Category Archives: Design Thinking

DRAWING TO FIND OUT [05]: SHUBHRA RAJE

Shubhra Raje, principal architect of shubhra raje_built environments closely engages with different drawing practices within her studio. By excavating and analysing visual material in Shubhra’s studio, we attempt to decipher the draftsmanship cultures, their relationship with the design process and the way in which they inform her practice.


Images and Drawings: Courtesy Shubhra Raje
Author: Vedanti Agarwal
Curation and Film: Matter.

Shubhra Raje’s practice emphasizes the act of drawing as a means of critical thinking. Her rigorous drawing habit traces back to schooling years at CEPT University, where drawing by hand was ingrained in the academic rigour. However, her perceptions on the necessity to draw as a mode of thinking (as against drawing to represent) evolved through learnings during her time at the Cornell University. Representational drawings command a style that is conscious of its viewers. Design-thinking drawings are undisturbed collaterals between the engaged hand and the searching mind, oblivious of another eye. The scale of Shubhra’s practice enables her to engage with all stages of drawing in the design development process.

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DIALOGUE: The Bangalore Workshop 2018

As a part of the closing conversation of the 2018 edition of The Bangalore Workshop, Richard Leplastrier, Peter Stutchbury, Madhura Prematilleke and Niall McLaughlin discuss the challenges of making and teaching architecture of gravitas in a world with a visual bias.  

7th April 2018, IIM Bangalore
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ARCHITECTURAL EDUCATION: A ROAD MAP TO REFORM

In a curated series on archival texts, views, discussions and comments on the state of architecture and design education in India, Prem Chandavarkar assesses the state of architectural education and the role of the Council, the practice and the institution in an increasingly urban India- outlining his thoughts on an appropriate paradigm for an architecture school and the urgency for a competitive standard of excellence. 


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Nostalgia for the Future: A Film by Avijit Mukul Kishore and Rohan Shivkumar

Exploring temporal movements of a banal urbanity through a cinematic experience- composed of vivid historical footage interwoven into the everyday hustle in the life of a modern Indian citizen; the film attempts to reflect on modernity in space and time in a manner that is true to a lived experience.

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CONSERVING ARCHITECTURE BY KULBHUSHAN JAIN [Ed]

With a collection of essays on preserving our architectural heritage, Kulbhushan Jain attempts to spark the ever-passive conversation on conservation practices in India: the good, the bad and the ignored parts of it; in his recent work titled- ‘Conserving Architecture’. The compendium discusses the multifarious approaches that are needed to address the grey area between heritage and modernity, the need to find a common ground between the two. Continue reading CONSERVING ARCHITECTURE BY KULBHUSHAN JAIN [Ed]

Humanising Architecture by Sandeep Virmani

In this transcript of a lecture presented by Sandeep Virmani of Bhuj-based Hunnarshala Foundation at the Z-Axis Conference 2016, he talks about the inclusive process of design and planning at Hunnarshala which hinges on the idea of human resource as the fountainhead of all building activity.

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Architects on Architecture : mayaPRAXIS: Dimple Mittal and Vijay Narnapatti

In this edition of ‘Architects on Architecture’ series, we speak with Dimple Mittal and Vijay Narnapatti of mayaPRAXIS about their influences, practice, design thinking, and engagement with the discourse of architecture in India today.

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Water Design : Environment and Histories | Edited by Jutta Jain-Neubauer

Indian waters and waterscapes are replete with political ambitions, cultural affinities, environmental compulsions, and mythology. From the ornate subterranean water structures of Bundi in south-eastern Rajasthan to the unique Vasanta-Mandapas or the spring pavilions of Tamil Nadu; the book is an account of water histories woven into the landscapes of different time periods in Indian History.

Cover of the book: Section of Bhawalde ki Baoli, Bundi. Drawn by Nisar Khan, Conservation Architect. Courtesy Divay Gupta. ©INTACH

“Architecture negotiates space, it designs space. When it engages with water, it designs water.” –  Jutta Jain-Neubauer

At its core, Water Design: Environment & Histories explores this intrinsic relationship between water and space in India – the negotiations in built and unbuilt space, in social, ritual and sacred space, in real and metamorphic space. Looking at the structural and aesthetic figurations of water and waterscapes, it opens discussions within a larger cultural and spiritual worldview of these rich ensembles. Continue reading Water Design : Environment and Histories | Edited by Jutta Jain-Neubauer

Houses of Mylapore

A public initiative, Houses of Mylapore intends to generate interest and involvement of the community to harbour an awareness about the preservation of a transient past – the cultural and architectural ethos of Mylapore – through Heritage Walks, installations, souvenirs and other activities.

“The challenge here,” explains Tahaer Zoyab of Chennai-based Triple O Studio, one of the co-founders of the Houses of Mylapore initiative in a televised interview, “is that not too many people associate an individual house as a heritage building so that is a notion that we have been trying to change through this project itself.”

Since November 2015, Tahaer and his partner, Anupriya Subbian have directed a part of their studio’s efforts along with several other volunteers to an ongoing endeavour of documenting and thereby, preserving the eclectic suburban fabric of Mylapore.

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What is Heritage? – Prem Chandavarkar

In context of the recent demolition of the Hall Of Nations, Prem Chandavarkar observes that the lacuna in understanding the definition and the meaning of heritage will lead to the loss of many valuable buildings that belong to our recent past.


A couple of weeks ago, the Hall of Nations, an exhibition hall in Pragati Maidan in New Delhi, was demolished to make way for a new convention and exhibition centre. The building was a rare example in the world, and the only one in India, of a space frame built in reinforced concrete.  Completed in 1972 and designed by architect Raj Rewal and structural engineer Mahendra Raj, it was widely recognised as one of the icons of a period of modern Indian architecture that started in the 1950s and continued till the 1980s. This was an era that centred on India’s desire that the potential of her newly won freedom should offer the country a new modernity, and the cutting-edge architecture of that time, produced by the first generation of post-independence architects, was a significant and powerful representation of this quest. Continue reading What is Heritage? – Prem Chandavarkar