Architect, Engineer, or Builder? A history of professional demarcation through practice and discourse, Pune (India) 1930-1992

Promotors: Inge Bertels, Amit Srivastava (University of Adelaide)

In India, qualified architects are the ‘youngest’ amongst several building professions in charge of the design and construction of buildings. Between their emergence in the early twentieth century and the economic liberalisation of the country in the 1990s, architects remained a proportionally small group that vied for legitimacy. This multi-faceted historical study explores the sinuous and multiple paths Indian architects followed in crafting a professional identity that was both adapted to local circumstances and influenced by global professional networks and ideals. An intricate analysis of oral history, previously undisclosed architects’ archives, and everyday buildings in the city of Pune brings the day to day preoccupations and encumbrances of India’s rank-and-file architects to light. By interweaving their personal histories with the political, regulatory and societal changes of twentieth-century India, the work sets out a nuanced picture of the broader context of twentieth-century architectural production in India. Such a picture invites us to question conventional ideas of architectural value and opens up possibilities of understanding the profession and its future relevance on more pluralist lines.

Want to know more?

See Sarah's personal page for more information, contact links and publications!