July 30, 2006

Much Maligned Le Corbusier Lives!

An artis, writer, teacher, architect and more importantly, a visionary, Le Corbusier has been one of the most prolific and yet at times, profoundly misunderstood genius of the Twentieth Century. He has been a source and a challange for many of us who practice architecture and urbanism.

His visions that were never fully realized and his ideas that were grossly misinterpreted by those who followed him have created urban blights that many of our large cities suffer from however, a closer look at Le Corbusier as an architect reveals his prfound sense of humanity and an extraordinary design sensibilty that simultaeously flatters and challanges our senses.

This review in the New York Times by Nicolai Ouroussoff discusses a small church he designed with a former student in the early 1960’s in France...

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/30/arts/design/30ouro.html

July 12, 2006

unarchitecture

Is it possible to design architecture that disappears when 'life' takes over? Our cities are such collective constructs where individual acts of architectural singularities are absorbed into experiential totalities that remain whole inspite of fragmentary nature of their parts. Urbanity is not necessarily a moderated, unified field that remains unchanged through subsequent changes and passage of time.

May 19, 2006

Architecture For India

Friday June 2, 2006. Reception 6:00 PM; Lecture and Q/A 6:30 - 8:00 PM

Architecture for India

Location: Center For Architecture, 536 LaGuardia Place R.S.V.P
Sponsored by the AIA New York Chapter International Committee and Committee on Architecture for Education.
Speaker: Prof. Balkrishna Doshi, Hon. AIA


Please come to Prof. B.V. Doshi’s lecture on “Architecture for India” at a time when India is on everybody's mind. He will explore spatial concepts and architectural themes in his work and examine contradictions and challenges posed by India’s unique cultural milieu and rapid urbanization and growth. The subjects will include institutional projects and housing as well as large-scale urban design and planning projects.

Balkrishna Doshi appears to speak to current sensibilities when he said in 1987: "I learned from Le Corbusier to observe and react to climate, to tradition, to function, to structure, to economy, and to the landscape. To an extent, I also understand how to build buildings and create spaces and forms. However, I have in the last two decades gradually discovered that the buildings I have designed seem somewhat foreign and out of milieu; they do not appear to have their roots in the soil. With the experience of my work over the years and my own observation, I am trying to understand a little about my people, their traditions, and social customs, and their philosophy of life."

Balkrishna Doshi, an Indian architect, educator and planner worked with Le Corbusier in Paris from 1951 to 1954 as senior designer, and then in India to supervise Corbusier’s projects in Ahmedabad and Chandigarh. In 1955 he also established the Vastu-Shilpa Foundation for Studies and Research in Environmental Design, known for pioneering work in low-cost housing and city planning. He maintains an office, Vastu-Shilpa Consultants, in Ahmedabad.

Prof. Doshi has been visiting the U.S.A. and Europe since 1958, and has held important chairs in American universities. He has received numerous international awards and honors, including Padma Shri from the Government of India and an honorary doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania. In 1995, he received the Aga Khan Award for Architecture for the Aranya Community Housing in Indore, India.


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