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Yatin Pandya

Yatin Pandya is the founder and executive director of Footprints E.A.R.T.H. (Environment, Architecture, Research, Technology, Housing), an Indian professional services organization focused on research, design, and promotion of more sustainable urban futures.

India produces 24.7 meganewtons of urban waste per day. This waste stream could represent an unlimited supply of new building materials, provided recyclables can be thoughtfully reused. Footprints E.A.R.T.H. uses waste such as crate packaging, plastic water bottles, glass bottles, rags, wrappers, metal scraps, compact discs, electronic hardware, and more as material to be transformed into walls, roofing,

Footprints E.A.R.T.H. is an Ahmedabad-based firm, led and driven by Pandya and his natural, sustainable, and context-centric design philosophies. From planning to material selection, their designs are context and user-oriented, while being sustainable and influenced by Indian traditions in architecture. Work developed by the firm ranges from architecture to campus planning to education, and each project becomes an educational tool in a campaign to help India think differently about its built environment. flooring, and fenestration elements. Projects of the organization thus address environmental concerns by reducing pollution and energy through the recycling of waste. In the process, impoverished people are empowered economically through the generation of economic opportunities, and their quality of life is improved through the development of affordable and durable alternative building products for their homes.

An example of the Footprints E.A.R.T.H. philosophy works in practice is the design of the Manav Sadhna Activity Centre and Creche, in Ahmedabad, India. Walls were constructed of fly ash instead of clay, which does not require firing, produces less pollution, and is cheaper than clay. Wooden crates, glass bottles, oil drums, rags, clay bowls, and even electronic waste (keyboards) were used as filler in several different applications. The project itself acts as a material palette that can be studied by locals and serve as inspiration for future projects.

We had a chance to interview Yatin on our podcast, Social Design Insights, where he shared with us the nuts and bolts of his approach. Listen to the episode below.

37 | Finding Holistic Design Through History


Social Design Insights would like to thank all those who make our weekly show possible: Baruch Zeichner, our Producer and Sound Engineer, Donna Read, for producing our video content, and Leah Freidenrich, Director of the Curry Stone Foundation. Our theme music for 2017 is "Sorry" by Comfort Fit. The break music is "Makyen Ghrir Allah" by EarthRise SoundSystem from their album "Floating: EarthRise SoundSystem Remix Project."