19 Feb : The School of Architecture, CET & Construction, Southern Polytechnic State University, Marietta, GA, USA, is holding a seminar on Le Corbusier: Architecture, Urbanism, and Theory, from February 26 to 28, 2009.
Call for papers made on the InterNet received an overwhelming response to several themes of the seminar on the 20th-century’s greatest architect, who had put India on the world-map of modern urbanism and architecture through his masterpiece, Chandigarh, we fondly call the “City Beautiful”. And Chandigarh has done a hat-trick in this first-ever world-wide event in that three of the 26 papers selected by the (blind) jury have been authored by Archana Dhingra, Praveer Goel, and Dr SS Bhatti. Archana, an architect with Haryana Housing Board, has written on “Le Corbusier in India and his Influences on Modern Indian Architecture”, while architect Praveer of the Department of Architecture, Haryana, has deliberated on “The Role of Nature in Le Corbusier’s Work, Writing and, Legacy” “Le Corbusier: Corroborative Evaluation of Three Scholars’ Critique of Chandigarh” is the theme dealt with by Dr SS Bhatti.
Archana highlights that Le Corbusier’s advent in India in the ‘early-fifties radically transformed the image and status of architects as well as the architectural profession. He inspired the Indian architects, who were struggling for a new identity, to evolve a well-delineated style of their own. By virtue of their alliance with the Master Architect, the young Indian architects thus became the torch-bearers of Modern Architecture on the subcontinent. It is evident in the style of architecture that their buildings bear even today, she adds.
According to Praveer, Le Corbusier’s unmatched contribution lies in his incredibly comprehensive Method of Approach to the complex problems of Modern Architecture and Urbanism. The most noteworthy point is his magnificent psycho-emotional preparedness in handling varied projects of the size of cities. As the world moves out of its current marketing sloganeering and professional faddishness, emphasizes Praveer, it will definitely discover in Le Corbusier’s work, writing, and legacy the healthy seeds and saplings of an Artistic Holism.
In my doctoral thesis done on Chandigarh in 1991, avers Dr Bhatti, I developed a Methodology having the Subjective, Objective, and Metaphysical Dimensions. Using the Objective Dimension, I gleaned from the conclusions of Chandigarh’s three major scholars, Norma Evenson, Madhu Sarin and Ravi Kalia, the most eloquent material as the basis of this paper. He asserts that “my agreement or disagreement with their findings, coupled with my independent inferences, paints an unexpected picture of Le Corbusier’s Architectural Creativity.” His doctorate won the national award for excellence in architectural research in 1993.
Interestingly, Dr Bhatti had listed over one hundred names in his thesis to show how the unique creative climate of the City Beautiful had produced world-class professionals in all fields. His assertion stands vindicated today by Chandigarh having achieved a hat-trick in this international seminar on Le Corbusier himself. He and his two students are the only three professionals selected from Asia along with others from the USA, South America, Europe, etc.