Posts Categorized: architecture

Drawing to Remember: The Gift of Pause and the Benefits of Keeping a Sketchbook

The elusive illustrator-urbanist behind “Of Ink and Yellow Memories,” Neelakshi Rathore, discusses the inward versus outward worlds of a creative.    Most people start out drawing by copying things. Or they draw things as they appear before them. But for Neelakshi Rathore, things became really interesting when she began to draw things as she remembered them – when she could see a place that she […]

Humanising Prisons for a Better World: My TEDx Talk on the Architecture of Incarceration

As a long-standing admirer of the TED platform – that has connected me virtually to so many soul-shaping ideas and inspiring personalities – I was thrilled to receive the opportunity to speak at TEDxBhilwara. Although I am no prison architect or activist or volunteer (at least not yet), I accepted the invitation as an opening to give voice […]

Comics for Activism: An Urbanist Explores the “Architecture of the Page”

How comics can be a medium for social change.    With the invention of the television, photography and the internet, our love of pictures has grown dramatically over the last century. While bibliophiles lament the resultant loss in reading habits today, a medium does exist that bridges this proverbial divide – relying on the strengths […]

When Architecture meets Service – A Journey in Working with Non-Profits

One young architect’s mission to pay it forward.    If this year’s Pritzker selection of Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena, known for his socially conscious designs, as awardee, and the Venice Biennale theme (“Reporting From the Front”) are anything to go by, it’s becoming evermore important to discuss architecture in terms of its social relevance. And […]

What India’s Stepwells Tell Us About History’s Forgotten Feminine

On the connection between water and women, as conveyed by the architectural marvels of Gujarat.   In the book ‘The Alphabet Versus the Goddess’, Leonard Shlain eloquently argues that the worship of the goddess was a ubiquitous ancient phenomenon world-over, and that male gods rose quite suddenly to usurp their thrones. The book strongly makes a case for […]

What Neuroscience Can Tell Us About the Experience of Architecture

“We make our buildings and afterwards our buildings make us.”   In 1848, a railroad construction supervisor called Phineas Gage met with a tragic accident, lending to neuroscience perhaps its most famous case. An iron rod pierced Gage’s head, destroying much of his frontal lobe — a part of the brain that houses long term […]

Building With Debris: How We Can Save the Earth by Recycling Demolition Waste

What happens in India to the tonnes of construction and demolition waste produced as a result of increasing urbanisation? We build and build to meet the needs of a burgeoning population – roads, flyovers, houses – ever aspiring towards the “American dream”. But how can our earth’s natural resources meet this gap between demand and […]

The Creative Benefits of Keeping a Sketchbook

On cultivating the capacity for observation and imagination through sketching. Here are six pointers for anybody looking to trap those slippery ideas, illustrated through sketches of architecture students of Ahmedabad’s CEPT University.   While many writers have elaborated on the creative benefits of keeping a diary, designers likewise will tell you about the creative benefits of […]

20 Films that Explore Relationships between Place, Time and the Body

Shared themes between cinema and architecture compiled in an essential list exploring space, time and embodied experience.   […] by moving physically through the architectural space, the human gaze defines and orders different points of view, thus realising a mental assembly similar to that of the cinematic experience. Vice versa, in a cinema, the spectator mentally […]

How Architecture Students are Revamping Indian Cities With Colour and Play

Interactive interventions in cities across India impart life into public spaces through creative use of colours, oil tins, tyres and recycled waste. These are some of the thoughtful and meaningful ways in which students have sought to interact with their cities, and reclaim public space for the people.   Commuters travelling via the Andheri metro […]

Travelling to Boost Creativity: 16 Indian Destinations for Architecture Enthusiasts

A travel bucket list for aficianados in design, culture and history.  Verses are not, as people imagine, simply feelings… they are experiences. For the sake of a single verse, one must see many cities, men and things. Poet Rainer Maria Rilke neatly sums up the process behind any creative act – dismissing the notion that […]

Neelkanth Chhaya on the Systematisation of Education and the Commodification of Architecture

“This university was conceived as an adventure.”   Every once in a while, somebody delivers a speech that magically transports us across the ocean of humanity through the prism of our personal experiences. Prof Neelkanth Chhaya’s lecture at Ahmedabad’s CEPT University in the February of 2015, was such a speech. Drawing upon a web of observations, his speech […]

Inhuman Architecture: Calling for an Architecture of the Senses

We have for centuries sought to replace experience with knowledge. What a spare world we now live in! – Hugo Kuekelhaus My personal conflict with the profession of architecture began months into my third year of undergraduate studies. I became repulsed by the profession because it is essentially highly materialistic in nature – bordering often on narcissisms […]

Mircea Eliade on “the Sacred and the Profane” in Architecture

“It is sacred time that makes possible the other time, ordinary time.” In a desacralized world that has surged forth from an advocacy for a machine age built on rational thought and purported ‘freedom’ from the past, Mircea Eliade’s excellent book The Sacred and The Profane: The Nature of Religion produces a strong narrative regarding our […]

How the Gothic Spirit Enthralled the Architectural World for Nine Centuries

A brief history of the eternal style.   Over the course of the history of Western architecture, diverse movements representative of the spirit of their times have captivated the collective creative imagination.  Every such movement clamours for an identity, represents certain ideologies and philosophies, and ultimately respectfully gives way to the next evolutionary step. What remains […]