Architecture in India

Architecture in India

Podcast details

Launched April 2020

11 Episodes

CAU

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Introduction by A. Srivathsan

Centre for Research on Architecture and Urbanism (CAU), CEPT University brings this curated podcast series on architecture in India as a tool to help students listen, reflect and self-learn. It will also support teachers and interested professionals to stay updated on contemporary discourses in practice, design, and history and theory.


Tridip Suhrud: Working With Hands: Materiality and Gandhi's Political Imagination

Dr Tridip Suhrud, is a renowned scholar of Gandhi Studies, and is currently the provost of CEPT University. His body of work includes several projects on the life and thoughts of Gandhi, the social and cultural history of modern Gujarat, and translations of various literary and social science texts in Gujarati and English.  Dr. Suhrud was earlier associated with the Sabarmati Ashram Preservation Trust as its Director.
 
In this podcast, Dr. Suhrud talks about Gandhi's engagement with the material world and attendant issues of societal hierarchies. To Gandhi, working with hands was not a mere symbolic act but central to the way of living. Dr. Suhrud explains how Gandhi approached division of labour and technology to pave the way for a permanent economy.


Abin Chaudhuri: Making of a Place, A Productive Collaboration between Practice and Community

Abin Chaudhuri, founder of Abin Design Studio, is based in Kolkata. His practice eschews a single 'big idea' approach and explores ways to engage with communities through a series of strategic initiatives. 

Museum of Modern Art (MoMA, New York) has selected one of the firm's projects to showcase in their publication and travelling Exhibition titled , "Uneven Growth: Tactical Urbanisms for Expanding Megacities, 2014". 

In this podcast, Abin Chaudhuri, explains that the significance and value of design lie in improving the quality of life of its users.  Taking a set of small but significant projects that he designed for the community of Bansberia, a small town in the peri-urban area of Kolkata, he explains how a collaborative practice yields enduring results and creates meaningful places for people.


Kamu Iyer: On the Cusp of Modernity, Architecture and Education in the Formative Period

Kamu Iyer is a senior architect who lived and practised in Mumbai for more than five decades. He is a keen observer, analyst and author of the book ‘Bombay: From Precincts to Sprawl’, among other books and articles. His prolific work is people-centred and focuses on their ways of using spaces.

Kamu Iyer talks about the evolution of architectural education in India during its formative years, including changing pedagogies. Using a biographical mode, he reflects on how the school of architecture at Sir J.J. School of Art, combined with interactions among prominent architects and some key buildings of Bombay ushered in modern thinking in architecture.


Kaiwan Mehta: Neighbourhoods As Histories

Kaiwan Mehta, is a theorist and critic in the field of visual culture, architecture, and city studies. He is currently the Managing Editor of Domus India and heads the doctoral programme in Architecture at CEPT University. Kaiwan writes prolifically on architecture and city issues and has curated many significant exhibitions. He is also the author of  two books: Alice in Bhuleshwar: Navigating a Mumbai Neighbourhood and The Architecture of I. M. Kadri.

Ìn this podcast, Kaiwan Mehta, portrays the dynamic relationship between architecture and history as seen through the biographies’ of neighbourhoods, in this case, Bhuleswar and Kalbadevi in Mumbai.  He talks about how reciprocation of ideas, experiences of migrants, labourers, and citizens forms the genesis of a space. Kaiwan argues that a  neighbourhood is expanded from the concept of space to the concept of time (history) and in doing so neighbourhoods have more potential than that of the nation space to reconcile conflicts.


Chitra Vishwanath in Conversation with Vishwanath Srikantaiah: Architecture in the Time of Pandemic

Chitra Vishwanath is the founder of Biome Environmental Solutions, a firm focused on ecology, architecture and water.  An architect noted for sustainable building practices. Chitra Vishwanath is deeply committed to addressing ecological and social issues through design, and over the last three decades, prolifically designed and built a wide variety of buildings

 Vishwanath Srikantaiah is a well known water activist, educator and an urban planner from Bengaluru.  Advisor to Arghyam foundation and founder of rainwater club, he has extensively worked on water conservation and has made over 10,000 wells functional in the city of Bengaluru.

Chitra Vishwanath in conversation with Vishwanath  Srikantiah looks at architecture practices in the context of social inequality and environment and asks how relevant are the practices in the current times of pandemic. Both Chitra and Vishwanath discuss how design, material and architecture collaborate in equal measure in a design project. She finally delves into the prospects of future cities, and strongly advocates for the ecosystem design and an ecological approach in the discipline of architecture.

Reference Resource: Background Slides


Seema Khanwalkar: Meaning and Materiality

Seema Khanwalkar is a semiotician working in the area of cultural semiotics. She teaches courses on meaning and design at CEPT, IIM Ahmedabad and various other institutions. Seema also practices as a consultant in brand development and advertising analysis.

In this podcast, Seema Khanwalkar looks at associations between human beings and artifactual environments. Through the lens of anthropology and ecology, she unlocks the relationship the human body has with shelter and objects in them, which are not always evident to the architects and town planners. Using the theory of affordance, she looks at the designs of some of the mint architects in India such as Charles Correa and Balakrishna Doshi.


Parul Zaveri: Conservation in India- A view from Practice

Parul Zaveri is co-founder of Abhikram, a practice well known for championing art and craft in architecture. Her works include settlement design and use of alternative technologies. An active explorer organic and biodynamic agricultural practices, she is a strong advocate of sustainable building practices. Abhikarm’s conservation projects have won many commendations

Parul Zaveri takes the listeners through a swift journey of conservations movement in India thus far and argues how it has to be anchored in the realities of Indian cities and social conditions. Emphasizing the importance of variety and local context in architecture, she lays out the basic principles that should govern conservation practice and unfolds the importance of resource conservation, innovation and professional responsibilities.


A.G.K. Menon: Architecture and Modernism, Postcolonial Mediations (Part 3)

A G Krishna Menon is a senior architect, urban planner and conservation consultant based in Delhi. He is one of the eminent thinkers and writers in the country, and extensively written on education, practice and history. He is also the principal author of INTACH Charter of conservation.
 
Through the three-part podcast series, Mr Menon introduces the listeners to the disunity of modernist ideas and local context in the form and space-making in architecture. Using the example of shopping complexes, AGK Menon, analyses the architectural failures and explores much the needed reforms in practice and education. He argues for heterogeneity in architectural response, and accentuates the braiding of the modernist ideas with the local context architecture.


A.G.K. Menon: Architecture and Modernism, Postcolonial Mediations (Part 2)

A G Krishna Menon is a senior architect, urban planner and conservation consultant based in Delhi. He is one of the eminent thinkers and writers in the country, and extensively written on education, practice and history. He is also the principal author of INTACH Charter of conservation.
 
Through the three-part podcast series, Menon introduces the listeners to the disunity of modernist ideas and local context in the form and space-making in architecture. Using the example of shopping complexes, AGK Menon, analyses the architectural failures and explores much the needed reforms in practice and education. He argues for heterogeneity in architectural response, accentuates and the braiding of the modernist ideas with the local context architecture.


A.G.K. Menon: Architecture and Modernism, Postcolonial Mediations (Part 1)

A G Krishna Menon is a senior architect, urban planner and conservation consultant based in Delhi. He is one of the eminent thinkers and writers in the country, and extensively written on education, practice and history. He is also the principal author of INTACH Charter of conservation.
 
Through the three-part podcast series, Menon introduces the listeners to the disunity of modernist ideas and local context in the form and space-making in architecture. Using the example of shopping complexes, AGK Menon, analyses the architectural failures and explores much the needed reforms in practice and education. He argues for heterogeneity in architectural response, and accentuates the braiding of the modernist ideas with the local context architecture.


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