Is Uniformity = Perfection?

Builders and building contractors give us orders for supply of truck-load of granite and marble and natural stone. The give us orders based on ‘samples’ that we show them. They approve the sample. By approval of sample, it means that the supplier has to supply the same quality in every slab of granite. What is quality?

What is quality? Is it uniformity?

Can a certain quantity of natural stone be represented through ‘a sample’? How can anyone in the world guarantee adherence of different slabs of granite to one ‘approved sample’?

Is ‘approved sample’ a perfect piece of granite or stone?

In natural stone and granite, you won’t be able to come any great understanding of quality. Because of its very nature it is impossible to standardize the quality beyond the physical dimensions of slabs or stone. No matter the sample, you are not going to get identical looking granite or stone.

Even if one assumes that slabs and pieces of stone can be sorted and grouped strictly based on certain parameters, the cost of sorting is prohibitive.

Based on the purchase order, when the material ordered reaches the site, the builders and building contractors and their employees at the site engage in ‘quality checking’. The understanding of ‘quality’ is at best vague, unspecified and unclear, but since there is an ‘approved sample’, these clients offer all kinds of reasons to ‘reject’ the material that’s delivered.

Costs of handling natural stone are so high that all such rejections crush the supplier financially.

Do these builders of Ahmedabad know?

We are the children of our landscape; it dictates behaviour and even thought in the measure to which we are responsive to it.

Lawrence Durrell in “JUSTINE”

What response do those vitrified tiles generate?

What response does that interior design generate?

Do they even generate anything? Anything worthwhile?

How many types of material for interior design?

There’s this semi-fraud-acquaintance who took a lot of assistance from my Dad in getting stone and design related work for his big house project. I am compelled to call it house coz it’s hard to call it bungalow.

One of the features of this man’s project is the numerous kinds of stone and surface material he has used to garnish his house with, both inside and outside.

Needless to say, I was appalled at the way it all felt when I got a chance to visit this site once, more than a year back. The work’s still going on I hear.

Taj Mahal is primarily a one stone work.

Kailash Temple, they say, is not just one stone, it is one-rock work. Incredible, isn’t it.

Now, for the sake of funny arguments, a professional like an architect or an interior designer or a status-symbol-maker may say but these are public monuments, not houses for living. So let me ask another question.

Would you want a house that looks as gorgeous as a monument or a house that looks like a hodge-podge of materials?

Funny argumenter may even say, “But monuments require more money and space to make.” Really? Is that so?

The practitioners and house-makers of today’s age seem to earn a lot from the use of materials instead of the use of imagination. Bitter and easier said and true wherever I see.

Pyramid full of Flats

In Ahmedabad, you can witness the architectural obscenities in the form of flats almost everywhere you go. Especially the newly developed or developing areas.

Contrast Ahmedabad’s flats with these, built somewhere in China. Out here wonky urban planners and funny builders are trying to extract every little penny out of the FSI allowances and policies by making cubic and cuboidal blocks typically painted in horrible greys and browns.

We are looking for a builder to work with who attempts something like this.

Distinct and charming in its own way! You may want to check some more pictures here.

Please forgive them, the folks at Mail Online (dailymail.co.uk) who have written the linked article and bizarrely titled it Bizarre ‘pyramid-shaped’ building in China becomes an internet sensation.

Is there anything more depressing than…

The other day I was at PVR Acropolis to watch Tapsee Pannu starrer Thappad. While the movie felt great, PVR’s renovation felt classic and plastic at the same time. When you visit there you’ll notice. The space feels spacious, the floor feels all plastic (courtesy the famed vitrified tiles).

Somewhere in the initial pages of Gavin McCrea’s Mrs Engels, there’s this exchange between Jenny and Lizzie, I can’t forget to share.

In her book, there’s naught worse than a new house that looks new. She said so just now before we left. ‘So long as the thirst for novelty exists independently of all aesthetics considerations,’ she went, ‘the aim of Manchester and Sheffield and Birmingham will be to produce objects which shall always appear new. And, Lizzie, is there anything more depressing than that lustre of newness?’

The lustre of newness is depressing indeed on most occasions. And in the case of copy-paste vitrified tiles, plastic too.

First they demand big big natural stone slabs…

First they demand big big natural stone slabs, granite slabs, and then they demand ‘top’ quality, and then they funnily get down to bargaining for the lowest prices. Understandable since the quantities are often huge. But the thing is it is natural stone.

Big slabs
Should be top quality
Should be lowest priced!
What poetry!

‘Big building business’ has an issue. They behave like government purchase departments. Lowest quote, highest quality. Now where have you found that? And they themselves often struggle to lay down the parameters or even develop the ‘eye’ to judge whether some piece of stone is great or not.

Taj Mahal doesn’t have the greatest quality of white stone. What it does have is the highest quality of craftsmanship.

Shapes of Tile or Slab

That’s Black Granite in irregular shapes

When choosing granite or other stone for flooring or paving, what really matters? It seems to me currently 2 major points play a role while making a choice:

  1. The color of stone
  2. The natural pattern of stone surface

Surprising when I pay just a little more attention.

Why isn’t ‘shape’ of tile or stone not considered at all! Typically it’s rectangle! Or sometimes, square. Why?

The variations of natural stone coupled with and cut in different shapes can produce a magic-like floor. No, I’m not talking about just outdoors or for landscaping. I’m talking about indoors too. Here, have a look at this indoor floor:

Plenty of variations and colors in Indian granite and other natural stone to create a floor like that. If you want to execute something like that in Ahmedabad…

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