Monday, March 12, 2018

B.V.Doshi wins the Pritzker Prize!

B.V.Doshi has won the prestigious Pritzker prize, becoming the first Indian to do so. This is a much awaited recognition, one that was long overdue.

Somehow, all these years,  Pritzker juries have never turned their attention to the wonderful body of work done in India, especially by Doshi and also others, including his contemporaries like Charles Correa.

I was especially surprised by Alejandro Aravena's selection a couple of years back for his social housing initiatives, when architects like Doshi and Correa had done much more refined socially conscious incremental housing projects decades ago. We must assume that the only reason why Doshi and Correa were not felicitated earlier were because of the ignorance about Indian architecture in the western circles, and not due to any other bias.

Likewise, Charles Correa was another giant whose body of work truly deserved to be conferred with a Pritzker much earlier. Alas, he is no more. One can only hope that there may be an award posthumously.

But, Doshi's choice this year has been truly well deserved. He was someone who helped define a new identity for architecture for a new India, in the turbulent post- independence years. His engagement with a very broad spectrum of issues throughout his career and his masterful reponses to see issues defined the way a whole generation of young architects would approach the profession. He was even more influential through the school he founded - CEPT, which has continued to produce some wonderful architects over the years.

Truly, Doshi was and is a giant, who continues to inspire both architects and non-architects alike.

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