Category Archives: Events

Indian Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo 2010 Disappoints

On May 01, 2010 the World Expo 2010 opened in Shanghai, China. Besides other things, its a venerable feast of architecture

Countries have come out with their best architectural foot forward and some of the national pavilions are stunning examples of the contemporary architectural vocabulary of those countries. However all attempts to get a better look at the Indian Pavilion at the Expo has been a disappointing task.

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The above picture is one of the few official ones that have been released by the Chinese Expo Authority. And the Director of the Indian Pavilion Rajesh Kumar, can be seen here talking about the design.

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CTBUH 2010 World Conference in Mumbai

3rd – 5th February 2010 | Renaissance Hotel & Convention Center, Mumbai.

150x150_Mumbai Rapid urbanization of developing countries such as India and China over the past decade have resulted in almost 200,000 people migrating from rural to urban regions somewhere on the planet every day (United Nations statistics). This translates into the need for the world to accommodate the equivalent of a new city of one million people every week. How can our existing – or new – urban centers accommodate this growth? The traditional American model of a dense working downtown core and an ever-expanding residential suburb have been generally recognized as an unsustainable model for the future, due to the high energy expenditure of the necessary expanded infrastructure (roads, power, waste etc), the transport commute itself (largely automobile) and the loss of natural greenbelt / landscape for agriculture and ecological balance. Humanity needs to evolve into a more sustainable pattern of existence, and cities need to become denser with more concentrated centers for living,

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Indian Green Building Congress Hyderabad

There were two interesting presentations, among others, at the 7th edition of the Green Buildings Congress that commenced in Hyderabad on Thursday. Both were by iconic architects. Vadodara-based Karan Grover and Hong Kong based ‘cybertect’ James Law presented their visions of design at the same venue within a space of a few hours.

The Indian architect is known for his green philosophy and is synonymous with the world heritage site at Champaner while the Chinese cybertect uses imagination and belief to chart out workable design solutions for the future. Their visions dovetail with each other and are yet dissimilar in crucial respects.

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“What Makes India Urban?” : Symposium in Berlin

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Opening: / Symposium: October 10, 2009

Aedes Network Campus Berlin, Christinenstrasse 18-19, 10119 Berlin

Opening hours: 03:00pm – 07:00pm

The Symposium "What Makes India Urban?" will be held in English.

Please note to kindly sign up for this event until 30th Sept under: ug@aedes-arc.de

03:00pm

WELCOME SPEECH

• Hans Jürgen Commerell, Aedes Berlin/Germany

• Anand Patel, Architect/Curator, Ahmedabad/India

INTRODUCTION/LEADING QUESTIONS

“India is undergoing an epochal transformation. From a rural agricultural society it is becoming a largely urban society. The biggest story in India today is the drama of India transforming its cities to accommodate ever larger numbers of people, and, Indians learning how to live in cities and learning to make sense of them. Will India’s cities add to, or address, the difficult environmental problems the world faces? Will India build cities that make the life of all its people more livable, or will it find ever more ingenious ways of excluding the poor from the hope and promise of city life? Will India transform governance of its cities to strengthen the idea of democracy or will it choose a more authoritarian course? Will India teach the world a new way to think of and live in cities? Answers to these questions will determine the fate, not only of India, but of the world as a whole. I suggest that in this symposium, we keep these questions in the forefront. Hopefully, at the end of it we will have a better sense of how, if at all, India is changing the meaning of what it is to be urban.”

Symposium Note by Bimal Patel, August 20, 2009

Bimal Patel will inaugurate the event through a general overview and the introduction of the audience to the leading questions of the symposium. These will be picked up again in the final discussion.

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A Monograph on the works of Nari Gandhi

We are very happy to inform you about the soon to be published Monograph on one of India’s foremost architects Nari Gandhi.

There is a personal connection here for us at UAI. The author of the monograph is Prof. H, Masud Taj my professor at Rizvi College of Architecture from 1992 to 1997,  and a dear friend.

This monograph is published and designed by Pranav Upasani, a fellow alumni from RCA and a good friend, and Prof. Y D Pitkar, a visiting faculty at RCA in the 90’s and a friend too.

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Received via email from Pranav Upasani …

An interesting book is being published on the works of late Architect Nari Gandhi’s works by the Art & Design Book Press at Foundation ForArchitecture.

This is the first-ever monograph of Nari, the talented apprentice to Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesin. I have just visited the foundation’s website at http://www.forarc.com Do visit the website to find out more information about the book. You can also see an online preview of the book in ‘About the book’ section and order your copy from the website.

More about Nari Gandhi

Nari Gandhi (1934-1993) was an apprentice to Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesin from 1956 to 1961. He later worked with Architect Warren Weber and studied pottery at the Kent State University before returning to India. Through his early works, he introduced in India, Wright’s desert masonry and the Usonian grid. Nari worked without an office, without drawings, without formal associates, without a timetable, unencumbered by legal and financial constraints, retaining the trust of clients without entertaining their requests. He dispensed architecture that was intoxicatingly rich in materials and craftsmanship. He transformed architecture into a work of art and the client into a patron. [link]

More about the author Prof. H. Masud Taj.

H Masud Taj is an architect-poet-calligrapher (www.taj.ca). He was first featured as a poet by Jennifer Kapoor at her Prithvi Theatre Festival (Mumbai 1978). As a post-oral poet, his audiences vary from Officers of the Indian Navy at their Naval Base in Mumbai (architectural site of his War Memorial) to a single Bosnian refugee in Vienna. He is featured both as a contemporary Canadian poet (Atlas 2007) as well as a contemporary Indian poet (Penguin Books India 2008, 2005, 2002, Bloodaxe UK 2008, Wespennest Austria 2006, Fulcrum USA 2005) besides being aired on BBC, AIR and CFMTV Canada. His work has been translated into Arabic, Hebrew and German and interfaced with architecture (Graz Austria), landscape (Toronto Arts Council, Canada), calligraphy (Gallerie Jean concteau, Mumbai) dance (Dave Wilson’s Parahumans Dance Theatre, Toronto) and with paintings (Jehangir Art Gallery and National Centre of Performing Arts, Mumbai).

As an architect he was mentored by Hassan Fathy and as a calligrapher by David Hosbrough. He has held solo-exhibits in the English Italic-hand; his Arabic calligraphic-platonic-solid was shortlisted in Switzerland and his Hindi calligraphic-posters were exhibited in Scandinavia. His calligraphy is in the collection of Edward Said, Moshe Safdie, Arthur Erickson, etc. His favourite certificate remains his Kindergarten report card that graded his writing as “Bad.”  [link]

You can pre-order this book to receive their special discount.

Notes from the Emerging Architecture of India Conference in New York City

The Emerging Exchanges: New Architectute of India conference was held last Thursday and Friday at the New School Campus here in NYC. Jointly hosted by the New School, India China Institute, and The Architecture League it brought together a great mix of practitioners from India.

Thursday’s first session was an introduction to the theme. Kazi Ashraf gave an overview of the current state of Indian architecture which was basically paraphrasing his article for the “Made In India” AD Issue of 2007. In showing a lot of proposals for projects he tried to cover ground about the typologies of emergent Indian architecture. However as Rahul Mehrotra pointed out later in the conference, most of them were just proposals and never ever left the drawing board. And sadly this would be a constant criticism of the conference over the next two days. More of that later in the article.

Some of the outstanding presentations were:

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Volume Zero: The Work of Charles Correa

September 04: If only Charles Correa were Mumbai’s chief architect. The city might have scored higher on aesthetics and urban planning . Even though the architect works out of Mumbai, the city has little of his work. To see what we’re missing, head to the NCPA today to watch Arun Khopkar’s Volume Zero: The Work of Charles Correa, an hour-long film on Correa’s architecture.

Khopkar’s documentary is a cinematic tour of some of Correa’s best work. “I’m interested in the relationship between architecture and cinema,” says the film-maker who has previously documented Jehangir Sabavala’s art and Alarmel Valli’s Bharatanatyam. “With each location there is a specific problem with how to make the location come alive.” The first Correa building he came across was the Gandhi Smarak Sangrahalaya in Ahmedabad 20 years ago. It’s a large airy structure built around a courtyard, a feature that Correa repeats in many of his later buildings. In the film, Khopkar recalls feeling “the rhythms of its spaces’ ‘ and noting how “it responded to changing lights” .

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Indian Green Building Congress 2008

The Indian Green Building Council of Cll – Sohrabji Godrej Green Business Centre announces its flagship event "Green Building Congress 2008", International Conference & Exhibition on Green Building Technologies between 24 & 27 September 2008 at the Grand Hyatt in Mumbai

The main congress consists of a series of parallel events.

International Conference on Green Buildings: 24 – 25 September 2008

Seminar on Green Homes: 26 September 2008

Exhibition on Green Building Products: 24 – 26 September 2008

Training Program on Green Building Rating Systems 23 & 27 September 2008

Green Building Tours: 23 & 27 September 2008

Some of the key speakers at the Green Homes conference are

  • Mr Kevin Hydes, Chair, WGBC & Immediate Past Chair. U.S. Green Building Council
  • Mr Rick Fedrizzl, President. CEO & Founding Chairman. US Green Building Council
  • Mr Tom Hicks. Vice President, US Green Building Council
  • Mr Harvey M Bernstein, Vice President-Industry Analytics Alliances & Strategic Initiatives. McGraw Hill Construction
  • Dr Kath Williams, Past President. World Green Building Council & Principal. Kath Williams + Associates
  • Mr Robert Watson, Chairman. Amencan Indotech, USA
  • Mr Karan Grover, Architect. Karan Grover & Associates
  • Ar Sharukh Mistry, Partner, Mistry Architects
  • Mr Bill Gregory, Director, Sustainable Initiatives, Milllken Design Center

More information on their website.