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Date: 30 June 2020, Tuesday 

Name of Speaker: Tanaya Verma

Designation: Associate Professor

Title of Proposition:  Haveli Architecture as a Narrative for Thermal Comfort and Lifestyle

"If dreams are cast in stone and if stones can sing they would be like the exterior and interior of Bikaner Havelis.” - Aldous Huxley

These words by philosopher and author Aldous Huxley describe the beauty of the havelis of Bikaner. The origins of the word 'haveli' are uncertain, but may derive from the Arabic haowala meaning ‘partition,’ and in the Indian subcontinent broadly refers to a distinguishable type of inward-looking, urban courtyard house. The word however signifies more than the physical components, spatial layout and ornamentation of the built form; it is symbolic of an entire generation of people whose lifestyle including architecture, customs, traditions, manners, patterns of etiquette, arts, crafts, music, and so on, is embodied in the term.

The city of Bikaner is growing exponentially and faces challenges related to urbanization like other Indian cities. The erstwhile beautiful city adorned with havelis is now giving way to burgeoning contemporary buildings which has increased difficulties in achieving thermal comfort that is critical for habitation in the hot and dry region.

The proposition refers to passive design features that the haveli typology caters to and that result in comfortable ambient indoor conditions. The talk covers the impact of architectural design as the main driver for achieving thermal comfort in the hot and dry region and passive strategies which can help in achieving thermal comfort and adaptive behaviour of the occupants conforming to the cultural, sociological, religious and local traditions of the place. The interdependence between environment and culture has a bearing on human society and its traditions. Environmental conditions, the perception of occupants towards thermal comfort and the building itself creates a dynamic model that is the focus of the talk.


YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jLXs6M_RzSc&t=3s



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