- Can technology be used to enhance their durability?
- Can there be a national effort to do capacity building to people at the grassroots level, thus increasing self-sustenance and employment?
I had an interesting conversation with a foreigner from one of the highly advanced nations some years back. He told me their style of development, especially when looking to invest and innovate and use their technologies in other nations, is through learning the culture of their host nations.
This statement got me puzzled and interested at the same time. I had a lot to ask and I got very many research interests through this statement.
The gentleman went ahead and sampled cases like their national sports, tools of use at home, business practices, packaging, music and musical instruments, architecture and building materials, greening efforts, all modern, that had a traditional aspect from their culture.
Noting that our new government, through the Office of the First Lady, has high interests in establishing a green society and environment, I couldn’t help but relate to that conversation.
When you think about greening efforts, there exists a power play with a lot of ‘cool’ conveniences: Green parks in place of malls, forests in place of roads and estates, brick materials in place of glass and sustainable wood in place of neat quarry stones, paper in place of reusable plastic, cleaning with lemon and vinegar in place of toxic laboratory products and the list is endless.
But how can we achieve these efforts to develop our country and still retain the cool? Is it possible to dig back to traditional methods, merge with the new and rename what we have ignored over the years?
Like I find buildings with the red kiln brick really pretty, whether interior or exterior. They have a medieval feel and give that ethnic timeless impression. Can these bricks be brought back with a different name? Can technology be used to enhance their durability? Can there be a national effort to do capacity building to people at the grassroots level, thus increasing self-sustenance and employment?
The Hub Mall, a shopping centre in Karen, has used red brick in some areas and it gives it an aesthetic appeal, blending in with the green location where it’s based. Red brick also doesn’t need too much effort in creating other facades, it has its own appeal.
The writer is a part time lecturer and communications researcher