Memories of Barragán

The latest addition to our Art and Architecture section is a Seagull Title, Space for Engagement, by Himanshu Burte, a Goa based architect who has written extensively on architecture and urban issues. His current research interests include contemporary Indian architecture and public space, sustainable technology, and the design of theatre spaces.

The cover reminded me of work of the Mexican architect, Luis Barragán. The resemblance may be specious, but it gave me a chance to go back and refresh my memories of this great master of minimalism. What pleasure!

Himanshu's book is about public spaces: "Why do we feel engaged with some places and not with others? How can architecture foster an engagement between people and public places? Spurred by questions like these, this book focuses on contemporary Indian cultural institutions, or artplaces, as a special kind of public place. Offering a critique of contemporary architectural and institutional approaches to ‘place-making’, this volume proposes an alternative approach to thinking about architecture centred on our experience of inhabiting spaces. Such a habitational approach is crucial if architecture (and, by extension, urban design) is to help nurture a larger engagement between people and their social environment."

In Hardcover, 336 pages, 135 b/w photographs, 22 b/w illus. and line drawings. Rs 950. ISBN: 9788170462781

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