The architects emphasised the need to share space in our cities

How do architects respond to a rapidly changing cityscape? How does their work reflect changes in technology, demography and law? These were some of the questions posed to architects at Monday’s urban design and architecture sessions held as part of the Hindustan Times Kala Ghoda Arts Festival.

Architect Akshat Bhatt at a session on Monday
Architect Akshat Bhatt at a session on Monday © Supreet Sapkal/HT

Delhi-based Akshat Bhatt of Architecture Discipline, Biju Kuriakose of the Chennai-based architectureRED discussed their design philosophy and their experiences in the field with moderator Kaiwan Mehta.

“When designing a project, the foremost concern for my team and I is to decide how a building can engage with its occupants while embracing sustainability,” Bhatt said. “We try to do this by incorporating elements of local topography and architecture, allowing as much natural light and air in as possible. This pushes you to design the kinds of structures that will capture the public imagination,” he added.

Kuriakose emphasised the need to share space in our cities. “Where government bylaws should be facilitating collective living, they segregate the limited land available,” he said. “India has 17% of the world’s population, but only 2% of its land. We need to find ways to organise this density. Emphasis should be put on creating social infrastructure instead of individual projects.”

Architects do not function in a vacuum, Mehta said. “Their work reflects the changes India is undergoing, and the challenges we face.”