The K V Design Forum is an event hosted by the School of Architecture, CEPT University in which projects of students from various schools of architecture are presented and discussed. It is a Forum of students and the members of the architectural community, members of our society, who come together to engage in a dialogue on the current concerns in architectural education in India and abroad.
The Forum is not a jury and it is not about competing, but developing a better understanding of each other, whether as students or as practising architects or as teachers. To attend and address to the world of our community, as citizens, as architects, as academics, students, in whatever capacity.
Since its establishment as “The Student’s Forum” by Professor Kurula Varkey and the students of the School of Architecture in 2001, the Forum has become a platform for critical discourse on architecture and architectural education. After the passing away of Prof. Kurula Varkey in October 2001, the Forum was renamed ‘The Kurula Varkey’ Forum.
The Forum has been structured such that the students’ projects become take off points for discussions revolving around the relevance, discipline and craft of architecture. The practitioners dwell into the particulars of the craft while the panelists from other fields bring in a different perspective on the relevance of architecture.
The following themes, based on which projects are being invited this year, help organize the discussion on the above aspects/topics.
Projects which emphasize the relationship between a place – its physical and cultural qualities, its topography and natural setting or its urban character – and evolve ways of expressing such relationships in the architecture, are to be discussed under this theme.
Sometimes a project attempts to understand the “form” of social institutions, and attempts to find a “counter form” (Aldo van Eyck’s terms) appropriate to it. Many aspects of the project, including perhaps concept, siting, spatial and formal expression as much as the evolved architectural language are oriented towards this search. This theme will include such projects.
This theme will include projects that are based on architectural expression that evolves out of use of a particular set of technologies. Both new technologies as well as traditional technologies, but proposing the development of an architectural vocabulary would be included.
Studio projects sometimes pick up abstract themes of architecture as a discipline of space and form. Other issues may be less important in such cases. It would be interesting to devote one session to the discussion of projects based on such an emphasis and direction.
The Intention :
Projects from 3rd, 4th and 5th year Students of Architeture are invited for the Forum this year. The Forum hopes to achieve by including projects from all these years, a dialogue on architectural thoughts of various schools and how they approach issues of architecture. It also leads to a discussion on teaching methodology and processes. In a final year project, the focus rests on the fact that the student writes his/ her own programme and deals with larger issues within the project. In a 3rd or 4th year project, the discussion is in the light of interpretation of a given programme and its architectural manifestation. Both these categories of projects, under the above mentioned themes, could together generate a wholesome discussion on the relevance and craft of architecture.
Since these kind of discussions cannot happen over a span of two days, an online discussion will be initiated much before. All the projects will be open for discussion, and also the panellists and students can be familiar with and comment on the projects beforehand. A K V Design Forum website will be set up.
Following project presentations, the panelists and students engage in a dialogue based on the theme of the session. The discussion goes beyond apparent issues dealt through the projects.
Break Out Sessions
These sessions take place outside the vicinity of the area for presentation. Each panelist, accompanied by students, discusses about the preceding session as a whole while also picking particular projects as examples.
The Kurula Varkey Memorial Lecture by Jaimini Mehta
Prof. Jaimini Mehta (1940- ) was born in Baroda, India where he finished his basic studies in architecture before moving to University of Penssylvania, USA to study under Louis Kahn with whom he also worked. Later he joined the firm of Mitchell/Giurgola Asso. until 1975 when he returned to India to pursue his own practice and teach. He has taught at CEPT University, Ahmedabad, M.S. University, Baroda, College of Architecture, Goa and at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute at Troy, USA. He has written extensively on architecture and has also co-authored with Romaldo Giurgola the first book on Louis Kahn “Louis I Kahn, Architect”. At present he is the Hon. Director of Center for the Study of Urbanism and Architecture (CESURA).
Lecture by Peter Rich at Sarkhej Roza
Peter Rich is one of the most significant architects based in South Africa. He has extensively documented the indigenous African settlements during the Apartheid in the 1970s and this is very much the influence on his work. His work came into international focus when his documentation and analytical sketches were made public, which he deeply feels is an integral part of architectural inquiry. He has been affiliated as the Professor of Architecture at University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg for 30 years.