Category Archives: Books

Crafts in Interior Architecture: India. 1990 Onwards.

Book by Rishav Jain


Published by SID Research Cell at the CEPT University, Rishav Jain’s book on ‘Crafts in Interior Architecture’ takes a critical view of the history of building crafts in the context of space-making while analysing recent attitudes towards their integration in contemporary work.

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Historically, building crafts have been an intrinsic part of making architecture in India. We have all known and been intimate with the practice. In the Indian context, the idea of ‘kala’ is rooted in many ways of working with materials and mediums. There is a great significance to the relationship of the artisan with the architecture of our subcontinent. There are, of course, many and complex layers of this relationship. That is where this book dwells. Continue reading Crafts in Interior Architecture: India. 1990 Onwards.

Laurie Baker: Life, Works & Writings – Gautam Bhatia

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.

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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

The city observed: Notes from an unfolding India: Pallavi Shrivastava

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The City Observed by Pallavi Shrivastava reads like dispatches from a battlefront by a seasoned war correspondent. Each chapter is a stimulating vignette of some memorable place, or recently contrived artifact, through which Pallavi unravels counter intuitive conclusions. Pallavi has two eyes and many voices. Those two eyes see things often unnoticed, bringing into focus a collage of real life issues and human circumstances. She has an uncanny ability to conceive of the metropolis as an everyday person would, yet to catalyze unique understandings and conclusions from her choreographies! She navigates the metropolis building narratives out of keen insights, speaking for those without voices; giving eyes to people who have eyes, but no vision. Pallavi’s most provocative ability is to reveal contradictions between the emerging urban form and the critical needs of the everyday Mumbaikar, who emerges forgotten in the unfolding scenario. Her written landscapes reveal disturbing images of the bad within the good, and of poverty within plenty. From bright images emerge a sense of charm, tinged by nostalgia for the city’s past, yet a warning of pathos in times to come.

Christopher Charles Benninger Continue reading The city observed: Notes from an unfolding India: Pallavi Shrivastava

Balkrishna Doshi: An Architecture for India

Written by William J. R. Curtis.

An engaging reprint of the seminal book by Curtis takes us through the experiments of the defining years of Doshi‘s practice – a practice that has presented us with some of the most challenging axioms and paradoxes of modern architecture in India and eventually – ‘an Architecture for India‘.

Book Cover
Book Cover

Continue reading Balkrishna Doshi: An Architecture for India

Himalayan Cities; Settlement Patterns, Public Places and Architecture

Book by Pratyush Shankar.

Following years of travel, documentation and engagement, Pratyush Shankar authors a rich, intimate monograph: an insight into the unique, diverse, versatile and complex human habitats of the Himalayas illustrated with Photographs, Sketches and Drawings.

A Spread from the Book. The book is beautifully laid out and richly illustrated.
A Spread from the Book. The book is beautifully laid out and richly illustrated.

Continue reading Himalayan Cities; Settlement Patterns, Public Places and Architecture