Architect's Vastushastra Had TiE Attendees Buzzing
India-West Staff Reporter

Attendees at the recent conference of The Indus Entrepreneurs were
blissfully unaware that their movements through the labyrinths at the
Santa Clara Convention Center had been choreographed by an architect who
used vastushastra - the practice of harmonic house design - to encourage
more interaction.

Sandhya Sood, who studied the nature of traditional courtyard dwellings
in Europe and India while gaining her master's degree in architecture at
the University of California at Berkeley, has for several years been
orchestrating the look and design of the main meeting and display spaces
at TiE conferences.

Her purview included everything from booth placements, decorations and
lighting to where the food is served and attendee circulation.
This year at TiE's new "E-Bazaar," where prospective entrepreneurs made
appointments for brief meetings with lawyers, venture capitalists and
service providers, Sood plotted use of the space based upon a mandala
diagram. (See illustration.)

"A mandala diagram typically has a center or an axis with direction
heading," she told India-West at the conference. The design that the
E-Bazaar layout was based on is called the vastupurushamandala. Purusha
represents the human figure and the mandala that it sits in, the cosmos."

"The navel of this figure coincides with the geometric center of the
diagram, symbolically representing the center of the energy field."

The primary axis of the space, Sood said, "was the processional path
accentuated by the red carpet culminating in the VC area. The secondary
axes led to the directional headings of the lawyers and the service
providers." The goal, she added, was for the consulting areas to stay
"private and undisturbed, much like the limbs of the purusha in repose."