Submitted by Medha Sobti

Doshi​​​’s First Detailed Public Lecture Held in Toronto After His Pritzker Prize Announcement

India - May 17, 2018 - 07:54   2416 views

Balkrishna Doshi, who became the first ever Indian winner of the architecture fraternity’s most prestigious award earlier this year, presented Pritzker Prize Laureate Lecture entitled "Paths Uncharted" on Wednesday 16th May at 6:30 pm ET. The event was hosted by The University of Toronto’s John H.Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design, at the school's new home, in the Daniels Building at One Spading Crescent. The lecture was one of the first events at the new building and marked the 40th anniversary of the Pritzker Prize. 2018 will also be the first year that the award was presented in Canada.

He expressed his humble gratitude by beginning the lecture with "In what way can I express my thanks and gratitude for giving me this chance by giving this award," said Doshi in his lecture, which was also streamed live in the school's Facebook page

On the reason of choosing the title "Paths Uncharted", he said, "My journey has been rather unusual, unplanned and accidental. I remembered my grandfather saying that life is for a purpose and everything around is living and connection with is due to its past karma." He mentioned his father being his first mentor and learnt how to look at everyday things from him. Also, he regarded Corbusier as his fatherly figure. He quoted Corbusier's inspiring lesson to him, "Be like an acrobat, if you want to be an Architect."

Doshi stated that what makes India distinct is the country's diverse cultural heritage, "unity in diversity" is what makes it stand out. 

Amdavad Ni Gufa, Ahmedabad, India, 1994. Image courtesy of VSF

A great architect, urban planner and educator, Doshi was born in 1927, in Pune, India. His career spanning 70 years has been defined by designs which serve the community. Designs which speak for the people and the contexts in which they exist.  In his autobiography, Paths Uncharted, Doshi says, "to find the universal through the personal microcosm."

"Journeys over the last seven decades showed me how ‘life’ and discoveries happen and how chance encounters enrich new opportunities, "These experiences made me look at architecture as a living entity providing me with opportunities to rediscover and express my hauntings through built-form. I am glad and delighted to talk about my understanding of what architecture, life and living is. From a small house to a cluster to communities and finally how empowering the have-nots and society through housing and institutions can create a meaningful habitat", Doshi added.

The highlight of the event was that the public was also invited to participate in this educational initiative. This gesture aimed to involve people and engage them in discussions and debates, creating awareness of his work in the architectural field, also inspiring and motivating the people of the fraternity. 

Video by UofTDaniels

This public event was presented in partnership with the Pritzker Architecture Prize and organised by The University of Toronto's John H.Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design.

All images courtesy of VSF, unless otherwise stated

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