TEMPORAL RECONCILIATIONS: Urban Interventions And The Future Of The Historical Indian City
An International Conference of Architectural Practitioners, Educationists, Entrepreneurs and Stake Holders
Hosted by IES College of Architecture, Mumbai, India
Saturday, March 4, 2017
At IES College of Architecture, Mumbai, India
The East-West polarity of this modern world has continuously posed a dilemma for Eastern countries—on the one hand are the imperatives of participating in the global economy and the related technologically-driven modern life, and on the other, is the historically-rooted deep culture and worldview that dictated life over millennia resulting in manifestations in various forms like food, clothing, art, myth and patterns of human settlements.
This dilemma has dogged Eastern post-colonial nations since the advent of the Modern thought, creating a dichotomy of sorts—a schizophrenia—that compels us to think synthetically between the foundations of our ancient rootedness and the Cartesian rationality of the Modern thought and knowledge systems that arrive from the Western world.
It is from this viewpoint that architects are challenged to look at architectural development in our existing landscapes giving regard to the rapidly transforming modern interconnected world while yet taking cognizance of the living-breathing validity of the physical manifestations that surround us in our cities with the aim of imbibing the spirit of such interventions for a meaningful future of India.
The historical Indian city has been a driver of growth for the country, whether economically, politically or intellectually. It becomes the gateway of Modern thought that filters to other parts of the country. Consequently, inward migration has been a continuing phenomenon over the last few centuries. It is, therefore, necessary to examine this dynamic of the growth of the historical Indian City from the viewpoint of what can constitute new architectural interventions in this continuing reality called the Indian City.
Accordingly, IES College of Architecture will attempt to evolve a collaborative response to these interventions in our obviously valuable temporally-rooted cities of historical significance across India. Should new interventions be disruptive while trying to create a new direction to the city and nation like the Centre Pompidou tried a few decades ago in France? Or should we create a gradually evolving paradigm of architectural growth that is flexible enough to accommodate the wild diversities of historical cities across our country? Should the idea of Development Plans as an instrument of incremental growth stimulating a new economy change course to accommodate a holistically meaningful life of the ordinary citizen in place of the astronomically escalating land prices? Or should it restrict the old residents’ opportunities while giving impetus to the functions of the modern world? Are there lessons of such nature to be learned from beyond our shores? How have other Eastern post-colonial nations addressed these issues?
These and many more questions will arise and be addressed by a panel of experts from India and abroad in the 3rd annual conference on architecture titled Temporal Reconciliations: Urban Interventions and the Future of the Historical Indian City in the series Engaging Architecture in India hosted by IES College of Architecture, Mumbai, India, on Saturday, March 4, 2017.