In conversation with Ajit Rao on his work and insights on drawings, skill and education.
Architect, Animator and Artist, Ajit Rao started his career working with the renowned Indian architect B V Doshi. Ajit’s added passion for the art of cartooning soon developed into a journey exploring diverse skills in varied mediums of expression and communication. An intuitive teacher, he has headed training programs at leading animation studios and has been a visiting faculty at premier design and architecture institutes in India. Presently Ajit has set up a studio in Lonavala, endeavouring to bring these diverse resources to the service of various aspects of Indian cultural expressions.Continue reading Drawing to Find Out : Ajit Rao→
Through a visual journey, acclaimed photographer Ram Rahman talks about a critical time for architecture in India – from Independence to Economic Liberalization – as we observe the anxiety of architectural positions in times of uncertainty and struggle for identity.
In India, masters are revered and apprentices forgotten. But it is the apprentices who religiously took the message, the art and the knowledge across India from the first generation of experimenters till the generation of architects and designers who work in an economically liberal India.
This video [with Ram in the background narrative] takes one through an incredibly rich history of the architecture of post-independence India when the socialist ideology worked through democracy creating a fertile ground for experiments in housing and civic architecture. This time stands in stark contrast to the present as the patterns of patronage change and the state becomes increasingly impervious to the core issues.
Ram Rahman is a photographer, designer, curator and activist based in Delhi. He has been an observer of modern movement in architecture in post-colonial India. Using photography as a window to history and the present, he observes the changing landscape of architecture, design and art in India.
He is one of the founding members of the Safdar Hashmi Memorial Trust. Ram Rahman has studied Physics from MIT followed by Graphic Design from Yale.
This presentation is excerpted from a closed-door session with MoMA‘s C-MAP Asia Group in June 2015.
Brinda Somaya explains a critical period of architecture practice in India that connects the ‘masters’ to the contemporary practices outlining the nature of work in an era that helped India come to terms with its modernity by minting the term ‘The Bridge Generation’.
I believe I belong to the first generation of practising Architects to be born after India got her freedom. For ease of reference and to give us a sense of identity I have coined the term “Architecture in India – The Bridge Generation” after a great deal of reflection and thought. The term evolved in my mind as I believe we ‘bridged’ the architectural space between the Great Masters and the current generation that continues to enter the global architectural space. Continue reading Architecture in India – The Bridge Generation→
In this edition of ‘Architects on Architecture’ series, we speak with Bijoy Ramachandran of Hundredhands about practice, the books he likes and the works and thoughts that he admires and that influence him.
The book assembles influences, details and observations on and by Laurie Baker to treat one to an explicit and fitting record to his willingness to accommodate and experiment with architecture of frugality and his continuing capacity to inspire people in re-evaluating excess.
Reprinted in 2014, this book authored by Gautam Bhatia makes an invaluable contribution by documenting the intent and ideas attached to the prolific legacy of Laurie Baker that secedes from the conventional notion of architectural practice. In his preceding author’s note, Gautam Bhatia writes, “The book was originally intended to be a guide to his method of building, but over the many meetings in the verandah of his home, the Hamlet, and the numerous visits to the sites (occasionally carrying a client’s door on the roof of his car) and watching him communicate with the Malyalee masons with vigorous gestures, I came to realise that Baker’s architecture is a by-product of a larger picture – a picture that recognises the importance of people’s aspirations for a better life. I began to see that his buildings were merely a direct and honest response to this spirit, this idea. It was after having realised this that the book took a different turn.” Issued in paperback, the book is eponymously grouped in three distinct parts with brisk chapters – Life, Work & Writings. Continue reading Laurie Baker: Life, Works & Writings – Gautam Bhatia→
Re-Mastered for the digital age, here is the classic !
Starring Arundhati Roy, Arjun Raina and Roshan Seth in the leads, the film directed by Pradip Kishen makes a wonderful comment on the atmosphere of a school – something everyone from a design background may relate to. It also take a sarcastic view of the ongoings in a school.
Production: Doordarshan  Screenplay: Pradip Krishen, Arundhati Roy
In the first episode of our ‘Architects on Architecture’ series, we discuss the fundamental ideas that helped shape one of the most versatile practices in India in conversation with Dr Brinda Somaya, Somaya & Kalappa Consultants, Mumbai.
A 4-week rigorous architectural design studio in three diverse locations in India culminating in the POOL*, Ahmedabad.
UNABASHED MODERNISM Set amidst the Aravalli hills and dotted with lakes is Udaipur; an important historical city in the southern part of Rajasthan. It has a dense urban fabric and like many cities in India witnessed rapid growth and changes in the old city which is continuing.The design programme will include an urban insert addressing the rich historical context while imagining the future.
How the empirical and the scientific can sustain together. – By Narendra Dengle.
Narendra Dengle talks about the inherent contradictions in the much discussed ‘Smart-City’ idea that has captured political imagination by inclining the argument in favour of a city which has a place for all and not just the economy which builds it.
Once a client of mine discussed at length the requirements of an institutional project and stressed the importance of being rational, functional, economic, and energy conscious in approach. We agreed. The next day he called up to say, “Please make it Eco-friendly.” We said, ‘Oh yes’. Then he dropped by to insist that the Continue reading Cities: Between Metaphor & Reality→