I have gone through most of the papers, if not all, and have studied with interest different aspects of the problems concerning architectural expression. Here are dissertations on climatology and technology of material which determine architectural form and expression. It is natural in these days of scientific and technological development that we should focus our attention on to these aspects. It is in keeping with the spirit of the time. But it must be noted here that the awareness of climatology or technology of material indicates only a state of consciousness of modern mind which is a pre-requisite for any kind of expression employing various materials. When this consciousness is wedded to the problems of aesthetic unity between space and space, volumes and volumes, textures and textures, etc.—of course within the limits of the mediums used—, what emerges is an architectural expression. Otherwise, it is likely to remain only an engineering feat.
You will agree with me that if architectural expression is to be an art, it must evoke an artistic joy in the knowledgeable beholders. This quality of evoking an artistic or aesthetic joy emanates from the presental aspect of architectural design. It is essentially sensuous and sensuous unity, like in all other visual arts, is its goal. Therefore, it is needless to bifurcate architectural art from other visual arts. They are interdependent and spring up from the same or similar principles of space and time, differing only in the means which give them different character and hence different names.
It is absolutely true that the architect who needs to construct needs to know the climatology and technology of material. I mean materials which dictate new shapes and forms, inasmuch as a painter has to know his pigments with all its attributes. But this is everything, only about the material, absolutely a “must”. But what is important is the spirit which leads to spiritual satisfaction, or satisfied imagination, an elevation of human mind. This is attained if conceptual unity, perceived by visual apparatus, is established in art or architectural construction. This conceptual unity does include within itself, also the dictates of the materials. And hence visual art concepts precede architectural art forms. A glance at the history of art and architecture will at once reveal that a master builder, the “sthapathi”, has at once been an engineer, a painter and a sculptor. In the present days, when the knowledge has become so vast and varied, one can only think of specialisation and in the circumstances it must be remembered that only in a happy cooperation and coordination between architects and art perfect architecture will evolve. It is a pity that in these days when it is most required, architects try to keep aloof from artists and remain indifferent to their art. It must be noted that aesthetic thought is undergoing a continuous and vital change which is predominantly discerned in pictorial art. Architects cannot and need not escape from it.
Unfortunately, as things are, the architects, a great many if not all, have tried to keep themselves aloof from the aesthetic ferment going on in the pictorial arts. These separatist tendencies are visible in replacing the aesthetic bias in architectural education by engineering bias almost in totality. Architectural schools want to claim separate existence as against art schools. The new institute in Bombay is an instance. It must be realised that only a high degree of artistic awareness alone will lead to great architecture. Indiscriminate clinging to traditional motifs not suitable for modern medium or direct importation of modern architectural motifs discovered abroad indicate only a lack of awareness. It can only be explained as an attempt to hide ignorance of basic art problems and to present structures as architecture which otherwise are only engineering feat.
A thorough understanding of the aesthetic ferment, nay complete involvement in it, should therefore form along with other technological problems, a part of architectural education, both at school and professional level.