18/01 - Three Presentations on Internationalism and South Asian Architecture, 1957-1967: Aζ and University School of Architecture and Planning, GGSIPU

In how many ways Architecture of Modernism is re­ceived in post-in­de­pen­dence South Asia still re­mains to be ex­plored, as we can ev­i­dence from the var­i­ous themes that com­monly cir­cu­late in con­tem­po­rary dis­course. In this con­text, the three lec­tures will re­veal more in­stances of ar­chi­tects pe­rus­ing con­scious, iconic prop­a­ga­tion of ar­chi­tec­ture across na­tional and po­lit­i­cal bound­aries. Time and again, the ide­al­ism of post-in­de­pen­dence emancipation’ would be dis­placed as a myth­i­cal or utopian no­tion, sub­ju­gated to a play of sym­bol­isms. For some, modernization’ in the con­text of South Asian ar­chi­tec­ture is force-ev­i­denced not only by im­port but even by, re­verse ex­port of iconized in­car­na­tions of the Ideal; while for oth­ers, mod­ern­iza­tion it­self very of­ten is­sues the li­cense for ex­plicit iconic rep­re­sen­ta­tion in pro­jec­tion of par­tic­u­lar iden­ti­ties.

Architectural model, Competition entry 339
Architectural model, Competition en­try 339: City Hall and Square Competition, Toronto, 1958, by Balkrishna V. Doshi of India. Source: Toronto Public Library. Toronto Reference Library. (Humanities & Social Sciences Department) © University of Calgary, Canadian Architectural Archives


Three forty min­utes pre­sen­ta­tions with fo­cussed ques­tions and in­ter­ven­tions.

George Kapelos

Shaping Canadian Modernity: Toronto’s 1958 Competition for a New City Hall and Square: The lec­ture dis­cusses the 1958 Toronto com­pe­ti­tion for a new City Hall and Public Square. It is fully il­lus­trated and in­cludes vin­tage video clips from a 1958 tele­vi­sion broad­cast on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. The com­po­nents of the lec­ture are as fol­lows: (a) Introduction, (b) The Competition: con­text, (c) The Competition: en­trants (including the seven doc­u­mented en­tries from India), (d) The com­pe­ti­tion: in­ter­na­tional im­pact, fol­lowed by ques­tions for the par­tic­i­pants in three dis­cus­sion ar­eas, (e) con­cern­ing the Indian par­tic­i­pants, (f) the de­sign of Civic Centres and Public Space in India and how they com­pare with the Toronto Competitions en­tries and fi­nal­ists, and (g) the range of in­flu­ences and po­si­tions on the de­sign of the city demon­strated by Indian com­peti­tors.

George Thomas Kapelos is an ar­chi­tect and plan­ner, and teaches ar­chi­tec­ture and plan­ning at Ryerson University. He is a tenured fac­ulty mem­ber at the rank of as­so­ci­ate pro­fes­sor in the Department of Architectural Science. Since 2005 he has been a Visiting Professor at the Daniels Faculty of Architecture at the University of Toronto. A na­tive of London Ontario, he re­ceived a Bachelor of Arts from Princeton University (magna cum laude), a Master of City Planning from the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and a Master of Architecture from Yale, where he was a CMHC scholar.

Peter Scriver

Inter-nationalism’ in the Architectural de­sign­ing of Expo’67, and the prospect of the post-national’: The ar­chi­tec­ture of Man and his World”, Montreal’s Universal Exposition of 1967, was no­table on mul­ti­ple counts. Not least of these was the op­por­tu­nity it gave to young and rel­a­tively untested de­sign­ers to ex­plore new ideas, some of which would ex­tend be­yond the built-en­vi­ron­ment to chal­lenge core as­sump­tions about the spa­tial and po­lit­i­cal frame­work of mod­ern so­ci­ety it­self. Especially strik­ing, how­ever, on the very cusp of the crit­i­cal turn away from the mod­ernist cer­tain­ties of the post-war era, was the re­newed vi­sion and in­no­va­tion that the ar­chi­tec­ture of Expo’67 in­vested in the ideal of internationalism’. Focusing in par­tic­u­lar on the transna­tional agency of the young franco-Cana­dian ar­chi­tect, Luc Durand, the talk will con­sider some of the ex­is­ten­tial quan­daries of how this ideal was em­bod­ied in the pavil­ion de­signs of sev­eral dif­fer­ent nations’, in­clud­ing those of Quebec and India, that arose from very dif­fer­ent con­texts of post­colo­nial con­scious­ness and be­com­ing but with un­ex­pect­edly in­ter-con­nected de­sign his­to­ries.

Peter Scriver has played a lead­ing role in the teach­ing of Architectural History, Theory and Architectural Design, and the de­vel­op­ment of post­grad­u­ate re­search across the Built Environment dis­ci­plines at the University of Adelaide since 1996. A found­ing mem­ber of the Centre for Asian and Middle-Eastern Architecture (CAMEA), es­tab­lished at Adelaide U. in 1997, his re­search en­gages cul­tural and cog­ni­tive ap­proaches to the study of ar­chi­tec­ture and the broader built en­vi­ron­ment, with a par­tic­u­lar fo­cus on colo­nial ar­chi­tec­tures and ur­ban­ism, and the pro­fes­sional net­works and in­sti­tu­tional frame­works in which the de­sign dis­ci­plines op­er­ate.

Anand Bhatt

The Nehruvian Idol: This talk will dis­cuss some ques­tions con­cern­ing archiv­able ma­te­r­ial and their in­ter­pre­ta­tion that arise at Architexturez Imprints. The talk is in two parts, the first part will con­sist of: (a) an overview of the con­tent ac­qui­si­tion strate­gies by Architexturez, (b) the lev­els at which con­tent is ag­gre­gated, and (c) the di­ver­gence be­tween ma­te­r­ial col­lected at var­i­ous lev­els. The sec­ond part will use a fa­mil­iar speech by Jawaharlal Nehru and pose ques­tions in three dis­cus­sion ar­eas, (d) the char­ac­ter­i­za­tion of dom­i­nant dis­courses on Indian Architecture since 1947, (e) the suf­fi­ciency of this char­ac­ter­i­za­tion, and (f) the sig­nif­i­cance of the ideas pre­sented by Scriver and Kapelos in this con­text.

Anand Bhatt is an ar­chi­tect at New Delhi.

Rajat Ray

Concluding re­marks and sum­mary.

Rajat Ray joined USAP in December, 2011. He did B. Arch. (1982) from Calcutta University, M. Urban Design (1984) from SPA Delhi, PG Dip Conservation (1988) from Florence and MA in Conservation (1992) from York. He has taught at B.Arch. and M.Arch. lev­els for al­most 20 years since late 80s. He has worked as Professor of Architecture at and as the ex-of­fi­cio Dean of the Sushant School of Art and Architecture, Gurgaon. He is a mem­ber of the vis­it­ing fac­ulty in SPA, Delhi and Institute of Archaelogy of the ASI and has been mem­ber of their Board of stud­ies.


Focused ques­tions and in­ter­ven­tions by Vibhuti Sachdev, Akshat Bhatt, Riyaz Tayyibiji and Sanjay Kanvinde on the for­ma­tion of dis­course on Indian Architecture since 84, Radha Dayal, Ram Rahman, Kshitij Rana and Sambuddha Sen on ten­den­cies in Architectural Practice and Education in South Asia.


71, KK Birla Ln,
Lodhi Estate, New Delhi.

11:30 — 15-:30 Hours
13th January, 2018

Architectural model, Competition entry 336
Architectural model, Competition en­try 336: City Hall and Square Competition, Toronto, 1958, by Achyut Kanvinde of India Source: Toronto Public Library. Toronto Reference Library. (Humanities & Social Sciences Department) © University of Calgary, Canadian Architectural Archives


  1. Text by Rajat Ray, Dean, University School of Architecture and Planning, GGSIPU, New Delhi.
  2. The lec­ture ma­te­r­ial is drawn from ma­te­r­ial pre­sented in the book, Competing Modernisms, Toronto’s 1958 Competition for a New City Hall and Square (Dalhousie Architectural Press, 2015)
  3. Nehru, Jawaharlal. Inaugural Address by Shri Jawaharlal Nehru, Prime Minister.” In Seminar On Architecture, edited by Achyut P. Kanvinde, 5-9. New Delhi: Lalit Kala Akademi, 1959. https://​ar­chi­tex­turez.net/​doc/​az-cf-168488