[IN]SIDE: Exploring Emergent Architecture by Studio Advaita

The architecture of Studio Advaita taps into the essential purpose of building with structure, skin, and details that are contextual and inspired from the immediate: a practice where the eye draws from observations of cultural and historical contexts. 

Shivsagar School, Assam

Reflecting on the past, there still exists a recollection of a time where good architecture was once identified with spaces of worship such as Temple Architecture, or with structures of power such as kingdoms, forts, and assemblies- among many other forms of public architecture. Today, the scope has broadened and architecture is mostly a setting for everyday, ordinary activities. Despite this familiarity of architecture in our everyday lives, very often we find ourselves asking, “What is good architecture?” Continue reading [IN]SIDE: Exploring Emergent Architecture by Studio Advaita

In Focus: The Architecture of Didi Contractor

Resonating with the mindfulness of architect Didi Contractor’s approach to her work and life, Joginder Singh’s book ‘An Adobe Revival – Didi Contractor’s Architecture’ and the documentary ‘Didi Contractor – Marrying the Earth to the Building’ by Steffi Giaracuni, together encapsulate the unique sensibility with which Didi diligently continues to pursue an architecture that is embedded in a holistic sensorial experience.

The film unassumingly opens with the architect seated at her drawing board, sketching while deep in thought in the comfort of her warm mud abode amidst the stunning views of the Kangra Valley. Born to Expressionist Painters associated with the Bauhaus group of the 1920s, Didi pursued an education in art although keenly drawn towards architecture and design. Having moved to the hills, she set up a practice much later in life with a core ideology rooted in the understanding of local material and construction techniques. Continue reading In Focus: The Architecture of Didi Contractor

MODERN HERITAGE: IIM, Bangalore

Designed by Balkrishna Doshi / Vāstu Shilpā Consultants, the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore is an important site for the heritage of modern architecture in India – a study in the possibility for architecture to assimilate time and human presence in a composition of the built, open and in-between spaces.


Photos and Film: Ruturaj Parikh; Edited by Isha Raut ©Studio Matter
Drawings: Vāstu Shilpā Consultants; Courtesy Khushnu Panthaky Hoof



The Plan as a Generator

The Indian Institute of Management campus in Bangalore occupies about 54,000 square meters within a 100-acre site. Designed as a poly-nuclear plan, the overall spatial arrangement relies on a series of intersecting corridors that form the basic skeletal structure.

Continue reading MODERN HERITAGE: IIM, Bangalore

[IN]SIDE: Design of the Idea with Ajay Shah Design Studio [ASDS]

Industrial Playground (now a part of Rubberband) – a furniture design initiative by Ajay Shah Design Studio [ASDS] – juxtaposes playful formal and visual qualities of the objects they make with process-driven industrial manufacturing for characteristic precision and uniformity. Their contemporary aesthetic is derived from the intrinsic quality of materials they work with and the nature of this specific process.


Design, in a context like that of India, can mean many things. From improvisations on existing situations to ideas that are points of the genesis of the new and unexplored avenues; the context of a developing nation enables one to deal with a range of unprecedented challenges. In 1990, Ajay Shah, then a young NID graduate, founded the Circus Design Company after a few stints of working as a designer and a furniture producer. This new company was imagined to be a multi-disciplinary design firm that dealt with design as the process of thought rather than a professional service. The conceptual framework of the present-day Ajay Shah Design Studio can be traced back to this office. Continue reading [IN]SIDE: Design of the Idea with Ajay Shah Design Studio [ASDS]

DRAWING TO FIND OUT [06]: PERCY ADIL PITHAWALA

Percy Adil Pithwala’s practice moves through intersections in art and architecture. While analysing his work at the Red Studio in Vadodara, we discuss and discover his way of looking at drawing – the abstract and the architectural. 


Images and Drawings: Courtesy Percy Adil Pithawala
Author: Vedanti Agarwal
Curation & Film: Matter

Percy Pithawala has developed a unique approach to architectural practice over the years. Situated between pedagogy, art and architecture, his practice forages for intersections, unions and relationships between the three fields with ideas moving fluidly between the three. Percy Pithawala transitioned from working on conventional architecture projects to testing new grounds in competitions, abstract explorations and experimental pedagogy. While growing into both an artist and an architect, Percy closely engaged with ‘drawing as art’ from his schooling years at Pratt University, New York. His process engages with various modes, methods and mediums of drawing, some meant to bring about resolution in thought, while others: a vivid intuitive activity; each one producing expressive outcomes. Continue reading DRAWING TO FIND OUT [06]: PERCY ADIL PITHAWALA