essays

The First B.Arch Degree Conferring Department Of India Turns 65!

Shubhayan M • Sep 5, 2019 • 5807

The First B.Arch Degree Conferring Department Of India Turns 65!

Way back in 1954, six individuals amongst a batch of twenty successfully graduated and were awarded the very first Bachelor of Architecture degree in India. The Department of Architecture, Town and Regional Planning, Indian Institute of Engineering Science & Technology, Shibpur (Erstwhile B.E. College, Shibpur) conferred upon these six individuals, the very first B.Arch degrees of the country, a first-of-its-kind achievement in the country back then!

2019 marks 65 years of the same!

The institute, IIEST Shibpur has undergone myriad transformations over the ages. It was christened Bengal Engineering College (BEC) in 1921 and elevated to the status of a Deemed University in 1992 while its recognition as Bengal Engineering an (...)

Architecture industry plummets, young architects hit hardest in India!

Shubhayan M • Aug 27, 2019 • 12291

Architecture industry plummets, young architects hit hardest in India!

While unfair labor conditions of architecture for architects and the discussions of unpaid internship are still alive and debated in architecture, World Architecture Community's India Reporter Shubhayan Modak reveals many tragic situations that young architects and students are confronted in India in the professional practice of architecture.

The last few years have been challenging for architects and allied designers in the Indian subcontinent. The situation in India is one that hints towards a gradual disintegration, and the symptoms are visible. Demonetization hit hard in 2016. Architecture, like most other sectors, faced violent turbulence, one whose wounds have hardly healed. However, demonetization is only a micro-reason, a (...)

A Pulse in the Nebula

Tarun Bhasin • Aug 7, 2019 • 1349

A Pulse in the Nebula

In 1973, NASA launched Skylab, an unmanned space station to the earth’s orbit. It was met by 3 crews of 3 members each over a period of 24 weeks for data gathering. Its decaying orbit meant that NASA needed to bring it back to Earth. They assumed that in the 8 years it was supposed to be in orbit, they will be able to develop the technology that would bring Skylab back. They couldn’t. And in 1979, Skylab came crashing down into the Indian Ocean and Myanmar.

Image courtesy of NASA

Act IIndia has for long been a case study of urbanization, even before Independence. Being the most industrious colony under the British Raj, India was quickly churning out resources and finished goods with its surplus of labour found in k (...)

Can experiences of US cities be an inspiration to Istanbul’s impending water & construction crisis?

Mert Kansu • Jul 3, 2019 • 1707

Can experiences of US cities be an inspiration to Istanbul’s impending water & construction crisis?

"You don’t want to walk and talk about Jesus; you just want to see his face," has concluded the environmentalist and architect David Waggonner’s interview with The Atlantic[i]. This quote has been more than a Rolling Stones lyric in recent years. It has become the mentality of environmentalists and designers in how they interact with water in cities. Research shows that people living in urban areas now make up more than half of the world population[ii]. Although cities dominate the way we live and work, the word water is talked, discussed a lot, but never made visible, especially in those with climatic vulnerabilities. Instead, water is shunned and pushed away outside of, or under cities. Often only made apparent in urban fringe (...)

The Architects (Amendment) Bill, 2018, on Reforms in Practice and Education

Varun Kumar • Jun 4, 2019 • 2343

The Architects (Amendment) Bill, 2018, on Reforms in Practice and Education

In November 2018, the Council of Architecture (COA) released the Architects (Amendment) Bill 2018 (2018 bill) via e-mail. A comparative chart of the bill and the original Architects Act, 1972 was also presented to show the new laws for practice in India.

The COA asked Architects for feedback. But for beginners, it is important to know the Act and why it has been in news. Let us look into the background of the act in correlation with the issues present in the practice.

What is the Architects Act, 1972?

The Architects Act, 1972, also called the Principal Act, was put into force on 1 September, 1972. It is "an act to provide for the registration of architects and for matters connected therewith.”

Image courtes (...)

On Organic Architecture: 'Neelai' Lake House by Shirish Beri & Associates

Tarun Bhasin • Dec 31, 2018 • 6888

On Organic Architecture: 'Neelai' Lake House by Shirish Beri & Associates

The following article presents thorough documentation on the principles of organic architecture and the arguments by some of its proponents throughout the 20th century by means of comparison of architectural elements in the purview of said principles. The building in focus is 'Neelai' Lake House, in Andur; a weekend house made by Ar. Shirish Beri (practicing in Kolhapur, Maharashtra, India) for himself. His sense of architecture has been compared with the notions proposed by Frank Lloyd Wright; and his disciple Nariman Dosabhai Gandhi, the strongest advocate of organic architecture in India - who also practiced in Maharashtra.

'Neelai' Lake House, Andur, Maharashtra - Shirish Beri & AssociatesThe site is divided i (...)

Recapitulating Z-Axis 2015 #2: Lessons from a Pritzker laureate

Tarun Bhasin • Dec 28, 2018 • 3718

Recapitulating Z-Axis 2015 #2: Lessons from a Pritzker laureate

Lessons from a Pritzker laureate

The frame fades-in to reveal a shot of a ghetto of skyscrapers, there is no point of reference to the ground and there cannot be. You can see the Chrysler building rising from behind a few concrete mid-rises following which your eyes dart to the Empire State Building situated further back, appearing almost like a silhouette. The image is black and white, sooty, and imitative of the pollution-ridden skies of the city that abolishes almost every detail. It is only after three seconds into the shot that the background score plays - it is Jazz! There is nothing more left to the imagination. The movie is set in Manhattan, if only you knew the name of the movie, I am talking about the 1979 American feature (...)

Nineteen British Architects Are In The Longlist Of The EU Mies Award 2019

Dr Hatice Ozhisar • Dec 18, 2018 • 5538

Nineteen British Architects Are In The Longlist Of The EU Mies Award
 2019

Modern architecture and Bauhaus respects Mies Van der Rohe a lot. The quest/search for new architectural style in the modern era has reached its sublime with the minimalism and simplicity of the architecture of Rohe.

So nothing ever better reminds the goals of Rohe’s modern architecture philosophy with the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture — Mies van der Rohe Award that acknowledges the development of new ideas and technologies for the architectural production in Europe since 1987.

The rules evoked that; "Prize highlights the achievements of European architects in the development of new concepts and technologies and provides citizens as well as public institutions with the opportunity to reach a be (...)

Recapitulating Z-Axis 2015 #1: Everything that is History and Prologue

Tarun Bhasin • Nov 20, 2018 • 4160

Recapitulating Z-Axis 2015 #1: Everything that is History and Prologue

Everything that is History and Prologue

Audience – “Good Evening! Thank you for the wonderful lecture. It is interesting that you put forward an idea that an architect must be connected to the city in which he resides, which is extremely interesting, but at the same time, is problematic due to the current forms of economics and politics that we are all a part of. So, how do you then suggest for the next generation of architects who will probably end up engaging with multiple cities?

History played a great importance in your career and your understanding of architecture. Do you see an importance of an understanding of the history of several other cities that an architect would be engaging with, as a kind of key for (...)

Day 3 Summary on Z-Axis 2018 Conference in India

Tarun Bhasin • Sep 11, 2018 • 6833

Day 3 Summary on Z-Axis 2018 Conference in India

The 2018 Z-Axis Conference was organized by the Charles Correa Foundation at Kala Academy, Panaji, Goa in India from 6-8 September. Titled "Designing Equitable Cities", the conference aimed to talk about the discourses of architecture and planning as agencies involved in the design of resilient and equitable cities through individual presentations and panel discussions.The first day of Z-Axis focused on screening movies on/by Charles Correa to begin to sensitize the audience on issues of rehabilitation, participatory approach, and scale of neighborhood planning; on the life and works of Charles Correa; and the trends of urbanism through the history and development of Mumbai. It was followed by ‘Living Ideals’ exhibition at the C (...)