Category Archives: Visual Culture

Martand Khosla: Experiments of Urban Enquiry

Through his art and architecture, Martand Khosla has created a niche that lies at the intersection of the two fields. His installations embody philosophies from this undefinable space, as he extracts questions using art as a voice, and architecture as principles, to raise concerns about humanitarian aspects of societal and political systems.


The practice of Martand Khosla inhabits a transitional space between art and architecture, which enables him a platform to address concerns that transgress architecture as independent habitable spaces. He co-founded, and is a partner of the architectural practice RKDS (Romi Khosla Design Associates), which has obtained both national and international recognition through its award-winning designs.

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Niveditaa Gupta: On Architecture Photography

In conversation with Niveditaa Gupta, we discuss the various narratives that drive a contemporary photograph, along with the values and potential of architecture photography in India.


The following text is the edited transcript from the conversation with Niveditaa Gupta, conducted on December 13th, 2021


CHAPTER 01: ORIGINS [00:25]

Part I – The Theory of Photography [00:39]

I never anticipated that I would get into photography. I was not interested in photography as an amateur passion that you pick up while you are in architecture or design school, because we had a lot of photography exercises, but I never felt that I could use the camera to photograph things which I might be architecturally interested in. As part of my dissertation, I wrote a paper on architecture photography. In the fourth year of architecture school, everybody had to write a research paper, and so I went through the archives of architecture photography all over the world, to study just how the evolution of photography happened over the years.

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RANDHIR SINGH: ON PHOTOGRAPHY

In conversation with photographer Randhir Singh, we discuss the critical aspects behind the cognisance of capturing a pertinent architectural photograph, as well as the methods which assist the process.


The following text is the edited transcript from the conversation with Randhir Singh, conducted on February 10th, 2021


Chapter 01: ORIGINS [00:20]

Part I – Education [00:27]

I studied architecture – in the US – and I worked as an architect for fifteen years, in New York. While I was working there, I started photographing the projects that our office was doing, (and) I photographed projects that my friends were doing, and it built that way. In college, I did a semester abroad in Italy, and that was actually the first time I really made pictures with any sort of seriousness. I had a little Cannon film camera, and we traveled all over the country and spent a lot of time in Rome.

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Bharath Ramamrutham: On Architectural Photography

In conversation with photographer Bharath Ramamrutham, we discuss architectural photography as a discipline and a passion, and the various processes underlining a meaningful photograph.  


The following text is the edited transcript from the interview with Bharath Ramamrutham, conducted on July 10th, 2020.


I. Origins [00:15]: 

Bharath Ramamrutham [BR]: I grew up in a very simple traditional family. I was very fortunate because my father – an engineer and a marketing man – had a very keen sense of design. He also had an abiding interest in architecture, as well as photography.

I remember when I was about 14 years old, I asked him to get me a camera and he bought me an Agfa Click 3 (one of those really old-fashioned things, then for 35 rupees). It used to shoot monochrome film. We converted one of the bathrooms at home into a dark room and he bought an enlarger. We started processing film and making prints at home. He also travelled a lot around the world and Continue reading Bharath Ramamrutham: On Architectural Photography

Portraiture: ‘Movie Theaters’ and ‘Churches’

By reading into the cultural environment of the sixties and seventies, and the rise of a range of affinities in architecture that emerged in the wake of Independence in India, two pictorial essays by Stefanie Zoche and Sabine Haubitz document a part of a larger cultural zeitgeist. The essays focusing on the essentialised photographs of facades of single screen movie theatres and churches in South India propose a common ground – an enquiry into what they refer to as ‘Hybrid Modernism’. 


In India, architecture evolves in a palimpsestic disposition, especially in the rurban areas. Historical, provincial, aspirational layers exist in this pluralistic built landscape. The development of modern architecture in India succeeding the influences of international style made a gradual headway from 1920s and -30s and pronouncedly was acknowledged with Le Corbusier’s vision for Chandigarh. While post-independence architecture in India is largely attributed to modern architecture, it belongs to perhaps only a fraction of the built landscape. Architecture in the remaining paradigm is countered by a gentler transition, more self-conscious and self-referential, consolidated socially and culturally. Familiar and immediate frames of references are appropriated and contextualised at a local level. Moreover, it is not homogeneous across the country but exists in complex crossovers.

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