Origin Cover

Mud Future | Origin

The thematic track ‘Origin’ traces the influence of mud on architectural processes. The discussion aims to look beyond nostalgia of the past and explore the urban use of mud, rooted in its indigenous systems. This session will attempt to understand the association of mud with its context like culture, people, society and land. This will entail issues around accessibility of the material by people and notion of its aesthetics and quality. ‘Origin’ explores the idea of indigeneity of mud. The discussion will shed light on the meaning of mud which is ever-changing and goes through a process of re-intervention. Moving beyond the popular image of mud, being poor man’s material, the discussion will evaluate the drivers of mud urbanity. The session aims to position mud that can evolve to regenerate itself as a symbol of strength, protection and practice.

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The study of culture very often revolves around tradition and indigeneity. Sociologically, tradition refers to collective customs and knowledge of a group, communities or society. Indigeneity’s reference to origin and of being ‘of the place’ or culture gets perpetuated through methods, natural and cultural relations that then form tradition.... Its usual connotation is a social process of "handing down" knowledge from generation to generation, especially by oral and customary means. The following questions arises: Does being traditional mean being relevant? Being in fashion? Being native to origin?
In the case of mud, one wonders, is its usage in architecture relevant in the contemporary times? Is it acceptable as it is tested by time and people? Is it necessarily vernacular? Can mud architecture be contemporary, historic, vernacular at the same time? Is it mandatory to adopt and follow the way mud has been handed over through oral and customary means? What were the ways that the mud of ‘then’ remained relevant to its times? What strategies were employed to the material, to its making, to its production and to its usage that defined it as a material of choice in different cultures historically?
>The architectural use of earth results in the shaping the environment of humankind, a subject closely related to human ecology. Mud architecture’s historical indigeneity, the fact that it essentially belongs to the land it expresses itself on, brings into focus cultural and material perceptions of the very land. It calls for identifying unique processes and approaches that are unified by the material itself. Herein lies the essence of the theme Indigenous and Cultural Knowledge.

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Urban Origins assesses and questions the contemporary use of mud as a poor man’s material. It evaluates the drivers of mud urbanity.
The use of mud in an urban context is driven by social and ecological egalitarianism, values associated with mud, its material and cultural representations,...reimagination and regeneration of existing urban context.

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Mud Highbrow takes stock of the uses of mud that contrasts with its humble and simple origins. These altered and urbane applications of mud often lead to almost surprising and tangential uses, that can be explored through various lenses.
The sessions explore issues of identity, modern up rootedness.., sustainability and diverse ways in which mud is used. What are the stories of its failures and success, as mud is adapted through different processes into varied urban contexts?