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→
Brinda Somaya explains a critical period of architecture practice in India that connects the ‘masters’ to the contemporary practices outlining the nature of work in an era that helped India come to terms with its modernity by minting the term ‘The Bridge Generation’.
I believe I belong to the first generation of practising Architects to be born after India got her freedom. For ease of reference and to give us a sense of identity I have coined the term “Architecture in India – The Bridge Generation” after a great deal of reflection and thought. The term evolved in my mind as I believe we ‘bridged’ the architectural space between the Great Masters and the current generation that continues to enter the global architectural space. Continue reading Architecture in India – The Bridge Generation→
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→
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→
In this comment, P Venugopal objectively observes our changing architectural perceptions of homes as a society and the subjective dimensions of the missing levels of humanising factors shaping the designs.
Museums are regulated environments. Artifacts on display are confined to tight frames of glass, and watched under spotlights. Curios in glass boxes are hermetically sealed. Relieved from the incessant gaze of the spectators, if they are taken back to the store, after the day’s work, they may recoup in the warmth of their ordinary storage alcove and breathe! They too can enjoy the privilege of a private realm. Continue reading AN ERODED PRIVATE REALM: P Venugopal→