Vastu Shastra – an ancient urban development teaching
One of the novel topics at 100+ Forum Russia 2019 will be urban planning as seen by Vastu and Feng Shui – technologies that not only withstood the test of time but that have become a trend for the largest cities of the world like Singapore, Hong Kong and Seoul.
Vastu and Feng Shui are aimed at "bringing harmony to the man-made environment, its surrounding landscapes and forces of nature. According to the Vastu worldview, when designing a building it is necessary to choose a geometric form that will be most fitting to the functional purpose of that building.
Both the idea of "green building" and the idea of creating an eco-friendly image for the city of the future resonate in their philosiphies with those of ancient China and Vedic architecture. It is common nowadays to explain a lot of rules and restrictions rationally and through the prism of how well certain buildings function and how comfortable certain urban areas are.
For instance, Feng Shui says that it is necessary to have large floors and sharp angles, which is applicable to the most modern skyscrapers as well because it helps to avoid unwanted levels of wind loadings and money spendings on construction and maintenance of the building. As far as floor planning goes, Vastu pays a lot of attention to the hierarchy of spaces and their geometric features. These conceptual solutions are close in their core to the latest scientific concepts and ideas in urban planning as well as theses of the Landscape Urbanism theory and a comprehensive understanding of the principles of urban planning. That said, if an architect follows Vastu principles and makes up for location-specific drawbacks by augmenting the power of a needed type of energy, in rational terms it means that they increase exposure to sunlight or make up for the lack of sunlight on the north side of a building.
A lot of specialists study ancient urban planning principles and adapt them to present-day realities. At 100+ Forum Russia, you will hear about some of the specific examples of these planning methods. The list of speakers includes: Olga Mandodari Sokolova – Consultant on Vastu Shastra at the International Institute of Mayonic Science and Technology, Chennai (Madras); Dhiru Thadani – an American urbanist and architect who specializes in effective methods of current urban areas modernisation, the author of "The Language of Towns & Cities: A Visual Dictionary" and "The Architecture of Community" (co-authorship with Leon Krier), vice-president of the International Society of City and Regional Planners (ISOCARP); Sergey Baluta – the author of a research paper on principles of Vedic architecture.