India as a country is very well accomplished in specific areas of study and we are known for them too. Everyone is educated here. Almost all people, irrespective of their backgrounds, have the opportunity to pursue higher education. We have thousands of institutes and colleges. But when it comes to self-awareness of the people, it is in a sorry state. There isn’t much exposure or the enthusiasm to learn among the masses.
As far as architecture is concerned, the best solution would be to write about architecture in the daily columns of The Hindu or The Times of India. This would ultimately lead to build a general discourse on architecture and design among the common masses. The field of architectural journalism is considerably new in India, even today. Unfortunately, due to the lack of awareness in the student body this process has been rather slow. The following are some notable journalists who have helped kick start the journey of architectural journalism in India.
Apurva Bose Dutta
Today Apurva Dutta is known as an author and award-winning architectural journalist, but there is more to her story than the average architect would know. She is the sole person who has introduced this field to this generation’s budding architects and professionals alike. She herself was only a student in Chandigarh college of architecture when she realized she wanted to take up architectural journalism, when they had introduced it as an elective. She has always had a deep passion for writing ever since she was a kid. And to realize that passion in her career was something every person would yearn to have. As soon as she was done with her B.Arch., she dived right into the field and has done well ever since, with a diploma in freelance journalism from the UK. She has been parts of the core editorial teams at Architecture+Design and Indian Architect and Builder.
After 13 glorious years with a career in architectural journalism, all the while being at the forefront of it, she has successfully introduced the field to the young architects of today. She has taken 3-day masterclasses in a few universities, much appreciated by the students and faculties.
Her first book ARCHITECTURAL VOICES OF INDIA: A Blend of Contemporary and Traditional Ethos launched in 2017 brings together the ideologies of many impactful architects in India today. It has impressively kicked off a discourse on architecture and design, much needed today.
Gautam Bhatia is an award winning architect and architectural critic, who has authored several books on architecture. He was born and brought up in New Delhi and acquired a master’s degree from University of Pennsylvania. He is an architect, whose work is very diverse, turned author or satirist today. In his early years he had a wonderful chance at meeting and interacting with Laurie Baker and went on to write his biography Lauri Baker, Life, Work, Writings.
He is known for his works like Punjabi Baroque, Comic Century, Lie and others. Apart from these he has also written in the columns of Outlook magazine, Indian Express and New York Times. He is known for using art, especially drawing as a medium for his architectural expression. Some of his works are held today at the CEPT archives. He is also interested in human anatomy, which learns about through sculpting. Through his work he has talked about architectural projects, his inspirations and the relationship between art and architecture. He has strong opinions formed through careful criticism, enable by his ever-increasing repository of knowledge. The diversity in his work has helped this aspect a lot. This fact has also helped him become a great resource in architectural education, in which he takes part passively.
The field of architectural journalism is something that is very much needed in India today and as it turns out, not many people have contributed to it. The field hasn’t received enough acknowledgment to do away with its skepticism. It is waiting to be discovered and carried forward.