Domus India - October 2019
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The October edition of Domus India largely revolves around Mahatma Gandhi and how, as a symbol, the idea of Gandhi has been interpreted visually and philosophically across India. Architecturally, we look at memorials and museums built about or around Gandhi, along with a focus on the Gandhi Ashram in Ahmedabad. We also look at issues and concerns surrounding the concept of the preservation of postcolonial architecture in India, with a special mention of the Kala Academy in Panjim designed by Charles Correa. A three-part photo essay by Mumbai-based lensman Chirodeep Chaudhuri collects the Mahatma in his myriad sculptural afterlives. An excerpt from the Critical Edition of An Autobiography, or The Story of My Experiments with Truth, from Penguin Books (2018) by Tridip Suhrud looks at how the Ashram and its community were Gandhi’s greatest experiment and also the site for his experiments. In a country fixated on the notion of ‘big is better’, architects are perhaps in a position now to evolve and effect — more than ever before — antidotal efforts that negate the adverse effects of our obsession with magnitude. A feature on several such ‘small’ yet ‘meaningful’ architectural projects further explores this idea. The cover of this edition, designed by Mumbai-based artist Sameer Kulavoor, draws on the relationships architecture and design share with material cultures on the one hand and people and memories on the other, working with examples of architecture that believe in — and work with — ‘substance in smallness’. Kulavoor also includes key elements of design and memory, as well as people and behaviour, extracting from images of museums, places and ashrams connected with Gandhi’s life and history.
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