Penniman, William Edward
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The design challenge for this thesis project is to evaluate the socio-cultural influences of Modern design on the city and people of Chandigarh, India, identify a human need to address and design socially relevant housing for them in current architectural vernacular The project began with on-site evaluation of the living conditions and people of Chandigarh. Current housing standards and lifestyles were researched photographically and textually through evaluation of thesis projects found at the Chandigarh School of Architecture library. Interviews with local citizens provided the tool for assessment of a need to be addressed. Input from individuals regarding this need and cultural implications with precedent were researched within the setting. From there architectural design evaluation and development methods were applied from the base of study materials accumulated in the Architecture program at MSU. Sketches, models, and graphics developed were reviewed regularly with the advisor group and crit sessions were completed as prescribed. Research with conclusions and material decisions were condensed into the thesis book and reviewed by professors. The building design was then compiled graphically by various means. Models, hand drawings and computer generated graphics were combined for final presentation boards. In concept for the design, application of culturally appropriate elements of material and form that are accepted by current residents will be used to create an individual identity for the residence that is unique yet a community fit. The proposal is not to copy the universal design type or ideals of Le Corbusier applied to Chandigarh, but to counterbalance it with a focus on individuality as a basis for design expression. People, enrichment of their lives and creation of place and belonging, are the heart of this project, not to erase the past, but to move forward in the present from where they have arrived. Saying this in a different way, it would be to present the project as a 21 Century "modern" design, using materials from the "Modernist" vernacular to create a place for celebration of cultural roots while reshaping perception of individual worth for some within the culture.