The Design Group began around 1961, Shiban Ganju was a part of the group initially and then went abroad. Morad Choudhury was a part for a few years and then joined Achyut Kanvinde.

YMCA Institute, Faridabad
YMCA Institute, Faridabad © Mahatta Archives

What stands out as a common thread in their design is the clean lines with stark minimalism, more Western in its concept than the Indian ornate architecture. The monotony of the starkness of minimalism broken by using simple design elements, adding a fair bit of drama to the buildings.

What gives the design its uniqueness is the ability to include Indian cultural nuances, which gave the modern contemporary architecture an Indian context. Such that the design was not alien to India but represented the modern or forward-looking one. So far sighted that several of the designs could withstand the changes of time.

“Since we were also teaching at SPA, we undertook numerous field trips to Jaisalmer and Agra to understand and study traditional Indian architecture,” says Sabikhi. At ITC Mughal, three bridges connect the lobby to the rooms through a cluster of garden courts drawn from Mughal architecture, yet modernistic. The Janakpuri District Centre though used colonial architectural elements. Sabikhi says, “Our design was used to a large extent but then later, the land was parcelled and sold to developers who did not use our standard design control for the facades.”