The 2018 Pritzker laureate shares some wisdom and tells us why he’s never been tempted to build outside of his native India. Plus: who are the Pritzkers and why is their approval so prized?
Source by Monocle 24: Monocle on Design
“Can you ‘see’ IIMB as a building? It is not visible because nature has taken over so you see a wall here, a pillar there. It has scale and density but also porosity. What is architecture? What does it really mean? When we ‘inhabit’ a space (consciously), architecture becomes the body to our soul. Then it is alive…it can talk to us,” said Dr. BV Doshi who designed the IIM Bangalore building and many others but most importantly, he shaped the way architecture is taught in India. The legendary architect is also the founder-director of the School of Architecture, Ahmedabad (1962-72), founder-director of the School of Planning (1972-79), founder-dean of the Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (1972-81), founder-member of the Visual Arts Centre, Ahmedabad and founder-director of the Kanoria Centre for Arts, Ahmedabad. Join Dr BV Doshi as he takes you on a walking tour of the IIMB Campus.
0:00 Welcome by Dean Richard Sommer 4:50 Introduction by Martha Thorne 9:16 Balkrishna Doshi presentation 1:08:53 Q & A Lecture presented by the Pritzker Architecture Prize / The Hyatt Foundation in partnership with the Daniels Faculty.
The Daniels Faculty is honoured to welcome Professor Balkrishna Doshi, the 2018 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate, to present the public lecture "Paths Uncharted" on Wednesday, May 16, 2018. "Journeys over the last seven decades showed me how ‘life’ and discoveries happen and how chance encounters enrich new opportunities," says Doshi. "These experiences made me look at architecture as a living entity providing me with opportunities to rediscover and express my hauntings through built-form. I am glad and delighted to talk about my understanding of what architecture, life and living is. From a small house to a cluster to communities and finally how empowering the have-nots and society through housing and institutions can create a meaningful habitat."
Architect, urban planner, and educator for the past 70 years, Doshi has been instrumental in shaping the discourse of architecture throughout India and internationally. Influenced by masters of 20th century architecture, Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, known as Le Corbusier, and Louis Kahn, Doshi has been able to interpret architecture and transform it into built works that respect eastern culture while enhancing the quality of living in India. His ethical and personal approach to architecture has touched lives of every socio-economic class across a broad spectrum of genres since the 1950s. Doshi's architecture explores the relationships between fundamental needs of human life, connectivity to self and culture, and understanding of social traditions, within the context of a place and its environment, and through a response to Modernism. Childhood recollections, from the rhythms of the weather to the ringing of temple bells, inform his designs. He describes architecture as an extension of the body, and his ability to attentively address function while regarding climate, landscape, and urbanization is demonstrated through his choice of materials, overlapping spaces, and utilization of natural and harmonizing elements. For more information about the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design at the University of Toronto, visit us at http://www.daniels.utoronto.ca
Professor Balkrishna V. Doshi is a living legend in contemporary architectural history. Since working as a senior designer for Le Corbusier in the ‘50s and supervising his projects in Ahmedabad and Chandigarh, he has developed an extraordinary body of work with his practice Vastu-Shilpa as one of the pioneers of low-cost housing and modern city planning in India. Over almost 70 years of practice, research and teaching, he has created a wide range of projects which demonstrate an exceptional level of environmental and community awareness, adopting modern architectural principles and adapting them to local Indian traditions, resources and context.
Some of his most relevant projects include his own studio Sangath in Ahmedabad (1979-80) and both public and private cultural and educational facilities, such as the Ahmedabad School of Architecture (1966-68), the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore (1977-83), the Gandhi Labour Institute in Ahmedabad (1980-84), the National Institute of Fashion Technology in New Delhi (1989) and the experimental Amdavad ni Gufa Art Gallery (1992-95). Balkrishna V. Doshi’s projects also expand to residential architecture. He has executed numerous commissions for low-cost housing in industrial townships such as the Indian Farmers Fertilisers Cooperative in Kalol (1970-73) or the Aranya Community Housing in Indore (1988), which also received the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 1995.
Coinciding with the 90th birthday of Balkrishna V. Doshi and the 70th anniversary of Indian independence, we had the pleasure of welcoming this legendary architect to the RA to talk about a lifelong career transforming Indian culture and tradition.