The Need for Design Schools in India

India is fast becoming one of the world’s leading consumer of manufactured goods. Be it cellphones, sneakers, cars or home furnishings; Indians are lapping it all up. And the manufacturers of the world cannot ignore the fact that there needs to be a new design sensibility for this new client base.

Jayashree Bhosale at Economic Times writes about this need for an “Indianised” design and by extension the Indian designers.

In the whole post-secondary education boom, pure design schools have not been at the forefront. And that is a niche waiting to be filled. The article below discusses the pros and cons of that.

India is now a potential design pool

There’s a whole new talent dimension that India has yet to cash in on: design. The demand for professionals in this field is going up by the day, as international brands call in on one of the world’s key manufacturing and consumption centres. But with just a handful design schools in the country, it’s an opportunity waiting to be tapped.

Architects Education

Developers to Benefit from Foreign University Influx

One thing that differs vastly between Indian and American educational institutions is the infrastructure. Most American universities are huge campuses with dozens of academic, sports, facilities and housing buildings. In India however, this is usually not the case barring a few institutions.

Hence the news that foreign educational institutions are coming to India, means that it could be an interesting time for developers and architects.

It will be interesting to see if these foreign institutions bring in their own architects to plan and design campuses or will they hire local talent.

The article below dwells into this issue and brings up some interesting arguments.

Developers hope to benefit from foreign univs’ entry

It is niche developers like HCC and SEZ Sri City who see an opportunity by roping in big institutions

By Ranju Sarkar / Business Standard

Construction companies and real estate developers smell an opportunity when foreign universities are allowed to set up campuses in India. Last Monday, the Union Cabinet okayed the Foreign Educational Institutions (Regulation of Entry and Operation) Bill. Once cleared by the Parliament, it will enable foreign universities to do so.

Education News

Building with a heart: Anne Feenstra Exhibition

Every edifice should speak the language of its country, says Anne Feenstra, displaying friendly buildings at an exhibition in New Delhi

By Shailaja Tripathi / The Hindu

30dfr_Visitor_jpg_10106f Three different structures by three different architects in three totally different countries and settings… but what binds them is their innate connection with the human beings who not only reside in them but also around them. Disappointed by the number of skyscrapers and high-rise buildings that lack a distinct identity of their own, Dutch architect Anne Feenstra brings us glimpses of these unique structures to inspire, sensitise and spread awareness, in the photo-exhibition ‘Architecture for Humanity’.

Architects Education News

Council of Architecture India under investigation

Termites In The Woodwork

The government has accused top officers at the COA, India’s apex architectural body, of criminal misconduct. BRIJESH PANDEY tracks the issues as the CBI investigates

IN A move that could change the face of the study and practice of architecture in India, the Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD) has recommended a CBI probe against the president, registrar and four members of the executive committee of the Council of Architecture (COA). The COA is a regulatory body constituted by the Architects Act of 1972, which accredits and licenses educational institutions to teach architecture in India. Moreover, every architect working in India has to be registered with the COA.

In a letter to the CBI dated August 27, 2009 (DO No. C-1301168/2009-Vig) — from the Joint Secretary and Chief Vigilance Officer (CVO) of the MHRD, Sunil Kumar — requested the investigation of six top officials of the COA, namely, the President, Vijay Sohoni, the Registrar, Vinod Kumar and four members of the Executive Committee: KB Mohapatra, Uday C Godkari, IJS Bakhsi and Prakash Deshmukh. In the letter (a copy of which is with TEHELKA) the Joint Secretary alleges that:


CEPT Ahmedabad Introduces New Masters Level Programs

By Dayananda Meitei / DNA

Cept University will introduce two new programmes this academic year, adding to the 23 programmes being offered in its seven faculties. While the faculty of technology and the faculty of arts and humanities will each offer one new programme, a centre for excellence will be set up at the University this academic year.

The faculty of arts and humanities will offer a master’s programme in arts journalism, while a master’s in infrastructure engineering and development will be offered by the faculty of technology. A centre for excellence in urban transport will be set up at the university, under the guidance of the ministry of urban development.

Speaking about the programme in arts journalism, faculty member Nirmala Khadpekar said, "Arts journalism is an emerging field. It has existed around the world for only four years and is very new to India. The course will train the students in appreciation of arts and humanities, and how to write about the same."

Architecture Cities Education

Emerging Exchanges: New Architectures of India

Over the next two days I will be attending this conference at the Architectural League in New York City. india-construction

It’s been a while since an architectural-themed conference on India has taken place here in NYC and it should be interesting to see the dialogue that it generates.

Hosted at the New School auditorium, the conference sold out a few days ago. Nevertheless there are tickets available for the keynote address at the end of Day 01.

Participants include:

Himanshu Burte, Prem Chandavarkar, Kenneth Frampton, Soumitro Ghosh and Nisha Mathew, Sudhir Jambhekar, Rajeev Kathpalia, Anupama Kundoo, Reinhold Martin, Gurjit Singh Matharoo, Anuradha Mathur and Dilip da Cunha, Rahul Mehrotra, Geeta Mehta, Vyjayanthi Rao, Samira Rathod, Margie Ruddick and Tom Zook, Michael Sorkin, Neerja Tiku, and Billie Tsien and Tod Williams

The conference looks to understand the growth and development of Indian architecture and cities overall in the time frame of an overall growth in Indian economy, and its standing in the global scenario.

However the choice of participants seems to be a bit peculiar. There are the usual high profile “suspects” and then others that are probably there because the US-based co-chairs had heard about them. And somehow my feeling is that it does not reflect the ground realities.

As much as he is reviled in the architectural community in India, I would have loved to see Hafeez Contractor present and talk about the conference. As my friend and landscape architect Runit Chhaya of Design Cell NYC puts it “Hafeez is today, probably the only architect in India who gets buildings sold, just on his name and fame “.

I will be covering the conference in detail. If you are going to be attending, give me a shout in the comments section.


Shaky foundations

How qualified are the graduating professionals who design our homes, offices and institutional buildings


To whom do we entrust the planning and design of our urban environment? How do Indian schools of architecture compare with the best in the world? How qualified are the graduating professionals who design our homes, offices and institutional buildings?

Do our architecture schools pass the test?

In 2006, after 18 years of studying, teaching and practising architecture in the US, we relocated our practice to India. Shortly thereafter, we were commissioned by a prominent Indian school of architecture to evaluate their operations and prepare a comprehensive assessment report.

The trustees of the school envisioned this exercise as an opportunity to analyse the existing infrastructure and curriculum, the calibre of the teaching faculty and the academic performance of the students. Our findings would facilitate a vision plan for the growth of the institution.

Enthusiastic about recording first-hand impressions of the intellectual life of this institution, we resolved to direct our efforts through conversations with the students, administrators and faculty members. We hoped that our study would reveal the potential capabilities of India’s future architects (at least as represented in this institution).

Cities Education

Mumbai to be focus of MIT UrbLab Conference

The MIT Urbanization Laboratory is organizing a symposium on the culture and politics of urban change that will be held from 1-5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 3, 2008

This event will use Mumbai, India, as a case study to examine how architects, urban designers and planners are responding to the challenges and opportunities of rapid urbanization in the developing world. Speakers include professionals and academics from India as well as economists from the World Bank and Rockefeller Foundation.

Architects Education

Sorry State of Architectural Education Legislation

Architectural education in India has transformed beyond recognition since the early 90’s. Today there are dozens of schools in the big metros, where a few years ago a couple existed.

However in most things that are unplanned, there is a danger of the whole education system going haywire. Some of the issues have to do with recognition of professional educational institutions by government bodies. What happens if you dont agree with these government bodies or do not want to follow their sometimes lopsided regulations.

Read On..

Architect of disaster: Council of Architecture (COA).

Created by a Parliamentary Act, COA is at loggerheads with many architecture schools, giving sleepless nights to hundreds of enrolled students and making one wonder if it’s under anyone’s control.

Armed with its statutory powers to regulate the education and practice of profession throughout India and maintain the register of architects, COA has been insisting that architecture schools introduce its National Aptitude Test in Architecture (NATA) or face de-recognition. COA website lists many schools of architecture (including IIT-Kharagpur and Chandigarh College of Architecture), where intake of students has been withdrawn or frozen for not submitting NATA undertaking .

COA has also recommended withdrawal of recognition for the reputed School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi, as also several others, alleging several sins of omission and commission.