cement industries.

This year, in ADS05: Joining, Binding & Completing – What Do You Mean?, Lipika is working on creating an AI software that calculates and evaluates various factors, such as material costs, forms, CO2 emissions, material availability, and other considerations that are essential throughout the design and project completion process.

The book "Elements of Architecture" falls short in considering these critical concerns that are essential in today's world.

Rem Koolhaas's "Elements of Architecture" is a series of 15 books that explore the fundamental design components of buildings, including roofs, walls, fireplaces, escalators, doors, corridors, toilets, stairs, elevators, ramps, floors, ceilings, balconies, facades, and windows. The project challenges the materialistic and apolitical perspective by demonstrating that each architectural element can possess sociological and metaphysical significance. It presents a comprehensive understanding of architectural evolution, encompassing technological advancements, climatic adaptations, political considerations, economic contexts, regulatory requirements, and digital opportunities.

Each book meticulously deconstructs the architectural element it focuses on, providing an eclectic and thought-provoking approach that emphasizes the importance of critically examining our surroundings. Furthermore, the project traces the evolution of these elements from ancient times to contemporary architecture, incorporating detailed information.

Considering the current environmental perspective, the construction industry is a significant contributor to carbon emissions. The materials used in buildings often disregard their embodied carbon and their durability over time, resulting in increased carbon footprints and material waste. Additionally, from an economic standpoint, large-scale projects often prioritize extravagant aesthetics, high material costs, and short production times, leading to labor exploitation. There is a need to explore alternative, locally available materials that are more sustainable and economically viable.

Therefore, the "Elements of Architecture" book series falls short in addressing these pressing issues relevant to today's world. The goal is to conduct research that takes into account factors such as embodied carbon, energy use, cost, and material alternatives for each element. This research aims to create a guidebook, titled "Carbon Pattern," that promotes sustainable and economically conscious approaches to architectural projects. To enhance usability, a proposed solution is to develop an app or plug-in as a time-saving design drafting tool, complementing the manual book.

Carbon Pattern Manual showing the element of Floor/ slab and door
Carbon Pattern : Manual Book: Element: Floor/ Slab and DoorBy utilizing the principles outlined in the "Carbon Pattern" book, architects can create buildings that align with sustainable development goals and contribute positively to the built environment. This manual serves as a valuable resource, equipping architects with the knowledge and tools necessary to integrate sustainability and cost-effectiveness into their architectural projects.
Carbon Pattern Manual showing the element of Staircase and Internal door.
Carbon Pattern : Manual Book: Element: Staircase and Internal wallThe "Carbon Pattern" book also delves into the integration of sustainable practices, such as renewable energy systems, passive design strategies, and efficient building technologies. It provides architects with practical guidance on incorporating these elements into their designs, resulting in buildings that are energy-efficient, environmentally friendly, and economically beneficial. Each page has a conclusion showcasing the best materi al and its best form that can be used in specific functions.