Speakers / Panellists
Over three days, speakers and panellists will discuss the history of modern architecture and design in India and the significance of this legacy in contemporary wisdom. The forum will also explore the complications of defining ‘modernity’ in a landscape and context of India and its subcontinent.
Constructing the Sacred in Modern India
A Srivathsan is an architect and urban designer, currently working as the Academic Director, CEPT University Ahmedabad. Before joining CEPT, he taught at Anna University, Chennai and worked as a Senior Deputy Editor at The Hindu, the national newspaper. Srivathsan holds a Ph.D. from IIT Madras and a recipient of Fulbright post-doctoral fellowship. His research and writings cover themes of architectural practice, temples towns, and urban history and planning. Srivathsan regularly writes on Indian architectural practices, and urban projects and policies in various newspapers and magazines. His recently co-edited book titled The Contemporary Hindu Temple- Fragments for a History will be published this year by Marg.
After graduating at University College London, David Robson spent three years in Sri Lanka helping to establish a new School of Architecture in the University of Colombo. Between 1974 and 1979 he was the Principal Housing Architect of Washington, New Town in the UK where a number of his designs won national awards. In the early 1980s, he worked as a planning adviser on the Sri Lankan government’s ‘100,000 Houses Programme’. He has been Professor of Architecture in the University of Brighton and a Visiting Professor in the National University of Singapore and the Technical University of Brno. He has authored books on low-cost aided-self-help housing and housing for the elderly as well monographs on Sri Lankan architects Geoffrey Bawa (2002) and C. Anjalendran (2009).
The last 100 years of Indian Cities
Pratyush is an Adjunct Professor at Faculty of Architecture, CEPT University, Ahmedabad, where he has taught for almost two decades. He was also the Acting Dean of Architecture and headed the Undergraduate office. Pratyush received the Asia Fellowship in 2008 for the study of Himalayan Cities. He was awarded the Senior Fellowship by Alexander Humboldt Foundation, Germany in 2015 at the University of Bonn. In 2013, he was bestowed with the 22nd J K Cement Award in the best Residence Design category. In 2014 he published a book titled 'Himalayan Cities', Niyogi Press, New Delhi. He has an architectural design practice and has recently built his own studio in Baroda. Pratyush is extremely passionate about drawings and uses them as an important tool in his research and design. When not teaching or writing or designing, he illustrates and writes comics and repairs his vintage bikes.
The Architecture of Gandhi
Tridip Suhrud is a scholar, writer and translator who works on the intellectual and cultural history of modern Gujarat and the Gandhian tradition. As the Director and Chief Editor of the Sabarmati Ashram Preservation and Memorial Trust (2012-2017), he was responsible for creating the world’s largest digital archive on Gandhi - The Gandhi Heritage Portal. His books include the critical edition of Hind Swaraj, Narayan Desai’s four-volume biography of Gandhi, My Life is My Message, and the four-volume epic Gujarati novel, Sarasvatichandra. Tridip Suhrud is presently translating the diaries of Manu Gandhi, covering the period between 1942 and 1948, compiling a series ‘Letters to Gandhi”. He is Professor and Director, Archives, at CEPT University, Director of Lalbhai Dalpatbhai Institute of Indology, Ahmedabad and serves as Chairman of the Governing Council of MICA.
Nostalgia for The Future
Rohan Shivkumar is an architect, urban designer and filmmaker practising in Mumbai. He is the Dean of Research and Academic Development at the Kamla Raheja Vidyanidhi Institute for Architecture and Environmental Studies. His work ranges from architecture, urban research and consultancy projects to works in film and visual art. He is interested in issues concerning housing, public space and in exploring the many ways of reading and representing the city. Rohan is the co-editor of the publication on interdisciplinary research and art collaboration - ‘Project Cinema City’. He also curates film programmes and writes on cinema, architecture and urban issues. He has also made films on art, architecture and urbanism including ’Nostalgia for the future’ and ‘Squeeze Lime in Your Eye’. He is presently working on a book discussing approaches towards the design of homes among young Indian architectural practices.
Nostalgia for The Future
Avijit Mukul Kishore is a filmmaker and cinematographer based in Mumbai, working in documentary and inter-disciplinary moving-image practices. He is involved in cinema pedagogy as a lecturer and curates film programmes for prominent national cultural institutions. His films as director include Snapshots from a Family Album, Vertical City, To Let the World In, Electric Shadows and Nostalgia for the Future, and as cinematographer: Kumar Talkies, Kali Salwaar, John and Jane, Seven Islands and a Metro, Bidesia in Bambai, I am Micro and An Old Dog’s Diary.
Hasmukh C. Patel's Architectural Style
Dr Bimal Patel is an architect, urban designer, urban planner and an academician. He studied at the University of California Berkeley, from where he received a PhD in City and Regional Planning in 1995 and a dual Masters degree in Architecture and City Planning. Dr Patel heads HCP which was founded in 1960 by his father, architect Hasmukh C. Patel. Today, it is a multi-disciplinary design, planning and management practice based in Ahmedabad. From June 2012 onward, Dr Patel has headed CEPT University as its President. Dr Patel's research focuses on architecture and urban planning history, land use planning, real estate markets, building regulations and land management. His work has been recognized internationally and he has won numerous awards including the Aga Khan Award for Architecture (1992). In 2019 he was awarded the Padma Shri, one of India’s highest civilian honours.
M.K. Gandhi and Le Corbusier: An Unlikely Dialogue
Riyaz Tayyibji is a practising architect and partner at Anthill Design, Ahmedabad. He is also actively involved in architectural documentation, research and academics. He has been an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Architecture, CEPT University and the Co-ordinator of the Gandhi Heritage Sites Mission to document the buildings made by and related to the life of M.K. Gandhi. He has curated exhibitions on the architecture and urbanity of Ahmedabad and has published a guide to the city’s architecture. He is now the project lead for the Ahmedabad World Heritage City project, NIUA (National Institute of Urban Affairs).
The Architecture of Gandhi
Neelkanth Chhaya is an academic as well as a practising architect. He has taught at various places and was a faculty member at CEPT University for over 25 years. He retired as Dean of the Faculty of Architecture at CEPT University in 2013. Subsequently, he has been teaching as an Adjunct Faculty at Srishti Institute of Art, Design & Technology, Bangalore. His professional practice has dealt with institutional and residential projects across India. The practice is focussed on culturally and environmentally appropriate design and has emphasised the innovative application of local skills and materials.
Claiming Space/Designing Space: Women Architects in Modern India
Professor Mary N. Woods teaches urban and architectural history at Cornell University, where she was the first to hold the Michael A. McCarthy Endowed Chair in Architectural Theory. Woods has received fellowships from: Fulbright in India, Graham Foundation; Canadian Centre for Architecture; American Council of Learned Society; and American Institute of Indian Studies. In 2018 she was awarded the Tau Sigma Delta Silver Medal for Distinguished Scholarship in Architecture. Her books include: From Craft to Profession: Architectural Practice in 19th-Century America (1999); Beyond the Architect’s Eye: Photographs of the American Built Environment (2009); and Women Architects in India: Histories of Practice in Mumbai and Delhi (2016). She is presently working on a documentary film about 'Indian Migration and Cinema Halls' with filmmaker Vani Subramanian.
on Balkrishna Doshi
Bijoy Ramachandran is an architect and urban designer based in Bangalore. He is currently a partner at Hundredhands. Bijoy has a Bachelors degree in Architecture from BMS College, Bangalore University, a Masters degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA, in Architecture & Urbanism. In 2012 he was a part of the Glenn Murcutt Master Class in Sydney, Australia. He has been a panellist twice at the annual All-India Undergraduate Thesis Review, the Kurula Varkey Design Forum, at CEPT University, and is currently the Design Chair at BMS College of Architecture, Bangalore. Apart from architecture, he has also made two films - ‘Architecture & the City: A Bangalore Perspective’, and ‘Doshi’, a film on the Pritzker award-winning Indian architect B.V. Doshi, directed by Premjit Ramachandran. The film is also now part of the archives at the Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine in Paris.
Nehru and the Delhi Modern Movement: Architecture and Design in Delhi 1947-1980
Photographer, artist, curator, designer and activist Ram Rahman, initially studied physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Later, Rahman completed a degree in Graphic Design from Yale University’s School of Art in 1979. Born in 1955, Ram has shown his photographs in individual and group shows in India and around the world. He has been lecturing on aspects of contemporary Indian photography and architecture in the last few years, at The Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbai; Jnanapravah, Mumbai; MoMA, New York; The Pompidou Centre, Paris; including major lectures on Sunil Janah, Raghubir Singh and the modern architecture of New Delhi. Rahman is one of the founding members of the Safdar Hashmi Memorial Trust (SAHMAT) in New Delhi. The artist lives and works in New Delhi.
The Architecture of Golconde
Christine Mueller is a partner at vir.mueller architects. Founded in 2003 by partners Christine Mueller and Pankaj Vir Gupta, the office of vir.mueller architects combines architectural research, education, and practice. Prior to establishing the firm, both partners worked for renowned architectural offices in the United States, Europe, and India. At every scale, the firm emphasizes the integrity of material and craftsmanship, establishing a fundamental relationship between the physical environment, and the art of making architecture. The professional work of vir.mueller architects has been widely published and awarded – in North America, Europe and India. The firm has received awards from the American Institute of Architects, Foundation for World Education, George Nakashima Foundation for Peace and the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts.
The Architecture of Golconde
Pankaj Vir Gupta is a partner at vir.mueller architects. Founded in 2003 by partners Christine Mueller and Pankaj Vir Gupta, the office of vir.mueller architects combines architectural research, education, and practice. Prior to establishing the firm, both partners worked for renowned architectural offices in the United States, Europe, and India. The professional work of vir.mueller architects has been widely published and awarded – in North America, Europe and India. The firm has received awards from the American Institute of Architects, the Foundation for World Education, the George Nakashima Foundation for Peace and the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts. Currently, the office is pursuing a range of institutional and residential projects. Recent projects include 222 Rajpur, a premier residential community located in Dehradun, and the Humayun's Tomb Site Museum for the Aga Khan Trust for Culture - the first contemporary museum in India to be built on a World Heritage Site.
Works of Achyut Kanvinde - Akār
Sanjay Kanvinde is an architect and urban designer and presently, a senior partner at Kanvinde Rai & Chowdhury. He completed his graduation from the School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi and a Masters Degree of Architecture in Urban Design from the Rice University, Houston. He has been involved with the design and execution of various architectural projects and institutional campuses across India. As an academician, Sanjay has been a visiting professor in the Department of Urban Design, School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi, since 1980 in addition to several institutions where he lectures and is on Board of Studies. He has recently co-authored the monograph on Architect Achyut Kanvinde titled 'Achyut Kanvinde - Akār'.
India: Modern Architectures in History
Peter Scriver is an architectural historian and co-founder of the Centre for Asian and Middle-Eastern Architecture (CAMEA) at the University of Adelaide, where he has directed postgraduate research since 1996. Author of several path-breaking books including After the Masters: Contemporary Indian Architecture (1990), and India: Modern Architectures in History (2015), he worked in Delhi and Ahmedabad as a graduate architect in the mid-1980s following his initial studies at McGill University, and has continued to be engaged with India in his scholarship and teaching ever since. In addition to his extensive critical work on post-Independence India, Scriver is an expert on colonial modernity. His pioneering doctoral research on the British Indian Department of Public Works, completed at TU Delft in 1994, examined the instrumental role of the PWD system in the propagation and institutionalization of modern architectural and engineering knowledge in colonial India and beyond.
on Works and Ideas of Charles Correa
Ranjit Hoskote has been acclaimed as a seminal contributor to Indian art criticism and curatorial practice and is also a leading Anglophone Indian poet. He is the author of more than 30 books. Hoskote curated India’s first-ever national pavilion at the Venice Biennale (2011). He co-curated, with Rahul Mehrotra and Kaiwan Mehta, the exhibition-conference platforms The State of Architecture: Practices and Processes in India (National Gallery of Modern Art, Bombay, 2016) and the State of Housing: Aspirations, Imaginaries and Realities in India (Max Mueller Bhavan, Bombay, 2018). Hoskote serves on the international advisory boards of the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin; the Bergen Assembly, Norway; and the Centre for Contemporary Art, Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore.
Laurie Baker: Critical Practitioner
Himanshu Burte, an architect and urbanist, is Assistant Professor at the School of Habitat Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai, and has a PhD in Urban Planning (CEPT University, Ahmedabad). He has practised architecture in Mumbai and Goa for over a decade and a half and has also published extensively across the professional, popular and academic press for almost thirty years. His latest book (co-edited with Amita Bhide) Urban Parallax: Policy and the City in Contemporary India gathers diverse disciplinary perspectives to deconstruct urban policy in India. Active for long in building critical discourse around architecture and urbanism in India, Burte is a co-founder of Gubbi Alliance for Sustainable Habitat (www.gubbi.org) a network of architects practising sustainably in India. His current research interests include urban transformation, critical practice, urban infrastructure, housing policy, theatre architecture and sustainable urbanism.
Design Education in India: An Experiment in Modernity
Prof Ashoke Chatterjee received his education at Woodstock School (Mussoorie), St Stephen’s College and Miami University (Ohio). He has a background in the engineering industry, international civil service, India Tourism Development Corporation, and 25 years in the service of the National Institute of Design (Ahmedabad) where he was Executive Director, Senior Faculty, Distinguished Fellow and Professor of Communication and Management. He has served a range of development institutions in India and overseas, particularly in the sectors of drinking water, sanitation, disability, livelihoods and education as well as worked with artisans in many parts of the country. He was Hon President of the Crafts Council of India for over twenty years and continues to serve CCI. He lives in Ahmedabad with his son Keshav, daughter-in-law Prativa and grandchildren Kabir and Alisa.
Saundarya Shastra/ Aesthetics India Modern(ities)
Dr Alka Pande is an art historian who taught Indian Arts and Aesthetics at Panjab University for more than ten years. Her major fields of interest are gender identity and sexuality, and traditional arts. Dr Pande, under the aegis of the Charles Wallace India Trust, conducted postdoctoral research in critical art theory at Goldsmiths, University of London. In 2006, she was awarded the Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters- an honour bequeathed by the French government to recognize significant contributions in the fields of art and literature. She has been responsible for curating several significant and perceptive exhibitions in India and abroad. She has written extensively on Indian aesthetics, culture and photography. Dr Pande is the Artistic Director of the photography biennale, Habitat Photosphere, instituted by India Habitat Centre. Currently, Dr Pande is a consultant art advisor and curator of the Visual Arts Gallery at the India Habitat Centre in New Delhi (India).
The Human Within the Architect
Prem Chandavarkar is the managing partner of CnT Architects: an award-winning and widely published architectural practice based in Bangalore, India. He received his training at School of Planning and Architecture Delhi (B.Arch, 1978) and University of Oregon USA (M.Arch, 1982). He is a former Executive Director of Srishti Institute of Art Design & Technology in Bangalore and is an academic advisor and guest faculty at Indian and international colleges of architecture. In 2016, he was the Walton Critic at Catholic University of America in Washington DC. In the same year, he was appointed as a member of the board of The Architecture, Culture and Spirituality Forum, USA. He is a member of the current Executive Committee of Indian Institute of Architects Karnataka Chapter. Besides his design practice at CnT, he writes, lectures and blogs on architecture, urbanism, environment, art, cultural studies, philosophy, politics and education.
Political History and Modernity
Seema Chishti is Deputy Editor with The Indian Express, New Delhi. She holds a Masters degree in Economics from Jawaharlal Nehru University. Seema has been instrumental in putting together India’s Elected for the 15th Lok Sabha - an e-book and a unique venture with MP report cards for the last Parliament. She helps organise ADDA, an event where Indian Express and a notable personality are engaged in a long and detailed interview, each month. Having worked as a television and radio broadcaster with the BBC in the UK, she moved to print journalism in India. She brings her understanding of society into her writings on Indian politics and culture. Seema Chishti is the co-author of a book ‘Note by Note: The India Story, 1947-2017’, which is an account of India, juxtaposed with the story of Hindi film music. Surrounded by politics, she is deeply interested in Indian society, its contradictions and its interactions across caste, class and region.
Works of Mahendra Raj
Rohit Raj Mehndiratta is a practising architect, artist and an urbanist. He graduated from CEPT, Ahmedabad and subsequently received a postgraduate degree from M.I.T. Cambridge after which he worked in New York for five years. Currently, he manages a multidisciplinary practice with Vandini Mehta in New Delhi, called Studio VanRO. Their architectural and research work has been widely presented, published and exhibited. “The Structure: Works of Mahendra Raj”, their co-edited book with Ariel Huber, was presented in MOMA- New York, MIT- Cambridge, ETH- Zurich, University of Lausanne, in Paris, Berlin and several cities in India. Rohit was also part of expert panel committees on Public Arts initiatives at the Delhi Urban Art Commission in 2010 and the MRTS Corridor Development subgroup formed by the Ministry of Urban Development in 2011.
Works of Mahendra Raj
Vandini Mehta is an architect and urbanist with a master’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley. After working in New York for 5 years, she returned to New Delhi to start Studio VanRO a multidisciplinary practice with Rohit Raj Mehndiratta in 2007 where Vandini focuses on socially relevant architectural work and research on contemporary peripheral urbanism in Delhi and modern Indian heritage. She is a visiting faculty at SPA, Delhi engaging particularly in issues of contemporary urbanism. Vandini Mehta, Rohit Raj Mehndiratta along with Ariel Huber, co-edited the monograph titled “The Structure: Works of Mahendra Raj” published by Park Books, Zurich in 2016 which was shortlisted in the Top 3 Architecture Book (globally) in FILAF, 2017.
Muzharul Islam and Louis Kahn in Bangladesh: A Contrapuntal Modernism
Kazi K Ashraf is an architect, urbanist and architectural historian. He received his Masters from MIT and a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. Currently director-general of Bengal Institute for Architecture, Landscapes and Settlements in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Ashraf has published widely. His publications include: The Hermit’s Hut: Architecture and Asceticism in India (University of Hawaii Press, 2013); Designing Dhaka: A Manifesto for a Better City (LOKA, 2012); An Architect in Bangladesh: Conversations with Muzharul Islam (LOKA, 2014); special issue of Architectural Design “Made in India” (2007) that received the Pierre Vago Journalism Award from the International Committee of Architectural Critics. His articles and essays have appeared in respected publications internationally.
Doshi: Return to Formlessness
Premjit Ramachandran (aka Dara Okat) is a musician, filmmaker and graphic designer living in Tiruvannamalai, India. He has been doing graphics, artwork and branding projects for over 15 years now and has worked in the past with companies like OgilvyOne (in Mumbai and Dubai), Landor Associates (in Dubai) and Turquoise Branding (in London). After being disillusioned with the corporate world of commercial graphic design, he decided to explore filmmaking and made his first film in the deserts of Dubai in 2006. "Look Here, Kunigunda" that was officially selected at Rome International Film Festival 2006. After returning from London in 2007 he decided to delve deeper into the cinematic process. In collaboration with his brother Bijoy Ramachandran (Hundredhands), they began working on a feature-length video-portrait of Balkrishna Doshi. In 2009, he was commissioned to create 9 short films about Kerala. His work has been critically acclaimed on many artistic and professional forums.
In the Realm of the Visual
Iffat Fatima is an independent documentary filmmaker and researcher from Kashmir, based in Delhi.
In 2004, she completed a Fellowship, Recasting Reconciliation through Culture and the Arts, at the Brandeis University, Boston, USA. In 2001, she was awarded the Asia Fellowship for her work in Sri Lanka, Inter-communal Relations and Education: The Sri Lankan Experience. Her films include, Lanka- the other side of war and peace, on the history of overlapping conflicts in Sri Lanka; The Kesar Saga, on storytelling in Ladakh; In the Realm of the Visual, on one of India’s most prolific and versatile artist and designer, Dashrath Patel; Boojh Sakey to Boojh, on the contemporary understanding of the thirteenth-century Sufi poet and scholar Amir Khusro.
A Visual Survey of Contemporary Architecture in Bangladesh
Shamsul Wares is the Professor and Head, Department of Architecture and Dean, School of Science and Technology, State University of Bangladesh (SUB), Dhaka and is also a Fellow at the Institute of Architects Bangladesh (FIAB). He is a self-employed Professional architect since 1972. He has designed many Residential, Institutional and Public Buildings and also served as a Junior Architect under Architect Muzharul Islam. He has been the President of the Institute of Architects Bangladesh (IAB) for two terms, Member, Jury Board for assessment of architectural works for International Design Competitions. He was also an active Member, Technical Expert Committee for a number of Government Organizations in Bangladesh including the Ministry of Public Works and Ministry of Cultural Affairs Prof. Wares has also been awarded the IAB Gold Medal for Life Time Achievement in Architectural Education, by the Institute of Architects Bangladesh (IAB) in 2017.