Category Archives: Modern Heritage

MODERN HERITAGE is a research, listing and documentation initiative that attempts to chronicle the rich history of modern architecture in India with a view that irrespective of the legal and conventional understanding of ‘Heritage’, these buildings must be protected, and this history must be recognised in academic and professional discourses. With many works of significance already altered or even demolished, the need for a Modern Heritage list is all the more urgent.

MODERN HERITAGE: Listing

The contribution of the history of modern architecture in India is unparalleled in terms of the many experiments that were embarked upon in search of spatial and social innovations that were responsive to the cultural, social, political and economic landscape of India. At a time when architecture in India needs a critical review, it is this history that serves as a reference and a foundation.

Mapping Modern History


1930 – 1949 

Continue reading MODERN HERITAGE: Listing

Photography and Modern Indian Architecture

By Ram Rahman

Through a visual journey, acclaimed photographer Ram Rahman talks about a critical time for architecture in India – from Independence to Economic Liberalization – as we observe the anxiety of architectural positions in times of uncertainty and struggle for identity.

In India, masters are revered and apprentices forgotten. But it is the apprentices who religiously took the message, the art and the knowledge across India from the first generation of experimenters till the generation of architects and designers who work in an economically liberal India.

This video [with Ram in the background narrative] takes one through an incredibly rich history of the architecture of post-independence India when the socialist ideology worked through democracy creating a fertile ground for experiments in housing and civic architecture. This time stands in stark contrast to the present as the patterns of patronage change and the state becomes increasingly impervious to the core issues.

Profile:

Ram Rahman is a photographer, designer, curator and activist based in Delhi. He has been an observer of modern movement in architecture in post-colonial India. Using photography as a window to history and the present, he observes the changing landscape of architecture, design and art in India.

He is one of the founding members of the Safdar Hashmi Memorial Trust. Ram Rahman has studied Physics from MIT followed by Graphic Design from Yale.

Credit:

This presentation is excerpted from a closed-door session with MoMA‘s C-MAP Asia Group in June 2015.

Protecting Modern Masterpieces in India

A Conversation between William J.R. Curtis and an Unknown Indian.

UI  You are known around the world as a historian and critic of architecture who defends quality against mediocrity, and who maintains a long view of events. In a recent article, ‘Nothing is Sacred: Threats to Modern Masterpieces in India’, (Architectural Review, April 2014)*, you have sounded the alert about the vulnerability of major works in India such as those by Le Corbusier and Louis Kahn in Ahmedabad, and of course those by Le Corbusier in Chandigarh. Subsequently in the Times of India you have argued in favour of the legal definition and defence of modern architectural heritage. What are these threats and what can be done to protect these universal masterpieces of modern architecture? Continue reading Protecting Modern Masterpieces in India