The Capital Project of Chandigarh is among the most widely discussed and debated projects in the history of Modern Architecture in India. Under the trusteeship of Prime Minister Nehru, several young Indian architects joined hands to contribute to the mammoth task of nation-building, working across diverse sectors such as buildings for Space Research & Technology, Administrative Infrastructure, Cultural & Educational Institutions and Housing. At the forefront alongside his better-known contemporaries, was Architect Shivdatt Sharma [SD Sharma], a silent but powerful contributor to the ‘modernist’ landscape of a young India. In this piece, curated and assimilated by his son and architect Sangeet Sharma, SD Sharma writes about his time working alongside Le Corbusier and as an apprentice under Pierre Jeanneret.
In an intimate note that follows, Sangeet Sharma shares instances of growing up in the newly built city of Chandigarh and working under Shivdatt Sharma as an apprentice for almost two decades. He reflects on the many relationships that he has nurtured with his father, over the years – one of a friend, philosopher and guide.
In a discussion with Sanjay Mohe, Principal, Mindspace Architects, we explore the relationship between architecture and the specific peculiarities of the Indian landscape to try and decipher a unique way of seeing that is at the core of our experience of the built environment in India.
The post-independence period in India witnessed the beginning of a new design culture with the founding of quality institutions and initiatives in arts, crafts and cultural projects across India. In the quest for a unique modern identity, the architecture and design trajectory of an independent India aspired to establish a significant voice in the making of a new kind of society. In this context, the exhibition: IMPACT: Design Thinking and the Visual Arts in Young India attempts to foreground the radical design discourse in India in the 20th century, featuring select works of individuals, groups and organisations at the intersection of art, craft and design.
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.
The recently concluded conference : Z-Axis, curated by the Charles Correa Foundation [Goa], ‘Buildings as Ideas’ witnessed a meaningful shift in the discourse of architectural paradigm. The conference, presented in diverse contexts, was collectively driven by a strong intention of ‘influencing a positive change’ with the physical manifestation of a ‘building as an idea’.
As designers and visionaries of the built environment, we are in a weighty profession that has the potential to condition the societies we live in. In this, it assumes a tremendous responsibility to the many unseen layers of complexities and concerns which rattle our inner subconscious each time we alter that which is naturally on this earth to accommodate that which we ideate. As individuals, each of us contributes to the shaping of the built environment in our own way, but as architects, we tend to disconnect ourselves from this reality more often than we should. Continue reading Building as an Agent of Change→