As a matter of image, everything wants to relate itself in global terms, global power, world class city, multinational company and so on. The ones who got into this race first are the ones with more power to control this race, and hence all the later entrants tried to recognize themselves with respect to the successful ones. As some nations got political dominance after World War II, most of the emerging nation followed their path, rather than the immediate colonial legacy. Most of the world that had a strong historic context started following a starkly different order. And when one starts to relate to something else then the language or the medium needs to be the changed, that’s when the architecture also starts looking the same.
The relationship between people and place is what is crucial in a culture, but in a global society like today’s where people no more belong to a place, but rather an idea of a place, the world is slowly becoming cosmopolitan. Being cosmopolitan also favors the kind of economic system that most of the world follows, so even architecture and culture becomes a commodity, which trades off better if it’s global. As cities converge, the cosmopolitan becomes civilized and the traditional starts to be linked to the past and is linked to connotations like undeveloped and irrational, thus a parasitical relationship is falsely created between the traditional and the global, or the Province and Metropolis.
Today’s world is highly connected to each other, a person sitting in any part of the world will know what is happening in India as much as easily and as soon as a person residing in India would know. Media has bridged the gap in interpersonal relationship and mass-media have bridged the gap in intercultural relationships. This basically means that a person sitting anywhere in the world is connected to any part of the world, almost as good as physically being present there. When a person is so related to every other part of the planet, thus arrives a counter argument on why then be traditional, this brave new world need not have a past lingering on when every context of the past have already vanished.
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Thomas Oommen: I don’t know whether it is Eliot who said…but ..tradition is not a thing of the past – tradition is sensing the present- ness in the past and the past – ness in the present. Tradition is not passed on – it is earned. But the philosophical argument aside…. I do think that we all might want all the same things, the new american SUV/or ultra modern metro, the same MNC manufactured blue jeans, the status of living in a super power status country with ICBM’s…….then may be our cities should look alike – like in our science fiction movies. Only that we in India have multiple, schizophrenic personalities and lives….and our cities are similar…..We would want brave new world and the meenakshi temple made out of marble in the Mohalla.
Girish Chandran: What is ‘the global’ today? , ‘the global’ might sustain itself aslong as its economics survives .what if its economics collapses..? and with it the social order by the confrontations of the polarities it generates..just take ‘tradition’,’ religion’ the terms misrepresented and misinterpreted in this era ..unless it can also be read as universal values which hold the world together..the confrontation will continue ..
.Nipesh P Narayanan: Girish, when you use words like ‘misrepresentation’ and ‘misinterpretation’ then you automatically ascertain the existence of ‘representation’ and ‘interpretation’ in its true sense, which is a paradox!….. specially in terms of tradition, religion or even economics…..
.Thomas Oommen: Yes. That is the paradox of the global. Capital is mobile and global. And as a result high skilled labor and high income people are too. Everything else is local. The poor & their misery, the dust, the garbage, the inequality. Shall we then Girish Chandran and Nipesh P Narayanan – dear gentlemen propose a Marxist take over of capital and the means of production ? It is funny, how everything comes back to this.
.Girish Chandran: cant agree with Thomas on that … i wish we could account for the pluralities .. the age of the media has not just brought out the overlaps but also the differences….saw glimpses of’ the global’ ‘the underground metro city ‘ distinct and separated. when i was in delhi last time
.Lince Leo Travancore: I will agree d PARADOX,only if d Planet is FLAT,and the whole Energy Conveyance is same all over…..!!! The formation of Tradition interrelated to Time(Past,Present,Future),Space(climate) and people(Behaviour respond to climate) and its never happen same allover the GLOBE…..!!! in ny DEVELOPMENT…..,Actually wat is dis “In this Era”…???
Girish Chandran: Thomas Oommen not proposing a marxist take over …only questions remain ….just hope the change is more democratic and inclusive..”democratic design” ..dunno
.Thomas Oommen: Girish Chandran I was half joking. But i grow in realization why Marxist position retains his allure after what 150 + years ? And that happens only outside Kerala – cuz there you see the idiocy of the marxists. That aside….I understand your point. That the “we” I used in the first comment is a very small section of people – a collective noun signifying at best a bourgeois middle class. I am skeptical about the limits of managing or making sense of plurality and reaching an actual ‘consensus’ design solution. But as a principle, yes couldn’t agree more.