Image source: Kaiwan Mehta
This course will involve readings a series of writings on/around/about buildings; ranging from narrative thinking around buildings, to cultural and visual studies of buildings, to more critical reviews and analysis — these texts put together would be used to discuss what shapes the field and hence the practice of architecture. About 20-25 essays, articles, book-extracts would be read and discussed in detail one by one. The texts would be discussed for their manner of approaching a building, the proposition and discussion it proposes on architecture, including the structure of the text and how it fits into the larger discourse of architecture theory, history, as well as practice and education.
The texts will come largely from the second-half of the twentieth century, with a good focus on writings from India. These texts will allow a student to have an introduction to the wide field of thinking around and about architecture; and this would ultimately help shape ideas of how we practice architecture - and how the buildings we make engage with a wider set of social and cultural scenarios. In this context how do we as architects imagine our role and job? As well reimagine the wider scope and role of architecture beyond designing buildings that stand, breathe, and look good.
The exposure to these texts and following discussions will also widen the scope of concepts and ideas with which we approach the design as well as analysis of architecture. Architecture is much beyond lazy discussions on identity or sustainability, or catchphrases such as Indianness or global-and-local — not only we need to widen these discussions and evaluate their depth, breadth, and expiry dates or life-span, but we also need to expand our library of ideas, concepts and references.