Enlightenment and Counter-Enlightenment Traditions in Modern Architecture in India
Image source: Serum Institute, Hebbal, Bangalore, 1942. Source: Otto Koenigsberger’s Portfolio, OKPP.

Starting with Ancient Greece twenty-five centuries ago, in what is ironically known as The Greek Miracle, human civilizations have seen several instances of thinkers arguing for reason over dogma and superstition. One such spark of reason became a flame in the 17th and 18th centuries and engulfed the Western civilization.

Known as The Enlightenment, the movement gave birth to a new way of thinking that transformed the world and gave us modern science, democratic values, human rights and freedoms that we enjoy and cherish today. Enlightenment gave us the world as we know it and also generated a response referred to as Counter-Enlightenment or Romanticism.

Modern architecture in India was persuaded by both – Enlightenment and Counter-Enlightenment discourses – and in order to understand its evolution, we must look at how architecture was impacted by these two movements.

This course aims to familiarize the students with the discourses of Enlightenment and Counter-Enlightenment in architecture. Through hands-on research, discussions, and writing sessions, the course shall enable students to write, read, assimilate, reflect and think critically about architectural practices.

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