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IITR's Exploits at NASA

March 6, 2018

The National Association of Students of Architecture (abbreviated as NASA) is a student organization with over 200 member colleges from India and neighbouring countries. It was established in 1957 by seven colleges (one of which was IIT Roorkee), with the “common aim and objective to provide the students a platform for interaction, a platform where students from varied cultural backgrounds would learn and share their knowledge”.

To this effect, NASA India holds the Annual NASA Convention where the work of the students is displayed and evaluated, mostly through the medium of competitions. This year, IIT Roorkee (with a team of 46 students) took part in 7 competitions:

  1. The Louis I Kahn Trophy : The LIK trophy aims to “improve the quality of architectural education in the context of the historic environment, and the legacy of knowledge, skills and training required to better protect and conserve this heritage”.

This year, IIT Roorkee documented the District Collectorate, Nainital for the same. They stood amongst the Top 10 colleges within the competition.

  1. HUDCO Trophy : This trophy aims at “designing for the informal sector and give design alternatives for the issues pertaining to the solutions to Sustainable Urban Development”.

The brief called for “affordable housing using green and emerging technology” into an otherwise standard housing project (with a specified ratio of EWS/LIG/MIG). The IIT Roorkee team chose a site in Chanakyapuri, New Delhi, and proposed a design within the specified parameters. They finished in the Top 4 colleges within the competition.

IITR's Showcase

  1. Laurie Baker Trophy : The trophy “gives attention towards the cost effective building techniques, materials and execution of the same”.

The problem posed in this years’ brief was to devise a Master Plan for a Government Primary School (meeting a list of certain specified criteria). The IIT Roorkee team chose a school in the nearby village of Safarpur, and – through a participatory process – synthesized a plan for a period of 10 years. The team finished in the Top 11 out of 56 colleges.

  1. Writing Architecture Trophy : The aim of the trophy is to “inculcate the intrinsic observation capabilities of students to be aware of the real World around them, and make propositions and express their thoughts in the form of written matter in line with a particular theme”.

This year’s brief called for a revaluation of “heritage” (in light of the demolition of The Hall of Nations), and posed a few other pertinent questions regarding India’s “modern heritage”. The IIT Roorkee team finished 1st in a pool of about 150 entries.

  1. GRIHA Trophy : The trophy is a collaborative initiative between NASA India and GRIHA, aiming “to expose students to Green and Sustainable Architecture.”

This year’s problem was to propose a design for the “Milestone Experion Centre” in Gurgaon, comprising an office complex, a banquet hall, and multi-cuisine restaurants, in line with the GRIHA rating system. The IIT Roorkee team could not, unfortunately, make the shortlist.

  1. DesTech Challenge : The trophy aims to be “a unique design competition that brings together creative thinking and digital advancements in the built environment sector. It challenges creative thinkers to explore opportunities within ‘Smart City’ systems, processes and engagement strategies.”

The brief encouraged the participants to envision a smart city which satisfied a set of “scenarios”, asking them, also, to explain their thought process behind this envisioned future. The team stood 1st in the competition.

The team was also shortlisted (Top 10) for the Le Corbusier Trophy, awarded for overall performance across all trophies held by NASA India. This marks IIT Roorkee’s best ever performance in the Annual NASA Convention thus far, and is – in good hope – indicative of better things to come.