How can architecture help solve the social, environmental and economic crises of our world? Berlin architect Anupama Kundoo has the answer


From Auroville to the center of global conversation, “Wall House One to One” forever changed the game for Kundoo, and even the playground itself. In the New York Times, the redoubtable Michael Kimmelman complained ‘the less said the better’ about the entire biennale, but pointed to his ‘welcome mirage’ among the few ‘gems in the rubble’ . And although he didn’t mention it in his initial review, Edwin Heathcote of the Financial Times later recalled that it was “one of the most remarkable installations [with] materials echoing the great industrial architecture of maritime Venice…a world away from the 3D printed volumes, speculative skyscrapers and utopian urban models that more generally fill the halls”.

It’s all part of an interesting phenomenon that is perhaps unique to this set of disciplines, where some of the most interesting and influential ideas in architecture and urban design are designed, built and exhibited for competitions and spaces. site-specific museum galleries, but never get built “on the street”. An example of this trend might be Pritzker Prize-winning “queen of the curve” legend Zaha Hadid, who continued to rack up awards but had to wait decades, well into her 40s, before her first building does not become “brick and mortar”. ”; there are now nearly 1,000 in 44 countries, many of which only became a reality posthumously.

Professor Mustansir Dalvi from Sir JJ College of Architecture (he graduated a few years before Kundoo) explained to me that “the exhibition is actively used by architects to develop ideas and concepts for the future, or to evaluate, through documentation, the work that has already been done. I think it’s a beautiful thing, because it presents the work to the public as an open workshop, which is then accessible to all stakeholders. Thanks to the diagramming, visual analysis, models, large scale models, multimedia, video and publishing, it is part of a larger discourse on the future of design and There is no doubt that it takes courage to expose oneself to international scrutiny, but Kundoo, Mehrotra and increasingly Sameep Padora [the slightly younger award-winning principal of sP+A in Mumbai] do.

When I asked Kundoo about this aspect of her career path – honing concepts that might never be applied “in real life” – she said she didn’t mind: “I see myself as part of a large collective, a huge organism, and in this generalized intelligence paradigm. She used the analogy of gestation to describe the slow, organic process necessary for truly great ideas to spark life: “To reach great potential, all of these basic evolutionary qualities must be present – you must imagine, imagine, experiment, adapt. You must navigate your own fears and insecurities, and learn to trust the adventure. Time itself is the ultimate architect.


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