Rourkela: Architects have a new social role to play to improve neglected urban spaces. Through creative ideas, innovative architecture can transform abandoned publics paces and re-imagine new “Alternative spaces” to create a vibrant community spirit. Can schools of architecture create a positive social impact on these derelict urban spaces by redesigning alternative spaces to have a large social impact? Briefly designated as NASA India, is a student association, one of its kind for the undergraduate students of architecture in India. The aim is to provide the students a platform for interaction, a platform where students from varied cultural backgrounds would learn and share their knowledge. To achieve its aims and objectives, NASA India hosts various events like, The Annual NASA Design Competition (ANDC), Seminars, and Workshops etc.
The students of the Society for Students of Planning and Architecture (SSPA) with support from the Department of Planning and Architecture, NIT Rourkela led by the Unit Secretary- Haritha Bharath
and Unit Designee- Jezniah Anwesh Kerketta participated in the annual NASA design competition and tried to create a new imaginative place near the Birsa Munda School. The approximate expense was about Rs.10,000 and the work was completed around 11pm on 14th August. On 15th of August the inauguration ceremony was held along with the Independence day celebration in the school premises. The cordially invited Chief Guests included Dr. Basudatta Sarkar, HoD, Planning and Architecture, Prof. Binit Kumar Jha, Prof. Tuhin Maparu and Prof. Khaplianlam Tungnung. The Flag was hoisted by the Principle of Birsa Munda School and HoD Planning and Architecture with enthusiasm. All students from the department of planning and architecture were invited on this occasion.
The site chosen was an abandoned land near the school area which had been left empty for several years without any use. Presently only 200 students including classes 1-7 which are enrolled into the school but they are not regular as it doesn’t have any kind of fun activity and the area is not inviting. An Anganvadi near the school which has been recently developed would also require an outdoor learning space and for the local people especially women and old people during evenings like to gather up sitting in cluster of stones outside their houses .The site holds potential to be a great public space, serve as the playground for school students/kids of the slum too and also as a learning space for the tiny tots.The students of SSPA ( Society for students of planning and architecture) choose the site as per the guidelines provided by andc and made new and imaginative space out of it.
The project was like a bird’s nest. Just how a bird collects straw from everywhere to make the nest, the students collected scrap material from the NITR Campus and nearby areas and made a valuable use out of it to build the playgroud area and the equipments placed.The students are highly thankful to the HoD of Planning and Architecture Department , Chemical Department and there HoD, The Central Workshop for letting them use their scrap material . Prof. Arjun Mukerji for supporting them ,Prof. Binit Kumar for being there constant guiding force all the way through and Prof.Tirthankar for providing his valuable knowledge. This wouldn’t have been possible without the help of the School Principle, local people and children who helped them in construction and kept their zeal high. The Unit Secretary said “Seeing them play on the rides gave us immense pleasure and personal satisfaction.”