See the full program PDF here.

The post-Independence project of nation-building in South Asia (the countries that are now India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka) after 1947 was marked by architecture that was often influenced by the International Style led by architects patronized by the newly-formed sovereign states. The current exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), The Project of Independence: Architectures of Decolonization in South Asia, 1947–1985, notes that while the predominant mode of design was defined by the principles of high modernism, there existed parallel design movements by architects who sought to utilize local materials, knowledge of indigenous craftsmanship, and motifs from pre-colonial culture.

For the past three decades, India’s architecture has been defined by the economic and socio-cultural shifts of its transformation from socialism towards a market economy: rapid urbanization, densification, capitalistic development, and privatization. Today, the state of architecture in India is characterized simultaneously by the use of newer typologies, materials, and technologies, and the critical question of how to deal with edifices from the post-colonial past. This program seeks to look at the work of both internationalist modernists as well as more regionalist architects and explore the issues of public perception, preservation, and legacy, as well as the factors influencing architectural development in contemporary India.

The program is divided into three sessions. The first is a critical retrospective on post-Independence architecture in India and its changing identity and purpose today. The second panel will focus on the experiences of architects from the United States who have, and continue to, engage with development in South Asia. The third session will be led by contemporary Indian design firms and young architects, who will be encouraged to present recent works and discuss their influences.