In- Laws Home/Shilpa does a Julius I do not  know too many other photographers who shot like that; but Julius Shulman did. He passed away at the amazing age of 99, in 2009. But in the years that he worked he made famous the work of Richard Neutra, Raphael Soriano, Craig Ellwood, Charles and Ray Eames, Pierre Koenig and Eero Saarinen,  in works built between 1945-1966. He shot with an incredible sense of space, a sharp eye and most importantly peppered his pictures with real people using the spaces.During the Second World War  it seems that the offices of Arts & Architecture  in the US, were home to endless discussions about  new ideas in residential design and they launched what was called the "Case Study House Programme'. Ralph Rapson, John…
A recent trip to Stuttgart to talk at the opening series of Creative Days, an initiative that is the brainchild of a firm run by a designer duo- Poonam and Martin, and supported by the city,  other design organizations, Dept. of City Planning and Urban Renewal ( Stuttgart), and the Indian government , also allowed some time to look around, and also meet some wonderful people; the hosts of-course but also Kai Beirich , partner at Wulf Architekten, www.wulfarchitekten. com and that true India lover,Oliver Sorg who had many a story of living in a house that  the late Correa built in Kolkatta,  and Kamar Khan who seemed to know every architect and film maker in the world that there is to know. Of equal -if not greater pleasure was…
The city of Stuttgart beginning this year is starting for at least a period of five years an annual event called Creative Days, which aims to invite Indian and German architects, artists, filmmakers et all. But first the background. Since 2004, the city hosts the largest  Indian Film Festival in Europe; something many don't know. This year the festival begins on 20th of July. It has its genesis  in the fact that Stuttgart and Mumbai are sister cities and have a bond that goes back to 1968. The festival digs deep into Indian cinema and offers a fare that we here often don't get to see or even don't know about. This year while movies like Nil Battey Sannata,  Neerja, Waiting, TE3N, and Masan will be shown; many more including…
  The travails of selling real estate came home to us forcefully in the last few months. We are  rather happily engaged with designing and monitoring the construction of an office building in Baroda that we  in the office called “ The Alchemists Abode” the name referring to the clients metallurgical business interests. The building is  now formally called “ Ark”, in reference to a space where ideas will be safe and nurtured, and the idea of life will live. Parts of the project have been inspired by Paul Klees, 1929  painting “Uncomposed Objects in Space” ( above) The atrium inspired by Klee. The building uses the premise of using the idea of a tense chaos and suspended imbalance and yet denoting  a stillness, as an allegorical reference to life…
It was dry as bone and hot. About a 30 minute drive from town was a 250 acre piece of land near Bavla, which is NW of Ahmedabad. The soil was saline; but what was really worrying was the water. This is the land where ancient sea beds were meant to be; its barely 50 kms from the ancient river linked port of the Indus Valley port city of Lothal. The water is saline; the TDS close to 20000 ppm; which those who know , know how bad that is ( Sea water is around 30000 ppm); and to make matters worse, the water  was close to the  surface which meant that roots of any plants  that came in contact with that salinity would be affected adversely. Add to it; the site…
For too long when it comes to say office spaces, or housing projects , the motivation behind installing a landscape is often the ticking of boxes; Children’s play space- yes; Gathering green; yes; Amphitheater ; yes, Jogging track; yes. Then it  really does not matter how that is expressed, or subsequently even used. Office spaces have it tougher. There usually is very little space. A drive way; maybe a small podium; and the programme often nonexistent. This leads to many a good piece of architecture, ending up with a rather messy and indifferent landscape as a handmaiden. In Upper Worli , the landscape for rather handsome building by Pei Cobb Freed and Partners (PCF), was suffering an inglorious fate. It was a combination of reasons; an indifferent design effort, coupled…
It started as a set of posters waiting on my table this morning and then this mail. Hi. See attached. What lovely friends you have! They organize contacts for your firang friends, make posters of your works, send mails, keep calling you, go to your place to meet you!! I am jealous!! Geeta So what started all this ? A recent feature in a book  by Phaidon , and blogged earlier http://www.landscapeindia.net/gardeners-garden-we-in-esteemed-company-250-projects-600-years/, was cause for some celebration and part embarrassment. While kind words were sent; this took the cake ! Geeta who ofcourse runs the only  landscape magazine in the country, and by  B. V. Doshis generous observation " the only design magazine in India that's really doing good work" is generally a serious person; but clearly with a wicked…
The Dublin Report. Tim Richardson, that prolific writer, at some point had literally dug out a lot of design firms across the globe to find place in his book "Futurescape – Designers for tomorrow’s outdoor spaces" (Thames & Hudson-2011) He then in 2013, recommended to the organizers that they invite us to speak at the Australian Landscape Conference; and that's where we saw the country, the magnificent Cranbourne Botanical Garden (http://www.landscapeindia.net/a-taj-mahal-of-a-landscape/); met the temperamental but extremely knowledgeable Warwick Forge who organizes the conference, his family, made friends with the brilliant Juan Grimm from Chile  (http://www.landscapeindia.net/the-magic-of-juan-grimm/), and the greatest gain;  meeting the tough, blunt, and wonderful writer Louisa Jones,(http://www.louisajones.fr/)from Provence who since has almost become family; an emotion I imagine she will permit us  even if grudgingly, and also whose divine…
Every now and then I suppose we find ourselves in places that seem pleasing and yet awkward. This I presume is one of them. In a Phaidon publication that maps 250 gardens , over 600 odd years, we find ourselves sitting in the company of  ShahJehan, Andre Le Notre, Geoffery Jellicoe,Thomas Church,C.Th Sorenson, Burle Marx, Luis Barragan, Repton, Paxton, Olmstead et all. This is down right embarrassing- since we would hardly qualify by miles. And yet there we are... How does it happen? I suppose an effort at stock taking;  at the desire to sort of have an updated list of all the gardens that matter till date. Even so, we suppose its rather difficult to say that one can club the work of say Sorenson, or an Olmsetad with…
Tim Richardson is the rather brilliant and knowledgeable landscape writer from England; and has to his credit some of the most respected titles in Landscape Architecture. Many years back he did a book called Futurescapes ( Thames and Hudson) where he showcased 50  practices from across the globe that he had researched for a long time and believed  were valuable to the definition of the profession. We were one of them. And now is the delightful book again by Thames and Hudson, where he picks  37  practices across the globe and examines how these firms think and draw. The introduction by Tim.            Its delightful to be amongst some names that we have heard or known about; like Gustafson Porter and Taylor-Cullity Lethlean, and also see…
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