The State of Architecture in India: An Interview with Rahul Mehrotra, Ranjit Hoskote, and Kaiwan Mehta

09:30 - 10 February, 2016
Ranjit Hoskote, Rahul Mehrotra and Kaiwan Mehta during a working session. Image Courtesy of  Suresh KK (mid-day, a Jagran Group Publication)
Ranjit Hoskote, Rahul Mehrotra and Kaiwan Mehta during a working session. Image Courtesy of Suresh KK (mid-day, a Jagran Group Publication)

Today, the rapidly-developing country of India is one of the key places in the world where architecture could have the most impact; in spite of this, there has been little critical reflection on the country's architectural landscape, and architecture has struggled to assert its value to the wider population. Currently, the country's first major architectural exhibition in 30 years is taking place in Mumbai, curated by Rahul Mehrotra, Ranjit Hoskote, and Kaiwan Mehta and running until March 20th. In this interview, a shortened version of which was first published in Domus India's December Issue, Mustansir Dalvir sits down with the curators to discuss their exhibition and the past and present of Indian Architecture.

Looking back to the time architectural practices first began to proliferate in India, one sees that they always operated within an ecosystem of practice, academia, and association. We can trace this to the 1930s, when the Indian Institute of Architects (IIA) was set up, which in turn emerged from the alumni of the Bombay School of Art. Teachers at the school were the most prolific practitioners in the country, and students made the easy transition from learning to apprenticeship, to setting up their own practices. Even patrons, largely non-state (in the penultimate decades before independence) aligned themselves with the architects in a collegial association. The Journal of the Indian Institute of Architects and their annual lectures became the mouthpieces of collective praxis, as the many presidential speeches show. Everyone knew what everyone else was doing, knowledge flowed centripetally.

In the years after independence, these bonds became looser as the nation-state became the chief patron. While private wealth and industry provided steady work for architects all over the country, the IIA still continued to remain the platform of discourse and dissemination – an internal professional rumination, largely distanced from changing politics and culture in the country, especially from the seventies onwards. While students of architecture did briefly take political stances during the Emergency, practice remained unaffected.

Lookup HQ / Bhumiputra Architecture

20:00 - 4 February, 2016
© Nimish Jain
© Nimish Jain

© Nimish Jain © Nimish Jain © Nimish Jain © Nimish Jain +20

ASF-UK Symposium: Designing In Uncertain Global Times

16:30 - 4 February, 2016

Join ASF-UK for a one day symposium to explore how built environment practitioners can respond to emerging global challenges in cities. With highly interactive sessions throughout the day, we will test and discuss different skills, approaches and knowledge that can ‘challenge practice’ in order to design in uncertain global times. The day will be a great opportunity to expand your knowledge of working in this sector, to network with others in this field and a chance to discover ways in which to engage with ASF-UK. The event will end with a reflection by practitioners involved in innovative forms of practice in the UK and around the world.

Event: Sustainability and Building Energy Modelling Workshop for Architects

18:00 - 1 February, 2016

A three-day Building Energy Modeling workshop for architects that equips them with knowledge related to building science, software training to design energy efficient and sustainably cooled buildings that save money for their clients, enhance energy access for underprivileged sections of our society, and reduce carbon emissions.

Work Begins on David Chipperfield's Mughal Museum in India

16:00 - 29 January, 2016
© David Chipperfield Architects
© David Chipperfield Architects

Construction is underway on David Chipperfield Architect's Mughal Museum in Agra, India, near the Taj Mahal's eastern gate. Part of a larger Archohm-led masterplan, which includes the Taj Orientation Center and the Agra Heritage Center, the project will provide 5200-square-meters of permanent and temporary exhibition space entirely "dedicated to the history and culture of the Mughals, a dynasty that ruled over Northern India for over three centuries," says the practice. 

The Walls and Vaults House / LIJO.RENY.architects

22:00 - 25 January, 2016
© Praveen Mohandas
© Praveen Mohandas

© Suneesh Suresh © Praveen Mohandas © Praveen Mohandas © Suneesh Suresh +46

Abin Design Studio Constructs Pavilion of Canopies for Indian Cultural Festival

06:00 - 25 January, 2016
© Subhrajit G.Mitra. Image Courtesy of Abin Design Studio
© Subhrajit G.Mitra. Image Courtesy of Abin Design Studio

India based Abin Design Studio has designed and constructed a pavilion of canopies for a religious festival in West Kolkata. The design is based on the celebration of tribal life and the symbiotic relationship between the community and the forest. By highlighting the importance of the forest in their lives, the community hopes to raise awareness about conservation of the lands.

© Sayantan Chakraborty. Image Courtesy of Abin Design Studio © Sayantan Chakraborty. Image Courtesy of Abin Design Studio © Abin Chaudhuri. Image Courtesy of Abin Design Studio © Sayantan Chakraborty. Image Courtesy of Abin Design Studio +20

House Around a Split Level Courtyard / Rubber Soul

20:00 - 24 January, 2016
© Harshan Thomson
© Harshan Thomson

Vellore House / Made in Earth

22:00 - 14 January, 2016
Courtesy of Made in Earth
Courtesy of Made in Earth

Courtesy of Made in Earth Courtesy of Made in Earth Courtesy of Made in Earth Courtesy of Made in Earth +22

Truly Madly Office Interiors / Studio Wood

19:00 - 4 January, 2016
© Arvind Hoon
© Arvind Hoon

© Arvind Hoon © Arvind Hoon © Arvind Hoon © Arvind Hoon +25

Pool House / 42mm Architecture

22:00 - 23 December, 2015
© Ravi Kanade
© Ravi Kanade

© Ravi Kanade © Ravi Kanade © Ravi Kanade © Ravi Kanade +30

Global Design Competition for a Nature Park & Pedestrian Bridge in Mumbai

15:30 - 22 December, 2015

UPDATE: The submission deadline has been changed to February 7th, 2016.

The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) is looking for multi-disciplinary design teams that are capable of designing and delivering a technically demanding and environmentally sensitive makeover in the heart of India’s Financial Capital, Mumbai. There are no competition fees to be paid and all submissions will be exclusively done through the competition portal. Five shortlisted entries from the first stage will each receive Rs. 5,00,000 and the eventual winner will receive Rs. 50,00,000 as part of a contract.

How Morphogenesis Plans to Revitalize Delhi by Rejuvenating its Polluted Waterways

09:30 - 22 December, 2015
Map of Delhi's nullah network. Image Courtesy of Morphogenesis
Map of Delhi's nullah network. Image Courtesy of Morphogenesis

The city of Delhi has a transportation problem. The streets are crowded and dangerous, and with 1,100 new vehicles being added to the roads each day the city is suffering from the consequences. Last year, New Delhi was rated the most polluted city in the world by the World Health Organization, with nearly 3 times the particulate matter of Beijing. Noise levels throughout the city consistently exceed regulations set by the Indian Central Pollution Control Board, and heavy traffic means increased travel times and perilous pedestrian conditions. Even walking the last mile from a bus stop to a destination has become a game of chance.

At the same time, the river upon which the city was founded, the Yamuna (a main tributary of the Ganges), has been polluted to the point where it has become little more than a glorified sewer drain. Illegal settlements without sewage systems pollute the river directly, and even within the regulated systems, 17 sewage drains empty directly into the Yamuna. For a city already struggling with water shortages, polluting a main water source is akin to throwing salt into a wound. However, a proposal by Dehli-based Morphogenesis Architects attempts to tackle all of these issues through the revitalization of the river and its canals, known as nullahs.

Redesigned nullah. Image Courtesy of Morphogenesis Redesigned area around cultural heritage. Image Courtesy of Morphogenesis Redesigned alleyway. Image Courtesy of Morphogenesis Redesigned nullah. Image Courtesy of Morphogenesis +21

Architecture Workspace / Harsh Vardhan Jain

22:00 - 4 December, 2015
© Nakul Jain
© Nakul Jain

© Nakul Jain © Nakul Jain © Nakul Jain © Nakul Jain +24

Home Theatre Studio Interior / Sfurna Designs

20:00 - 25 November, 2015
Courtesy of Sfurna Designs
Courtesy of Sfurna Designs
  • Interior Designers

    Sfurna Designs
  • Location

    Gujarat State Hwy 26, Gujarat, India
  • Design Head

    Architect Kalapi Buch, Architect Maitri Buch
  • Design Team

    Mrityunjaya Vishwakarma, Architect Priyank Kapadia, Architect Sonali Tripathi
  • Project Year

    2015
  • Photographs

    Courtesy of Sfurna Designs

Courtesy of Sfurna Designs Courtesy of Sfurna Designs Courtesy of Sfurna Designs Courtesy of Sfurna Designs +26

Dilli Haat / Archohm Consults

19:00 - 23 November, 2015
© Andre Fanthome
© Andre Fanthome

© Andre Fanthome © Andre Fanthome © Andre Fanthome © Andre Fanthome +28

Saint Gobain & The Economic Times Smart Green Summit & Awards

06:25 - 21 November, 2015
Smart Green Summit - Shaping the Future
Smart Green Summit - Shaping the Future

The Smart Green Summit is a part of Saint-Gobain’s, ‘Shaping the future’ initiative, presented in partnership with The Economic Times. The summit focuses on bringing to lime light, the innovative initiatives in the area of Sustainable Habitat by recognizing the people or organizations behind them.

The event is a one of a kind platform that brings together all the stakeholders in the building and construction industry under one roof - the government, architects, builders, corporate houses and thought leaders and industry bodies who have worked or are contributing to a sustainable habitat through innovation and enormous effort.

Institute of Engineering and Technology – Ahmedabad University / vir.mueller architects

20:00 - 15 November, 2015
© Andre J. Fanthome
© Andre J. Fanthome

© Andre J. Fanthome © Andre J. Fanthome © Andre J. Fanthome © Andre J. Fanthome +27