Balkrishna Vithaldas Doshi, commonly known as B.V. Doshi, was a renowned Indian architect, urban planner, and educator who made significant contributions to the field of architecture. Born in 1927 in Pune, India, Doshi had a long and illustrious career that spanned over seven decades. He was widely considered to be one of the most important architects of the 20th century and honored with numerous awards, including the prestigious Pritzker Prize in 2018.
The forward-looking vocabulary
Ar Doshi's work is characterized by a deep understanding of the cultural, social, and environmental context in which he works. He is known for his ability to create architecture that is rooted in its surroundings, yet also innovative and forward-looking. One of his famous quotes on life, nature, and architecture is: "Nature is my first teacher. It's my constant source of inspiration."
One of Doshi's most notable contributions to architecture is his work on low-cost housing projects in India. He designed numerous housing developments that are both affordable and high-quality, with a focus on providing residents with access to natural light, fresh air, and green spaces. Another famous quote on this topic is "Housing is not a commodity. It is a human right."
Doshi's notable works include the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) in Ahmedabad, the Aranya Low Cost Housing in Indore, and the Kanchanjunga apartments in Mumbai. The IIM Ahmedabad is a notable example of Doshi's ability to create architecture that is rooted in its surroundings while also being innovative. The building is designed to respond to the hot and dry climate of Gujarat, with features such as deep overhangs and courtyards to provide shade and ventilation. Aranya Low Cost Housing, a housing project for low-income families, is a notable example of Doshi's commitment to providing affordable housing that is also high-quality.
In addition to his architectural work, Doshi was also a respected educator and taught at various institutions throughout his career. He was a visiting professor at institutions like the Harvard Graduate School of Design, the University of Pennsylvania, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. One of his famous quotes on education is: "Education is not just about acquiring knowledge, it is also about learning to think, to question, and to create."
His peers have greatly admired his work:
"B.V. Doshi is an architect who has contributed much to the development of architecture in India, not only with his own buildings, but also through his teaching, writing, and leadership in the architectural profession. His architecture is a search for a language that is rooted in Indian culture, but open to the world. He has created a body of work that is both modern and traditional, and that is deeply connected to the context of the site and the culture of the people who will use the building" - Pritzker Prize jury citation
"Doshi's architecture is not a style, it is a way of life. His buildings are a continuous dialogue between past, present and future, between tradition and modernity, between the local and the global, between the land and the sky, between the self and the other, between the individual and the collective, between nature and culture, between spirit and matter. His architecture is a celebration of life, a hymn to nature, a testimony to human dignity" - French architect Jean Nouvel
Overall, the legacy of B.V. Doshi is one of a deep commitment to creating architecture that is both beautiful and functional, while also being responsive to the needs of its inhabitants and the environment.
His work has a significant impact on the field of architecture and continues to inspire generations of architects and designers.
B V Doshi on Life
B.V. Doshi was known for his thought-provoking and inspiring quotes on various aspects of architecture, life, and nature. One of his famous quotes on life was:
"Life is a process, not a product. Architecture is not a static object, but a dynamic event. It is not a matter of shape, but of space. It is not a matter of form, but of transformation. It is not a matter of style, but of spirit."
Doshi believed that life and architecture are both constantly evolving and changing, and that the true value of both is in the process and experience, rather than the final product. He also emphasizes the importance of understanding the context and the people who will use the building, rather than just focusing on the aesthetics of the design.
B V Doshi on Women Architects
B.V. Doshi was a strong advocate for the role of women in architecture and has encouraged and mentored many female architects throughout his career. He spoke about the importance of diversity and inclusivity in the field, and has recognized the unique contributions that women can make to architecture.
B.V. Doshi was a highly respected and influential architect, urban planner, and educator, who has made a significant contribution to the field of architecture through his work in India. His focus on creating architecture that is rooted in its surroundings and is accessible to all, has set a benchmark for the industry. His famous quotes on life, nature, and architecture, continue to inspire many to this day.