EXPERIMENTS IN CITY PLANNING AND IDEAS OF MODERNITY (1880 – 1940)

Pratyush Shankar

A Recorded Lecture from FRAME Conclave 2019: Modern Heritage


In this lecture, Pratyush Shankar speaks about the development of cities during the pre-modernist period between 1880-1940. He also addresses the role of two architects, Patrick Geddes and Otto Königsberger, who were deeply involved in the movement. The talk also emphasises on the the evolution and questions of the City, of social institutions and public spaces.

Edited Transcript

If you really, really need to understand what happened in the 1950s, you must understand what happened between 1880s and 1930s because it is an important period. And that is where actually I would like to begin. 

My presentation is not really on architecture, but it is on cities. Well, that is an area of interest. That is something I have been researching for a very long time. I have been looking at cities from a historical perspective; and these days I am particularly curious about the period that I have listed here. I think it is relevant for the theme of this conference also, and I will give you a couple of reasons why I feel it is relevant to look at this period. 

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PRAXIS | 03 BETWEENSPACES

An editorial project by Matter in partnership with Şişecam Flat Glass, PRAXIS investigates the work and positions of diverse contemporary architecture practices in India. We discuss the core concerns and architectural preoccupations of Bengaluru-based BetweenSpaces; a partnership that designs buildings with restraint, and a keen focus on spatial quality and articulation. 


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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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PRAXIS | 02: SEALAB

An editorial project by Matter in partnership with Şişecam Flat Glass, PRAXIS investigates the work and positions of diverse contemporary architecture practices in India. Ahmedabad-based SEALAB has designed and executed projects that stand out for their simplicity, eloquence, rigour and social context. In this conversation with Anand Sonecha, we discuss the work, the ideas and important processes that compose their practice.


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Modern Heritage: Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur

CHARLES CORREA

Designed in 1986 by Charles Correa, the Jawahar Kala Kendra in Jaipur is of critical significance for the Post-Independence architecture of India. Imagined as a metaphysical echo of the city of Jaipur itself, the building represents Correa’s interest in the abstract, mythical dimensions of architecture and the power of their manifestation in a civic building.


Film and Text: Aman Amin
Analytical Drawings : Studio Matter; Plan of JKK traced over original.


A Point in the Universe

Programmed and built as a National Cultural Institution, the Jawahar Kala Kendra is a testament of the everyday in the City of Jaipur. Reinterpreted from Jai Singh’s plan for the Jaipur City, Correa’s manifestation allows for interpretation of the form and programme – inviting the people and the city to a familial occurring. 

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