The past weekend witnessed the coming together of several architects for ‘आविर्भाव’- the three-day Lucknow Architecture Festival.
Uttar Pradesh is home to the largest share of India’s population. The state in North India is now aiming towards achieving the trillion USD dollar goal, with the AEC industry being a significant contributor in making this target a reality. With economic and social activities on track post-pandemic, the Lucknow Architecture Festival (LAF) celebrated architecture’s contribution to the state’s economy, culture and sustainability.
LAF- an International Conclave on architectural practices, trends and education by the Lucknow Architects Association, was held at the Ekana Stadium on 04th, 05th and 06th November 2022.
We architects as an integral part of the construction industry need to play a pivotal role in this venture (trillion dollar economy goal). LAA proudly announces ‘आविर्भाव’ Lucknow Architecture Festival at Ekana Stadium in Lucknow. The three day international conclave shall host architecture symposium ‘ताना बाना’ an intricate weaving of art, architecture and technology. The symposium shall have knowledge sharing sessions, entertaining evening and mouth-watering Awadhi cuisine.Prashant P. Singh
With a line-up of events that ranged from seminars and panel discussions with the government, academics, and industry experts to exhibitions, installations, lectures and workshops, LAF proposed to celebrate the spirit of Architecture. It was the coming together of Art, Architecture and Technology in the form of a build expo focusing on the latest trends in Architecture, Construction and Interior. Nearly 500 people with varying backgrounds in Architecture and its allied fields registered for the event, which observed the launch of the CoA Manual of Architectural Practice by the Council’s outgoing President, Ar. Habeeb Khan and CoA representative Ar. Salil Ranadive on its inaugural day, followed by a panel discussion where the two representatives of the Council addressed the fraternity’s queries on the profession of architecture.
The Manual of Architectural Practice is also for the common citizens who can realise the level of architectural excellence that is needed for an architect.Architect Habeeb Khan
Council of Architecture
Post-lunch blues were not a part of the event, as large numbers gathered to attend Architect Jay Kaktikar’s keynote presentation on imagery- another highlight of day 1. The day proceeded with panel discussions- Upto Speed (on Trillion Dollar Economy and contribution of the AEC industry), Interpretation of Heritage through Technology & Design and Beyond Learning ( The Extra Mile needed for nextGen Architecture Pedagogy).
The first day saw a panel discussion on the contribution of the AEC industry in achieving Trillion Dollar Economy; day 2 introduced the latest innovations in Construction, Material and Technology in the Industry.
This discussion was followed by a panel discussion on gender disparity in architecture.
Despite a near-balanced ratio at the academic level, the architecture profession has been predominantly male-dominated. Long hours, on-site visits, and coordinating with the clients, consultants and contractors are still inherently considered a man’s duty. The panel discussion on Architecture & Design: Women in Business observed the coming together of women architects who are leading practices of their own and, through their experiences, the hurdles women face in architecture.
The event continued to hold the audience’s full attention from the interactive panel on Women in Business with Architect Biju Kuriakose’s keynote presentation on Placemaking. Biju Kuriakose is the co-founder of architectureRED Studio- winner of the recently held CoE, Bangalore competition. Through the Studio’s works, the presentation emphasized the importance of maintaining a connection between the built-unbuilt and fostering an environment that promotes community development. Post Biju Kuriakose’s presentation and a technical presentation by the sponsors, a panel discussion- Taana Baana: Warp and Weft of the Urban Fabric- A discourse of ideas for the future of Architecture, was held.
A gala dinner hosted by the Lucknow Architects Association marked a merry end to the event’s second day.
The third and final day of the event began with a walk for urban sketching enthusiasts. Another walk that became a part of the LAF event was Ethos founder Architect Gita Balakrishnan’s initiative- Arcause. Aimed to promote architecture awareness amongst the general public, Gita Balakrishnan covered the distance between Calcutta and Dhaka, Bangladesh, on foot, as she interacted with the local communities practising sustainable architecture to promote ‘Unity through Design’. Her virtual address of the event, from Dhaka, marked the beginning of the last day’s line of events.
Perhaps the most awaited talk for the Lucknow architects and students of architecture was the keynote presentation of Architect Shubrajit Das. The architect is a former professor at Lucknow’s Govt. College of Architecture, credited for grooming several of the city’s currently practising architects; or, if put in the words of a young architect from Lucknow, 70% of the young architects in Lucknow were either his students or taught by his students. The admiration and respect the community of Lucknow architects have for Prof. Shubrajit were reflected in the deluge of attendees attentively listening to his presentation, which focussed on the importance of shadow and light in architecture and greeting the same with a standing ovation.
You make places like Gurgaon- I have nothing against (the use of) glass. But, when you use such an amount of glass, you have to understand what that glass is doing. The glass people (marketers) are very smart, it has to be us (who need) to understand what is rational and what is not… These people say- “This glass would reflect back 90% of the heat”. The cities are getting warmer because of this; Lucknow had one of the heaviest rainfall ever, Calcutta did not get rainfall, (in) Rajasthan it has been raining- the World is changing.Architect Shubhrajit Das
The day proceeded with panel discussions on Blood, Sweat, Tears and Architecture: Challenges faced by the Cities Practices and Architecture, Context and Entrepreneurship: The flight and path to Success.
The final session of the day and the three-day event was led by Architect Rajesh Advani, the founding editor at ArchitectureLive!. In a perfectly timed presentation (dictated by a voluntarily set timer of 20 minutes), Architect Rajesh introduced the rationale behind setting up ArchitectureLive! and Unbuilt Ideas, followed by displaying the work of a few young Architectural Practices that have been a part of ArchitectureLive!’s initiative Future Trajectories: Promising Architectural Practices of India.
While Prof. Shubrajit’s presentation marked the beginning of the day, the concluding event for LAF saw young architects coming together for a panel discussion on Unfolding Architecture X: Future Trajectories- A dialogue on Architecture, Design, and Unknown. One of the earlier panels of the day focussed on the challenges practices in cities face; the concluding panel focussed on the younger architects and the challenges they faced practising in the city. It brought the representatives of Lucknow’s future architecture together as they discussed the ethos of their practices.
The three-day event officially ended with a valedictory function where the winners of the Architecture Design Competition and Best Thesis Awards, held by the event’s organizers, were announced. The session acknowledged the best-designed stalls in the exhibition and felicitated the speakers, panellists and partnering organizations.
Asides from bringing architects together, the zero plastic waste event also provided a platform for marketers to showcase their products and services, allowing brands to connect with their target audience. The event hosted interactive activities for the audience in the form of lucky draws, an art contest, an Eco-friendly Vedic Plaster Workshop, a heritage walk and a display of local art and culture.
Having conducted the first edition of the three-day event in a country still recovering from the Covid Pandemic, the Lucknow Architecture Festival 2022 can be touted as Post-Covid North India’s largest design, luxury and lifestyle expo and conclave.