This studio—in its attempt to bridge the gap between theory and architectural design—drew upon Pierre Nora’s lieux de mémoire to propose a method of historiographical inquiry to locate an architectural built form. It further proposed memorialization as a means to develop an architectural language, all the while engaging in the politics of architectural production especially when it is state driven. The studio proposed an architectural design for Kolkata Partition Museum [5000-7000 sq m built up]. The project was based on the vision of the Kolkata Partition Museum Trust—a citizen initiative—which aims to build a museum “to memorialize, in the most comprehensive way possible, the specificity of Bengal’s Partition history […].”
A lieux de mémoire is a physical site which is created to invoke a collective memory of a history. It uses the potential of individuals to live, remember, and nurture their own memories in a fragmented form so as to create a collective memory of a past event which is driven by state institutionalized modern history. Thus, places such as archives, museums, and memorials are lieux de mémoire if they offer a lived experience invoking Empathy, Spectacle, and/or Performance, and not remain simply a collection of artefacts.