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Rahul Mehrotra's 'Landscape of Pluralism'

Rahul Mehrotra discusses the impact of globalization on India's built environment. (9 min., 14 sec.)
by Nadia Rasul
5 October 2011

MUMBAI, August 3, 2011 — Architecture in India after 1990 represents a "landscape of pluralism" in an era when the state no longer feels responsible for projecting an image of progress through a built environment.

Instead, the state uses statistical indicators such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to express progress and status. Moreover, the period following 1990 overlaps with the liberalization of the Indian economy along with "the glamour and the gloom" that accompanies globalization.

These were some of the key points made by architect Rahul Mehrotra, Professor of Urban Design and Planning at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University, in his talk "Landscape of Pluralism: An Illustrated Lecture on Architecture in India Since 1990," and follow-up conversation with Naresh Fernandes, Editor-in-Chief of TimeOut India.

During the program Mehrotra gave an overview of the themes that he explores in his latest book, which focuses on Indian architecture in a rapidly changing economic landscape. Addressing the complexities of contrasting architectural styles and their socio-economic implications, Mehrotra sorted architecture in India into four categories corresponding to the new forms of patronage and wealth in the post-liberalization era — global practice, regional manifestation, alternate practice and counter modernism. Watch the video highlights, above, for a brief explanation of these categories.

This programme was presented in partnership with Pictor, National Centre for Performing Arts and the South Asia Initiative.