‘Pune Declaration’ focuses on architecture education to make it more relevant - Hindustan Times

‘Pune Declaration’ focuses on architecture education to make it more relevant

ByHT Correspondent
Nov 20, 2019 06:48 PM IST

PUNE: A group of 30 architects and principals of various architecture colleges has initiated deliberations to make architecture education and architecture practice in the country more relevant to the development needs of the country.

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India Habitat Forum (INHAF) in association with Mashal (Maharashtra Social Housing and Action League) and Maharashtra Institute of Technology (MIT) held deliberations here on November 16-17 to decide upon a Pune Declaration in the context of architecture education and architecture practice in India.

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Kirtee Shah, founder president of INHAF said, in view of the challenges of urbanisation and related environmental, ecological and social challenges, the role of architecture and future architects needs to be deliberated upon.

The conclave discussed and identified issues beyond the actual curriculum, like what is presented as examples of “good” design and its relevance to the multiple environmental and societal challenges the country faces. This was in the context of massive investments in housing, physical and social infrastructure and economic development infrastructure in rapidly urbanising India.

The organisers noted that a massive influx of some 250 million people is expected by 2050 in big and small cities and towns and the challenge of managing Indian cities and towns would include improving living conditions of the inadequately sheltered millions now.

“We have also worked on a draft called Pune Declaration, which is still in the process of formulation and should be ready by 1 January 2020,” Shah said.

The effort is to create a core group that will keep things moving with the active participation of young architects, including students and recent graduates.

“We are thinking of ways that prepares and galvanize the community of 70,000 working architects, plus 18,000 that the country now produces each year, for a more meaningful contribution to the human settlements development sector in India, especially keeping in mind the goal of ‘inclusive’ development and the environmental and ecological sustainability,” said architect Shirish Beri, part of the core committee of the conclave.

Shah noted that recently, a letter signed by over 2,300 students of architecture in the U.K. sought changes in the curriculum, giving a new impetus to the debate globally. “India, with an enormous human settlements development challenge and huge responsibility doing it sensitively, sustainably and justly, cannot be but a party to that debate and action for change,” she said.

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