Pune based architect Anuj Kale has finally made it official: his wildly popular, hilarious website Leewardists will now receive his full attention, instead of just being a ‘side thing’. Founded over two years ago, the website is a with rib-tickling ride of funny comics that are related to architecture, design and Indian urban life. With memes and comics becoming the new language of humour, the Leewardists is hitting the spot with its tech-savvy comics.
“The Leewardists is a platform to know about the importance of Design, Architecture, Sustainability and Urban Design through the medium of Comics. It is easiest way to convey complex issues from ages to my viewers”, says Anuj, who finished his training in Architecture and Urban Design at the prestigious Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT), Ahmedabad.
He first started his career as visiting faculty with alma matter, CEPT, but quickly realized that the institutionalized Indian education system was hardly a place he wanted to be. He noticed how architecture was not taught with images and graphics, ironically enough, for a profession that relies so much on graphic representations. Kale conducts several workshops for students and interested public, as part of the Leewardists, teaching visual representation to help individuals improve their storyboarding and narrative skills.
Kale worked for a brief period as an Urban Designer, and credits this with his first encounter at the appalling way fundamental social issues are largely ignored. He blogged about it for six months, before quitting his job when he realised that comics were the way he wanted to tell tales that matter. .Architecture being one of those professions that tends to be a close circle, with most professionals stuck behind the scenes, this is refreshing.
One of the best features of the meme website is its straightforward and accessible approach. It simply gets right into it. What greets you when you open the home page is:
“There have been many stories across centuries, across civilizations, which have been the building blocks of humanity. Stories of Discovery and Architecture. . .of slavery, stories of Kingdoms settling, of them battling. . . A secure place on this planet has always been a challenge. As we have heard those epics and fables of Great Cities and Rise of Empires, it is equally necessary to understand their eventual ends.
At Leewardists, we try to narrate such stories through sarcastic approaches, to gain perception and understand the values of nature, society and human relations. No one can be wise enough to prevent the inevitable, but might mitigate the end by some commendable extent. Leewardists discusses untold stories of rulers, kingdoms and dynasties. . . people, places and cities. . . artifacts, practices and culture. . .and many more such queries which reveals facts about how we used to live and how we decide to live in the future. . .what ended and what remained. . . what perished and what flourished. . .and the many “un-discussed processes and practices” behind such conclusions.”
Just like that, no fancy words or eloquent rhetoric. That would explain its raising popularity (from a mere 9k followers to 60+k followers on social media in less than a week). Besides, the comics are super relevant and a great way for architects and designers of all ages to relate.