13: Life is a River, A Conversation with 2018 Pritzker Price Winner BV Doshi
At age 90, Balkrishna Vithaldas (B.V.) Doshi's journey in architecture has spanned 70 years, starting from Indian independence in 1947, to the vicissitudes of postmodernism and globalization. Doshi's voice is a touchstone in global and Indian modernism. Conversation topics include his reflection on life and creativity, his 'favorite' projects, the legacy of Nehruvian modernization, and architectural pedagogy in India today.
1:50 The origin of the river Nerbudda in Madhya Pradesh: stones, a small spring
2:45 On inner force and the river of life: “So you are touching the ground and flowing at the same time - it’s very much like us, human beings.”
5:50 “So practice goes on, work goes on. But then the whole question is, where is that source which came up from the earth, deep from the earth? And where is the connection when you merge with the ocean? And what is that link, what have you done?”
9:29 What is the real essence of architecture today?
9:45 “Is [dwelling] a place you go or is it something you’re only buying and selling?”
10:32 “Building is a living being. How do you celebrate life?”: celebration as a way to connect our inner self to the outer world
11:43 On vastu purusha, music, dance, poetry, rhythm, navarasa and the essence of architecture
15:24 Stella Kramrisch, bulging columns in Ellora, spandana (energy), and vastu shastra (the science of environment)
17:19 Which projects still vibrate energy to you?
17:42 The story of the house: Le Corbusier, a woman descending a staircase, sense of theater, movement, proportions, and the heart and body-memory of spaces
21:14 Intuition as the inner force: “The body remembers, your heart remembers, and as long as your mind is not working, you are better off.”
22:31 The story of Sangath: early morning bike rides as a student, village landscapes, animals, trees, platforms, and benches made of earth
24:32 The posture of the body in architectural spaces
25:53 The legacy of the Nehruvian period? Tagore and Gandhi as role models and Nehru’s focus on institutions, knowledge, industry and urbanization
31:39 “Less is more” vs “more is less”: Architecture schools in India and the balance of practice and pedagogy
36:16 Engineering, life and death, and architecture as reduced to product-oriented elements of things
37:16 Fashion, Bollywood, consumerism, and media
39:38 “What is going to give you more pleasure, and what is going to give you something beyond a normal human being’s asking to survive?”
40:04 What is the rasa of life?
43:08 “I have created a fluid architecture, architecture which is giving you different experiences… it talks to climate, local place, craftsmen, and it can be enjoyable.”: Amdavad ni Gufa, not done in a finite way