The studio examined the relationship between construction practices and the materiality of twentieth century architectural works in Gujarat. Buildings were viewed as a primary historical resource and were analyzed in conjunction with readings related to architectural production in order to reflect on larger theoretical and historical frameworks.
Students investigated 16 buildings constructed in Ahmedabad between 1930 and 1980 by drawing detailed sectional perspectives at a scale of 1:5. Working at this scale allowed the simultaneous investigation of relationships between the construction processes and material qualities of each building. This methodology could be seen as analogous to that of understanding the qualities of a literary work through the consideration of the specific structures of its language.
Reading seminars introduced key historical and theoretical frameworks under three themes - Conceptualizing and Making, Agency and Innovation, and Indian Architectural Modernity.
Students used detailed knowledge acquired during the drawing process to generate research questions located within the context of these frameworks.
Through a detailed and focused assessment of the making of an architectural work, what propositions can we offer about the nature of Indian architectural modernity or about the practices of the contemporary built environment?