A disappearing lifestyle: Horizontal living

As children, we grew up with many parents. Our neighbours fed us when our parents were not home, our homework got done with the help of the aunty down the road who is good at maths and we played with our ‘area friends’ who were as good as siblings.

As Indian cities grow bigger and bigger, our communities grow taller and taller – until our aspiration for newer heights are disproportionately increasing our isolation and alienation from each other. Verandahs of bungalows overlooked the centre courtyard where you could watch all that went on. Each of these houses was a labour of love, in which the entire neighbourhood collaborated.

From the material suppliers to the builders everything was hyper local, and this not only added to the sense of community, but also made the houses themselves more relevant.  The red oxidized  flooring of Southern houses which remained cool through boiling summers.  The cooling tiled roofs of most Indian houses, and their
antiseptic sun-baked brick or mud walls. All these were created with locally available materials and built keeping in mind the inhabitants’ precise needs. What a difference such ‘horizontal’ living makes versus today’s ‘vertical’ living in apartments! Rather than create cookie-cutter houses that follow a global pattern, 2getherments uses long established Indian arts and designs as inspiration to craft houses which blend harmoniously with the society and environment.

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