Category Archives: Books

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

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Cover.

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

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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.

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Why Loiter?

Book by Shilpa Phadke, Sameera Khan and Shilpa Ranade.
Reviewed by Mustansir Dalvi

Why Loiter? discusses the conventions and changing notions of women in the public realm. Reviewed here by Mustansir Dalvi, the book challenges regressive social structures that deter women through a notion of respectability.

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Living with Modernity: Brasilia-Chandigarh | Iwan Baan

Ace photographer and observer of human interaction with architecture, Iwan Baan captures the present-day frames of two intended utopias – Le Corbusier’s Chandigarh and Oscar Niemeyer’s Brasilia.

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A Place in the Shade by Charles Correa

A seminal collection of essays, A Place in the Shade is a chronicle of thoughts spanning Charles Correa’s illustrious career in architecture and urban planning.

Spread from the Book.
Spread from the Book.

In the span of a prolific practice, Charles Correa’s work and thoughts have been instrumental in shaping the architecture of Post-Independence India.  His writings – few and far in-between – deal with both the real and the metaphysical in architecture, urban planning, housing, urbanization and design in general. The writings in this book address the concerns and issues that are fundamental to the Indian landscape and habitat. Illustrated by select visuals: photographs and drawings, the book connects his work and ideas to a tangible set of propositions.  Continue reading A Place in the Shade by Charles Correa