Category Archives: Papers

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. 


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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

Housing Scenario in Goa: A Visual Guide

Drawing from the data of the past two census exercises in Goa [2001 and 2011], this document is the outcome of a collaborative effort between Studio Matter. and Dr. Gaurav K Pandey from the Directorate of Census Operations in Goa.  


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If I were to Teach…

Matt Groening, from “School is Hell”, 1987.

In a curated series on archival texts, views, discussions and comments on the state of architecture and design education in India, Sen Kapadia contributes the first to provoke further thought as he reminisces about the importance of a diverse learning environment against the restrictive curriculum-based thinking. 

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Indigo Architects: Mausami and Uday Andhare

Drawing to Find Out [04]

For Uday and Mausami Andhare, the process of sketching and drawing by hand pivots the design process as they work through the layers of an often messy path to architectural resolution. Looking through a cross-section of the rich visual material produced as a result, we attempt to capture the many purposes of drawing at Indigo Architects.

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The Global Left in Architecture

Alejandro Aravena and the critical significance of the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale for India.

By Ruturaj Parikh.

The theme and the selection of the curator for the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale is a testament to the shift in priorities of the discipline and the desperate need to steer the ‘euro-centric’ discussion on architecture towards new and less known territories where the profession has a real role to play. Continue reading The Global Left in Architecture

KSA Architects: Nemish Shah

Drawing to Find Out [02]

In an attempt to understand patterns of work at KSA Architects, we examine their drawings to find nuances of a process that permeates between sketchbooks and computers – a process of structuring an argument through drawing – drawing that represents design thinking.

Sketch for the Shergadh House.
Sketch for the Shergadh House.

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Cities: Between Metaphor & Reality

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

Andrew Boyd and Minnette de Silva

Two Pioneers of Modernism in Ceylon

By David Robson

David Robson pens an empathetic memoir outlining the life and works of Sri Lanka’s two pioneering architects – a man by the name of Andrew Boyd and a lady by the name Minnette de Silva – in an attempt to restore their well-deserved place in the history of Modern Architecture from Sri Lanka and to bring into light their exceptional merit. 


Andrew Boyd

40.81-Portrait-of-Andrew-Boyd,-c.-1960
Portrait of Andrew Boyd, 1960

Born in Cornwall in 1905, Andrew Boyd was the son of an Indian Circuit Judge and experienced a typically dislocated Raj childhood, spending part of his childhood in India and part of it at school in England. His father encouraged him to join the tea business, and in 1927 arranged for him to become a tea taster with Liptons in Ceylon. There he was befriended by the photographer, Lionel Wendt, and moved in a circle which included the painter George Keyt and the poet/diplomat Pablo Neruda. Wendt kindled Boyd’s interest in photography and this in turn led him to architecture. Continue reading Andrew Boyd and Minnette de Silva

Hundredhands: Bijoy Ramachandran

Drawing to Find Out [01]

In an attempt to decipher and understand the relationship between the culture of drawing and production of architecture at Hundredhands, we look into their drawings to search for synapses where they represent ideas that eventually translate into architecture.

Sketch for Centre for Hope, Tiruchchirapalli, India.
Sketch for Centre for Hope, Tiruchchirapalli, India.

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