Bindu Gopal Rao speaks to James Law, known across the globe for cybertecture. After the Pad Tower in Dubai, he is now coming up with a cybertecture egg in Mumbai, a unique project built without a single column.
“My career has been nothing less than an adventure,” declares James Law, Chairman and Chief Cybertect of James Law Cybertecture International. This company founded in 2001 offers services including architecture, master planning, interiors, multimedia, information technology and strategic planning, based on a first-of-its-kind platform called Cybertecture. Excerpts from an exclusive interview with DH Realty.
On his journey
I believe that in the limited time we are here we should be lucky to find our innate talent and use it to improve others’ lives by designing buildings and cities. Post my studies at UK, I went to Japan at the beginning of the 90s and began to realise that using a creative mind and technology would be the way forward. My aim is to be a visionary and an innovator and offer a new way of doing things and changing the old order.
In fact, I started my company on January 1, 2001 – a date 01/01/01 to signify a new millennium and a new way of thinking. Today we have offices in Hong Kong, Dubai and Mumbai. When I started there were challenges as no one was willing to give me a project but I was clear that we must plan for the future. However the challenge to translate ideas into action and reach out to a critical mass is what makes this journey thoroughly enjoyable.
Concept of Cybertecture
In the old days construction material was glass, wood, stone and concrete. Today’s new age world has changed with invisible information, interactivity with Information technology (IT), information on the Internet and the collective power of new sciences.
I really see no difference between an iPhone and a building or why a building cannot keep us safe.
Hence we need to merge architecture and technology to a level that has not been achieved before to experience Cybertecture. Cybertecture represents a new direction in architecture that involves the concept of bringing people together in a “Live The Future” lifestyle, using the latest technology and architectural designs.
On architectural trends
Today the global community of architects and technologists are pushing their boundaries and I am part of this group, so I keep abreast of the latest trends by sharing ideas.
The three key trends of the future according to me are how buildings and cities will be sustainable, how cybertecture will make people happier and healthier.
Sustainability can be achieved when we make buildings that do not destroy nature.
Planetary cybertecture is achieved when the building has the technology to recycle its resources and balance with the earth. Likewise happiness is at the centre of human civilisation and the building must help us to stay in touch with our family and friends.
In fact, the view outside a building can be customised through dislocated reality to be what you want – it can also be something you see outside your room at home! Likewise in spite of the bravado about advancement in many senses, new diseases like swine flu seem to be getting the better of us.
Hence we have the concept of a bathroom mirror, that can be fitted in any bathroom across the world that monitors and diagnoses your health and synchronises this with your personal profile on the Internet that can be shared with your doctor and ensure that any changes to your body weight and balance can be managed better to avoid any unpleasant surprises.
The Pad Tower in Dubai, is the ‘World’s first Cybertecture Residential Tower’ and in a way allows you to live in the future. This building has won four awards in the CNBC Arabian Property Awards 2007 and the ‘Best International Apartment’ at the CNBC International Property Awards 2007. Also the iconic building ‘Technosphere’ for the Technopark in Dubai, reflects the state of Planet Earth in the present and future times.
In fact, this building has been designed to mimic the planet and can have 25,000 people occupy the premises almost like a mini city.
My project in Mumbai, Cybertecture Egg is again a unique design and is built without a single column. Am also working on several residential and commercial projects in Mumbai and will start work at Chennai soon. We are also discussing projects in Delhi.
India is destined to become one of the most advanced countries in the world given its energy, international exposure, experience and financial clout to take the country to an advanced and innovative state.
In fact being one of the largest English speaking countries in the world, India is poised to germinate new projects and its people have a burning hunger to improve the quality of their lives.
Smarter and hard working people and access to technology is going to make India a global leader.
On Bangalore and its architecture
This is my third trip to the city and I have seen a lot of advances technologically. As Bangalore has reasonably good infrastructure, a good airport, a great mix of talent from across the country, I plan to do projects and design some of the most advanced spaces here.
As a symbol of innovation and new economy, Bangalore is representative of advances in cyber technology.
With the global recession and slowdown, realty has taken a hit but with the burgeoning population, the long-term outlook is positive.
The current blip is only a re-adjustment and it is important to be aware of the real estate bubble and make investments in sound projects founded in correct policies.