More than ever before in postcolonial India’s history, the architect’s role as a social agent must be critically delineated and accordingly, the Architecture Foundation’s mission is to address questions of economic, political and cultural change through the role of the architect. To this end, the Foundation seeks to address the deficits of architectural education. While educational institutes today are focused on building professional capacity, they do not, by and large, demonstrate a willingness to reflect critically on the state of architecture, in its present and its historical legacies. We aim to fill this void by promoting a forum for critical research and thinking. This agenda is informed by the impulse to archive, document and disseminate ideas about architecture for practitioners while also re-introducing the general public to the saliency of architecture and environmental design, and emphasising the vital relevance of a public debate about alternative architectural pasts, presents and futures. The Foundation focuses on research projects, discussions, and the production of a public dialogue in order to situate contemporary architecture in its historical context.
Equally important, the Foundation is committed to generating awareness concerning architectural practices, ethics and values among the general public at large.
The Architecture Foundation has three primary initiatives.
First: the creation of an archive or database on architecture in India. One of the key endeavours under this head will be to re-visit, with a critical lens, already existing histories, archives, books and biographies, which could be annotated through new readings.
Second: the dissemination of this knowledge and material through lectures, conferences, seminars, films, social media, exhibitions as well as books, journals and magazines.
Third: a focus on capacity building through creating networks of like-minded institutions within the country and internationally. This initiative will involve creating programs and scholarships for education, teacher training and contributing to the shaping and strengthening of architectural criticism and education more generally. Together, these three initiatives seek to address the greatest challenges of architects practising in India today: those of the social role and the cultural responsibility of the architect at a historical moment when the built environment has come to reflect, in often heightened and dramatic ways, the tensions between policy, ideology, expediency and aspiration.