Category Archives: Essays

‘I am Damned If I Do and Damned If I Don’t’

Architecture, Academia, and Gendered Homelessness


In a curated series on archival texts, views, discussions and comments on the state of architecture and design education in India, Prof Dr Anuradha Chatterjee discusses the specious, generalised view of academic practice in India. She writes critically of the prevalent discriminatory and discursive structures or biases that this space and contemporary professional discourse have grown to embody.



THE (PROFESSIONAL) ACADEMIC

Academia in India has evolved a lot, from the times when we were labeled as teachers to now being called faculty members. In fact, Pearl Academy in Delhi has started offering postgraduate Continue reading ‘I am Damned If I Do and Damned If I Don’t’

History: Narratives for Meaning and Operation

In a curated series on archival texts, views, discussions and comments on the state of architecture and design education in India, Kiran Kumar & Madhuri Rao review the significance of ‘History’ in architectural education and practice of contemporary architecture as a “…..tool to operate rather than a static and canonic body of knowledge.”

The facts are really not at all like fish on the fishmonger’s slab. They are like fish swimming about in a vast and sometimes inaccessible ocean; and what the historian catches will depend, partly on chance, but mainly on what part of the ocean he chooses to fish in and what tackle he chooses to use – these two factors being, of course, determined by the kind of fish he wants to catch. By and large, the historian will get the kind of facts he wants. History means interpretation.

E.H. Carr, What is History?


Premise

It is necessary at crucial junctures such as our present, to come to terms with change and to re-direct and accommodate shifting practices. This will ensure that architecture and history will continue to be sponsored by and for the collective. The process of evolution of the past is an engaging construct to reflect on themes – generic and those that have been susceptible to modifications. The past can become relevant and meaningful only if it becomes an anchor to our conscience, diffusing into our politics, economics and our daily mundane, not as a characteristic or stylistic manifestation but as a reflection to what has always remained relevant. Continue reading History: Narratives for Meaning and Operation

Christopher Benninger: Cyrus Jhabvala Memorial Lecture 2018

Architect Christopher Benninger narrates the experiences that moulded his life and shares these learnings from his travels in the Third Edition of the Cyrus Jhabvala Memorial Lecture held in September 2018 at India International Centre, New Delhi


THE STORIES FROM MY JOURNEY
Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Prologue
India is the land of storytelling. Since time immemorial oral narratives have been the medium of India’s learning and self-awareness. Oral traditions are kept alive by temple artisans and priests, by wandering minstrels, and dramas in village fairs and tamashas. Continue reading Christopher Benninger: Cyrus Jhabvala Memorial Lecture 2018

TRIBUTE: Hasmukh C. Patel, (7 December 1933 – 20 January 2018) by RIYAZ TAYYIBJI

Riyaz Tayyibji writes about the significance of the work and legacy of Hasmukh C. Patel remembering him for his unique oeuvre and his ability to design humane spaces of delight.  


For the last decade and more, I have called a place designed by Hasmukh C. Patel; ‘Home!’

My apartment is on the ‘4th Floor’, which happens to be the eighth level, as each apartment is a duplex with rooms organized around a double height living room. A large balcony overlooks a public park and a sculptural stair physically connects the rooms. There are days when we forget we are living seventy feet above the street- there is something grounded about the way the apartment works. Our children often refer to our lowest bedroom as ‘the basement’. There is no sense of disconnection, no sense of the typically isolated
apartment. This is not a ‘flat’ that is born from Continue reading TRIBUTE: Hasmukh C. Patel, (7 December 1933 – 20 January 2018) by RIYAZ TAYYIBJI

School Without Walls

In a curated series on archival texts, views, discussions and comments on the state of architecture and design education in India, Professor Chhaya critically questions the idea and role of an institution in an increasingly multidisciplinary design world, outlining his thoughts on a desired model for an architecture school and the values associated with the same. 


Continue reading School Without Walls