MASA is a non profit organisation, whose mission now is to bring together the alumni onto a common platform for interaction, to meet, connect and to share professional work experiences. Our alumni strives to sustain the mission by shaping the community through their practice and lifelong creative work and service. MASA is a network of 450 members, of whom 150 are practicing Architects in Bangalore.
MASA is working on various initiatives. One of MASA’s initiatives is Design Matters, a platform that presents an Architectural or Design talk every month. MASA is also involved in conducting design workshops for young architects and students of architecture. The more recent development is MASA’s move to conduct camps and to create an archive of architectural building, settlement and historic documentation.
The Department of Architecture was founded with a batch of 22 students, equipped with two faculty members (Mr. Harish Hegde and Mr. Shyam Sundar ).The department began to operate with neither an affiliation to any University nor a specified syllabus for the first six months.
A year later, the student strength had reduced to 6 in number and the faculty strength to a naught! Undeterred, the students of the first and second year set forth on a search to fill the vacuum and under the able guidance of veteran Ar. L.P.Diwakar and led by Ar. S.N.Kanade, they got together a group of Architects, who were magnanimous enough to render a befitting resolve.
Architects S.N. Kanade, N.N.Kanade, Khandkar, Sharad Padalkar and Sudhir N. Surti constituted the new set of teachers. This group imparted the requisite vision and direction to the department, which then took on roots to a strong vernacular approach in design principles.
Annual surveys of villages and towns were scheduled, a novel step that was the first of its kind at any Architectural school in the country. This, as a practice was implemented to all the other batches that ensued thereon. When the third batch of students enrolled and the faculty introduced yet another interesting concept. The students were directed to participate in the camp set up by the famed archaeologists John Fritz and George Mitchell, who were documenting Hampi. This assignment spanned a whole semester which, in retrospect, is yet recalled and appreciated by that batch.
The review committee of the Council of Architecture visited the department for the first time in the year 1984. Two years later, the outcome of another visit fetched the formal recognition for the Department by the Council of Architecture. The first two batches were advised to apply for registration after two years of practice. That was panacea enough!
A host of renowned Architects visited the department such as Adam Hardy, Achut Kanvinde, Anant Raje, Laurie Baker and Uttam C. Jain, who shared their work and ideologies with the faculty and students.
The Department attended its first NASA convention in the year 1982 at New Delhi. The first award was received at the NASA convention held in Hyderabad in the year 1984. This set the pace and year after year, the department fared quite well in most of the conventions held thereafter. The year 1988 had the magazine A+D proclaiming the department as one of the ten best schools of Architecture in the country!
History repeats…….and six years later, the Department faced paucity in faculty strength yet again. The students relentlessly garnered yet again a new batch of visiting faculty. Architects Bindhu Madhav, K.R. Ganesh, M.V. Rajagopal, S.G. Srinivas and Sudhakar enrolled and helped tide over the hurdle that clouded the Department.
The days of hard work was heralded by the arrival of a green Maruti car that brought the faculty from Bangalore and who would be present in the Department even before the students arrived! In a flurry of activity, all deliverables would spill out of the wood work.
The Department conducted its first ZONASA ( Zonal NASA ) in the year 1993, which was attended by Architecture schools of Bangalore. Old students went back to their alma mater to revel and render support to the current lot of students. Architects Anant Raje, Neelkanth Chayya, K.T. Ravindran, Gerard Da Cunha and cartoonist Ponappa visited the school and held extensive discussions with the students. Nirvana was not really attained but nearly was!
The Department received the status of a Government aided Institution. This aid albeit welcomed, was coupled with a backlash. The Department of Technical Education was not willing to finance the salary component of the visiting faculty who formed the very backbone of the Department from the day of its inception! The construction of the building for the Department was the bete noire of the student fraternity. Nevertheless, the management proved supreme and the inevitable structure rose from the ground. Four years later, the Department was finally affiliated to the Visweswariah University, under a common syllabus that governed the whole state of Karnataka. With this untoward move, the distinct identity that the Department had nurtured for two decades was swept away, beyond all horizons.
The last few years proved to be the most turbulent. Mr.Subhas C Basu, the then HOD of Architecture carried forward the huge responsibility despite lack of aid from all quarters. Came 2005 and all deterrents surged ahead compelling the Department to withdraw from all that it stood for. The batch of 2000 stemmed out as the last set of Architects.
The department of Architecture is closed.
Malnad Architecture School Alumni is initiated.
Today, at this juncture, we are akin to the limited edition of a book, marked by a fixed number of Architects who emanated from a certain school. The need for the “alumni” had dwelled in most minds for a few years now. It took a serious stance when the above fact dawned in more unnerving ways than one. If the institution were allowed to perish, the physical termination of the Department would certainly cascade to consequently mark the end of our collective identity and talent. We have learned our design principles from the erstwhile Department. We owe it to our faculty who shared with us their time and design philosophy. We have made an impact in the Industry today as pupils of that very department. Our identity is with us – the banner which boasts of integrity and professionalism.
Most of us have won accolades in the design and allied fields, proven to be adept in Academics and Practice, not forgetting some of us who work with NGO’s. Some of us have endeavoured to make the Alumni happen. All of us need to give it our support.