‘Preparing’ for a lecture

This is how I ideally would like to prepare for a lecture. The average assumption is that is the normal scene of teaching process. No. It is not. One has to earn this moment/s between other things – discussing, meeting, attending, lecturing, getting lectured, guiding, correcting, formulating, etc.  I feel that this is the most important threshold of teaching for teachers, preparing for a class (could be for a theory subject or design studio). This moment is rarely discussed or acknowledged because it is not visible normally. I feel this is the crux. To make and articulate connections. As an academic, one is not making buildings or also involved in pure research. The making and pure research are at the extreme end of the spectrum of architectural thinking. Both are tangible in their own ways – buildings and books/papers. It is the general assumption that academics are closer to pure research. Slowly I am realising this distance is also far. We play in the middle ground. Also I am realising that the middle ground has a lot to offer. It is a fertile zone to make connections, which can allow some fundamental insights to inform the ends of the spectrum. Then what makes our work tangible?  We make connections and articulate conditions between ideas, buildings and ideas of buildings. So this photo is of a moment where I am preparing for a lecture for second semester design studio. The topic I am going to discuss in class is the architecture of pavilion and the room. My co-faculty Kavana will be starting the lecture with the plinth and the wall.
So here are the components of the preparation (Starting from right)
  1. The book ‘Thematic Spaces in Indian Architecture’ by Kulbhushan Jain is an object of pure research. A book which I have from long time but recognised only recently. I am partly aware of the processes/struggles he goes through to publish these book. Dedicating years to each of them. I had the wonderful opportunity to study under him. Hence this book is really important for me. Not only for what is says and but also what it means, to be teaching.
  2. A A5 hardbound sketchbook is the core of the thinking process. An anti-dote to the virtual. I try to carry it always. It is a collections of readings, observations, scraps of thought, drawings.
  3. A A5 spiral portrait cartridge sketchbook – is what I call the ‘college notebook’ has ideas particular ideas for my classes.
  4. A laptop – limitless-overwhelming connection to information. I like to ground/check this virtual platform this with the sketchbook.  The mostly minimised PPT file (or the Keynote file for Apple users) in the parallel window.
  5. A hard disk – unorganised messy pdf’s of books, old presentations, previous semester works, lesson plans, notes, etc.
  6. Coffee – I added it to the scene deliberately to make the mood creative-like ( not to feel left out from the “real” world of  “practicing” architects)
  7. Soft board – A collage of references, lists, academic notices, schedules, time table.