The academic campus as a hallowed precinct distinct from its surroundings has persisted within our architectural imagination since education began, when the first centers of knowledge were monasteries and gurukuls. Privileging the entitled, they made knowledge sacred and gave birth to the paradigm which maintains that theoretical excellence can only come through freedom from the practical mundane and its constraints. The studio suggests that the IIM Ahmedabad is no different in this regard and reconsiders this distancing.
By analyzing the iconic campus through a systematic inquiry into its configuration, programming, and consequence, we first identified problems inherent in the existing design by way of vital relationships it failed to consider. Subtle, yet profound intervention/s that will resolve the problems identified were then proposed by the students, in a simultaneous attempt to forge relevant new relationships with the neighborhoods that surround it, to address the urban island that the campus currently is. Shifting the emphasis from design solutions derived primarily from the aesthetic expression of form and volume to that of solving real problems, students rekindled the potential of programme, the meaning of use, and continuity of the built environment, as an understanding of what constitutes critical architecture in service of responsibility over mere reputation