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Jaipur Architecture Festival: Second Edition

Posted by
on April 03, 2017 at 03:25 PM

The trend of organizing a holistic Architecture Festival, although not unheard of in India, has picked up a certain rhythm only of late. In the recent past, there has been a definite qualitative and quantitative advancement, in the holding of architectural festivals around the country. Recently, the second edition of the Jaipur Architecture Festival was held at the Jaipur Exhibition and Convention Centre (JECC), which was a three-day long event dedicated to the discussion of future of design, public space and architectural responsibility of the modern era. A highly accomplished lot of Architects, environmentalists, policy makers, artists, academicians, government, scientists, conservationists and designers from India, Australia, France, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and SAARC countries, along with students, were gathered here to exchange ideas.

© Courtesy of internet sources

The Jaipur Architecture Festival has been a good platform for new ideas, celebration, discourse, contemplation and exploration. It returned for the second year, with the theme of “In Visible Routes”, an intentional wordplay meant to vocalise the idea of a multicultural collaboration and its evolvement in the past. The event was held from 2nd February to 4th February, to align with the ninth India Stone Mart 2017, which is the largest international stone exhibition in India, exhibiting a wide range of stones, stone products, tools, machinery, state-of-art stone technologies and rare building craft traditions.

Organised by the Centre for Development of Stones (CDOS), in association with Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) with Indian Institute of Architects (IIA) and Council of Architecture (CoA), with active support from Indian Institute of Interior Designers (IIID), the event was a grand success. They invited a complete selection of imminent professionals achieving great heights in their respective fields, as the panelists and facilitators, for the event. 

The theme for the second year revolved around the exploration of inter cultural interaction along with ideas for future cities, the environment, architecture, the practice and education, and the rich stone traditions. “At a moment when the Indian subcontinent is poised for rapid growth, these issues have been a priority to ensure a holistic quality of life. The event is being hosted at the city of Jaipur which has embodied the spirit of enlightened urban design integrating a holistic vision and building craft traditions.”

Martha Thorne, the Dean of IE School of Architecture and Design, which is part of Spain’s IE University, and the Executive Director of the Pritzker, also the former curator at the Art Institute of Chicago, inaugurating the festival. Her subject of discussion was about the role of an architect in today’s global socio-political context.

As the subject of discussion, was about cross-cultural exchange of ideas, the panelists included, experts from all over the world. There were a total of twenty-six speakers, some of the big names present, were B. V. Doshi, Christopher Benninger, Rahul Gore, Rajeev Kathpalia and Bijoy Jain, amongst others. From Sri Lanka, Madhura Prematilleke, Dhaka-based Saif Ul Haque and Kashef Chowdhury, Peter Rich, the architect working on authentic contemporary African architecture, Serbian architect, academic and author Srdjan Jovanovic Weiss, Beijing-based curator and writer Beatrice Leanza, and Singapore’s reputed architect Tan Szue Hann, who also won the 2015 BCA-SCBG Young Green Architect of the Year, were amongst the few international speakers who participated in the three-day festival.

The Curator of the event, Mr. Durganand Balsavar, said “We hope to address a whole range of issues impacting the environment and architecture. It isn’t limited to just the design of buildings,” Mr. Balsavar adds, “It is about public space, community participation, social awareness.” Which is quite true. The realm of architecture isn’t restricted to buildings, it in fact, cannot survive in isolation. The fact that, built form has an impact on the environment, street façade, public space, local community and the society at large, and the reverse effect of these factors on designing the built form, is what architecture is all about.

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