ARCHITECTURE OF TRANSITION. Emergent Practices in South Asia


In the nations of South Asia – India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, and the Maldives – tradition and modernity, prosperity and poverty, communality and communalism, medieval society and silicon- chip technology, cohere to create a landscape of incredible plurality. It is in this South Asia, that architecture has and continues to play a poignant role. ‘Architectures of Transition’ is a document of essential conversations around architecture in South Asia and the emergent models of practice. It will ask collectively, across the region, the fundamental question: Does architecture matter in these states of transition?

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Rahul Mehrotra is a Professor of Urban Design and Planning and the John T. Dunlop Professor in Housing and Urbanization at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University. He is the Founder Principal of RMA Architects, which was founded in 1990 . Mehrotra’s most recent books are titled Working in Mumbai (2020) and The Kinetic City and Other Essays (2021). The former, a reflection on his practice, evolved through its association with the city of Bombay/Mumbai. The second book presents his writings over the last 30 years and illustrates his long-term engagement with and analysis of urbanism in India. This work has given rise to a new conceptualization of the city that Mehrotra calls the Kinetic City.

Devashree Shah is an architect who graduated from the Harvard Graduate School of Design with a Master of Architecture II degree in 2023. With international experience at Serie Architects and Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects, she currently holds the positions of Coordinator of Inclusive Public Transit and Inclusive Design Architect at the Institute of Human-Centered Design, Boston. Her ongoing research project focuses on the repair of affordable housing (Chawls) in Mumbai, featuring field studies and imaginative projections as its central components. Her project, ‘Thrive – Dual-Use Housing,’ earned recognition in the ‘Inside Out’ exhibition curated by Dan Borelli at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Pranav Thole is a Harvard Graduate School of Design alumnus with a Master of Architecture in Urban Design (2023). As an Architect and Urban Designer, he’s worked with distinguished firms such as Sameep Padora and Associates, Flying Elephant Studio, and junya.ishigami + associates. He is currently working as an Urban Designer at ONE Architecture + Urbanism, in New York, focusing on transportation and resilience infrastructure projects. He has been recognized for his interdisciplinary work, having been named a finalist in the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Competition in 2022 and the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Innovation in Affordable Housing Competition in 2023.