Category Archives: Papers

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

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

No Museum for Architecture

by Ruturaj Parikh

A reaction to William JR Curtis‘s piece on India’s Modern Heritage titled ‘Nothing is Sacred.

I have grown up with modern architecture. As a child in Ahmedabad, my father used to take me to climb trees in CEPT campus and play cricket in IIM (which then had no compound wall) while vultures lined the water tank with the fake arch. I have known the Sanskar Kendra to host some nice exhibitions although as a child I never used to like the space. I was taught in architecture to consider it sacred. I am not a fan. Continue reading No Museum for Architecture

ARCHITECTURAL EDUCATION IN INDIA: WOMEN STUDENTS, CULTURE AND PEDAGOGY

By Madhavi Desai

Education is the cornerstone of any discipline, including architecture, where it primarily combines intellectual rigour and practical skills. It is also a place where the students learn to think deeply about the interconnectedness of the culture, the built environment, technology and the world of ideas. The most significant and unique aspect of architectural education is that it is potentially infinite in its scope and subject matter. The discipline of architecture is deeply embedded in the cultural world and the culture of an institute is closely connected to its teaching ideology and pedagogy. “Architectural education, although obviously intended as vocational training, is also intended as a form of socialisation aimed at producing a very specific type of person. All forms of education transmit knowledge and skills. All forms of education also socialise students into some sort of ethos or culture. These two functions are inseparable.”[ii] Institutional practices such as organisation of curriculum, the relationship between theory and practice and administrative set-up enable or constrain particular forms of knowledge. Continue reading ARCHITECTURAL EDUCATION IN INDIA: WOMEN STUDENTS, CULTURE AND PEDAGOGY