Category Archives: Review

Book: ‘Plastic Emotions’ reviewed by David Robson

David Robson pens a critical review of a recent book by Shiromi Pinto that creates a fictional story based on a relationship between celebrated Sri Lankan architect Minnette De Silva and global architectural icon Le Corbusier.


Book by Shiromi Pinto
Reviewed by David Robson

PLASTIC TRUTHS

The writer Shiromi Pinto has recently published her own fictionalised account of the life of Sri Lankan architect Minnette de Silva under the bizarre and inexplicable title ‘Plastic Emotions’. Apparently, in this Trumpian world of fake news and casual lies, it has become acceptable for writers to take the lives of real people and re-cast them to suit their own purposes. But can such cavalier distortions ever be justified if, along the way, the personality of the protagonist is distorted beyond recognition, if the people who surrounded her are pilloried, if her achievements devalued and her ideas misrepresented?

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In Focus: The Architecture of Didi Contractor

Resonating with the mindfulness of architect Didi Contractor’s approach to her work and life, Joginder Singh’s book ‘An Adobe Revival – Didi Contractor’s Architecture’ and the documentary ‘Didi Contractor – Marrying the Earth to the Building’ by Steffi Giaracuni, together encapsulate the unique sensibility with which Didi diligently continues to pursue an architecture that is embedded in a holistic sensorial experience.

The film unassumingly opens with the architect seated at her drawing board, sketching while deep in thought in the comfort of her warm mud abode amidst the stunning views of the Kangra Valley. Born to Expressionist Painters associated with the Bauhaus group of the 1920s, Didi pursued an education in art although keenly drawn towards architecture and design. Having moved to the hills, she set up a practice much later in life with a core ideology rooted in the understanding of local material and construction techniques. Continue reading In Focus: The Architecture of Didi Contractor

The Structure: Works of Mahendra Raj

‘The Structure: Works of Mahendra Raj‘ is an elaborate account of the significant career of one of the predominant structural designers of India – through an archive of images, drawings and writings on the prolific structures envisioned by Mahendra Raj.

Book Cover: View of the Hidon River Mills roof, Gaziabad.

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Brinda Somaya: Works & Continuities

Stories of intention, aspiration and imagination form a gently woven fabric of implicit and explicit meanings that often transcend into a collective reality. Architecture enables these stories. 

Narrated by Principal Architect of Somaya and Kalappa Consultants (SNK) Brinda Somaya, BRINDA SOMAYA: Works and Continuities is an inspiring autobiographical account of stories of a gratifying practice. Continue reading Brinda Somaya: Works & Continuities

Nostalgia for the Future: A Film by Avijit Mukul Kishore and Rohan Shivkumar

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.

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