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From the curator
The study of individual architectural practices is usually approached through the format of the monograph, wherein the focus is solely on the architect, their ideology and the design of the built form. This column explores a way to approach contemporary architectural practice in India through the lens of factors influencing and determining the day-to-day operations of a practice.
To do this, factors which influence practice, such as location, organisational structure, media coverage, external collaborators such as contractors, photographers, subject-specific experts like environmentalists, and nature of commissioning clients, will be considered and their impact explored through specific projects. Gender also becomes an inescapable lens to consider these factors.
Such an approach situates the study of architecture within the societal landscape in which professional practice occurs. It could also help unearth the networks of architectural practice in India, and explore the tensions between global capitalism, the so-called soft power of the creative industries and the ‘on the ground’ realities of architectural practice and production in the Global South.
Deepika Srivastava is a design historian who is currently working with the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad, involved in crafts sector projects and has previously worked as a Visiting Faculty. She completed her degree in interior design from CEPT University from 2012 to 2017. Later, she pursued MA in history of design from The Royal College of Art, London (Sep 2019-Dec 2020) and graduated with a distinction. In addition to her role at NID, she has worked on tech and culture projects with the UK-based Open/Ended Design and Bengaluru-based Dara Network over the past few years. She is also a fiction and design writer and has written for media and academic publications, and has spoken at various global conferences and events.
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