History of Vernacular and Colonial Architecture in India

This is a fairly unique course that deals with the two areas separately. After giving a sufficient and illustrative background of the international context in both the areas, a focus on the Indian context is developed. Once the theoretical framework is spelled out, the course is taught by identified case studies from various regions of India, Asia and Africa. The analytical framework of geo-climatic forces, socio-cultural aspects, materiality, construction techniques and details is used to explain the selected case studies. The course is used in order to understand this building genre rather than the historical aspect. It is sufficiently enriched by Miki Desai's personal photo documentation of different regions of India. The course striveds to introduce the components of local and regional in the history course for third year students. The section on colonial architecture is structured chronologically and is aimed at providing a backdrop to the modern movement in India. The book (Architecture and Independence: The Search for Identity-India 1880-1980), co-authored with Jon Lang and Madhavi Desai is extensively used for teaching. Here too the personal documentation is used as an important teaching tool.