We believe that the continuity of all our relevant cultural traditions is a responsibility every Indian has to live up to. Some of these traditions are reflected in the wide range of decorative as well as construction crafts, demonstrated amply in our built heritage.
In fact, a large number of our traditional craftspersons, with their vast and immense wealth of knowledge, about the understanding and use of traditional materials, crafts and technologies, remain one of the most valuable, and yet the most under utilised, resources of India.
In the past decade or so, the directions of contemporary Indian architecture, and those of the living & continuing traditions of architecture have been questioned, by many design practices in the country. They have raised the general awareness levels about our built heritage, amongst the professionals of architecture and its related fields, as well as amongst the people at large.
We believe it is extremely important to take this understanding, a step forward in the practice, as well as in the resultant actions. So far, the professionals in the field have been able to project the ‘Products’ as a significant part of our heritage. Now it is essential to support and also concentrate on bringing to fore the ‘Processes’ that made these ‘Products’, worthy of being a part of India's cultural heritage.
The above premise, in understanding the underlying principles of the architecture of our historic settlements, is based on the inferences drawn by the authors, over past 27 years of their design practice, with work concentration in Rajasthan.
The paper attempts to present one of the perspectives of the contemporary Indian architecture movement, which recognises the importance of the cultural heritage, accepts its role & relevance in the present context, supports the need for its continuity, and discusses the issues involved as well as the possible directions of efforts.