#91 RESIDENCES – Contemporary Indian Houses [2016], by Incite

Contemporary Indian Houses

The hashtag allows moving away from categorization into typologies and classification by climate, size, style, etc. to create new affinities among hitherto non-connected buildings for instant access to similar creative expressions / elements. Buildings become linked by ideas and elements. The categories become fluid and the connections extensive. One moves from a hierarchical classification to a lateral and more fluid, sometimes even tenuous connection.

Contemporary Indian Houses

#91 RESIDENCES – Contemporary Indian Houses, Volume 3 features 108 built projects across India and includes a poster [15.75” x 22.24”].

Price Rs. 2500/- payable at Bangalore by cheque / DD in favour of ‘Incite’. Please include courier charges per book as below if you wish to receive your copies by courier.

Destination Courier Charges per book
Bangalore Rs.100/-
South India [Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh & Telangana] Rs.200/-
Other states within India Rs.300/-


Please contact Incite by phone or email for our bank details for online transfer.

Address: # 422, 1st Floor, 9th Main, Banashankari II Stage
Bangalore 560 070 India

Phone: + 91 80 2671 3380

Email : connect@incite.co.in

+91 RESIDENCES EX10DED – More Contemporary Indian Houses [2011] , by INCITE

Contemporary Indian Houses - Incite

91 RESIDENCES ExTENDed, the sequel to +91 RESIDENCES, continues the documentation through photographs, sketches, drawings, models featuring 49 independent dwellings across India (2000-2011) and ten essays by architects.

Contemporary Indian Houses - Incite

Book Size – 21cm x 29cm
Pages – 147 with drawings and illustrations in colour.

Price Rs. 1800/- payable at Bangalore by cheque / DD of in favour of ‘Incite’. Please include courier charges per book as below if you wish to receive your copies by courier.

Destination Courier Charges per book
Bangalore Rs.100/-
South India [Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh & Telangana] Rs.200/-
Other states within India Rs.300/-


To place an order, please contact Incite by phone or email for our bank details for online transfer.

Address: # 422, 1st Floor, 9th Main, Banashankari II Stage
Bangalore 560 070 India

Phone: + 91 80 2671 3380

Email : connect@incite.co.in

+91 RESIDENCES – Contemporary Indian Houses, by Incite

91 Residences - Contemporary Indian Houses

Reprint [2015] First Edition [2010]

+91 RESIDENCES – CONTEMPORARY INDIAN HOUSES derived the qualifying adjective from the country phone code for India and features 91 independent dwellings across India designed by architects in India built after the year 2000 and 19 works-in-progress.

91 Residences - Contemporary Indian Houses+91 RESIDENCES maps the multiple directions of contemporary Indian residential architecture. The houses in the book are classified into contextual typologies such as urban boxes and sprawling sub-urban houses in picturesque landscapes; they also bring to the forefront, concepts such as aesthetics of volumes, play of materials, fetish for technology, and design for thermal comfort and energy conservation.

Price Rs. 2500/- payable at Bangalore by cheque / DD in favour of ‘Incite’. Please include courier charges per book as below if you wish to receive your copies by courier.

Destination Courier Charges per book
Bangalore Rs.100/-
South India [Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh & Telangana] Rs.200/-
Other states within India Rs.300/-


Please contact us by phone or email for our bank details for online transfer.

To place an order, please contact INCITE on,

Address: # 422, 1st Floor, 9th Main, Banashankari II Stage
Bangalore 560 070 India

Phone: + 91 80 2671 3380

Email : connect@incite.co.in

Book Review: An Adobe Revival – Didi Contractor’s Architecture: Author – Joginder Singh

Image: © Joginder Singh

In an age where the mammoth, the huge, the colossal, and in the words of Rem Koolhass, “Biggness” is celebrated, and the monumental is the benchmark of value, there are a host of architects, that work in the shadows, and dark patches caused by this blindness. Architects who genuinely share a deep concern for place, for material, for cultures and most of all for creative processes and expression. Architects who no one talks about, but in whose work, if once ever encountered, one can still feel an energy and vibrancy and empathy so completely lacking in the built environment today.

A very welcome addition to my small, but carefully put together bookshelf.

Didi’s own words, lead you into the book, these personal insights, reveal the person she is, and the concerns that have guided her work, one slowly realizes her practice is not professional give-and-take, but more a conversation between a site, a client and architect, that is guided by a personal and close interaction, she herself says, “my practice could be considered and ‘amateur’ exercise of the imagination..’ creative, at the same time rooted yet driven by a certain practicality.

In her work you see a certain resistance, to construction industry backed practices, and the photographs do an admirable job of bringing you a holistic picture of her building practice – pictures that evocatively bring you right into the scene, expressing and unfolding moments the making of, and experience of intricately crafted abodes of human life, love, activity and rest. They are a welcome contrast to the megalomanical, bigger-than-thou, posturing that most architectural photographs are about these days, which try paint each building as monument, and each architect as super-hero.

They are a human investigation of a very Human architecture.

What I did miss, and miss badly are drawings (either archival, or documentation) to help us understand the appreciate these buildings not just through pictures but also as very carefully assembled architectural ideas, and on the off-hand provide a repository of some kind for young architects like myself still grappling with the desire to work in hills and in spaces where organized contractors etc are pipe dream. And while in on the wish-list, some pictures to show the process unfolds

But making a book is invariably about cost – that INR 2000 rupee figure, and the reality that books on design are expensive and so find limited circulation. I am sure that was a concern or these publishers too. Would documenting each building have cost? Of course. And therefore would it push the cost of the book up? Of course! But would it add immeasurable value to the book? The answer is again, Of Course! And there in lies my only grouse, (and also that if you are not familiar with her work, as I am not, its hard to figure which pictures are of which project, but that is minor)

So then what is this book, an Architecture Book or Coffee table book?

Frankly, I don’t care! Just the photographs alone would justify its existence and its presence in my collection– but I would recommend an extended second edition- with a contributed essay or two, and some drawings! And I’d rush to grab that as well, and make sure everyone I know grabs one too!

Henri FanthomeHenri Fanthome is Principal Architect at HFOA – Henri Fanthome Office of Architecture, New Delhi. Some of his works can be accessed on THIS LINK.



The Auroville Architects Monograph Series documents the pioneering work of the architects whose vision shaped Auroville, a unique international township in southeastern India. This monograph, the second in the series, is a comprehensive record of the work of Piero and Gloria Cicionesi, whose architectural legacy translates Auroville’s philosophy of community living into built form

Piero (b. 1935) and Gloria (b. 1933) arrived in Auroville a week after its inauguration on 28 February 1968 and have since made it their karma-kshetra. This first major volume on their works spans their entire career till date, the influences that formed them, and their contribution to Auroville. Piero’s role in the history of Auroville is unique since without him it would not have been possible to manifest the Matrimandir—Auroville’s physical and spiritual centre—as a collective effort manifesting perfection in matter. Together with Gloria’s warm personality, lending quiet strength and grace to their 55-year-long joint adventure, the architect couple’s work—be it schools, residences or institutions like the Unity Pavilion—speaks of a spatial quality that is modern, elegant and almost timeless in its essence.

This publication brings together essays, drawings and photographs to demonstrate the elegant legacy of Piero and Gloria Cicionesi, for whom architecture is not only a search for beauty but also has a deeper social aspiration.

This book has been enhanced with 7 augmented reality videos, each linked to a photograph marked with the symbol. These videos include interactions with Piero and Gloria as well as documentation of their journey and work in Auroville. The videos are available through the BooksPlus mobile app. To play the videos, please follow the instructions given on the copyright page.

Click here to buy the book

Some images from the book:


Mona Doctor Pingel

Mona Doctor-Pingel studied architecture at CEPT
University, Ahmedabad, and completed post-graduation in Appropriate Technology from Flensburg University, Germany. Since 1995 she has an independent practice in Auroville, Studio Naqshbandi, where she explores architecture, interiors and landscape design. One of the guiding principles in her work is the creation of buildings that are healthy (Baubiologie), aiming to find the right balance between Man–Nature–Economy.

She is actively involved in teaching and conducting workshops, and has been part of various Auroville planning bodies. Since 2012 she is a part of a five-year Indo-US joint research programme on “Energy Efficiency in Buildings”. Being rooted in Auroville and the local context of rural Tamilnadu has given her a unique opportunity to understand that “slowing down is the first step to sustainability.”

She has initiated and authored a series of monographs on Auroville architects—The Pioneers, the first of which on Poppo Pingel was published by Mapin in 2012.

Book: Brinda Somaya: Works & Continuities, An Architectural Monograph

Brinda Somaya - Work and Continuities

Brinda Somaya - Work and ContinuitiesThis volume is a comprehensive monograph chronicling the personal and professional journey of the Indian architect and urban conservationist Brinda Somaya, from 1975 to the present. Documenting a prolific practice, this volume provides an insight into the thinking and processes that have produced award-winning architecture, urban design, conservation and rehabilitation projects over the last four decades.

I am an Indian and all what I am comes from my heritage.
It is an intrinsic part of my being and will naturally reflect in my work in
many ways. The architect’s role is that of a guardian, he or she is the
conscience of the built and the unbuilt environment.
– Brinda Somaya
 Brinda Somaya has created a diverse and eclectic portfolio of work that spans the width and depth of India. Belonging to the “Bridge Generation”, Somaya defines the term and frames it as a time in which individuals initiated their careers in different arts including architecture and design as they addressed the changing socio-political landscape of a newly-Independent India. It was this generation that ‘bridged’ the architectural spaces between the Great Masters and the current generation.


Brinda Somaya - Work and ContinuitiesSome inner pages:

Also listen to Brinda Somaya and contributors talking about the book:

Her work transcends stylistic vocabulary and draws its inspiration from Indian culture, the landscape of the subcontinent. The book explores a cross-section of Somaya’s diverse typology of projects including housing, institutions, conservation, urban design, social design and industrial works that represent a unique ‘non-stylistic’ grammar that has a sense of ‘order and appropriateness’. Situating her work in a broader context, the essays in this volume offer multiple perspectives on Somaya’s accomplishments, while the dialogues outline the concerns central to her work.


Nandini Somaya Sampat, architect, interior designer and Director at SNK Consultants, is involved in all aspects of the design, coordination and execution of projects.

Ruturaj Parikh is a partner at Matter, an architecture and content firm based in Goa. Former Director of the Charles Correa Foundation, he works on architectural and curatorial projects.

Book – Castles in the Air: Misadventures of a Profession, Authored by Sangeet Sharma

book cover - Castles in the air - Sangeet Sharma

book cover - Castles in the air - Sangeet SharmaBuy this book from Amazon

Architecture is one hell of a profession, but is undoubtedly one of the noblest.
Building a roof and a shelter over man, Architecture provides joy in habitation.

Author Sangeet Sharma says:

While Architecture is in itself a spiritual exercise, the practice of the same may not be. The pleasures and pains experienced by me and many others needed to be penned—I did it. The courage required to do so inspire me to lead, and I thought, this was the right path to spew the venom that my heart, and hearts of many others had stored for long.

It was important to communicate and regale at it. Laughter is said to be the best elixir and the book is a satire on architecture written by one who knows the bricks and concrete of the profession by heart. The author, an architect himself, delves into the journey of a professional practice. The book is witty with acerbic humor. Word by word, sentence by sentence, page by page, every scene unfolds like a screenplay, leaving the reader amazed with the brutalities of life in architecture, and life itself.

Says the author, Writing this book was necessary: Necessary, because the nature of this profession was on a somersault. It was important that someone bell the cat— I became the bell; and I become the cat.

As Architecture is all about habitat and human comfort, the book is therefore about life, and its challenges.

What we learnt in schools and what we practice are often in contradiction. Beginning from college days, to thesis, to opening of an office, procuring a job, interaction with the clients, payments, competitions, running of the office and bearing the challenges of the daily strain in Architecture—all these and more became the basis for this book.”

Many contributed to make the framework of this narration:

Author’s observant eyes, naughty banter at parties, agonized clients, contriving builders and contractors, jealous fellow professionals, vindictive teachers, unprofessional colleges, unsupportive professional bodies, lecherous girls at architects’ meets, conniving staff members, clueless government officers, sadistic engineers and high-headed bureaucrats, flawed architectural agreements, uninterested students, unconcerned hostel wardens, aggressive principals, brutal seniors, scheming invigilators, heartless examiners, nagging wives, incompatible families, interfering patrons, egoistic couples, partial journalists and opportunist vendors formed fodder for this book.

Says Sangeet Sharma, “The book is purely a work of fiction, but, the incidents in it are not. Stories that unfold in the book may have many parallels in reality.”

Some of the occurrences narrated here, without doubt, would have happened to him or others. All said and done, Architecture is not full of pitfalls and hurdles alone but good things don’t need be written about—the unsavory aspects actually glue the readers to a book.
The author candidly sums up:

“I may be wrong—but not untruthful.”

Some Reviews:

Castles in the air ‘ is an honest affirmation of an architect s imagination. The manifestation is evident.”
-Prof. K.Jaisim

“Very readable, enjoyable, a must read by all concerned with building industry in any way.”
-Ar S.D. Sharma
Eminent Architect

Humoursly insightful!”
-Ar Rajiv Katpalia
Vastu Shilpa Foundation

“As incredible story of the practice of modern architecture an engrossing read as the author uses the technique of the fiction writing to bring alive the saga of a profession.”
-Nirupama Dutt
Literary editor

“Castles in the air’ is a sarcastic, macabre and acerbic depiction of a life of an architect.”
-Ar. Sumit Kaur ,
Former Chief Architect, Chandigarh Administration

“Strongly worded, and direct. It is venomous: Thoroughly enjoyable.”
-Ar Sarbjit Singh Bahga
Bahga Design Studio LLP

BOOK – Timeless Houses – 17 exclusive residences designed by the architects of India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan

Book - Timeless Houses - Kapil Aggarwal

Timeless Houses showcases 17 exclusive private residences designed by leading architects of four countries — India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan. Though all the houses are sited in the Southern Asian region they are diverse in their architectural forms and styles. Designed by creative architects with international acclaim, these dwellings represent diverse geographical locations, climatology, cultures, lifestyles of the four South Asian countries and hence different architectural form and styles. However, there are several unifying factors that bring these houses on one platform. Each project is an authentic and honest design that has the capability to remain functional for generations.

Book - Timeless Houses - Kapil Aggarwal
Book Cover

Featured in the book are houses by Pinkish Shah (S+PS ARCHITECTS, India), Gurjit Singh Matharoo (Matharoo Associates, India), Nitin Killawala (Group Seven Architects + Planners Pvt Ltd, India), Sanjeev Panjabi & Sangeeta Merchant (Spasm Design Architects, India), Shabbir Unwala (Design Workshop, India), Verendra Wakhloo (Matra Architects and Rurban Planners, India), Manoj Ladhad & Sandeep J (Architecture Paradigm, India), Sandeep Khosla (Khosla Associates, India), Kamal & Arjun Malik (Malik Architecture, India), Aadil Salim (N.M. SALIM & ASSOCIATES, India), Vinu Daniel (Wallmakers, India), Godridge Samuel (MMGS Architects, Sri Lanka), Palinda Kannangara (Palinda Kannangara Architects, Sri Lanka), Thisara Thanapathy (Thisara Thanapathy Associates, Sri Lanka), Rafiq Azam (SHATOTTO architecture for green living) and Bilal Kapadia (Coalesce Design Studio, Pakistan). The brilliantly designed pages provide a walk-through experience of each dwelling while the articles offer background information on the architects, their work philosophy as well as particular challenges, unique solutions, and materials used in the building process. The interviews at the end of each feature offer additional interesting insights about the houses and their designers. The book contains a wealth of information for professional architects, planners, interior designers, as well as the casual reader with an interest in design and the art of living.

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Some inner pages

About the curator

Kapil Aggarwal

Kapil did his B.Arch in 1996 from MIT, Manipal and worked for three years with renowned architectural offices before setting up his studio – Spaces Architects@ka. Kapil had an inclination for fine arts since childhood and he considers himself an artist turned into an architect. His projects are an extension of his art form, his renovated house a reflection of his self where each space has been treated as a canvas frame. His repertoire of work spreads from furniture design to corporate buildings, schools, residences and restoration projects. Kapil has won more than 40 international and national awards. The project Adharshila Vatika won the Design Share Awards 2008, For An Innovative Learning Environment. Spaces Architect @ka was the only Asian firm to win an award in this category. Haveli Dharampura which is first of its kind adaptive reuse building in old Delhi where an old haveli has been conserved and converted into a heritage hotel has won the firm numerous awards and recognitions like NDTV Award, CWAB Award and IIID Award among many.

About the editor

Mamta Upadhyaya

Mamta is a freelance architecture editor, blogger and a writer. A former executive editor for the Design Today, a monthly magazine by the India Today Group and Deputy Editor-in-charge for the Malayala Manorama Group, she has been writing on architecture and design for the last 10 years. A post-graduate in Mass Communication and Journalism, Mamta started working as a daily reporter with Hindustan Times, Bhopal in 2000. In her various pursuits, she has worked with leading national dailies The Pioneer and Mid-Day and has written substantially on topics such as health, gender issues, environment and art. Prior to newspapers in Delhi, she worked as a consultant copy editor with Centre for Science and Environment and offered valuable editorial inputs for the book The Leapfrog Factor (2006). She has also curated an exhibition of digital paintings by a Delhi-based artist.

About the publisher

Nitin Lalwani

Nitin is the founder of Delhi-based Lalwani Books International, a leading importer, distributor and retailer of art, architecture and interior design books. Nitin learnt the trade skills from his father G C Lalwani who has been in this business since last four decades. With a strong distribution channel in India and abroad Lalwani Books International have more than 4000 titles on architecture, interior/product design, landscaping, urban design and art in its repertoire. With a strong passion for architecture and design, Nitin has decided to try his hands at publishing books in this genre and explore different facets of contemporary architecture to produce and present valuable content to professional architects, planners and designers.

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Book Details

Binding: Hardback
Pages: 316
Price: US$ 95 (Rs 4500)
Availablility; Major book stores in India, and Amazon

Call for Support: AN ADOBE REVIVAL – Didi Contractor’s Architecture, Forthcoming book by Joginder Singh


About Didi Contractor

DIDI Contractor
Photograph: © Chitra Vishwanath

Didi Contractor (88 years) is on a mission to provide sustainable and affordable homes to the people living in the mountain terrain. Didi started her serious architecture career at the age of 60 years, after shifting to Kangra, and when her children grew up.

You can read more about Didi HERE.






I am not against money but valuing things by money is a terrible mistake. The most valuable things are those we cannot buy, like love and sunsets. We have betrayed our relationship with nature. We should be ashamed that we are not leaving behind a better world.

As told to HarmonyIndia, Source yourstory.com

Joginder SinghAn architect by training, and photographer by inclination, Joginder Singh enjoys photographing the modern Indian architecture.

Regional response, material expression and spatial complexity coupled with an attention to detail form a part of his visual dialogue. Freelancing as a photographer, he has been exhibiting his fine art work through solo photography exhibitions. He photographs for various design professionals and his work regularly features in various architectural journals.

Read Joginder Singh’s Photo Essay on Didi Contractor HERE. 

In addition to the forthcoming book on Didi Contractor’s work, Joginder Singh has previously worked on four books:

Books by Joginder Singh - Architectural Photographer
Books by Joginder Singh

About The Book:

Image: © Joginder Singh

The photography for AN ADOBE REVIVAL – Didi Contractor’s Architecture was done over seven years and several trips to Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh. The images have been carefully selected and juxtaposed to portray the essence of Didi’s Architecture in Adobe. Didi Contractor has contributed the accompanying text and context-specific quotations by her are peppered throughout. Soumya Parker, a talented graphic designer, is meticulously designing the layout.


I wanted to seek your support for my foray into the world of self-publishing. Immaterial Publications has been set up ensure that the book can be impeccably produced at a cost that makes it affordable and allows it to reach a much wider audience, while retaining copyrights.

It is hoped that the book will trigger off ideas, highlight current concerns and possibly alter lifestyles to address what is ‘relevant’ in today’s architectural scenario.

The first edition of 1000 copies is going to be hardbound with a dust jacket. This is being printed under the imprint IMMATERIAL PUBLICATIONS and is due for release in January 2018.

To bring this journey to fruition, I seek support towards production expenses outlined below:

  • Graphic Design Fees
  • Pre-press and print proofing
  • Paper and printing costs
  • Packaging and transportation
  • Distribution and launch
  • Publicity expenses

I have defined a few slabs below to aid you in deciding the amount you would like to sponsor. Any amount will be of help 🙂

  • Rs. 1,000+ entitles you to a set of 5 beautifully designed postcards from the body of the book
  • Rs. 2,000+ entitles you to 1 signed book
  • Rs. 5,000+ entitles you to 2-signed books and a set of 5 beautifully designed postcards from the body of the book.
  • Rs. 10,000+ entitles you to 4-signed books and a set of 10 beautifully designed postcards from the body of the book.
  • Rs. 20,000+ entitles you to 4-signed books and a set of 10 beautifully designed postcards from the body of the book and an honorable mention on the Immaterial Website.
  • Rs. 50,000+ entitles you to 4-signed books. An honorable mention on the front flap of the dust jacket (printingyour name is possible only for sponsorship received up to November 15, 2017) and the Immaterial Website and a set of 15 beautifully designed postcards from the body of the book and a rolled up fine art print signed by the photographer.

For now, I can ship books and postcards within India. Working on figuring out the costs associated with shipping books abroad and the legal / tax implications, if any.

Sponsorship may be sent via IMPS / NEFT bank transfers to the IMMATERIAL account. When transferring, please put your name in the transfer description. Do send me a mail with your complete address and contact number so that the postcards and book may be sent when ready.

Account details:
Account name: IMMATERIAL
Account number: 502 000 2758 5966
Account type: Current
IFSC code: HDFC 00 00 129
Swift code: HDFCINBB
Correspondent bank account name: HDFC BANK LTD, MUMBAI

Contact Email: mail.immaterial@gmail.com

Look forward to your generosity in supporting this. Do feel free to share this with those who might be interested in sponsoring the project.

Book – 10 Houses in India located in a natural context, by Skyboard – Introduction by Maanasi Hattangadi

X Houses in India - Skyboard

X Houses in India - Skyboard
Book Cover. Courtesy: Skyboard Media Pvt. Ltd.

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The ubiquitous ‘home in the woods’ or the notion of ‘heading to the hills’ no longer conforms to the imageability of a rustic cabin house. With the gaining popularity of weekend retreats, a different narrative is being posited. At an intersection of exploring the hubris of pristine and peri-urban settings, what sets the programmatic challenge or conformity for these architectural expressions?

These 10 houses at the outset, explore a connection to the immediacy of their contexts- physical or metaphysical. Tucked away in the withdrawn corners of the country, they ebb the momentum of city life to momentary seclusion.

The demonstrative engagements are varied and experimental reciprocal to diverse topographies – from the ravines shaped by a river in Gandhinagar, to the mountainous slopes of Uttarakhand, gentler terrains of Sahyadris and Nilgiris, to the more verdure locales of Alibaug and Kerala. The occupation of these residences varies and is oft, conditioned by quality of impermanence. The scale and envelope then secedes from the personalised intimate boundaries of habitation to explore more perforatory formats – more open, more connected to the outside.

Inner Pages

The spatial matrix indulges in a juxtaposition of distinct conceptual and tangible layers – and there is no singular approach. Some houses such as the Hornbill house, The Perch develop from the siting, some are partially embedded in hillsides or levelled in a symbiotic tracery over the terrains, such as the Panorama House dwell on the orientation and are designed to concert nonpareil views, others such as Hillside Retreat and House under the Hillock extrapolate profiles inspired from the surroundings, and some such as the Wood House lend to a constructive rationality, contrived by the use of endemic materials to renew the innate bond with regional setting.

The concept, the craft and the container for each one strives in its individual capacity to foster the balance between the need to occupy and practising the art of restraint. With a focus on sensorial and tactile facets, none of the ten houses are static aesthetic statements. The perception, the sequence, the simplicity arises from the attention provided to the aspects of the making in a way that domestic materials, environmentally-sensitive interventions, minimal footprints, light, technical concerns and viabilities influence the generative core of its physical quality. The identity and ethos of the place becomes intrinsic to derive the sensibility.

Imbued with extensions, wether of metaphor, of memory or of landscaped thresholds, it assumes a character of continuity. This syntax amplifies and mediates the space of The Shadow House, the Kaawi House, k-Lagoon and the Twin Houses. The reading of architecture processes its nearness to nature to ascribe movements within and outside each shell. Each project becomes about celebrating the true potential of the site; all expressing a strong and eloquent visual relationship to the atmospheric and the scenery.

Simultaneously, exponential and simple, the fundamentals and parlance of each project are presented with supplementary emphasis on the value of the process and its inception rather than the form-making. It is a point of departure from an image-driven isolated purview of contemporary architecture to a dialogic multiplicity that seeks out the opportunities and interactions held in these landscapes. The impetus behind the selection of these projects is to map an insight into the dimension of the experiential – an architectural mise-en-sćene condensed for the purpose and the place.

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Book – Reinventing Dharavi – An Ideas Compendium, by Urban Design Research Institute, Mumbai

Reinventing Dharavi - UDRI
Reinventing Dharavi - UDRI
The Book Jacket – Unfolded

About the publication

Dharavi is well-established as one of the world’s most significant informal communities, requiring a critical reimagination for a better future. The publication Reinventing Dharavi: An Ideas Compendium is an abridged compilation of proposals received through an international ideas competition, conceived by the Urban Design Research Institute (UDRI).

Reinventing Dharavi - UDRI
Dharavi Timeline

One of the largest, wealthiest and the most complex slums in the world, Dharavi is faced with critical challenges of overcrowding, unsanitary living conditions, lack of water supply and electricity, deteriorated creeks and mangroves. Several attempts at rejuvenating and formalising it by various governmental bodies, have seen very little success. Existing densities in Dharavi are already high at 100,000 people per sq km and current guidelines are likely to prompt a gentrification of sorts with unheard of densities, causing a further deterioration to the quality of life.

Meanwhile, Dharavi perplexes and fascinates audiences around the world, as the life here continues to inspire art, music and film. The area continues to thrive owing to its strong sense of community, powerful economic forces and opportunity to live and work locally. However, the city has failed to look for alternative solutions beyond the SRA* model which has not been able to alleviate the living conditions of the residents.

Based on the above context, UDRI felt that it was time to reorient perceptions and reimagine Dharavi – Reinventing Dharavi: An International Ideas Competition was conceived to generate novel ideas to enhance the future potential of Dharavi, taking into account its inherent characteristics and needs of residents.

The publication collates the proposals received from all 20 teams comprising a total of 140 participants across 21 nationalities. It comprises a brief context to Dharavi and the competition, the twenty proposals and a summarised ideas matrix.

Reinventing Dharavi - UDRI
Table of Contents

In the context of Dharavi, considering the present approaches to its planning and rehabilitation are inadequate and largely governed by the market-orientated SRA model which hasn’t yet succeeded, the UDRI felt it was time to initiate new discussions and seek alternative solutions to reimagine Dharavi. To this end, Reinventing Dharavi: an International Ideas Competition was conceived by UDRI, and the current publication is an abridged compilation of the proposals received from the twenty participating teams, providing a multi-dimensional perspective to address key urban issues in Dharavi.

*SRA – Slum Rehabilitation Authority

Disclaimer – All ideas and description contained in this publication are the views of the competitors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of UDRI. The submissions to the competition were made on the explicit understanding that UDRI was free to publish and exhibit the content, and advocate, adapt or amalgamate any of the ideas in part or full, provided the authorship of the ideas was at all times acknowledged.
Although UDRI has made every effort to ensure that the information in this publication is correct, we hereby disclaim any liability caused by errors or omissions due to the format in which the proposals were submitted by the respective teams.

About the authors/ publishers
The Urban Design Research Institute (UDRI) was established in 1984 with the aim of facilitating an understanding of urban issues of Greater Mumbai and the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), and encouraging multi-stakeholder action groups to address these. The UDRI aims to make the city and Region inclusive and humane, incorporating its cosmopolitan cultural heritage and social fabric with equitable growth and efficient infrastructure.

UDRI’s work mainly involves research of core urban issues, inviting valuable inputs from governmental organisations, civil society organisations and citizens. The UDRI also facilitates interaction among architects, urban planners, urban designers, students and professionals from related fields of economics, sociology, conservation and history. It advocates for policy change and civic participation at various scales of urban governance, attempting to make the city a space where living, working and mobility are less stressful and more enjoyable with easy access to amenities, recreational public spaces and facilities for all its citizens.

About the book:

Size of the book: 7.64” x 10.83” (Portrait),
412 pages, Hard bound book with dust jacket.

Book is available for purchase at UDRI Office at Rs 1,500 (Students – 20% discount), address below:

Address: Urban Design Research Institute, 43, Dr. V B Gandhi Marg, Kalaghoda, Fort, Mumbai – 400 023 | Email: rrc@udri.org | T: +91 22 22822924/ +91 22 65735773

Book Review: People Called Mumbai & People Called Ahmedabad by People Place Project

Header Book Review People Place Mumbai & Ahmedabad
Picking up a copy of People Called Mumbai, one cannot help but feel a sense of anticipation.

A warm yellow jacket with Mumbai  fenestrated to reveal the faces of Mumbaikars, one really can judge this book by its cover. Inside, after a brief introduction, the stories begin — short accounts of life in the city that may as well be still-frame pictures, perpetually frozen in time and brimming with detail.

Each story is ‘happening’ right now — progressing as you read it, moving with you at your pace; you finish a tale and turn the page, and you might as well have turned into another street and left the narrator behind.

An offshoot of design[variable], The People Place Project is an initiative spearheaded by principal architect Nisha Nair Gupta to map a metropolitan through the pulse of its citizens. Turning what is essentially an ethnographic study into a collection of stories, the People Place Project brings back the impression of a city to the forefront in true Lynchian fashion, laying out a living, breathing, microcosm over the flatness of an urban sprawl. By anthologizing the residents of the city, the books take you from one snapshot to the other — focussing on one life before moving to the next, the places they occupy turning into technicolor backdrops that expand and spill into one another as you read through the stories — until the whole city is laid out before your eyes.

This journey is what People Called Mumbai – and later, People Called Ahmedabad – encapsulates.

The books also, incidentally, make one realize how some people are often places, while some places may as well be people — permanence and vitality combining to create fixtures out of things we expect to be the most fleeting, while turning landmarks into whispered legends. Take, for example, A Tale of Two Ticketwallahs, the very first in the Mumbai anthology, describing a day in the life of Abdul Rahim, a black-market movie-ticket vendor whose base of operations is the G7 Multiplex in Bandra. Having spent over 20 years scalping at the same spot, his life’s work ties him in inextricable companionship with the Head Ticket Salesman of the theatre complex, both existing in easy – if confusing – camaraderie.

The G7 Complex has been outmoded by the multiplexes, while the Tower of Silence faces an equally grim fate with rampant ecologic damage as well as complaints raised by the residents of the area 

The very next story takes us to the Towers of Silence, the Zoroastrian burial grounds that are off-bounds to anyone who doesn’t belong to the reclusive community – embodying somber detachment from the woes of the flesh while simultaneously occupying a strange space in thrill-seeking urban legends. (Shrouded in mystery – and more importantly, misinformation – Dokhmas regularly show up in gory tales designed to evoke horror in the face of the unknown and the inexplicable, turning the sacred truth of death into a bizarre spectacle.) As the narrator speaks to Uncle, the hearse driver for the Towers, he is led through the process of disposing of a dead body – devoid of any sentimentality – making it all too evident how death truly is the antithesis to life — a featureless, undramatic end to all that holds any significance.

While the Towers – an age-old occupant of Mumbai’s land – shift in and out of focus of the public eye like some living entity, Abdul is a part of his Place, as solid and significant as the very mortar holding the complex together. For each successive story that takes place in and around the Gaiety Galaxy complex – and there are several – one simply knows that Abdul must be around somewhere, a constant in the setting.

The books also illustrate – if subtly, at that – how parts of the city live and die, often at the same time. The Bibliophile of Sunday Market – one of the most enchanting tales of the Ahmedabad anthology – paints a picture of the Ravivari at the banks of the Sabarmati — a bustling flea market that offers up the broken bits of the city to all who seek them, one man’s trash becoming another man’s treasure. Muhammad Hussainbhai – a wizened man with razor-sharp wit – is the magnanimous protagonist of this story, a self-anointed gatekeeper of knowledge who doesn’t take too kindly to bargaining for the second-hand books he sells. Hussainbhai’s Ravivari – and consequently – Hussainbhai‘s Ahmedabad – is a vibrant one, colourful and loud and positively thriving.

The Ravivari is bustling as ever, with wide swathes along the Sabarmati being redeveloped to provide better avenues to the public, while the old city sees an exodus of mainstream commercial activities towards the ‘developed’ outer circles of the city

In contrast, The Esther Walk is a story of loss and forlornness buried under magnificent memories; an accomplished Artist and Authoress recounts how her own city has other-ified a part of itself, the present distancing itself from the past — both in the physical and the moral sense — in a strange twist of modernity and enlightenment. While one conventional ‘outlier’ defends his bastion, the other watches her own crumble. The city, in its own way, lives on through both.

Lighting up their respective metropolises like the dynamic neural network they truly are, the People Place volumes are not a sumptuous five-course meal, to be dug into methodically and consumed in one go. Think, instead, of a cookie jar: each story stands on its individual merit, ready to be scooped up – tasting best when had in moderation.

One is reminded on every page how a city is only as large as the sum of its inhabitants, the people making the place before the place makes the people.

Book Review: People Called Mumbai & People Called Ahmedabad by People Place Project 95 Book Review: People Called Mumbai & People Called Ahmedabad by People Place Project 97

Buy the book from Amazon

Buy the book from Amazon

Book Review by Jaisim Krishna Rao – Exploration of Architectural Journalism in India

Architectural Journalism by Pappal Suneja

Architectural Journalism by Pappal Suneja Architectural Journalism, Architect Pappal Suneja explores with a multi-faceted approach the depth and width of this profession within the goals of literary journalism. The Chapters cover with a comprehensive understanding of this creative profession the many dimensions that challenge the practice. These chapters also delve into the many aspects that make the lives of these individuals from their early student days to their final edges.

Pappal, manages to steer off controversy and hold a literary perspective with a sense of clarity that intertwines the myriad disciplines that make visions’ into reality. These pages reveal for the aspiring youngsters a different pathway than the direct involvement with the built environment. The Art of Journalism in India in Architecture is rather nascent. Yes there are many magazines and a few journals, but a book on this subject is a welcome realisation. Very few of them are really meaningful with the profession. And even fewer are edited or published with an Architects’ involved integration. Media has a strong role but must comprehend the discipline of design especially of the built spaces.

This book opens fresh doors to the Schools of Architecture, which within the next decade will be churning out nearly forty thousand graduates per year. New avenues of the profession and its interface with LIFE offer challenges. Here is one such significant path that deserved light and in a manner of stating has been initiated with a bold approach. I am confident that having thrown open these doors many other aspirants will see this as an opportunity to get into the world of critical appraisal.

Positive criticism is the fundamental demand for reaching higher heights of achievement. Especially in the Built Environment where any and every one who can write with any of his, her senses the elements becomes an authority. This has muted many young spirits and unfortunately encouraged many mediocre but well connected practices beyond myth into reality.

I am confident that this will also open many Schools to encourage and infuse students into this literary avenue by making it a part of their serious curriculum. Not just an elective but even an in-depth Thesis. With these words, I thank Pappal Suneja, for inviting me to these exciting pages of a new dimension of the Man Made environment.

About the author of the book

Pappal SunejaPappal Suneja has been an active contributor to the field of Architectural Journalism. He has 30+ publications related to Architecture and its allied fields till date to his credit and several accolades in Architectural Competitions and paper presentations. At present, he is working as a freelance Architect; Architectural Journalist and is Asst Professor at Mc Gan’s Ooty School of Architecture. He can be reached at architect.pappalsuneja@gmail.com

Book Announcement: Architectural Voices of India by Apurva Bose Dutta

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Calling them the “missionaries of Indian architecture”, Ar. Apurva Bose Duttain her first book as an author, Architectural Voices of India: A Blend of Contemporary and Traditional Ethosbrings together 17 celebrated architects from the Indian fraternity, conversing on their tryst with architecture, the state of the profession in India and overseas, and the evolution of the Architecture and Building industry.

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Architects from different cities, different design ideologies, different specializations and different age groups form the core of this book that articulates their observations, beliefs, sentiments, perspectives and vision. From the dynamic Sanjay Puri to the sustainability experts Nimish Patel and Parul Zaveri, from the traditional Raj Rewal to the activist Karan Grover, from the compassionate Brinda Somaya to the vocal Christopher Benninger, from the spiritual Kamal Malik to the maverick Hafeez Contractor, from the legendary B.V. Doshi to the modernists duo Manit and Sonali Rastogi – it is interesting to witness how the views of one vary from the other’s, but how their goal in architecture remains the same, and how they work towards building a framework in which architecture should position itself.

Featuring a large collection of their projects’ images, important architectural drawings, and their sketches, the book includes two additional sections in each chapter – penned by the featured architects themselves – which shed light on their personal spaces as well as on a path-breaking project of theirs. The book talks about architecture being an integral part of building a nation, and has takeaways for all genres of readers, including those from the architecture and building industry, the students’ community, and the common man.

Published by UK-based Cambridge Scholars Publishing, the foreword of the book has been written by Dr. Vikramāditya Prakāsh, Professor of Architecture, University of Washington, Seattle, who bestows upon it the distinction of ‘belonging to that rare species known in academic circles as “Oral History” – a faithful recording of a conversation, meant to document the living voice of a person’ and lauds it for ‘offer[ing] an insight into something of an alternative universe, i.e. world of words and ideas’.

Architectural Voices of India will be presented and released on the 6th of September at Sir J.J. School of Architecture’s as part of the Alumni Association event and Smart Cities Seminar. It can currently be purchased from the website of the publishers, Cambridge Scholars Publishing who are running an exclusive marketing campaign for the month of September (starting 9 am U.K. timings) where the book will be available at a 50% discount. Copies of the book can also be ordered by writing to marketing@sarabooksindia.com. The book will also be available on Amazon India soon.

For more information, please contact the author via apurva@apurvabose.com or apurvabose@yahoo.com. You can also visit her website to learn more about her illustrious career and exhaustive body of work.

Book Announcement: Architectural Voices of India by Apurva Bose Dutta 109Apurva Bose Dutta is an award-winning architectural journalist from Bengaluru, who after completing her B.Arch degree from Chandigarh College of Architecture in 2005, followed her passion and became a full-time architectural journalist. With 12 years of her career dedicated to deliberations on architecture, design and building through various print and digital media, Apurva has been actively involved with initiating and promoting the subject of architectural journalism in India. Having pursued a diploma in freelance journalism from the UK, she has worked with multiple national and international design publications, firms and organisations. In 2016, she was one of the two people invited by the Australian Government to represent the Indian delegation in an international media visit of architectural writers in Melbourne.

Design Discourse: The Indian Perspective in the Global Context’, 10th August 2017

Morphogensis - Book - Design Discourse

Together with Roli Books and CMYK, Morphogenesis organized a book reading on 10th August, 2017, at the CMYK Bookstore in Greater Kailash II, New Delhi. Titled ‘Design Discourse: The Indian Perspective in the Global Context’, the evening centered around a dialogue between Mr Aman Nath, author, architectural restorer and founder of Neemrana Hotels, and Sonali and Manit Rastogi – founder partners of Morphogenesis.

Monograph - Morphogenesis

Celebrating 20 years of being at the forefront of Indian Architecture, Morphogenesis becomes the first Indian practice to feature in the Images’ Publication Master Architect Series. Launched globally at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October 2016, the firm’s first monograph- Morphogenesis: The Indian Perspective | The Global Context, released in India early March 2017. The monograph also looks at how Morphogenesis has led the way in the Indian subcontinent, in defining contemporary architecture through innovation in management processes.

Buy Morphogenesis Monogram on Amazon



Morphogensis - Book - Design Discourse
Manit Rastogi, Sonali Rastogi and Aman Nath at the event

As the book and event title suggest, the conversation explored the dynamics between the Local and the Global, and the process of bringing together the best of both worlds to create ‘Design that is rooted in India yet finds its place on the global stage.’ The thought seems to be the ‘flavor of the month’ currently, not just in architecture, but in art, product design, fashion, and indeed all creative spheres. The event kicked off at 7pm to a packed house comprising of architects, fellow designers, academicians, journalists and students of design.

Introductions were followed by a reading of a passage by Mr Nath from the foreword by Michael Webb (Architecture critic and co-founder Archigram Group). Mr Nath noted that he chose the passage as it captured succinctly all that the book stood for and its relevance to the practice of architecture today. An extract:

“In this monograph, Morphogenesis lays out a few simple strategies that make perfect sense in social, economic and aesthetic terms. Their buildings are pragmatic, often frugal, always imaginative. They respond to climatic extremes and the well-being of their users… Each of these projects has a distinctive identity and a similar concern for practicality… Architects like Morphogenesis must sometimes feel as though they are carrying buckets of water to extinguish a raging inferno. But the power of example is immense. By doing the right thing, this firm may inspire a new generation of architects, business and civic leaders to embrace their vision. All that’s required is a focus on the essentials; an understanding of how much can be learned from the past and reinterpreted for a fast-changing world.”

Numerous extracts from the three chapters of Passive Design, Resource Optimisation and Contextual Identity served as triggers for an interesting interactive debate between the panelists and the audience. From the chapter on Resource Optimisation – “Sustainable urbanism is imperative, but can only mitigate environmental impacts so long as it is conceived with economic adequacy. Affordability derived from resource optimisation is as crucial to sustainable urbanism as environmental protection and socio-cultural sustainability.” Mr Nath being a natural raconteur, infused his thoughts with interesting facts, anecdotes and humour, keeping the conversation lively yet very informative. Sonali and Manit brought to the fore, their experience and learnings over the past 20 years in designing sustainably, leaving the audience with rich insights and thoughts to take away.

The evening ended with warm personal interactions between the speakers and audience, enlivened by wine and cheese.

For More information:
Please contact – Sana Jhamb
media@morphogenesis.org or info@morphogenesis.org
+91 9716688210