Rajeev, Samarth, Shreyank, Sunil, Philippe

Reading Architecture Practice Mumbai

Cities are the great fields of exchange. They have traditionally remained an important site for architecture and its practice, as they have for several other disciplines and fields of engagement. This obvious, symbiotic relationship between architecture and the city seems to have been, over time –and with changing economic, political and social scenarios- rendered oblivious. This state of obliviousness has, in recent history, steadily shifted the focus of architecture away from the city and to other streams of interest that allow its conjectures to flourish and develop but does this oblivious relationship signify that the architect of the city is no longer relevant? Does it mean that there is no longer any room for critical engagement of architectural provocation with the city and within it? With this question we invited five architectural practices to talk about their particular forms of engagement with the city. Beyond capturing the uniqueness of each practice, what has emerged through the film is not only an overwhelming need to engage with this highly charged city, but at the same time the need to work together, think together, talk to each other, and other ideas propelling a collective engagement with the city and its people.

Directors Bios

Rajeev Thakker: architect and artist based in Mumbai. He received his BArch from Syracuse University, N.Y. and MSAAD from Columbia University GSAPP, NYC. His design practice is called a-RT, has curated the Studio X Mumbai project and participated as an artist at the KMB 2016-17.

Samarth Das: urban designer and architect based in Mumbai. He has completed his MAUD from the Columbia University GSAPP, NYC and his BArch from KRVIA. Samarth’s work attempts to articulate shared spaces within cities that promote interaction amongst people.

Shreyank Khemalpure : Assistant Professor at School of Environment and Architecture, Mumbai. He is a research director at SPARE, a research wing of sP+a. He develops architecture and research projects. He graduated from The Berlage, Center for Advanced Studies in Architecture and Urban Design in 2014.

Sunil Thakkar : independent photographer, filmmaker and educator based in Mumbai. His commercial practice consists of architecture/interior photography, portraiture, editorial work and short films. He is a co-founder of BIND.

Philippe Calia : artist, photographer and filmmaker, based out of Bombay, India. Through collective endeavors, he has also experimented with photography-based forms of engagement with communities and within the context of the city. He is a co-founder of BIND.