As I was telling some colleagues , this sudden spate of being called to do keynotes means that I am not so young that I am not taken seriously and not so old that I am seen as being senile. Its that age I suppose ! So after the Kurla Varkey Memorial Talk and the NIRMA Foundation Day Talk ( Both blogged earlier); here is the one I did for the SPA Bhopal Convocation. The time is now. Convocation Address. School of Planning and Architecture; Bhopal 14th October 2017. I have not really attended convocation ceremonies such as this. In the 80s when we graduated, it was fairly normal that we would be found at the canteen by someone who would come over from the administrative office , and be told  casually…
Architecture in Interesting Times Nirma College of Architecture Foundation Day Keynote Lecture 19th August 2017 Good Afternoon dear students and colleagues. I am told some parents of those who are soon to be young architects or have their wards joining the course are also here. Welcome to our world and greetings to you all too. To the parents I have to say  that if they are worried about what their children will do after they graduate from here, they should not be- architecture and the world of design in general is a wonderful world , and every one touched by it has found a lightness in their steps and a meditative and satisfied smile on their face. Having said this, I must qualify that while my talk may at some…
Where have the gentlemen gone? Text for KV Forum Memorial Lecture ; 11th August 2017. Young students, my fellow architects, my many friends  and peers. Good Evening. This, is the first memorial lecture that I am giving. I am, both, grateful, but also extremely intimidated. I do not ,say this lightly. It is not that I have not spoken at large forums- I have; but usually I have known what to say, and my talks have been prepared well in time. But this time, I have been so taken up by the occasion that I must confess that I have spent days thinking about it, even weeks, without writing a word and finally have done so just a couple of  days back, only because I had to and the gates were closing.…
Not many know , but the first  landscape programme in India was started  in around 1955- 58  in Khargapur in IIT.  It ran for about 5-6 years ,and then Prof. Bhagwat, who had started it ,  relocated to Ahmedabad and with that the programme closed. Then, was the one in Delhi in the early 70s. He went there as its first HOD , but just did not like the city , and came back to Ahmedabad in a few months. But  he was third time lucky and the one at CEPT that he started in 1993 has stayed its course. In those days  few of us were the enthusiastic workers , and rather so often the task of writing the preamble in the admission posters fell on me.  I did…
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…
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…
Rather so often when designing, the context allows the remaking of a setting, and then enacting the process of design in it. When confronted with a rather beautiful orchard within which we are building a large house and also designing the landscapes, Richa a young landscape architect  was confronted with the problems of mapping and establishing the site in her mind. For those who know the  work of LEAF, the drawings may seem familiar http://www.landscapeindia.net/outreach/leaf/ She studied the LEAF documents and then spent days at the site, and developed many layers through which she could appreciate, and map the many complex aspects of this wonderful site. Below there are 27 drawings from a total of 38 drawings that she made. What after this ? She has now written verse that…
In December 2014 , we had mounted an exhibition at the College at Trichy.  It was an accompaniment to the annual lecture. With the exhibition we attempted to try and establish a new tradition- of practices going to educational institutions , and demonstrating their work and beliefs through many mediums- drawings, models,  words and a visual presentation. It was meant to allow the student the choice of mediums through which to absorb and evaluate the work being presented; not just words , or pictures alone. Domus in one of their recent issues covered this well. Kaiwan in his introduction wrote what we found  was a startlingly  incisive piece, that seemed to suggest a new beginning; an abandoning of ways that we are used to; of asking questions differently. It was…
In 1993; a few years after I had just started work, with some landscape experience and really no architectural experience, a client who I had done a residential landscape asked me to visit a land he had near town. It was barren. Completely. But had two majestic mango trees on it; the rest of the large land sun scorched and bare.  He wanted to build on it a place to sit; that's all- and did not want to spend much money. I remember seeing the trees, and deciding that I had to build somehow engaging them. The branches were low , and so I finally sunk the ground around it, and built at a diagonal, between the two trees, so as to not disturb the branches. And since the ground…
Luis Barragan once said, “a perfect garden – no matter what its size – should enclose nothing less than the entire universe.” Gardens and Landscapes create opportunities to poetically connect with the world, regardless of their size or location. Many of us might have either seen or experienced such spaces – this study invites you to help catalogue them to discover a new universe right where we are. - Kavita Rayirath (http://indianbydesign.wordpress.com/) LEAF invites contributors for a collaborative investigation. These are their requirements. “We are looking to document gardens and landscapes that: 1. Are stunning examples of external place making. This implies that there is a deliberate, human intervention and not a place that has evolved ‘naturally’ over time. 2. These places have to have a very strong spatial character…
Top
menu logo